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?
@alan_silberberg sure knows how to throw a book party! Hosted by @brooklinebooksmith, there was fabulous music from @ewklezmer, information from @pjlibrary, drinks, cartoons, gelt, and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts). What a great time. (And a hilarious book: Meet the Latkes). It fell on the perfect day. Happy Hanukkah. (Or is it CHHA-nukah?) #KidLit #Hanukkah #Chanukah
Please join us tomorrow (Wed, Nov 28 at 8 pm EASTERN) for an #Epic18 Twitter Chat with 20 debut picture book authors. We’ll review our year and share what we learned. Moderated by @matthewcwinner
Hey look! I got to meet @lesleybreenwithrow, illustrator of Maxillian Villainous, when I was an honorary book seller @eight_cousins_books last Saturday for #smallbusinesssaturday #indiesfirst
Want to give #FlyingDeep this holiday season? @eight_cousins_books has signed copies ready to ship. Want it personalized? Order by December 13. I’ll sign everything on the 14th and they’ll be shipped that day. Indicate the name for personalization in the comment section on the website when you order or give them a call. https://www.eightcousins.com/search/site/Flying%20Deep
Check out some of the books I’m featuring @eight_cousins_books today. Books by @loreegriffinburns @pennyandjelly @lost_jia @joycesidman @w.h.beck @shandamccloskeydraws @dowphumiruk
I’ll be an honorary bookseller today from 1-3 pm @eight_cousins_books. Ask me for recommendations on great #STEM books or you can pick up a signed copy of my book, Flying Deep, about #WHOI’s ALVIN. #smallbusinesssaturday #IndiesFirst
For all of you out shopping today, please consider books as gifts that keep on giving. And if you’re willing to wait until “Small Business Saturday,” come see me at @eight_cousins_books. I’ll be there from 1-3 as a volunteer bookseller. Get my recommendations for great books. #kidlit #yalit #holidaygifts
I’m honored to have my book among three others published by @charlesbridgepublishing on the Kirkus Best Books of 2018 list. Thank you @kirkus_reviews
#STEM #STEAM #KidLit
Tagging @painternik9 @tracisorell
What I’ll be reading on the plane ride home. #NCTE18 @venkatraman.padma @nancyrosep