There have been lots of babies in my life lately. My children have a new cousin, with another on the way, and three of their teachers have had babies. For shower gifts, many people love to buy cute baby clothes. Others prefer "fun" gifts like toys, while still others are more inclined to help the family out by purchasing essentials such as diapers or strollers. Most of the time, I go for items that I consider both fun and necessary: books and music.
As a writer and teacher, books are near and dear to me. They can transport us to another world, inspire us, challenge us, teach us, and entertain us. In the case of this book, they can also celebrate us and the earth we inhabit. If I am going to give a newborn only one book, it will be On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier.
"On the eve of your birth
word of your coming passed
from animal to animal.
The reindeer told the Arctic terns,
who told the humpback whales,
who told the Pacific salmon..."
This lovely tale continues with news of the child's birth traveling all around the globe while the sun continues to shine, the wind blows, and the moon pulls the ocean's tides. It ends with people welcoming the newborn saying, "We are so glad you've come!" Orignally published in 1991, this book will never go out of style.
Music is another favorite shower gift. When I was pregnant with our first child, I began looking for world music, particularly lullabies, to play for him. African Lullaby is one of the first CDs I found and it quickly became our favorite. My son listened to it often while falling asleep. When our daughter was born, he passed it along to her. Four and a half years later, she still listens to it, almost every night. Produced by Ellipsis Arts, this compilation CD is part of a lullaby series that focuses on lullabies from different parts of the world. This CD includes music from around the African continent and notes about the artists and style of music played. I'll certainly blog about music again, and include more scholarly reasons for exposing your children and students to music from around the world, but for today, I hope you'll check out this CD for no other reason than the music is wonderful.
What are your favorite examples of world music for children or books that celebrate nature? Do you have a book or CD that you give to the newborns in your life?
I missed the migration, “Big Night,” because I was away at a conference. The wood frogs have reached the vernal pool! You’ll want sound on for this. I love this sound so much. #nature
#ProvidenceStreetArt seen while at #kidlitcon2019 yesterday. (Swipe for more). #streetart #urbanart
My dad grows the best sweet corn around. He always grows way more than we can possible eat fresh, so each time we cook it for dinner, we make more than we can eat. Then we cut the kernels off the cob and freeze it. It’s a little taste of summer during the winter months. We opened the last bag the other day. Now we have to wait until July for more. #rurallife
Love this clever use of the space. Note the wire from the mic to the speaker.
I’ve had a miserable cold for more than ten days now. I rallied enough to do my scheduled school visit on Wednesday, but Thursday found me back on the sofa. Needless to say, I’ve spent far too much time indoors, so I was glad to get out for an easy hike today to check our local #vernalpools to see if there was any amphibian action. The photo shows what I found at the primary spot for wood frogs, so, clearly, they aren’t out yet. I did hear one lone peeper off in the distance, probably searching for water. Other than that, there were no amphibian sounds.
It’s pretty breezy out today, so what I did hear is beech leaves shimmering in the wind. Unlike most deciduous trees, beech trees hold on to their leaves through the winter and drop them in the spring when new leaves are ready to emerge. I love the sound of beech leaves shaking in the wind. Not as much as the sound of peepers and wood frogs, mind you, but they complete our springtime woodland orchestra. (Be sure to turn up your sound for the video). One spring, I was lucky enough to be in the woods when all of the beech trees around me let their leaves go during one giant gust of wind. The air was suddenly filled with leaf confetti as the leaves swirled and twirled to the ground. It was magical.
I had a wonderful school visit at North Falmouth Elementary School yesterday followed by literacy night sponsored by the @nfepto. I loved having so many kids bring their families to meet me during the evening event. I was impressed by how much they remembered from my daytime presentations and could tell their families. All of the props loaned to me by @w.brucestrickrott from @woodshole_ocean expanded the learning. Many kids showed their parents how the piece of titanium sinks in water but the syntactic foam floats. (I had a tub of water for that purpose). Wonderful evening of #literacy and #STEM. I didn’t take one photo all day, but look at this lovely card given to me by a student last night. The 2nd photo is at the very end of the night. Why are those kids slowly crowding their Principal? He’s pulling raffle tickets for books and gift certificates to @eight_cousins_books. Yes! Those kids were super excited to get books! #fortheloveofreading
Good morning sunshine. Almost feels like spring. Even heard some birds singing when I stepped out to take this photo.
One good thing about being laid up for several days w a miserable cold? Plenty of time to read. So far, I’ve finished Born a Crime by @trevornoah and A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by @clairehartfield ClaireHartfield
Want to learn to play guitar, ukulele, or bass? My son, @dantecusolito has a few slots available. All lessons happen @southcoastlessons @hatchstreetstudios in New Bedford, MA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
My daughter made this snow person on Sunday. Pretty cute, huh? I love her attention to detail.