A Week in the Life of a Tiny Pioneer: Story Time & Black History Month Exhibit Update

Where y’at?!

Last Saturday I had much fun participating in the first Global Families Festival of 2020 organized by the International House in Davis, CA, in partnership with the always inspiring Teacher Can from the Peregrine School, the Homeless Refuge Support and Advocacy Inc., and the kids dance group Afro Mini Vibes. This is a bi-monthly themed event catering to 3–10 years old and their family, filled with music, craft activities, a story time and food. Kids and parents alike love it! I read the Coretta Scott King award-winning book Trombone Shorty, written by Grammy award-winning artist Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, and illustrated by the also award-winning Bryan Collier. What a pair! I brought a trombone (had help!), and had the audience gleefully answer the “Where y’at!” greeting calls sprinkled throughout the story.

We all had fun, and I can’t wait to do it again!

A Black History Month Art Exhibit in the Making

The closer we get to the event, the more excited and joyful I am at the prospect of sharing a glimpse into the stories of so many Black geniuses. As a reminder to readers learning about this Black History Month project for the first time, it is a kid-friendly event that celebrates lesser known brilliant Black minds and bodies who changed the course of history. The exhibit would not have been possible without the early support of Scott Love, our Library Regional Manager of the West Yolo Region. Scott offered the space at the Mary L. Stephens branch in Davis, and shared about the project with the Arthur F. Turner location in West Sacramento as well. What does this means?

1 exhibit, 2 locations!

When will the exhibit take place? It will start on the 1st of February and last the entire month.

What About the Art?

The exhibit will feature portraits of selected but world-wide Voices of the African diaspora, past and present, along with non-traditional haikus inspired by their work, famous quotes, short biographies, and a map showing where each historical figure is from (so kids and adults get to learn a little bit of geography). Next to each portrait, there will be an invitation to check out the available library materials on the that person’s life or slice of history. The book recommendations will be for both kids, and adults.

Some of the Highlights of the Week:

1- We launched a GoFundMe page on Monday, to help cover the costs of printing the posters and the information cards. The fundraising is off to a soft start but is gaining steam! Everything collected will be used toward this cause and nothing else, as it will only make the event better.

2- Four amazing artists since joined the exhibit and will share their work with the audience (there will be both prints and original pieces). The fundraising page will be updated regularly throughout the week, as I add the contributors’ biography and finalize, with the help of an amazing librarian friend, further public announcements. I can already share the participation of the truly fantastic Robert Liu-Trujillo, creator of multicultural and bilingual books for kids and founder of The Trust Your Struggle Collective and Come Bien Books, among other activities.

3- The exhibit opened the doors for three different art workshops, woven with a bit of storytelling, to take place during the month of February. It is my hope to help further highlight Black creators. The details are being finalized.

Stay tuned for more exciting news next week! Don’t hesitate to help us spread the word. Thank you for reading, I wish you a fun and productive week.
Peace!

PS: Tiny Pioneer. Tiny refers to the Tiny Fellowship, a program that supports projects that aim to improve the education system.

Children’s Book Review: Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala

Multiculturalism Rocks! Children’s Book Review: Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala
Book Title: Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala
Author/Illustrator: Meenal Patel
Publisher: Beaver’s Pond Press
Age Range: 4 to 8 years

It’s one thing to be far from the country in which you were born; to leave everyone and everything you love behind. It’s another to never have been to that country; one that encompasses all the histories, cultures, and people that comprise your family and heritage.
 
In Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala, a young Indian-American girl learns about the vibrancy of India through her Babi Ba.
Every day after school, Priya runs home to make the rotli for their family’s evening meal. And every day, Priya asks Babi Ba, “What is India like?”
It is then that Babi Ba reminisces about all of the sights, sounds, and smells of her homeland. From the arches and domes of the buildings…  
To the marigolds that hang on storefronts and the doorways of homes. Priya listens intently, finally asking, “Babi Ba, will you take me to India.” In which Babi Bi replies, “Maybe one day we will be able to go together.” 
 When winter arrives, Priya notices that, unable to go outside to pick the marigolds that grow in the garden, Babi Ba is feeling homesick for India. 
 
The next day at school, Priya discovers a way to help Babi Ba feel better. As she cuts and sews a paper garland of marigolds, her curious schoolmates gather
around her. She shares with them all the things that Babi Ba had told her about India.
 
Once home, the garland is hung above the doorway of Priya’s home for Babi Ba
to enjoy. As Priya explains how her classmates helped her, Babi Ba tells her that
“Sharing India with others is the very best way to carry it with you.”
 
This lovely picture book by author-illustrator Meenal Patel features her signature style of mixing patterns and lush colors, giving a beautiful depth to the story. She also provides wonderful back matter featuring the meanings, definitions, and pronunciations of elements found throughout the book. All together Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala is a charming celebration of the bond between grandparent and grandchild and the thread of heritage that connects them.
Learn More:
Meenal Patel
Meenal Patel Studio

Where to Buy:
Indiebound.org
Etsy.com

You can also check this out or request it at your local library! #SupportYourLibrary