On June 3rd, Josephine Baker would have been 111 years old. A recently published graphic novel explores her life and rise to fame. Check it out on the Fine Books Blog.
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, meaning Irish pubs from Boston to Dublin will be busier than usual and just about everyone will be sporting some sort of good luck charm. However, if the idea of day-drinking and parade-hopping turns you green, there’s still a few ways to let your inner Irish spirit free, even from the comfort of your own library. Check out the bibliophile’s guide to St. Patrick’s Day – The Fine Books Blog
We’ll Always Have Pop-Ups
Pop-Up Paris, by Andy Mansfield; Lonely Planet Kids, $9.99, 8 pages, ages 3-6.
When readers can’t travel, well-crafted pop-ups offer wonderful opportunities to learn about the world around them. Lonely Planet Kids, an imprint of parent company Lonely Planet, recently launched three children’s pop-up books to coincide with its line of family-friendly tour guides and on-the-go activity books.
The first in the series, Pop-Up Paris, is a charming introduction to six must-see, kid-friendly sites in the City of Light, from the Pompidou Center to a tower of sugary macarons. Short on textual detail, the book is clearly geared towards a pre-k through first grade readership, providing a snippet of information to inspire children to learn more about the topic at hand. Hyper-pigmented illustrations, bordering on neon, are hip without pretense. In short, this is a book that knows it’s fun.
Easy to tote, easy to read, the Lonely Planet Kids Pop-Ups series has found a way to hook young explorers on the richness of traveling, even from the comfort of home.
Check out a 30-second video highlighting all three titles here.
Paris dans mon cœur
How do adults address this weekend’s carnage in Paris? (Do we?) How much information have our youngest ones already heard, and how much of it do they actually understand? Forbes magazine, France 24, and plenty of other outlets are devoting columns to the topic, where the general consensus among psychologists is not to discuss it (or any other such atrocities) with children under age six. Children attending elementary school will likely hear rumors on the playground or teachers discussing it in class, and parents should prepare for a conversation. In light of media over-saturation, parents will find themselves decoding and filtering information, and should avoid projecting their own anxieties and fears. Easier said than done, but providing reassurance is crucial. It is so easy for a child to see traumatizing images without context, and the images coming out of Paris are frightening–places children visit, like soccer stadiums and restaurants, have been turned into scenes of devastation and death. Parents and educators must be willing to “prendre la relève” or take up the burden, of providing strength and love in such uncertain times.
But for the littlest ones, why not spark a lifelong love for this beautiful city and its people by offering them The Story of Diva and Flea, by power-duo Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi (Hyperion Press; $14.99, October 2015). It’s a story about an unexpected friendship, but at it’s core, this is a love song to Paris. Willems realized a lifelong dream of living in the city while writing the book, and DiTerlizzi’s illustrations remind us that the people, places, and creatures of Paris are beautiful, strong, and resilient. Vive Paris.