A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to African American History Books
African American History Month, or Black History Month, as it is often referred to, is observed every February in the United States. We thought it might be interesting to take a look at the history behind this annual celebration. Negro History Week was first conceived in 1925 by Harvard educated historian, Carter G. Woodson, who founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). The event was first celebrated during a week in February in 1926 that included the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two great Americans who played a prominent role in shaping black history. The response was overwhelming, and by 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life. Progress had also been made in bringing more Americans to embrace the celebration. In 1976, our nation’s bicentennial, the celebration was expanded to a full month. President Gerald Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first celebration, ASNLH held the first African American History Month. Since 1976, each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations, and Woodson’s association – now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History – continues to promote the study of African American history all year. With February approaching, we thought it fitting to take a look at some noteworthy new books on the topic. And, as always, we’ve included a list of old favorites, too good to miss.
The Cart That Carried Martin by Eve Bunting, illus. by Don Tate
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about Spring
Spring is right around the corner, and with the winter we’ve had, it can’t get here soon enough! We’re looking forward to those first signs of spring and all that comes with it, from planting the first seeds in the garden to listening to songbirds to celebrating April holidays. We’ve added lots of new books on these topics, and as always, have listed many of our old favorites. Enjoy……and think spring!
New Spring Books
Animals in Spring by Martha E. H. Rustad
This set of books by Rustad also includes People in Spring, Plants in Spring, and Weather in Spring. Aimed at early readers, the books include full color photographs, a glossary, and internet sites.
Biscuit in the Garden by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illus. by Pat. Schories
Biscuit, the puppy, explores all the wonderful things in the garden. This book is part of the I Can Read! series. The Biscuit books are exceptionally good at getting children to read, but they also include information on teaching adults how to read them to their children.
Chester’s Colorful Easter Eggs by Theresa Smythe
This simple Easter story provides an introduction to colors, as Chester the rabbit decorates and hides Easter eggs for his friends. The collage illustrations are quite appealing.
The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, as Told to Jenifer by DuBose Heyward, illus. by Marjorie Flack
The 75th anniversary edition of this book has just been released. Originally published in 1939, this story remains a classic Easter tale. The Country Bunny’s twenty-one children help her to become an Easter Bunny. The author of this tale actually wrote the novel Porgy on which the Porgy and Bess musical is based.
Flowers and Showers: A Spring […]
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Snowy and Wintry Books
With winter’s early arrival here in the Midwest, we thought it fitting to showcase snowy and wintry titles this month. We, of course, have many favorites that we have loved over the years. And, there are lots of new books worthy of mentioning. However, one book in particular, is at the top of our list, and undoubtedly, it will be at the top of yours! Snowflakes Fall is a collaborative effort of Newbery medalist Patricia MacLachlan and prolific children’s illustrator and author Stephen Kellogg. MacLachlan and Kellogg are longtime friends, however, this is the first collaboration between them. Both have visited the Kenton County Public Library in the past, so we have even had the pleasure of meeting them. We have thoroughly loved and enjoyed their works over the years including MacLachlan’s Sarah, Plain and Tall and Kellogg’s Pinkerton books among many others.
Snowflakes Fall was written to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings last December. Kellogg, who now lives in New York City, lived for 35 years with his family in Sandy Hook, a village within the town of Newtown, Connecticut. He was very active in the school and library community there, and the news of 12/14/12 was utterly devastating to him. In his words, he wished that he could “do something creative as a counterbalance to that.” Snowflakes Fall was born of that idea. He and MacLachlan used the image of the snowflake to highlight the uniqueness of individuals as well as the healing power of nature and time. The idea of using a snowflake was actually inspired by the Connecticut Parent Teacher Student Association’s drive which encouraged […]
So….you’ve decided to give us a nod. We’re glad you did!
As children’s literature enthusiasts, our blog name pays homage to the classic children’s poem from 1889, “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” by Eugene Field.
Cecilia Horn is currently the Juvenile Collection Development Librarian for the Kenton County Public Library in northern Kentucky (greater Cincinnati). Terri Diebel is a Children’s Librarian with the same library system. Both hold Masters of Library Science degrees and have worked in the field of Children’s Literature for many years. In recent years, they have collaborated on presentations at local, state, and national library and literature conferences.
Children’s literature is our passion. Through this blog, we hope to share that enthusiasm and love of children’s books. We are somewhat nostalgic in that we have our favorite books from the past, treasures in the library attic, so to speak, yet we enjoy reviewing new books, hopefully finding new gems along the way.
Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber by Tom Brokaw, illus.by Robert T. Barrett
This is the true story of Lt. Hal Halverson who, during Christmas 1944, enlisted crew members to donate their rations of candy to distribute to the children of war-torn Germany dropping candy parachutes via cargo planes. The operation grew to include candy donations from around the world. Halverson became known as the Candy Bomber. The book is accompanied by documentary photos and DVD narrated by Brokaw. Instructions for making a candy parachute are included.
The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert, photos by Per Breiehagen
The husband and wife team of Evert and Breiehagen photographed their daughter Anja dressed in full Nordic regalia, complete with a cute red gnomic hat. Anja dreams of becoming one of Santa’s elves and […]
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Women’s History Month
Before 1970, women’s history was rarely the subject of serious consideration. However, two significant factors contributed to its emergence as a topic worthy of study. The women’s movement of the sixties caused women to examine their exclusion from traditional American history textbooks. Second, the study of history in general was being transformed, and women’s history was a part of this movement that ultimately transformed the study of history in the United States. History had traditionally meant political history – a study of the key political events and of the leaders, primarily men, who influenced them. However, by the 1970’s, social history began replacing the older style.
Women’s History Month in the United States began as a small-town school event, “Women’s History Week,” in Sonoma County, California in 1978. The week that was selected included March 8, International Women’s Day. In 1981, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah and Representative Barbara Mikulski of Maryland co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women’s History Week. In 1987, after much lobbying by the National Women’s History Project (NWHP), Congress expanded the celebration to a full month, and March was declared Women’s History Month. Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, U. S. Presidents have issued annual proclamations designating March as Women’s History Month.
The NWHP, founded in 1980, remains a national clearinghouse for multicultural women’s history information. Each year this organization selects a theme that highlights achievements by distinguished women in specific fields, from medicine and the environment to art and politics. The theme for 2014 is “Celebrating Women of Character, […]