Have you filled out your March Madness bracket yet? I’m not asking about the men’s bracket. That’s a no brainer. It’s going to be a UNC Tarheels – Duke Blue Devils matchup in Phoenix. It’s the WOMEN’S BRACKET you need to fill out and follow. Our sons and daughters need to understand women play basketball too. Their games are awesome, exciting and affordable. Tickets for women’s basketball are manageable, even on a librarian’s salary. Men’s basketball tickets, not so much. I know because I organized a mother/daughter excursion to watch the UNC – NC State Women’s basketball game. There were twenty-three of us. Half UNC fans. Half NC State fans. All the mom’s agreed we should make it a yearly tradition.
Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women’s Hoops on the Map by Sue Macy and illustrated by Matt Collins chronicles the first women’s intercollegiate basketball game in 1896. Stanford and Berkeley played at a neutral site. In celebration of this historic event, I’ve picked Stanford and Berkeley to be the last teams standing in the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Game. Stanford will win the game as they did in 1896. Rules and uniforms have changed these past 121 years. The thrill of watching scrappy women fight it out is the same.
As most things in history, opportunities for men developed sooner than women. The Olympics hosted the first men’s game in 1936. Forty years later, women were given the opportunity to play at the Olympics. In 1946, the first NBA game was played. It wasn’t until 1997 the WNBA began. That’s 51 years. I’m thankful ML is being raised in a time where women have more choices for athletic opportunities. Playing basketball is not her thing; and that’s ok. But it’s some of her friends’ favorite activity. I’m glad they can have Olympic dreams like ML does for gymnastics.
Anything But Ordinary: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Iacopo Bruno is ENCHANTING! After reading it, I realized I couldn’t name a contemporary female magician. I did a little web search. It appears women are still a minority in the magic field. Do not miss this book. The story is empowering and the illustrations are captivating. Next, read the interesting articles linked below.
Why Are There So Few Female Magicians?
Why Are There No Female Magicians? Maybe Because We BURNED THEM ALL TO DEATH
Adelaide Herrman: Queen of Magic
Wikipedia: Adelaide Herrman
I’m back to writing about books for children. I’ll devote the rest of this month to books about Amazing Women and Girls.
I’m embarrassed to say I’d never heard of the 1963 Birmingham Children’s March until I read The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Or if I did, I don’t remember it. Which is worse than not knowing about it at all. But I know now and plan to share this book with ML tonight.
The children of Birmingham in 1963 were strong, amazing children. I can’t imagine agreeing to march, when I was in elementary school, knowing I would probably end up in jail. Audrey was one of over 3000 brave children who marched. Thank you Cynthia Levinson and Vanessa Brantley Newton for bringing this story to today’s children and ignorant adults like me.
The next book I plan to read is by Cynthia Levinson. It provides more details about the march.
I often say, “I’m not really a graphic novel reader.” I can’t say that anymore. A more appropriate comment would be, “I don’t really read superhero graphic novels or manga.”
This weekend, I experienced an amazing graphic novel, Snow White, by Matt Phelan. I use the word experience, instead of read, because there were not many words. There didn’t need to be. The setting of this version was 1928 in New York City. To say it’s a modernized version of Snow White is both true and a little weird. Afterall, we’re about 90 years out from the roaring twenties and the onslaught of the great depression.
I’m not going to tell you anything more about the book, except the ending. Well, not really the ending because we all know what happens. It’s the way Matt Phelan creates a historically accurate and appropriate ending that makes this book a must read.
Matt Phelan has written three other graphic novels. I have requested all of them, and feel certain there will be a blog post about them in the near future.
Finding a book about colors that is simple enough for toddlers to grasp each individual color is hard; which is unfortunate. It’s one of the first types of books little ones adore. Penguins Love Colors by Sarah Aspinall does exactly that.
Here are some other titles about colors ML enjoyed as a toddler. All of which were written in the last millennium. Actually, they were all written before I graduated from high school.
Freight Train by David Crews
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr
Currently, I’m planning a program comparing and contrasting the Arctic and Antarctica. I know. . . sounds boring. After a very brief lesson on Geography, the fun will begin. I’ll start with sharing a photo collage I created of animals which live in the Arctic vs Antarctica. From there, we will play Arctic Animal Bingo. We’ll finish off the event making snow animals out of clay. When a program includes clay, it’s always a winner! Children and parents alike join in the fun.
I learn a lot when I plan programs for kindergarten – 5th graders. Did you know there are 17 types of penguins? None of which live in the Arctic. As for Antarctica, there are the true Antarctic species, which breed on or near continental Antarctica. . . Adelie, Chinstrap, Emperor and Gentoo penguins. Sub Antarctic species are one’s where the furthest south they go is the sub-Antarctic islands. These include King, Macaroni and Rockhopper penguins. I’m curious where the other ten types of penguins live. The kids will be too. I need to research that before the first week of January.
In the meantime, I’ll practice reading Blue Penguin by Petr Horacek. A beautiful book with a timely message.
A few years ago, I highlighted 24 of our favorite picture books in the post Christmas Books – One to Twenty Four. I need to add two books to this list. The best Christmas books published in 2016 are The Christmas Boot and Stowaway In A Sleigh. ML’s reached the age where she doesn’t want to cuddle in my bed reading picture books. However, she agreed to join me for a reading of The Christmas Boot. Tonight, I’ll try for Stowaway in a Sleigh.
The Christmas Boot by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Stowaway in a Sleigh by C. Roger Mader