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Sep 20

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month! by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on September 20, 2021 at 9:47 AM by Genesis Gaule

The changing of the seasons brings cooler weather and paints the landscape in vivid colors. As we get back into the swing of our fall routines and don our sweaters, let’s take time to celebrate Hispanic Heritage! National Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15 and reminds us to celebrate rich culture, history, delicious food, as well as bring awareness to the struggles Hispanic communities face.

As with many other “national” months such as Black history month and Pride month, one of my favorite things to do is to read books written by authors on their experiences. Both nonfiction and fiction are great looks into others experiences or see yourself reflected. The joy I feel when reading children’s picture books that feature Hispanic representation is unmatched, knowing that my younger family members will learn to love their Hispanic heritage. Below are some books from our collection written by and about Hispanic people!


Easy Fiction

These picture books feature bilingual and/or Hispanic main characters, and they are a great way to learn some Spanish vocabulary!


Song of Frutas

by Margarita Engle and Sara Palacios

While visiting her abuelo in Cuba, a young girl helps him sell frutas, singing the name of each fruit as they walk, and after she returns to the United States, they exchange letters made of abrazos--hugs. Includes historical and cultural notes.


Paletero Man

by Lucky Diaz and Micah Player

Follow along with our narrator as he passes through his busy neighborhood in search of the Paletero Man. But when he finally catches up with him, our narrator's pockets are empty. Oh no! What happened to his dinero? It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat now!


Junior Fiction


Esperanza Rising

by Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression. // Also available en Español


Miles Morales: Shock Waves

by Justin A. Reynolds

Miles Morales is a normal kid who happens to juggle school at Brooklyn Visions Academy while swinging through the streets of Brooklyn as Spider-Man. After a disastrous earthquake strikes his mother's birthplace of Puerto Rico, Miles springs into action to help set up a fundraiser for the devastated island. But when a new student's father goes missing, Miles begins to make connections between the disappearance and a giant corporation sponsoring Miles' fundraiser.


Nonfiction


Without a Country: The Untold Story of America's Deported Veterans

by J. Malcolm Garcia

In this book, J. Malcolm Garcia reports from across the country and abroad, profiling veterans who have been deported, as well as the families and friends they have left behind. Without a Country analyzes the political and cultural climate that has led America here and takes a hard look at the toll deportation has taken on veterans and their communities.


Spirit Run: a 6,000 Mile Marathon Through North America’s Stolen Land

by Noé Álvarez

Álvarez writes not only of overcoming hunger, thirst, and fear--dangers included stone-throwing motorists and a mountain lion--but also of asserting Indigenous and working-class humanity in a capitalist society where oil extraction, deforestation, and substance abuse wreck communities. Running through mountains, deserts, and cities, and through the Mexican territory his parents left behind, Álvarez forges a new relationship with the land, and with the act of running, carrying with him the knowledge of his parents' migration, and--against all odds in a society that exploits his body and rejects his spirit--the dream of a liberated future.


Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood

by Danny Trejo

For the first time, the full, fascinating, and inspirational true story of Danny Trejo's journey from crime, prison, addiction, and loss to unexpected fame as Hollywood's favorite bad guy with a heart of gold..


Interested in more ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Support Hispanic creators by listening to Spanish speaking artists, appreciating art, enjoying authentic food prepared by local restaurants, and buying from small businesses!

Aug 19

First Day of School Jitters by Genesis Gaule

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on August 19, 2021 at 6:08 PM by Genesis Gaule

Is your child excited for the new school year or dreading it? Maybe even a bit of both! Starting school is a big milestone and can be filled with overwhelming emotions, especially for young children. Whether they are starting school for the first time or moving up a grade, reading with your child about school can help them process these big feelings and prepare them for what school might be like.

Not sure where to start? Here are 10 picture books to help your child start their school year off on the right foot!

Llama Llama Misses Mama

by Anna Dewdney

It's Llama Llama's first day of preschool! But after mama leaves, Llama Llama is sad. Can the other children and his teacher help him enjoy school even though he misses his mama? A classic selection for kids who experience separation anxiety. // Ages 3-5 (PreS-K)


The Pigeon has to go to School!

by Mo Willems

Pigeon does not want to go to school and he’s going to tell you why. What if math is too hard? The backpack will be too heavy! Will the other kids like him? Humor is a wonderful way to ease the first-day-of-school jitters, and this silly, relatable story captures many common school anxieties. It's also a great way to help kids open up about their own fears of starting school. // Ages 3-6 (PreS-1)


Vera's First Day of School

by Vera Rosenberry

The first day of school can be both thrilling and scary. Vera cannot wait for the day when she starts school, but the first day does not go exactly as she has planned. With charm and gentle humor, Vera explores all the different feelings associated with this important milestone. // Ages 4-6 (PreS-1)


The King of Kindergarten

by Derrick Barnes

Inspire confidence in your little one with this upbeat story following a young boy as he conquers his first day of kindergarten with courage and kindness. // Ages 4-5 (K)


First Day Critter Jitters

by Jory John

It's almost the first day of school, and the animals are nervous, each with their own worries about how school will go. Can the animals learn to help one another through their jitters to make sure school isn't so scary after all? // Ages 4-8 (K-3)


I Got the School Spirit

by Connie Schofield-Morrison

Send your kid off to school eager and bursting with optimism as a young girl enthusiastically spreads school spirit from home to school and back again. Each lively illustrated spread features a simple sentence with an accompanying sound effect that makes reading aloud especially fun. // Ages 4-6 (PreS-1)


The New Kid Has Fleas

by Ame Dyckman

The new girl is... weird. She doesn’t wear shoes, howls, and kids say she even has fleas! Follow the narrator as he learns about getting to know someone different than himself when he is paired with the new kid during a science project. // Ages 4-7 (K-2)


Unicorn Is Maybe Not So Great After All

by Bob Shea

Concerned about losing friends during the first week of school, Unicorn upgrades his fabulousness. But when his plan backfires, Unicorn learns about who real friends are and the importance of being true to oneself. // Ages 4-8 (K-3)


Your Name Is a Song

by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Saddened by her classmates' and teacher's mispronunciations of her name, Kora-Jalimuso is empowered as she and her mom celebrate the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latine, and Middle Eastern names. A beautiful and heartwarming story about honoring identity and cultural heritage. Pronunciations included to help the reader "sing" each name aloud. // Ages 5-10 (K-4)


The Day You Begin

by Jacqueline Woodson

This touching read acknowledges the times when children feel different or misunderstood and encourages them to share their stories, so the world can "open itself up a little wider to make some space" for them. // Available in English and en Español // Ages 5-10 (K-4)

Aug 12

Make Time for Art by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on August 12, 2021 at 1:40 PM by Genesis Gaule

It happened again. The empty feeling after you finish bingeing a Netflix series. You aimlessly search for another show to fill the void the last one left. Your first instinct might be to look up more about the show you just watched, to see if there was anything you missed, or if there’s anything similar. Or maybe you end up scrolling through a rotation of the same 5 apps until bedtime. Either way, you wish you could switch up your routine and break those habits. Incorporating creativity into your everyday life can be the perfect way to do both.

Reading through Art Before Breakfast: a zillion ways to be more creative, no matter how busy you are by Danny Gregory, it was like having a mind reader predict every question and doubt addressed as I was having it. Gregory’s conversational tone was both fun and informative, and reassured me that creating this new habit would not become just another thing to add to my to-do list, but something I would forward to each day.

Craftivism: the Art of Craft and Activism by Betsy Greer is a great way to get involved in a cause you are passionate about in a creative way. Any craft can be a tool for a good cause, whether you create to promote an organization, sell your craft to raise money, or teach others how to use their resources to support ethically sourced and produced items.

If you are looking to strengthen artistic technique, Drawing is for Everyone by Kateri Ewing is a great way to jumpstart your new creative habits. Ewing encourages readers to leave their expectations and self criticism at the door, and simply find joy in the process rather than fear in the result. With lessons and guidance in graphite, color pencil, and ink, the possibilities are endless!

What people think is natural born talent is the hard work of someone that allowed themselves to learn their skills. Creating without the fear of failing is the first step to a happier outlook. No matter what style or medium you choose to do your art in, the joy of creating will be worth it. 

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