phd mama

from diapers to deconstruction


Leave a comment

The Bear and the Tiger: Korean Olympic Legends

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I am clearly delayed in posting this list, we read these stories while watching the 2018 Winter Olympics. We used the stuffies pictured above to represent the mascots for the Olympics and Paralympics. The Opening Ceremonies and events took place in and around Pyeongchang, South Korea, and these stories gave us a little bit of context for the Games. As always when we study a place, I tried to balance past and present, so some stories are myth, folklore, history, and legend, while others discuss the more contemporary elements of Korean culture. We even got to try a lot of Korean food at our Girl Scout Service Unit’s World Thinking Day event; the cookies we made for the event, and the stories we read at home, were gold-medal worthy.

  1. All about Korea: Stories, Songs, Crafts, and More by Ann Martin Bowler and Soosoonam Barg
  2. Color Crayola’s South Korean Flag
  3. Watch Families of Korea
  4. The Firekeeper’s Son by Linda Sue Park and Julie Downing
  5. The Green Frogs: A Korean Folktale retold by Yumi Heo
  6. The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo and Ruth Heller
  7. The Land of the Dragon King and Other Korean Stories by Gillian McClure
  8. New Clothes for New Year’s Day by Hyun-Ju Bae
  9. Peach Heaven by Yangsook Choi
  10. The Royal Bee by Frances Park, Ginger Park, and Christopher Zhong-Yuan Zhang
  11. South Korea” by Activity Village
  12. South Korea by CIA World Factbook
  13. South Korea by Jessica Rudolph
  14. Winter Olympics” by Activity Village
Advertisements


Leave a comment

Unit Study: Exploring Judaism

 

 

 

 

 

This list is our longest one to date, because every time I thought I’d requested all the library materials we’d need, I discovered another avenue we wanted to explore. These are stories of faith, wisdom, and wit. We read about the history of Judaism from ancient days to contemporary times, covering folktales and fairytales along with Holocaust accounts and high holy days. From the revitalization of Hebrew and the modern state of Israel, to influential Jewish-Americans, to tales contemplating the nature of God, these stories introduced us to the beauty of Judaism.

  1. The Adventures of Bella & Harry: Let’s Visit Jerusalem! by Lisa Manzione and Kristine Lucco
  2. And Shira Imagined by Giora Carmi
  3. Bagels from Benny by Aubrey Davis and Dusan Petriĉić
  4. Because Nothing Looks Like God by Lawrence Kushner, Karen Kushner, and Dawn Majewski
  5. Benno and the Night of Broken Glass by Meg Wiviott and Josée Bisaillon
  6. The Blessing Cup by Patricia Polacco
  7. The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco
  8. The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street by Ann Redisch Stampler and Francesca Carabelli
  9. The Cats of Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse and Wendy Watson
  10. Celebrate: A Book of Jewish Holidays by Judith Gross and Bari Weissman
  11. Make Challah Bread
  12. Chicken Man by Michelle Edwards
  13. A Concert in the Sand by Tami Shem-Tov, Rachella Sandbank, and Avi Ofer
  14. The Harmonica by Tony Johnston and Ron Mazellan
  15. The Elijah Door: A Passover Tale by Linda Leopold Strauss and Alexi Natchev
  16. Elisabeth by Claire A. Nivola
  17. Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser and Claire Nivola
  18. Engineer Ari and the Hanukkah Mishap by Deborah Bodin Cohen and Shahar Kober
  19. Watch Families of Israel
  20. Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride by Deborah Bodin Cohen and Shahar Kober
  21. Even Higher! A Rosh Hashanah Story by I.L. Peretz, Eric Kimmel, and Jill Weber
  22. Color Crayola’s Flag of Israel
  23. Gershon’s Monster: A Story for the Jewish New Year by Eric Kimmel and Jon Muth
  24. God’s Paintbrush by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and Annette Compton
  25. Goldie Takes a Stand: Golda Meir’s First Crusade by Barbara Krasner and Kelsey Garrity-Riley
  26. Good Night Israel by Mark Jasper and Anne Rosen
  27. Color Crayola’s Happy Hanukkah Menorah
  28. Hanukkah at Valley Forge by Stephen Krensky and Greg Harlin
  29. Here Is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays by Lesléa Newman and Susan Gal
  30. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel and Trina Schart Hyman
  31. I Will Come Back for You: A Family in Hiding during World War II by Marisabina Russo
  32. Israel ABCs: A Book about the People and Places of Israel by Holly Schroeder and Claudia Wolf
  33. It Could Always Be Worse by Margot Zemach
  34. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
  35. Journeys with Elijah by Barbara Diamond Goldin and Jerry Pinkney
  36. The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco
  37. Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed by Lesléa Newman and Amy June Bates
  38. Kibitzers and Fools: Tales My Zayda Told Me by Simms Taback
  39. King Solomon and the Bee by Dalia Hardof Renberg and Ruth Heller
  40. The Language of Angels: A Story about the Reinvention of Hebrew by Richard Michelson and Karla Gudeon
  41. Latke the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer and Tiphanie Beeke
  42. The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah by Leslie Kimmelman and Paul Meisel
  43. The Longest Night: A Passover Story by Laurel Snyder and Catia Chien
  44. Lotsa Matzah by Tilda Balsley and Akemi Gutierrez
  45. Maccabee! The Story of Hanukkah by Tilda Balsley and David Harrington
  46. More than Enough: A Passover Story by April Halprin Wayland and Katie Kath
  47. The Mouse in the Matzah Factory by Francine Medoff and David Goldstein
  48. My First Chanukah by Tomie dePaola
  49. My First Passover by Tomie dePaola
  50. My Very Own Haggadah: A Seder Service for Young Children by Judyth Robbins Saypol, Madeline Wikler, and Chaya Burstein
  51. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco
  52. Nachshon, Who Was Afraid to Swim: A Passover Story by Deborah Bodin Cohen and Jago
  53. Netta and Her Plant by Ellie Gellman and Natascia Ugliano
  54. Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon, Tanya Simon, and Mark Siegel
  55. The Peddler’s Gift by Maxine Rose Schur and Kimberly Bulcken Root
  56. A Picture Book of Anne Frank by David Adler and Karen Ritz
  57. Psalm Twenty-Three by Tim Ladwig
  58. Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons by Alice B. McGinty and Jennifer Black Reinhardt
  59. Raisel’s Riddle by Erica Silverman and Susan Gaber
  60. The Rooster Prince of Breslov by Ann Redisch Stampler and Eugene Yelchin
  61. The Sabbath Lion: A Jewish Folktale from Algeria by Howard Schwartz, Barbara Rush, and Stephen Fieser
  62. A Sack Full of Feathers by Debby Waldman and Cindy Revell
  63. Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah by Sylvia Rouss and Katherine Janus Kahn
  64. Sammy Spider’s First Rosh Hashanah by Sylvia Rouss and Katherine Janus Kahn
  65. Sammy Spider’s First Shabbat by Sylvia Rouss and Katherine Janus Kahn
  66. Sammy Spider’s First Shavuot by Sylvia Rouss and Katherine Janus Kahn
  67. Sammy Spider’s First Yom Kippur by Sylvia Rouss and Katherine Janus Kahn
  68. Shmulik Paints the Town by Lisa Rose and Catalina Echeverri
  69. Shlemazel and the Remarkable Spoon of Pohost by Ann Redisch Stampler and Jacqueline Cohen
  70. Snow in Israel by Deborah da Costa, Cornelius Van Wright, and Ying-Hwa Hu
  71. Stork’s Landing by Tamii Lehman-Wilzig and Anna Shuttlewood
  72. This Is Israel by M. Sasek
  73. The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking through Anne Frank’s Window by Jeff Gottesfeld and Peter McCarty
  74. The Way Meat Loves Salt: A Cinderella Tale from the Jewish Tradition by Nina Jaffe and Louise August
  75. Way Too Many Latkes: A Hanukkah in Chelm by Linda Glaser and Aleksander Zolotic
  76. The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren and Fabio Santomauro
  77. Willy & Max by Amy Littlesugar and William Low
  78. The Wooden Sword by Ann Redisch Stampler and Carol Liddiment
  79. The Wren and the Sparrow by J. Patrick Lewis and Yevgenia Nayberg
  80. Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam by Fawzia Gilani-Williams and Chiara Fedele
  81. Yuvi’s Candy Tree by Lesley Simpson and Janice Lee Porter
  82. The Yankee at the Seder by Elka Weber and Adam Gustavson


Leave a comment

Wabi Sabi: A Japanese List

dscn5150

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My younger daughter says her favorite thing about our unit study of Japan was the rice, providing further confirmation that we’re in it for the food. We did go out for Japanese food during this study, practicing with chopsticks and sampling sushi. My older daughter says she loved learning about all the different festivals and holidays in Japan, and these books certainly cover those topics as well. They also fell in love with Totoro in their introduction to anime. As you can see, this list does what I strive to do with all of our place-based unit studies: get a sense of the culture through history, folklore, fairy tales, contemporary accounts, food, music, crafts, and geography. This list showed us loyal animals, origami, wise rulers, everyday families, and, yes, rice. It’s the next best thing to travel!

  1. All About Japan: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More by Willamarie Moore and Kazumi Wilds
  2. Chibi: A True Story from Japan by Barbara Brenner, Julia Takaya, and June Otani
  3. Cooking the Japanese Way by Reiko Weston
  4. Color Crayola’s Japanese Flag and Map
  5. The Culture and Crafts of Japan by Miriam Coleman
  6. Dodsworth in Tokyo by Tim Egan
  7. Dragon of the Red Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca
  8. The Emperor’s Plum Tree by Michelle Nikly and Elizabeth Shub
  9. Erika-San by Allen Say
  10. Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog by Pamela Turner and Yan Nascimbene
  11. I Live in Tokyo by Mari Takabayashi
  12. Watch Families of Japan
  13. The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel and Blair Lent
  14. Japan by C.I.A.’s World Factbook
  15. Japan: Tradition, Culture, and Daily Life by Michael Centore
  16. Japanse Celebrations: Cherry Blossoms, Lanterns and Stars! by Betty Reynolds
  17. Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories by Florence Sakade and Yoshisuke Kurosaki
  18. Little Kunoichi: The Ninja Girl by Sanae Ishida
  19. My First Book of Japanese Words: An ABC Rhyming Book by Michelle Haney Brown and Aya Padrón
  20. My Japan by Etsuko Watanabe
  21. Watch My Neighbor Totoro
  22. Night of the Ninjas by Mary Pope Osborne
  23. Ninjas and Samurai by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Bryce
  24. Make an Origami Crane
  25. Watch Ponyo
  26. The Real Princess Diaries by Grace Norwich
  27. Three Samurai Cats: A Story from Japan by Eric Kimmel and Mordicai Gerstein
  28. Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein and Ed Young
  29. The Way We Do It in Japan by Geneva Cobb IIjima and Paige Billin-Frye
  30. Tokyo Friends by Betty Reynolds


1 Comment

Here Be Dragons

014 (2)b

 

 

 

 

Both of my children adore stories about mythical creatures; it’s part of their inheritance, right along with their dimples. Few such beasts are as impressive and breathtaking as dragons, and the list here showcases those creatures’ cunning as well as their sillier sides. These stories cross cultures to show different perspectives on dragons, who don’t always breathe fire and sometimes intertwine with saints’ tales. I will note that, despite my four-year-old’s love of dragons, I put few films on this list because of the intense images that so many of those movies contain. We stuck mostly to text, instead, where we relied on our imaginations, aided by timeless tales and exquisite illustrations, to bring these beasts to life.

  1. Day of the Dragon King by Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca
  2. Dragon of the Red Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca
  3. The Dragons Are Singing Tonight by Jack Prelutsky and Peter Sis
  4. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
  5. The Dragon Snatcher by M. P. Robertson
  6. The Egg by M. P. Robertson
  7. Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light
  8. How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head by Bill Peet
  9. Watch How to Train Your Dragon
  10. Hush, Little Dragon by Boni Ashburn and Kelly Murphy
  11. Jin Jin the Dragon by Grace Chang and Chong Chang
  12. King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bentley and Helen Oxenbury
  13. The Knight and the Dragon by Tomie dePaola
  14. Me and My Dragon by David Biedrzycki
  15. Merlin and the Dragons by Jane Yolen and Li Ming
  16. No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) by Jean Pendziwol and Martine Gourbault
  17. Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el and Tim Bowers
  18. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko
  19. The Popcorn Dragon by Jane Thayer and Lisa McGue
  20. Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and Trina Schart Hyman
  21. The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash and Lynn Munsinger
  22. There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon by Jack Kent
  23. Waking Dragons by Jane Yolen and Derek Anderson
  24. Where’s the Dragon? by Richard Hook and Jason Hook


Leave a comment

¡Hola! Mexico

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once more, food and parties inspired our most recent literary excursion. This time we traveled by book to Mexico, where my children delighted in the rich traditions of folklore and religion, the artists’ biographies, and the contemporary glimpses of our neighbors to the south. And, of course, we were all so pumped about the piñatas that we threw two parties just to keep the festivities alive. What we found in our perusal of Mexican stories holds true for all our literary explorations across the globe: each place and people group tells of a unique history and perspective that connects past to present. And, as always, it’s a privilege to step into these story worlds and see just a glimpse of another culture, to broaden our world and our mind with stories. To that, we can only say gracias!

  1. Watch The Book of Life
  2. Borreguita and the Coyote by Verna Aardema and Petra Mathers
  3. The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos and Rafael Lopez
  4. Color Crayola’s Mexican Flag and Map
  5. Day of the Dead by Tony Johnston and Jeanette Winter
  6. Listen to De Colores and Other Latin-American Folk Songs for Children by José-Luis Orozco and Elisa Kleven
  7. Diego by Jeanette Winter and Jonah Winter
  8. Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh
  9. Elena’s Serenade by Campbell Geeslin and Ana Juan
  10. Erandi’s Braids by Antonio Hernández Madrigal and Tomie dePaola
  11. Watch Families of Mexico
  12. The Fisherman and the Turtle by Erica A. Kimmel and Martha Aviles
  13. Frida by Jonah Winter and Ana Juan
  14. Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself by Margaret Frith and Tomie dePaola
  15. José! Born to Dance by Susanna Reich and Raúl Colón
  16. Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book by Yuyi Morales
  17. The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola
  18. The Lizard and the Sun by Alma Flor Ada and Felipe Dávalos
  19. Mexico by CIA World Factbook
  20. Nacho and Lolita by Pam Muñoz Ryan and Claudi Rueda
  21. Off We Go to Mexico! An Adventure in the Sun by Laurie Krebs and Cristopher Corr
  22. Our Lady of Guadalupe by Felipe Dávalos and Francisco Serrano
  23. Pequeña the Burro by Jami Parkison and Itoko Maeno
  24. The Piñata Maker by George Ancona
  25. Listen to Putumayo Presents Mexico
  26. The Sad Night: The Story of an Aztec Victory and a Spanish Loss by Sally Schofer Mathews
  27. Soccer on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne
  28. The Turkey Girl: A Zuni Cinderella Story by Penny Pollock and Ed Young
  29. Under the Lemon Moon by Edith Hope Fine and René King Moreno
  30. Watch Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
  31. What Can You Do with a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla and Magaly Morales
  32. Who Was Frida Kahlo? by Sarah Fabiny and Jerry Hoare


Leave a comment

Egyptian Treasures, Ancient and Modern

001

In our latest literary journey, we traveled to Egypt, where we explored stories both ancient and modern. I wanted to show the nation’s rich history without crystalizing it in the past, so we combined stories of mythology with tales from the present. This list shows a similar geographic setting for both old and new, illustrating the way past, present, and future converse through stories.

  1. Cleopatra by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema
  2. Cry of the Benu Bird: An Egyptian Creation Story by C. Shana Greger
  3. The Day of Ahmed’s Secret by Florence Parry Heide, Judith Heide Cilliland, and Ted Lewin
  4. Egypt: CIA World Factbook
  5. The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo and Ruth Heller
  6. Color the Egyptian flag and map by Crayola
  7. Watch Families of Egypt
  8. Build a Great Pyramid by Crayola
  9. Hands around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books by Susan L. Roth and Karen Leggett Abouraya
  10. Magic Treehouse Fact Tracker #3: Mummies and Pyramids by Mary Pope Osborne, Will Osborne, and Sal Murdocca
  11. Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca
  12. Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs: A Book about Ancient Egypt by Gail Gibbons
  13. Pepi and the Secret Names by Jill Paton Walsh and Fiona French
  14. Rimonah of the Flashing Sword: A North African Tale by Eric A. Kimmel and Omar Rayyan
  15. The Tomb of the Boy King by John Frank and Tom Pohrt
  16. We’re Sailing down the Nile: A Journey through Egypt by Laurie Krebs and Anne Wilson


Leave a comment

Unicorns: The Loveliest List of All

009 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll be honest, this list is short in spite of reading rather a lot of unicorn books. There are a lot of sappy, sentimental literary tributes to these mythical creatures out there, and that’s not really our family reading style. Still, both my girls stake their place in what is no doubt a rather long line of little girls who long for pet unicorns. So here are some silly and whimsical stories that play with our fascination with a beast who’s eluded our capture, but never our imaginations.

  1. Claire and the Unicorn: Happy Ever After by B.G. Hennessy and Susan Mitchell
  2. Day Dreamer: A Journey of Imagination by Emily Winfield Martin
  3. Goldilicious by Victoria Kann
  4. “Help!” by Shel Silverstein (from Falling Up)
  5. Lily the Unicorn by Dallas Clayton
  6. Nobody Rides the Unicorn by Adrian Mitchell and Stephen Lambert
  7. Stories of Unicorns by Rosie Dickins and Maria Cristina Lo Cascio
  8. The Tale of the Unicorn by Otfried Preussler and Gennady Spirin
  9. Uni the Unicorn: A Story about Believing by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Brigette Barrager
  10. “The Unicorn” by Shel Silverstein
  11. Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea