Wednesday, November 15, 2017

CELEBRATING DIVERSITY: Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum, Los Angeles, CA

CCMM Spiritual Connections Display at RFK School Library, Los Angeles, CA
Last week I attended the annual open house of Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum (CCMM) at the Robert F. Kennedy School Library in Los Angeles.  CCMM is a program that brings rich displays of cultural objects from around the world to middle schools, with the goal of helping students understand the diversity in their own world so they can begin to appreciate themselves as participants in a global community.
Julia Goldman, CCMM Executive Director
Hundreds of objects are displayed (usually in the school library) with identifying signs color coded for each part of the world. Students are always delighted to find objects from their own country of origin. During the CCMM presentations, the students learn the stories behind some of the objects, their significance, and have the opportunity to handle some of them. The displays are organized around three themes: commercial, spiritual, and everyday connections.
Book and Puppets from India
The collection on display at the open house focused spiritual connections, with objects ranging from masks, books, clothing, and musical instruments that play a role in the various religions of the world. Among my favorites were the many masks on display, including one that I had donated.  Here are a few of the masks. Find out more about CCMM at their website.
African Masks
Spirit Wheel Mask, Alaska
Mask decorated with feathers, Brazil
Raven mask, Canada

Saturday, November 11, 2017

CARNEGIE LIBRARY OF PITTSBURGH

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Last week, my daughter, Jennifer, was in Pittsburgh, and stopped in at the Carnegie Library. As she browsed the shelves she found several of my books. When I looked in the online catalogue, I was pleased to discover that the library has 125 of my books, 120 print books, and 5 e-books. I am always pleased to discover my books on the shelves of libraries knowing that through my books I am reaching the lives of children who check them out wanting to learn more about the world we live in.
Two of my books on the shelves of the library
The establishment of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh was forecast in a letter, November 25, 1881, from Andrew Carnegie to the Mayor of Pittsburgh, in which Mr. Carnegie offered to donate $250,000 for a free library, provided the City would agree to provide the land and maintain the annual funding for library operations. After additional consideration, Mr. Carnegie increased his charter investment to $1 million to build and equip a Main Library and five neighborhood branches, with the City of Pittsburgh agreeing to provide $40,000 for their ongoing support.
Founding public libraries became a personal philanthropic mission for Mr. Carnegie. To him, libraries were vital, non-luxury assets to be supported by public dollars. When finished, Mr. Carnegie established more than 2,500 libraries around the world. (From the library website.)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fall Gala of the CLCSC featuring Steve Sheinkin, Los Angeles, CA

A week ago I attended the annual celebration of children's book authors and illustrators by the Children's Literature Council of Southern Calfornia, held this year at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles. As always it was a wonderful time see friends and to reconnect with teachers and librarians. After a delicious breakfast we proceeded to the auditorium to hear award winning author Steve Sheinkin give an inspiring keynote address followed by the presentation of awards.  This year's honorees are Jennifer Holm, Outstanding Work of Fiction, K.G. Campbell, Outstanding Picture Book, Nikki Grimes, Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, Nicola Yoon, Peggy Miller Award for Young Adult Literature, and Alyson Beecher and Alethea Allarey, Dorothy C. McKenzie Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field of Children's Literature.
Thanks to the Fall Gala Committee and the Awards Committee for an excellent job!
At breakfast with LAPL librarian Marcia Melkonian

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Eureka! Honor Award from CRA for Hatching Chicks in Room 6


Good news! Hatching Chicks in Room 6 has been named a Eureka! Honor book by the California Reading Association. The Eureka! award is for outstanding nonfiction. I am delighted to be on the list, which will go to teachers and librarians all over the state. The winners were announced at the fall meeting of the CRA. Thanks to all on the Eureka committee!