Monthly Archives: March 2017

JUST LOVED READING: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, A Muslim Book of Colors

JUST LOVED READING: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, A Muslim Book of Colors
Old mosque old Rhodes City, Rhodes, Greece

Old mosque old Rhodes City, Rhodes, Greece

Just Loved Reading:

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors

Picture Book

Khan, Hena. Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2012.

           Objects that are a part of Islamic tradition and the Muslim religion (food, clothing, domes, etc) resonate in a specific color in the eyes of a girl: red reminds her of the red prayer rug her father uses to pray five times a day; blue represents the blue hijab her mother wears; gold covers the domes of the mosque; purple is the color of the gift the girl receives during the holiday, Eid; brown is the color of dates, etc.

This picture book of colors brings the Muslim religion vividly to life.

WHY I LOVED READING THIS BOOK:

The colors of the objects used when practicing the faith illuminate the Muslim religion and its traditions in this book. The illustrations are colorful and beautiful; the language is simple yet descriptive for children to absorb the information. Told in verse.

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JUST LOVED READING: Paperboy

JUST LOVED READING: Paperboy

Just Loved Reading:

Paperboy

Middle Grade Fiction

Vawter, Vince. Paperboy. New York: Delacorte Press, 2013

“Words in the air blow away as soon as you say them but words on paper last forever.” (Paperboy, p 21)

Memphis, Tennessee, 1959. The protagonist in Paperboy can’t say his name without inhaling big gulps of Gentle Air as his speech therapist taught him. (We learn his name in the last chapter and that his first name and his last name start with the same letter.) Some words are easier to say than other words depending on the first letter of the word because some letters are easier to pronounce than others.

He calls his best friend Rat because it’s easier to say than his real name, Art.

He throws a mean ball, though – it’s the one thing he’s good at – in his opinion. It’s also the opinion of his team. He feels at home on the baseball mound but not everywhere else in his white suburban world.

He takes over Art’s paper route for one month even though he knows it will be hard for him to communicate with the customers on collection day. He knows he’s taking on a challenge. But the people and the events that he encounters and the surprising new friends he makes during that one month and on that paper route changes his life forever.

And that is just the beginning.

WHY I LOVED READING THIS BOOK:

The protagonist is one of the most likeable, sympathetic, inspiring children in children and Young Adult literature that I have ever read about. I wanted to hug him. Other readers may want to hug him, too. He never stops thinking of ways to overcome his stuttering but confesses his loneliness because his stuttering sets him apart from other kids. Inspite of everything, he doesn’t give up or feel sorry for himself.  Instinctively, he lives one day at a time.

The reader will root for him through every step of his journey from trying to collect money to witnessing a knifing to becoming friends with a deaf boy and a retired sailor to discovering a family secret. This boy is a hero because of the way he handles himself in these situations with the kinds of people he encounters and the decision he reaches about his family’s past.

In the author’s note, Vince Vawter, a stutterer himself, quotes James Earl Jones, who overcame his stutter and became a renowned actor: “One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.”

Paperboy will lift up your spirits.

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Crafting = Quality Family Time

Crafting = Quality Family Time
Prints - made by hand

Prints – a craft for children, adults                      and teens

Crafting = Quality Family Time

Some parents are skilled crafters. Others are doing well to cut paper in a reasonably straight line. No matter which group you fall into, crafting with your kids is beneficial for all involved.

Few things bring families together like crafting. Here are some of the good things that come out of crafting with your kids.

* Crafting builds creativity. Developing minds need a creative outlet, and crafting provides the opportunity for kids to use their imaginations. It helps them learn to solve problems, and it could lay the groundwork for a lifetime of interest in art. For parents, getting creative can help reduce stress and promote using the brain in ways that we don’t have a reason to use it every day.

* Crafting teaches kids to follow directions. This seems like a very basic skill, but we all know adults who can’t seem to follow directions. When kids craft, they learn the consequences of not following directions when their projects do not turn out as expected. They learn that it is important to do things the right way the first time.

* For young children, crafting is fabulous for learning basic skills. Almost any type of craft promotes hand-eye coordination. Kids can also learn to use scissors, measure and do lots of other things they will eventually do in everyday life.

* Parents and children take the opportunity to talk. In our busy lives, it seems that we know less about our kids than earlier generations of parents did. Passive activities such as watching TV do little to encourage conversation. But when you’re crafting together, talking comes naturally. You can seize the opportunity to discuss such things as your child’s interests, his concerns, and how he’s doing in school.

* Crafting is a great way to wind down. It’s wonderful for kids to be active, but there are times when they need to calm down. If you find your child getting agitated or exhibiting a lot of energy near bedtime, try bringing out the craft supplies. Crafting engages kids’ minds, giving them something to focus on and a good reason to sit still for a while.

* Creating things is a confidence booster. Parents who craft regularly know the feeling of accomplishment when a project is complete. Multiply this feeling by ten, and you have a pretty good idea of how your child feels when he makes something. For kids, crafting can help build positive self-esteem.

* Working on a project together is a great way to teach your kids teamwork. This will help them develop skills needed to resolve disputes peacefully and effectively. It will also help them discover their strengths and teach them that doing their best will make the entire project turn out better.

* Crafting creates treasured family memories. The finished product will serve as a reminder of the fun you had making it together.

Crafting as a family provides opportunities for us to interact with our children. It is also a valuable learning experience for them. Don’t worry if you aren’t the world’s greatest crafter. Simply being willing to try anyway is a lesson to your kids in itself.

Crafting = Quality Family Time

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