Bk: Africa is Not a Country 

Bangkok!

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Bk: Africa is Not a Country , Bk: After Gandhi, Bk: Legend of Hong Kil Dong, Travel | Comments Off on Bangkok!

Bangkok!

March was a busy month. I spent two weeks in Southeast Asia presenting in international schools. First stop was Bangkok. I had a day and a half to recover from jet lag and see a few of the sights, including the gorgeous Buddhist temple, Wat Po, where I met some fascinating characters:   One of the most amazing things about being in Thailand was that it was not winter.   March 11 and 12 I visited the beautiful Concordian International School, a tri-lingual (English, Thai and Mandarin) institution for Thai-Chinese students. At the request of librarian Erin Sieck, who wanted to make...

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Skills for Welcoming Difference, Part I

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Bk: Africa is Not a Country , Bk: Path of Stars, For Children's Book Creators, For Educators, Race & Culture | 1 comment

Skills for Welcoming Difference, Part I

During our “New Neighbors” presentation at International Reading Association (see previous post) we discussed skills for welcoming new arrivals. Such skills can be consciously chosen as effective strategies for interacting across culture, race and other difference; adopted as guidelines for individuals or groups; used as evaluation criteria for projects and events; and modeled for others. Here are a few: 1. “How Fascinating!” When author Margy Burns Knight and I present our book, Africa is Not a Country, to young elementary students, we frequently hear a similar...

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Kony 12 and Images of Africa

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Bk: Africa is Not a Country , Changing White Mind, Diverse & Global Books, Race & Culture | Comments Off on Kony 12 and Images of Africa

Kony 12 and Images of Africa

Today high school and college students across the nation will be covering their communities with posters demanding the arrest of Uganda’s Joseph Kony for his abductions of children into his Lord’s Resistance Army, in an action entitled “Cover the Night,” organized by Invisible Children through a video that’s gone viral.  Margy Burns Knight, co-author of Africa is Not a Country (which I illustrated), wrote this April 4 post for Teaching Tolerance, suggesting that we make this a teachable moment and take the time to examine the complexities of the situation...

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Africa is Not a Country, Redux

Posted by on Aug 18, 2011 in Bk: Africa is Not a Country , Diverse & Global Books, For Educators, Race & Culture | Comments Off on Africa is Not a Country, Redux

Africa is Not a Country, Redux

Last January, author Margy Burns Knight and I spent a week-long residency at Fiske Elementary School in Lexington, MA, where we led 400+ students in the creation of a book about their daily life, entitled Our Corner of the World. With the help of the faculty, staff, and parents (especially Cynthia Wimer and Songyi Kim!), each class participated in writing the text, I illustrated their stories in full color, and each student contributed a b&w spot drawing. The book was printed and every student received a personal copy. Our Corner of the World was a response to our own book, Africa is Not...

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Connecting Kids to Their World

Posted by on May 26, 2009 in Bk: Africa is Not a Country , Bk: Welcoming Babies, Race & Culture | Comments Off on Connecting Kids to Their World

Connecting Kids to Their World

For our April six-school tour in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, author Margy Burns Knight and I were presenting on our five nonfiction books about differences. The most recent of these titles, Africa Is Not A Country, was published in 2000, so we wanted to connect the information in our books with current world news.  We created slide shows of recent events and people related to the content of our books. For instance, showing images from several of the African countries who celebrate their independence holidays in April, we talked about how those were like birthdays for countries. ...

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Featuring Difference

Posted by on May 24, 2009 in Bk: Africa is Not a Country , Bk: Talking Walls, Bk: Welcoming Babies, Bk: Who Belongs Here, Diverse & Global Books, Korean Books & Culture, Race & Culture | Comments Off on Featuring Difference

Featuring Difference

In April, Margy Burns Knight and I spend six days in Philadelphia-area schools, presenting on the five books she wrote and I illustrated: the two Talking Walls titles; Who Belongs Here: An American Story; Welcoming Babies; and Africa Is Not A Country. As all these books concern the diversity of human experience – in culture, language, race, religion, etc. – Margy and I use every opportunity to address the topic of difference in a positive light. We often begin our talks with information about ourselves as children. Some students in these Philadelphia suburban schools can see...

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