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?
#RochesterLife 61: Cervelli Farm. I’m so happy every year when Cervelli Farm stand re-opens each May. Today’s purchases included local tomatoes, corn on the cob, and Great Hill Blue Cheese (made in the next town). #buylocal #nofarmsnofood #locavore
My “office” for a few hours today. Yes, I kayaked a little and floated a little, but I DID get some work done, too. I set-up my research notebook for a new project and read a bit of one of my resources. I didn’t get as much work done as I would have at home, but it’s been pretty busy around here and the break was nice. I’m home now and back to reading. #amwriting #amresearching
I love this squid gate in Woods Hole and the cuties in front of it.
This picture makes me so happy. I know you can’t tell from the image, but that’s my book...in France! 🇫🇷 I love the thumbs up. #FlyingDeep #STEAM
Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2018.
I’ve been busy so I didn’t post, but I wanted to share a few images from #2018folklife on Sunday.
As many times as I’ve been on the National Mall, I’m still awed by the view of the Washington Monument every time. The images that follow include making lavash in the Armenian section and human towers and giants in the Catalonian section. So much cool stuff was happening in DC last weekend.
National Portrait Gallery
On Sunday, we made a short visit to the portrait gallery. We had a toddler with us, so it was not to be a long trip. The plan: go directly to see the Obama portraits and then catch whatever else we could in the time we had.
The first painting I noticed was Henrietta Lacks painted by Kadir Nelson. @kadirnelson is my favorite illustrator, so I recognized his work from afar. I’m blown away every time I see one of his paintings in person.
On our way to see President Obama’s portrait, I spotted the Chuck Close painting of President Bill Clinton. I’m fascinated by Close’s work. Viewed from a few feet away, his paintings don’t look like his subject. From a distance, the subject is so clear.
The next photos in order are: •President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley, •Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald, •A sculpture of Rosa Parks by Marshall D. Rumbaugh that I find fascinating for its use of perspective,
•LL Cool J by Kehinde Wiley.
Last, is Toni Morrison by Robert McCurdy. Morrison is one of my favorite writers, so I spotted her image before I even entered the room. His painting (yes, painting, NOT photograph) hangs to the left of Michelle Obama’s portrait.
We didn’t stay long, but I couldn’t have asked for a better collection of portraits to see during our short visit.
Capitol Hill Books, Washington, DC. This place is one of a kind. This sign near the front door cracked me up. And, yes, that’s the foreign language section in the bathroom. If you have claustrophobia, you probably wouldn’t want to shop here, but you can make some great finds. Mine is the book in the last photo: Words Without Borders. #wordnerd
Being in the DC Metro area means lots of places to get delicious Ethiopian food. #yummy #IMayHaveEatenTooMuch.
This is my favorite photo from my event @eastcitybookshop yesterday. Photo by the talented @g_meus Look at these two cuties. They each got their own copy. ❤️#FlyingDeep