Kristin Hatch Reading Record

Author: Grace, Catherine O’Neill Title

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Author: Grace, Catherine O’Neill

Title: 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving

Publisher: National Geographic Society

Date/Awards: 2001

Multicultural Aspects? American Indian-European relations

Why Chosen? Recommended in I is for Inclusion article.

Synopsis: This book is a new take on the early celebrations of Thanksgiving. It gives much more information on both the English settlers and the Native people, and the early feasts that the two groups shared in those early, peaceful years.

I thought the use of the living history museum at Plymouth was a different way of illustrating the book and wonder if children will be more receptive to the information and believe it more than they would if the illustrations were drawn “cartoon” style or even watercolor style.

I am still concerned about Native stereotyping as the Native men have feathers in their hair and pain on their faces, though none of the women do. The book also gave a couple of recipes for food that might have been consumed at these early feasts.
Author: Hall, Bruce Edward

Title: Henry and the Kite Dragon

Publisher: Philomel Books

Date/Awards: 2004/ Irma S. and James H. Black Honor for Excellence in Children’s Literature

Multicultural Aspects? Chinese Americans in Chinatown in the 1920’s

Why Chosen? Recommended by Librarian Jane D.


This book says it is based on a true story in 1920’s New York City. And how the Chinese American students would make beautiful paper kites with the help of an elderly grandfather in their building. Unfortunately these kites were scaring the Italian children’s pet pigeons in nearby Little Italy. The children confront one another and learn a little bit about the other side, and come to a compromise to fly kites in the morning and leave the afternoons open for the birds.

Author: Heart, Simon

Title: Go Go Cars! Vamos Vamos Coches!

Publisher: Price Stern Sloan

Date/Awards: 2006

Multicultural Aspects? Bilingual board book

Why Chosen? Recommended by the World of Words Multicultural Library

Synopsis: This board book presented a variety of different cars. The book used English words and then Spanish to get the message across. The book had cute illustrations but the cars were defiantly undistinguishable in make and model. My favorite was the “Pink Convertible/ Convertible Rosado”
Author: Ichikawa, Satomi

Title: My Father’s Shop

Publisher: Kane Miller Publication

Date/Awards: 2004

Multicultural Aspects? Morocco Rug Shop Story

Why Chosen? Recommended by the World of Words Multicultural Library

Synopsis: This book told the story of Mustafa who is a young boy helping out at his father’s carpet shop. When Mustafa finds a rug with a hole in it, he asks to keep it for himself. His father agrees on the condition that he learns some words in other languages. Mustafa finds all this rather boarding and so he goes out to play. He winds up learning a host of different languages from all the people he meets in the main market and brings them all back to buy rugs at his father’s shop.
Author: Johnson-Davis, Denis

Title: Goah: The Wise Fool

Publisher: Penguin/ Philomel Books

Date/Awards: 2005

Multicultural Aspects? Middle Easter Tales translated

Why Chosen? I have not read many books from the Middle East

Synopsis: This book is actually a collection of short tales that are told in the Middle East. Goha, the main character, uses common sense to solve various riddles and situations that are presented to him. Each turn of the page has a complete tale with one side the tale and the other side a tapestry depiction of the action. Each tale brings to the forefront the lifestyle of the Middle East where they wear sandals and have prayer hats on their head. The illustrations in cloth are just beautiful and there is a picture in the back of the book of the creators of this cloth busy at work.

I was interested in the illustrations because the book notes that the art is typical of Egyptian traditional art. But I had to stop and think about the images as I was under the assumption that you could only depict geometric shapes in Middle Eastern Art, and never people. So now I am asking if this book is culturally relevant or somewhat misrepresenting of the art of the Middle East.

Author: Joosse, Barbara

Title: Hot City

Publisher: Philomel Books

Date/Awards: 2004

Multicultural Aspects? African American Story

Why Chosen? Recommended by librarian Jane D.

Synopsis: This was a cute story about a brother and sister who are trying to escape the hot city and after eating a snow cone, decide to read books in the cool library. Mimi goes off in her imagination to be a princess and Joe wanders around to slay the dragons. After the adventures in books they both comment on what a great place the library is.

The children make observations along their journey to the library about how hot the city is and the black smoke from the bus is as hot as dragon’s breath. The illustrations in this book are strange, with all the characters having extra long thin necks. This however just seems to be the way that the illustrator created the characters.

Author: Krebs, Laurie and Julia Cairns

Title: We All Went On Safari

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Date/Awards: 2003/ Many awards including Teacher’s Choice award, 2004

Multicultural Aspects? African/ Tanzania story

Why Chosen? Recommend by classmate Lisa D.

Synopsis: This fun book is a counting book in both English and Swahili. Along with counting in both languages, the reader is introduced to both the Maasai people and the many animals that are found in Easter Africa. The water color illustrations are colorful and the narrators, members of the Maasai people, are wearing the traditional clothing tied around one shoulder.

At the end of the book is a map showing the land of Tanzania, important geological features and the neighboring countries. This is a great book, good pictures and the counting in both languages is fun for kids.

Author: Katz, Karen

Title: My First Ramadan

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Date/Awards: 2007

Multicultural Aspects? Book centers around the celebration of Ramadan

Why Chosen? Ramadan/ Muslim culture

Synopsis: This book was narrated by the main character who was going to celebrate his first Ramadan by fasting this year (before he was too young). He talks about what he and his family will do to celebrate Ramadan including making crafts in school and the big celebration at the end of the month when the moon reappears. The book uses culturally correct terms such as Koran and shows the family praying five times a day. The family is also shown to be celebrating and eating on the floor. Also the Mosque is shown with the family praying in two separate areas. I thought this book did a good job to accurately depict the Ramadan experience, but I did notice that some of this child’s classmates (6 year old girls) were wearing the headscarves—which I thought were too young, and his teacher, a woman at his religious school, was not. I am sure that I am being oversensitive, but that discrepancy stood out to me. There were also terms and a note about Ramadan in the back of the book.
Author: Krull, Kathleen

Title: Harvesting Hope: The story of Cesar Chavez

Publisher: Hardcort Children’s Books

Date/Awards: 2003/ ALA notable children’s books

Multicultural Aspects? Mexican-American

Why Chosen? Recommended by Reforma website

Synopsis: This book tells the story of Cesar Chaves and his United Farm Workers. Cesar was born near Yuma and spent the first 10 years of his life on this large hacienda/farm. When sever drought came (during the depression) his family was forced to move to California to work in the fields as migrant workers. Cesar did attend school as the family moved around, but suffered from ignorant teachers and his lack of English skills and at one time was forced to wear a sign around his neck that stated: “I am a clown, I speak Spanish” . Cesar only attended school through the 8th grade and then went to work in the fields’ full time. Seeing all the miserable conditions motivated Cesar and he and others began to organize a farm workers union. The story even chronicles his long march to the Capital of California to bring attention to the people who picked the food in the US. Cesar was able to negotiate with the farmers for better working conditions for all migrant workers. A moving story, beautifully illustrated.
Author: Krull, Kathleen

Title: Pocahontas: Princess of the New World

Publisher: Walker & Company

Date/Awards: 2007

Multicultural Aspects? Story of Pocahontas, Native American, Colonists

Why Chosen? Recommended in I is for inclusion reading

Synopsis: Beautiful illustrations by David Diaz, award winning illustrator. This was a positive tail (to me) about the relationship between the Native American Powhatan Indians and the English settlers at Jamestown. The story of Pocahontas and her family before the English arrived was depicted in a positive way and even went as far as noting that women in this Native American culture, held high status. Pocahontas’s life was depicted as a little more frivolous then her contemporaries but I think that is just to promote what we know as the “princess lifestyle”. The book acquaints the reader with the many hardships that the first settlers at Jamestown faced and also the relationships that occurred between the newcomers and the First people who lived in the area.

Author: Lester, Alison

Title: Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo

Publisher: Walter Lorraine Books

Date/Awards: 2000

Multicultural Aspects? Australian – Aboriginal story

Why Chosen? Recommended by Librarian at Valencia, Tanya

Synopsis: In this cute tale, a White Australian boy, Ernie, and his family go off for a year to live in what is called, Arnhem Land an area that belongs to the Aboriginal people. Ernie’s parents are going to work at a hospital there. He says goodbye to all his friends at home and promises to write about all the new experiences he has, especially to explain the six Arnhem Land seasons.

The book was very colorful and showed Ernie playing with his Aboriginal friends as well as many activities that must be common in this area. Tanya recommended this book because she thought it was an interesting view of Native People around the world.

Author: Lin, Grace

Title: Lissy’s Friends

Publisher: Viking

Date/Awards: 2007

Multicultural Aspects? Chinese American

Why Chosen? I am trying to read all the books by this author

Synopsis: This story is another one by author and illustrator, Grace Lin. I have enjoyed her many other books and am trying to read all her books this semester. This book focuses on the new girl at school and her desire to make friends. When she is finished eating lunch alone, she folds the menu into an origami crane and begins to talk to it. She concludes to her mother that night that yes she has “made a friend”. The next day she makes many more origami friends and plays with them until unexpectedly they all are carried away by the wind. However just as this tragedy unfolds, she is able to make a new, real friend and together they both make the folded animals and play together in the park.

A cute story about the importance of friendship and make believe. This book also includes a space at the end with directions on how to make your own paper crane.

Author: Lin, Grace

Title: Olivina Flies

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Date/Awards: 2003

Multicultural Aspects? Chinese American Author

Why Chosen? I love this author and her illustrations


In this book written and illustrated by Grace Lin, the lead character is a chicken named Olivina. Olivina is having tea with a neighbor and is sad that she cannot go to a bird convention because she must fly there and chickens can’t fly. Her friend encourages Olivina to take an aircraft so that she can attend the convention. She thinks about the idea for a few days and then decides to go for it, and take the plane. Olivina has a lot of fear as it is her first time flying , but on board the plane, makes friends with another flightless bird, a Penguin named Hailey. Hailey who has flown before helps Olivina and she is no longer afraid, and the two birds have a great time in Hawaii at the bird convention.

This was another fantastic book by Grace Lin. I liked how this story showed the anxiety of the Olivina and how she wanted to do something and finally got up the courage to take the airplane ride. This book would also be a good story for a child’s first airplane ride.
Author: Lin, Grace

Title: Olvina Swims

Publisher: Henry Hold and Company, New York

Date/Awards: 2007

Multicultural Aspects? Chinese-American writer and illustrator

Why Chosen? Grace Lin award-winning multicultural artist


In this second installment of Olivina the “chicken” chicken we meet up with Olivina still at the bird conference in Hawaii. Olivina and her penguin friend, Hailey are having a great time until Hailey realizes that Olivina cannot swim. Being the good friend that she is, Hailey begins to teach Olivina how to swim in the hotel bathtub, then in the hotel pool and finally on their last day at the hotel, Olivina goes swimming in the ocean.

Olivina did not think that she could ever learn to swim but now she realizes that she can learn almost anything with some help from her friends.

I thought that this story was a great one about perseverance and asking for help when you cannot do something yourself. Moreover that it is OK to realize that you do need help sometimes and when you do, just ask for it.

Author: Lin, Grace

Title: The Red Thread

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Date/Awards: 2007

Multicultural Aspects? Ancient Chinese Tale retold/ Adoption

Why Chosen? I have enjoyed other books by this author

Synopsis: This book is based on an ancient Chinese belief that an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all those who are destined to be together. This belief is the principle for this adoption fairy tale, in which a King and Queen in a far off land become unhappy and follow a red thread from their hearts to a new land, with people who speak an unfamiliar language and there are led to a baby, who has the red threads tied around her ankles. The King and Queen return to their Kingdom with the child and all live happily ever after.

I have enjoyed many of Grace Lin’s books and this is another good story written and illustrated by her. I think it would be very helpful for a family who adopted or gave a child up for adoption to read.

Author: Lin, Grace

Title: The Ugly Vegetables

Publisher: Tailwinds

Date/Awards: 1999

Multicultural Aspects? Chinese- American story

Why Chosen? I have enjoyed many of Grace Lin’s books

Synopsis: This story was a simple tale of a garden. The main child (Grace) in the story is helping her Mother plant a garden in the spring, just like all the other neighbors. The only problem is while all the neighbors are planting flowers, Grace and her Mother are planting Chinese vegetables. So when everyone’s garden is blooming and smelling sweet, Grace’s Mom’s garden is dark green and full of bumpy melons and cucumbers.

Then the day comes when they cut the vegetables and Grace’s Mom begins to make Ugly Vegetable Soup. All the neighbors arrive at the door with bundles of flowers to trade for soup, and everyone leaves with some of the delicious soup.

The next year, the gardens in the neighborhood look a bit different. Grace and her Mother have added a few flowers to their garden, and some Ugly vegetables have been planted in some neighboring gardens.

I thought this was another great book by Grace Lin about being yourself and taking pride in your own cultural heritage.

Author: Lin, Grace

Title: The Year of the Dog

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Date/Awards: 2006

Multicultural Aspects? Growing up Chinese-American

Why Chosen? I love this author, and read other books by her.

Synopsis: This book was the first chapter book by Grace Lin, although I read it after I read the Year of the Rat. These books are just the best! I really enjoyed reading them. At the end of the book, Lin writes how she really wanted a book like this growing up, and that is what motivated her to write as she grew older. This book is full of the excitement of just growing up and finding out who you are and your place in the world. The fun is that Pacy’s family is from Taiwan, so even though she is experiencing all the wonder of being a 10 year old, living in New York State, she also brings you into her duel culture world of being Chinese. I loved the observations of the parents being new in this country and understanding how they “see” life here. I also love the old stories that the mother tells of her childhood and growing up- Just like any mother would. The blending of the holidays is interesting too. One example is the turkey that the girls beg to have on the table, and the mother’s inclusion, but off to the side, by no means the main attraction of the meal. These are just fun books about growing up, and observing life around you.

Author: Lin, Grace

Title: The Year of the Rat

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Date/Awards: 2008

Multicultural Aspects? Growing up Chinese-American

Why Chosen? This book just “grabbed me” at the library

Synopsis: This autobiography of a year in the life of Pacy(Grace), a Chinese-American girl, growing up in upstate New York. The book begins with a New Year’s meal in which Pacy’s family and her best friend’s family are celebrating together. The adults are full of tales regarding the traditional Chinese foods and customs to share with the children. (For example, making sure there is leftover food from dinner, to translate into a prosperous New Year.) The book follows this formula and follows a year of success and disappointment in Pacy’s life, all with a taste of the unique foods and customs of her family. I really enjoyed this book and noticed that Pacy managed to have those universal thoughts and questions of any girl of her age. (school, boys, what should I do with my life…)I also appreciated that Pacy questioned many events in the world around her and even some of the xenophobia that she was also guilty of, when another Chinese family moves into the neighborhood. Very Good. I think that anyone could find book engrossing as well as appealing.

Author: Lyons, Kelly S.

Title: One Million Men and Me


Date/Awards: 2007

Multicultural Aspects? African American

Why Chosen? Recommended by “Just Us Books” website

Synopsis: This nicely illustrated picture book follows a little girl and her father as they assemble, travel and attend the Million Man March in Washington D.C., On the 16 of October, 1995. This book has an Author’s note in the back that gives a further explanation of the assembly and how it came about. This would be a great book to read with a child especially if the reader had actually attended the march in person. The illustrations are well done and portray the attendees as friendly smiling people all out to have a good time. The illustrations also show the variety of the beliefs of many of the Men who attend. Some are sports fans with ball caps and others look like they are Muslim devotees wearing their caps. Still others are just average, and included many age ranges, clarifying that this was not just a young person event.
Author: MacDonald, Margret Read

Title: Go To Sleep Gecko!: A Balinese folktale

Publisher: August House Publishers

Date/Awards: 2006

Multicultural Aspects? Folk tale from Bali

Why Chosen? Recommended by Youth Librarian, Tanya at Valencia

Synopsis: This was a cute story about a Gecko that could not sleep. He wants the local leader the elephant to fix his problem and tell the fire flies that are near his house to stop shining their lights all night long so that the Gecko can sleep. Over the course of the story the Gecko learns that the world is really interconnected and that stopping the fire flies at night could limit his own food supply. This is a very cute book that has excellent illustrations.

Author: Marsden, Carolyn

Title: The Gold-Threaded Dress

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Date/Awards: 2002

Multicultural Aspects? Thai/American story

Why Chosen? Recommended by librarian Jane Deveraux, Erickson Elementary School

Synopsis: This book was the second book that I read by Marsden and it was also very good. This is the story of Oy who is the new girl in school and also from Thailand. During the story she is taunted by a male classmate and wants to be included in all the fun that a group of popular kids are having during recess. One day a picture of Oy falls out of her bag and everyone sees it. The picture is of Oy all dressed up in her traditional Thai clothing complete with crown. The boys are in awe and the girls declare that she can join the club if only she will bring the dress in so they all can try it on.

Oy decites to sneak the dress to school and during recess, the girls are so anxious to try the dress on that a fight develops between the half-dressed girls and as a result, the dress is torn. Oy must now take a note home and tell her parents what has happened and how the dress is ruined. After her confession, her Mother is very understanding and shows Oy how to mend the dress. Oy even makes a friend with one of the boys who was picking on her early in the story.

This is a great book about fitting in at school and being OK with your background. I thought it was sad when Jane mentioned that this book has sat on the shelf at Ericson and no one has checked it out once since it was purchased.

Author: Marsden, Carolyn

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