Friday, January 31, 2020

Bookish Beauty

Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

There are book celebrations all over the internet today, and I will tell you more about that in a bit, 
but first, I get to share a book review of this beauty:

MY GRANDMA AND ME - by Mina Javaherbin, illustrated by Lindsey Yankey, (Candlewick Press, 2019) 

MY GRANDMA AND ME is a gorgeous picture book about an Iranian girl and her grandmother. It’s about connection with loved ones, specifically a girl and her grandmother. 

“When  I was growing up in Iran, my grandma lived with us. I followed her everywhere. When she swept, I swept. When she cooked, I cooked. When she prayed, I prayed like her too. “

Mina Javaherbin’s text is rhythmic and lovely. 
The mixed media illustrations by Lindsey Yankey are luminous with intricate patterns and palette. 

I love this window into the life of a Muslim woman and her granddaughter, 
and am warmed by the compassion, generosity, and love-in-action that the grandmother lives. 

At a deeper level this is about humanity and interfaith friendships.
There are two grandmother friends in this story who are of different faiths. Together they make blankets for people who are in need. Together, they share food and community.
And every night, each grandmother prays to the God she worships for her friend to go to heaven. 

And that’s what struck me most about MY GRANDMA AND ME. 

That underneath all of our cultures and faiths,  
at the heart we are mostly the same.

Woven of skin and bones, 
full of dreams and strivings,  
circled by friends and family, 
and each adorned with unique passions and perspectives
that put all together, make up a pretty stunning tapestry.

Love has a way of weaving us together, and I think MY GRANDMA AND ME shows this beautifully.

MY GRANDMA AND ME is about a grandmother modeling her way of life to her granddaughter, 
and it’s about humanity. 
About us. All of us.
And it reminds me in a gentle and powerful way that if we look deeper at each other, 
there is so much to love.

If you haven't yet, I hope you get to discover this book and love it, too.

And here's an exciting thing: because today is MULTCULTURAL CHILDREN'S BOOK DAY, you can find heaps of "Read Your World" book reviews, teacher resources, classroom empathy kits, and other activities on the Multicultural Children's Book Day website.

If you do Twitter, there is a #READYOURWORLD book party tonight at 9 p.m. ET in which you can win books and discover more multicultural books to love. Find that party by searching the #READYOURWORLD hashtag.

Thank you to Candlewick Press for giving me this book to review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020.  

by Mina Javahherbin, illustrated by Lindsey Yankey
published by Candlewick Press. 2019. 
ISBN-10/ISBN-13: 0763694940 / 9780763694944

Friday, January 17, 2020


I have news! 
I am so excited to tell you about this. 
Can you tell!?!
I might be using more exclamation points than are allowed for a few weeks


 Ah. I am exuberant. 
I am ecstatic. 

Thank you, Molly O'Neill and Root Literary,
thank you, Nikki Garcia and Little, Brown 
for believing in this story and in me!  

So much of this joy is thanks to my agent Molly O'Neill, 
who talked me through the finishing of my first book 
(THE STARKEEPER which comes out with Random House in June!) 
and helped me face the beginnings of another one!  
Thanks to Molly, I found out that while making book number two is HARD!, 
hard is not necessarily a bad thing. 
See, if we didn't struggle, the end result wouldn't be so victorious. 
Which is sort of how PERFECTLY IMPERFECT MIRA has made her way here!

I can't wait for you to meet MIRA. 
This story is kind of about being a work in progress, 
and learning to love the journey of becoming. 
Which is something that feels very familiar to me. 
 Another fun thing is that during the time this story was in revision,  
 I took a writing course with Jolie Stekly "MINDSET MEETS CRAFT." 
MIRA's story is so much about mindset, and revision, too. 

When I had a stroke, then heart surgery, and other life surprises   - 
each time, I felt thrown for a loop. 
That was not the direction I planned. 
That was not the way my road was supposed to go.
 Or was it? 
Because if I hadn't had the stroke and kind of lost my way into writing, 
I wouldn't have taken a WRITING WITH PICTURES course, 
which opened up my heart to illustration and stories 
in a way I'd never dreamed of being able to do.
So, here's to the journey, my friends! 

Here's to the blooms that can come out of hard things. 
- and sometimes the blooms that come because of hard things! 

And here's to the work, day and night, 





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...