“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror.” - Excerpt from Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, The Ohio State University (1990)
UNDER MY HIJAB is written by Hena Khan, an American Muslim author, from the point of view of a young girl who observes how, when, and where her modern, independent female family members wear their individual headscarves in work and play. The art by illustrator Aaliya Jaleel, also an American Muslim, is playful and detailed. I adored the henna she drew on the character's hands!
In WE ARE GRATEFUL: OTSALIHELIGA children get to look at modern Native life through the eyes of author Traci Sorell, an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Illustrator Francé Lessac traveled to Oklahoma and spent time with Cherokee citizens to learn about their way of life which provided the knowledge and inspiration for her artwork.
A BIG MOONCAKE FOR LITTLE STAR by author-illustrator Grace Lin celebrates the love between a mother and child while showing faces representative of her Asian culture that is also a part of everyday American life.
In THANK YOU OMU author-illustrator Oge Mora created a story that celebrates the caring and sharing she witnessed through her Nigerian grandmother's kindness.
Books that are mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors honor the history, customs, and traditions of all groups. And they expose children to the reality of the multicultural and multifaceted world we all share.
Keila is giving away one copy of The King Cake Baby to one lucky winner. To be eligible for prizes throughout the challenge, you must be registered by March 4, comment on each post, consistently read mentor texts, and enter the Rafflecopter drawing at the conclusion of ReFoReMo.
Keila's hiked the rice terraces in the Philippines, climbed Mt. Fuji in Japan, and Mt. Sinai in Egypt. She finds adventures in picture books too. When she isn’t traveling, researching or digging in genealogical archives, Keila is reading, writing, and visiting schools. She enjoys sharing her love of Louisiana and world cultures with others.
Her debut picture book, THE KING CAKE BABY (Pelican Publishing Co., Inc. January 2015), highlights the unique cultural tradition of eating King Cake during the Mardi Gras. A companion book will follow.
Keila, Jeanette Bradley, and Lindsay Metcalf are co-editors of the forthcoming picture book, TAKING THE MIC: Fourteen Young Americans Making Change (Charlesbridge 2020).