Coexisting Viewpoints: Equally True, Wildly Divergent

i-wonder-51xa9vh-4ml-_sx258_bo1204203200_I Wonder  by Annika Harris exquisitely illustrated by John Rowe, walks the reader through a dreamy world of beauty and wonder. The story follows a girl and her mother as they wander through the forest. Several things spark the child’s interest. “I wonder…” she says. Mom encourages the girl’s thoughts and resists offering a pat answer. Instead, she encourages her child to sit with uncertainty and use it to spearhead further exploration.

The book also includes a useful Author’s Note page which explains her purpose for writing the book: to encourage children to admit what they do not know, to not be embarrassed by it but rather to be challenged to explore and learn. She challenges parents to do the same! There is value in learning to sit with wonder and in accepting coexisting viewpoints as equally true even if wildly divergent.

Adoption-attuned Lens magnifying-lens-AQ.2-161x300Life as an adoptive family is partly steeped in wonder about What if What if I’d never been adopted? What if other parents had adopted me? What if I’d never placed my child for adoption? etc…. Betty Jean Lifton author of Lost and Found describes this world of unknowable possibilities as the Ghost Kingdom: the lost babies [adoptees], the [birth], parents who lost them, and the [adoptive] parents who found them. Each member of the triad wrestles with significant factors that may never be completely known or resolved. A book like this helps open discussion on some very complex issues without putting the child on the hot seat. Begin with the simple, concrete concepts presented in the book and then, if the children  are receptive ask some open-ended questions that, although not specifically adoption-related, can be interpreted as connected to adoption. Follow your child’s lead. Eventually, this book will probably spark some important adoption conversations.

they-all-saw-a-cat-41au1iglll-_sy410_bo1204203200_They All Saw A Cat  written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel delights the eyes as it explores a variety of encounters with a cat. Each two-page spread features a drawing that depicts the cat from a new point of view, for example, “A Child, a dog … a mouse… snake … worm … until it comes full circle with the cat admiring his reflection in the water.. The imaginative illustrations hilariously capture how perception colors and shapes reality. Each is true. Each is diverse. Each is personal.

magnifying-lens-AQ.2-161x300Adoption-attuned Lens  This story can introduce a conversation about how the same situation can be experienced in drastically different ways. For example, a child, a cook, and a turkey all experience Thanksgiving dinner in wildly different ways. As always, talk about the story on a light-hearted level before moving to deeper conversations. Some logical topics: bullying, immigration, and, of course, adoption.

marta-big-small-51rnntszfgl-_sy498_bo1204203200_Marta! Big & Small written by Jen Arena and illustrated by Angela Dominguez is a bilingual book which explores a similar theme. This time the multiple points of view focus on  the senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste. Compared to a cat, Marta is big. In contrast, an elephant perceives her as tiny! Exuberant illustrations portray the theme well. Spanish words appear in the text and the illustration make it easy for readers to infer the English word. Marta! Big & Small offers a fun romp that will entertain as well as teach.

Adoption-attuned Lens magnifying-lens-AQ.2-161x300Adoptive families dwell in a Both/And world. The same experience can affect each family member in drastically divergent ways. For example, as parents, we thrilled to welcome our children home. We’d hoped and prayed for this to happen. Our children, however, experience adoption in a more complex way.

multiple-pov-weblinkFor them, adoption, originates with significant loss (their first family.) Even in open adoptions, where children know and interact with birth family, children lost the opportunity for their birth parents to have raised them.

Parents, too, had to move beyond the effort to become pregnant and embrace the commitment to become parents via adoption.

The important point which this book can help families understand is that each person’s respective point of view is real, valid and does not alter the perception of other family members. Again, readers are asked to recognize coexisting viewpoints as equally true even in wildly divergent.

Our theme for today’s Diverse Children’s Books linkup is Favorite Diverse Author or Illustrator. Who is your must-read author or must-see illustrator? (The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

What Is #DiverseKidLit?


Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

We hope this community will grow into a great resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, October 15th and on the first and third Saturdays of every month.

Upcoming Theme

Our theme for the current linkup is Favorite Diverse Author or Illustrator. Themes are a suggestion only; all diverse book posts are welcome. If you’re interested, you can start planning now for our upcoming themes …

  • October 15th linkup: We will continue the Favorite Diverse Author or Illustrator theme.

Most Clicked Post from Last Time

Our most-clicked post from the previous #diversekidlit linkup is KitaabWorld’s Bilingual Picks. This great round-up post includes bilingual favorites in a range of Asian languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, and Urdu. There are also links to more titles and more languages at the end of the article.

#DiverseKidLit is Hosted by:

Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live? Click here to join the mailing list. Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at thelogonauts.com.

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

Get #DiverseKidLit Recommendations on Pinterest!

We’ve started a new group board on Pinterest to highlight all the amazing posts and resources for Diverse Children’s Books. Please consider following the board for even more great books!

Bedtime Rituals That Soothe

beautiful moon Award-winning illustrator, Eric Velasquez’s exquisite illustrations  create a gentle backdrop for  a young boy’s simple prayer in Tonya Bolden’s glorious picture book  Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer. Families who practice prayer will find the story touches upon important themes: family, community, gratitude, hunger, etc. No particular faith is indicated so this lovely book can be treasured by Christian, Jews, Muslims, etc.

Even for those who do not engage in literal prayer, Beautiful Moon expresses a beautiful message and invites discussion on some complex parts of life: homelessness, poverty, hunger. The book handles it gently so that children will not be overwhelmed by the unfairness and sadness of life’s harsh realities. Instead, it validates the child’s experiences; he has noticed these sad truths. He recognizes that there is something he can do about it: he can pray. Parents might want to explore additional ways in which their family can be part of the solution and not merely horrified, mute observers.

 

magnifying lens AQ.2AQ Lens: Adoptees have direct experience with loss, grief and sadness, thus they can easily identify with the spirit of this story. The boy’s example of a hopeful heart models one strategy that a child can use as they handle the difficulties of their own lives. The boy’s prayer validates his observations of the hard stuff of life. He doesn’t turn a blind eye or minimize what he knows to be true. Adoptees can use this story line as a model for sharing his own “hard stuff” with the expectation that his family can listen, validate and support him.  Although not directly an adoption-oriented book, this story has much to offer.

Five Star Read  starstarstarstarstar

 

 

good night yogaGood Night Yoga by Mariam Gates and illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder includes charming multicultural illustrations which demonstrate how yoga can be a relaxing and soothing part of a bedtime routine. Not quite a story book, more like a poem, it outlines a sequence of yoga poses that children can practice as a way to prepare themselves for bed. Good Night Yoga depicts a user-friendly introduction to easy, basic yoga poses and can be the beginning of a healthy lifetime practice.

Simple, calming and a gentle way to end the day, Good Night Yoga is worth exploring with your family. Kids will quickly master the sequence and can lead the routine as parent and child perform it together. Why not add some music. Choose something serene and ethereal or something from nature that connects with your child. For some that might be the rhythmic sound of waves lapping the shore. Others might enjoy a regal loon calling against a background of chirping crickets. Get creative and breathe in…Breathe out…Breathe in…Breathe out.
magnifying lens AQ.2

AQ Lens: Many children find it difficult to settle, especially kids with trauma histories or tough starts. With its focus on breathing, body awareness and mindfulness, yoga can help children unwind.  The poses included in the book can be performed by parents too which offers a great way to be playful and healthy together. Readers of this blog know that AQParenting includes an intentional focus on being playful as a family because joy is an essential part of nurturing connected relationships.

Five Star Read  starstarstarstarstar