Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Farewell, Blogger! Hello Dot Com!

I have had enough with the frustration of hackers putting pop-ups all over this blog.

I've moved to KaraPaints(dot)com

Come and visit me there, won't you?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Exploring the Immigrant Experience through Literature


I'd like to take a brief moment to talk about this bibliography I have compiled, who it is for and why we (as Americans) need it. 

My final project for Library Materials for Children centers around literature that explores the immigrant experience in North America. The materials collected are for children in grades 3-5, and cover a range of materials from picture books to novels as well as a wide variety of experiences. These books can be used in a classroom setting as part of the social studies curriculum or in the home as jumping off points for conversations about cultural heritage and family traditions. 

As America is made of a patchwork of cultural histories and traditions all swirled together, it is important for children to learn about the many peoples who have become a part of the America we live in today. At some point in their lives, all children will meet someone who is “not from here”—whether that means another town, another state or another nation--and it is in everyone's best interest for our children to be able to empathize with that person. Today, one in every eight residents in the United States is foreign-born, and in more than 2/3 of the country foreign-born residents make up more than 5% of the population. As cross-border travel becomes easier and global communication becomes more frequent with the rise of the digital age, it is imperative that children understand that we are all human even though we may have different cultural traditions. 

We have all experienced the magic of a book: to transport us into someone else's life, to show us the world as we haven't seen it before.  I hope you will consider sharing some of these books with the kids in your life. 

Here is a list of the titles I have compiled. To read brief summaries, please go to my Pinterest board.

Alvarez, Julia. "Return to Sender" (2010).

Cheng, Andrea. "Honeysuckle House" (2004).
Fleischman, Paul. "The Matchbox Diary" (2013).

Himelblau, Linda. "The Trouble Begins" (2005).

House, Silas and Vaswani, Neela. "Same Sun Here" (2013).

Khan, Rukhsana. "Big Red Lollipop" (2010).

Lai, Thanhha. "Inside Out and Back Again" (2013).

Lombardo, Jenny. "Drita, My Homegirl" (2006).
Moore, Julianne. "My Mom Is a Foreigner, But Not to Me" (2013). 
Smith, David J. "If America Were a Village: A Book about the People of the United " (2009).
Tan, Shaun. "The Arrival" (2007). 
Trottier, Maxine. "Migrant" (2011).
Walker, Paul Robert. "All About America: A Nation of Immigrants" (2012)
Williams, Karen Lynn. "My Name Is Sangoel" (2009).

Monday, April 28, 2014

Thoughts on books

In case I haven't told you, or you weren't here when I mentioned it: I am getting my degree to be a LIBRARIAN. It's kind of like being a superhero but without the cape. Specifically, I am looking to work with children and teens. Adults, you guys are great, but you aren't going to sit on the floor with me and ooh over a picture book. You might come to an event where we explore how to make a podcast or a digital story--and that would be awesome. The tools available today to tell your own story are AMAZING. But there is this one thing that kids & teens have that adults seem to be missing--enthusiasm. I love spending time with people who have that deep-in-their-bones joy about something. And I don't care what that something is: dinosaurs, dance, Minecraft, sports, whatever is your reason to get a bounce in your step is awesome by me. I've had people ask me: then why not be a teacher? I've thought about that, but I am pretty sure the only thing I am cut out to teach is art. (I don't know if you adults have noticed, but art is usually the first thing on the chopping block when budgets get tight) But as a librarian--I can do ART and work with books and work with kids. It's a win-win-win.

So...what's so amazing about books?
Every book you have ever read started out as an idea inside someone else's head. Through books, you get to explore not just your own imagination but the imagination of the author (and illustrator)--and get this: that exploration makes your own imagination grow bigger.
Through books, you can learn about ANYTHING. Want to build a robot? There's a book for that. Who was the guy that designed the first lunar module? There's a book for that. How do I become a veterinarian? There's a book for that too.
Through books, you can travel ANYWHERE. Places on Earth? Sure! Places in space? Sure! Places somebody dreamed up that aren't on this Earth or in our space? Sure!
Having a rough day? There's a book for that.
Going to the dentist for the first time? There's a book for that.

Every now and then, I'm going to be offering up lists of books and talking about some things that I find interesting in the world of books and libraries. If you are looking for books on specific topics, you can email me (karapaints (at) gmail (dot) com) and I'll do my best to find the book that's right for you.