‘Tis the Season for Hanami

Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest and the cherry trees are putting on quite a show! One of the more popular attractions in Seattle for cherry blossom viewing, also known as Hanami, is our cherry trees located at the University of Washington Quad.

Although the origin of the trees is debated, according to The Daily:

“In 1912, Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki donated cherry trees to the United States, which marked the growth in friendship between the United States and Japan. The trees were distributed around the country, with 34 of them planted in the Washington Park Arboretum. Because of construction [of State Route 520], the trees had to be relocated, and 31 of them were relocated to the UW, where they are now planted in the Quad.” –The Daily of the University of Washington

Photograph of blossoming cherry trees on the University of Washington Quad.
The Daily – Takae Goto

They just reached peak viewing on March 29th. However, there is still time to celebrate! ParentMap has a list of other locations in Seattle and nearby to enjoy cherry blossom viewing.

Continue reading “‘Tis the Season for Hanami”

2019 Lambda Literary Awards: LGBTQ Titles for Children and Young Adults

The 2019 Lammy Award finalists were announced earlier this month, and there are eight contenders in the LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category.  Among them are some of our favorite recent titles, including last year’s National Book Award Winner The Poet X and both(!) of Kheryn Callender’s novels.  We were especially pleased at the diversity of both authors and character voices in this year’s finalists!

Here are the titles being considered for the 31st Annual Lambda Literary Awards for children and teens:

The Poet X by Elizabeth AcevedoThe Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Navigating the world has become exponentially more difficult now that Xiomara has a woman’s body, but while her physical self has gained attention the rest of her goes unnoticed.  Xiomara has plenty to say, though, and an invite to the school’s poetry slam allows her to kick open a door she never knew existed.  Told in verse, this is a raw and intimate portrait of a young woman finding the courage to use her voice and make herself heard. Continue reading “2019 Lambda Literary Awards: LGBTQ Titles for Children and Young Adults”

Twenty Children’s Books We Loved in 2018

What a wonderful year for children’s books this was!   Children’s Librarians from Seattle Public Library selected Ten Amazing Picture Books and Ten Wonderful Novels and Comics that were published in 2018.  Each list is rich with stories that reflect a range of different experiences and perspectives.  Here is just a sample of what you can find on the lists:

Drawn Together by Minh Lê and illustrated by Dan Santat tells a beautiful and heartwarming tale of the power of art.  Left for the day with his grandfather, who only speaks Thai, his young English-speaking grandson expects a boring and awkward afternoon but, as the two being Continue reading “Twenty Children’s Books We Loved in 2018”

Cultivating Gratitude with Picture Books

“What I have come to believe is that joy is the twin sister of gratitude.  I am most joyful when I am most grateful.”*
         –Katherine Paterson, Newbery Medal-winning author

Thankfulness doesn’t end with Thanksgiving. Enjoy these wonderful picture books celebrating gratitude!

Gracias, Thanks by Pat Mora, illustrated by John Parra
A boy recounts the many things he is thankful for, in both Spanish and English.  This Pura Belpré Honor winner brims with a sense of happiness brought by the small pleasures in life. Continue reading “Cultivating Gratitude with Picture Books”

November Literary Holidays

November marks twelve months of literary holidays! So to finish it off, here are three November literary holidays.

The entire month is Picture Book Month, an international initiative to support literacy and encourage the use of picture books. There are blogs dedicated to championing the importance of picture books throughout the month. So in honor of picture books, here are some recommendations for you.

  • Blue Frog by Dianne de la Casas is a fun book of a native Central American legend. How the gods first shared chocolate with humans.
  • A Different Pond by Bao Phi is gorgeous book about a boy who fishes with his father, with context that goes so much deeper. It’s worth sharing with your children.
  • Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk follows Juna whose friend, Hector, has moved away and she starts to put items in her special kimchi jar to try to find Hector.

Blue Frog A Different Pond Juna's Jar Continue reading “November Literary Holidays”