A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Flannel Friday GIVEAWAY! - Picky Paul (Bilingual)

*NOTE: Please read this entire post to find the details on how to enter a drawing for a version of this flannel set which I a giving away!*

Picky Paul, which I now tell in Spanish and bilingually as Pedro, el mal comedor, is the flannel story that made me first fall in love with using the flannelboard as a storytelling tool.  I learned it when I was working at the Columbus Metropolitan Library as a Spanish Language Program Specialist.  There are several really amazing things about working in youth services for that specific organization.  One is that they have a circulating flannel collection which is housed in the Main Library's Center for Discover (the children's department).  There are hundreds of flannelboard versions of stories and rhymes already made by the talented staff which any YS staff person can request and "check-out" for his or her programming.  That's where I first discovered "Picky Paul," and I'm sharing my version of it with you here today. Unfortunately, I have no idea what book or collection it originally comes from, so if someone does and can share, that would be great!

The story basically goes that a little boy named Paul (Pedro) is a picky eater (un mal comedor).  His dad is always trying to introduce him to new foods, but when he asks Paul if he will try them, his response is, "No I won't!" (¡No lo probaré!)  So Paul's dad takes Paul into the kitchen and introduces him to a variety of foods, including a tomato (un tomate), a green pepper (un pimiento verde), some mushrooms (unas setas), an onion (una cebolla) and some cheese (el queso).  Each time Paul's dad asks if he will try the ingredients and each time comes Paul's response: "No I won't!" (¡No lo probaré! - change the grammar as appropriate in Spanish).  Paul's dad gets out a big bowl (una tazón grande) and stirs, stirs, stirs (la mezcla, mezcla, mezcla).  Then he gets out a rolling pin (un rodillo de amasar) and rolls, rolls, rolls (la estira, estira, estira).  Finally he puts something in the oven and they wait, while a yummy smell fills the kitchen.  The oven timer dings, and out comes a pizza!  This time when Paul's dad asks if he will try the new food his response is "Yes, I will!" (¡Si la probaré!).

I know that this story doesn't have the best message about food behavior, but I love it anyway!  It is super fun to tell and the visual component of the ingredients helps to reinforce new vocabulary that is introduced.  It is also a story that works extremely well in bilingual storytime.  Last month I presented a bilingual storytime on food with one of my previous "Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca" students (new session starts August 5 - register today!).  She had designed the program as part of her final project in the class.  We used this story in addition to What Can You Do with a Paleta / ¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta? by Carmen Tafolla and No More, Por Favor by Susan Middleton Elya.  It was a blast!  We had a mixed-age audience of wee ones up through school age and they all stayed very engaged throughout.  She surprised the kids at the end with real paletas too, which was a huge success!

Here, as always, is a PDF of the flannel pieces which you can feel free to print and use as a pattern to make your own "Picky Paul / Pedro, el mal comedor."  However, this time around I have a special surprise for all of you Flannel Friday folks - I'm giving this flannel set away to one lucky reader!  Just leave a comment by Tuesday, July 23, 5 PM EST and I will put the names of everyone who commented into a random drawing.  I will announce the winner in the comments, so be sure to select to receive follow-up comments or check back frequently.  I will need the winner to correspond with me via email ASAP so that I can have a valid address to send the flannel.  If I cannot get in touch with the person selected in a timely manner as per my discretion, then I select another name until I do.  Happy flanneling everyone!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

ALA Take-Away: Issues Surrounding Multicultural Books for Kids

At ALA Annual last week, I had the opportunity to attend two very well-organized and engaging sessions on the issues surrounding the publishing of multicultural literature for children.  Some of you may remember last winter's controversial New York Times article decrying the lack of Latino children's literature.  There was also a recent NPR story on the same topic.  This compelling infographic from multicultural children's publisher Lee and Low provides a visual presentation of the stagnation in terms of the inclusion of people of color in literature for children and youth.

However, the issue of diverse representation in multicultural children's literature is more nuanced than a simple declaration of not enough material being published.  What is happening with the high-quality diverse children's literature that is being published?  Are Pura Belpré and Coretta Scott King award-winning books being used in classrooms and after-school programs?  How many books that positively portray people of color are included in library bibliographies and school summer reading lists?  Are we incorporating bilingual books into our storytimes and library displays, or are they languishing in foreign language sections of our children's areas, separate from where most families browse and discover new books?

There were many responses to the original New York Times article, including one from School Library Journal in which prominent Latino children's literature scholars and librarian activists such as Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo and Oralia Garza de Cortes were quoted speaking about the strides that have been made for diverse children's literature in recent decades.  What was the most powerful take-away for me from that article is what was also the most powerful take-away for me from the discussion sessions at ALA - if we want to see the publishing of diverse children's literature that actually reflects the demographics of our country, then we must demand it.  We must do our part to be sure that the high-quality literature that already exists is visible and accessible.  We must support small publishers.  We must demand diversity in classrooms, library programs and book fairs.  We must continue to engage in the discussion in-person and online long after the spark from these recent news stories fades away.

What are you doing, in ways small and large, to increase the visibility of diverse children's literature in your community?