Kristin Hatch Reading Record

Author: Rao, Sandrna Title

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Author: Rao, Sandrna

Title: My Mother’s Sari

Publisher: NorthSouth books

Date/Awards: 2006

Multicultural Aspects? Culture from India

Why Chosen? Recommended by World of Words multicultural library

Synopsis: This beautifully illustrated book described all the fun a child could have with his Mother’s Sari. The book showed many beautiful pictures of Sari’s and showed children using the sari to hid, to tug and as a hammock. Very creative book and lots of beautiful sari’s (including one that has a real southwest “flavor” to it).
Author: Rappaport, Doreen

Title: We Are the Many: A Picture Book of American Indians

Publisher: HarperCollins

Date/Awards: 2003

Multicultural Aspects? Native Americans

Why Chosen? Recommended by Valencia Librarian

Synopsis: This book gives a one page informational look at noteworthy (famous) Native Americans- and what they are famous for. My favorite author, Sherman Alexi was included as well as those Native Americans who are not that well known. I thought this book was a nice introductory book on some famous people that may not be that well known and could be used at an introductory piece to then have students research further on the people that they found interesting.
Author: Raven, Margot Theis

Title: Night Boat to Freedom

Publisher: Melanie Kroupa Books

Date/Awards: 2006

Multicultural Aspects? African American Slave Story

Why Chosen? Recommended by Librarians at Valencia

Synopsis: This book told the story about Christmas, a young slave born on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. As a teenager, Christmas rows a old rickety boat across the river with an escaping slave and then returns. Over the course of the year he helps a number of people on the plantation that he lives on escape to freedom. Each time he returns, his grandmother asks him what color the person wore when they went to freedom. The Grandmother begins to make a quilt with all the freedom colors. One night Christmas and his Grandmother make the dangerous journey to freedom, wrapped up in the freedom quilt. This was a nicely told story about the Underground Railroad and one person who could make a difference. The illustrations were nicely done water colors as well.

Author: Robbins, Jacqui

Title: The New Girl…And Me

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Date/Awards: 2006

Multicultural Aspects? Relationship between two girls one is African American one is European American

Why Chosen? Cover looked interesting (with the lizard) on a Valencia display

Synopsis: This was a cute story about the first day of school for Shakeeta, who has a pet iguana and how she is approached by her classmates who all want to show her around. Shakeeta has a student make fun of her name and then wanders about lonely, until she makes a friend in Mia and the two eventually feed Shakeeta’s iguana lettuce.

The drawing of this multicultural classroom was very cute and soft and gave the reader a first-grade feeling. The colors were light and the students were all drawn in a respectful way with accurate hair and skin colors.

Author: Ruffenach, Jessie, Ed.

Title: Baby Learns to Count

Publisher: Salina Book Shelf, Inc

Date/Awards: 2005

Multicultural Aspects? Navajo Board book

Why Chosen? Recommended in the World of Words Multicultural Library

Synopsis: A Navajo baby participates in different activities as by learning to count from one to ten. The Navajo language is presented first, and then the English language is presented. I thought the illustrations were great and gave good examples of Navajo life but in a simple way.
Author: Ruffenach, Jessie, Ed.

Title: Baby Learns about Seasons

Publisher: Salina Book Shelf, Inc

Date/Awards: 2005

Multicultural Aspects? Navajo Board book

Why Chosen? Recommended in the World of Words Multicultural Library

Synopsis: This was the first Navajo Board books that I have ever seen, and I thought they were really nice. A Navajo baby participates in different activities as the season’s change. The Navajo language is presented first, and then the English language.
Author: Ruffenach, Jessie, Ed.

Title: Baby Learns about Time

Publisher: Salina Book Shelf, Inc

Date/Awards: 2005

Multicultural Aspects? Navajo Board book

Why Chosen? Recommended in the World of Words Multicultural Library

Synopsis: This board book illustrated a day in the Baby’s life. The day happens to be Baby’s Birthday and the story follows baby from when she wakes up, has lunch and dreams about a new pony. Baby does eventually get the pony, which turns out to be a toy rocking horse style gift. At the end of the day the Mother sings Baby to sleep.
Author: Ryan, Pam Munoz

Title: Becoming Naomi Leon

Publisher: Scholastic

Date/Awards: 2004

Multicultural Aspects? Mexican Americans

Why Chosen? Recommended by classmate Bonnie Morris

Synopsis: This was an excellent coming of age story and also one of empowerment. Naomi and her little brother are being raised by their great-Grandmother after their own mother leaves them many years ago due to her alcohol and drug problems. The mother suddenly appears at the beginning of the book as a stranger to the children and is welcomed with suspicion by the great-Grandmother. As the mother tries to buy her way back into her children’s hearts, they also get a glimpse of her real motives.

When their mother tries to take Naomi and not her brother, they run in fear. The great-Grandmother, desperate, takes the children on a visit to Mexico to try and locate the children’s father and ask him for help. During the trip to Mexico, Naomi discovers her root and the culture that she has not had any contact with until now. She learns so much in Mexico about herself and her father that when she returns and must testify in court at the custody hearing, she suddenly becomes empowered to tell the judge the truth about her desire to stay with her brother and with her great-Grandmother.

I thought this was a great book and would highly recommend it to anyone. This has to be in the category of one of the best books that I have read this semester!
Author: Ryan, Pam Munoz

Title: Paint the Wind

Publisher: Scholastic

Date/Awards: 2007/ Ryan has many other award winning titles

Multicultural Aspects? Orphan? Ryan is a typical multicultural writer, but I am not sure here.

Why Chosen? Other books by this author are recommended as multicultural

Synopsis: This is the latest book by an award winning author, Pam M. Ryan. In this story the life of Maya is told in wonderful details and imagery. Orphaned when she was five, she went to live with her California Grandmother and lived as a prisoner in her house, unable to really experience much about life, as the Grandmother is afraid of losing Maya like she lost her son. When the Grandmother dies suddenly, she is off to live with her Mother’s family in Wyoming and enters a whole new world.

Now Maya must learn to stand on her own two feet and be strong in the face of danger and also to learn to love and appreciate a whole new life- where her Mother is remembered with love and not loathing.

This book teaches a lot about lying and the consequences as well a compassion and trust. I thought it was a great book and had a lot of exciting tension but I am not sure that it would qualify as a multicultural book, as there is no mention of a culture at all, so then I assume we go back to the “default” culture, European American. Or maybe it qualifies as multicultural due to the subject matter of the Orphan and new family etc..
Author: Sanders, Nancy I.

Title: D is for Drinking Gourd

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Date/Awards: 2007/ Nappa Honors award

Multicultural Aspects? African American Alphabet book

Why Chosen? Cover looked inviting

Synopsis: This was a great alphabet book that used words significant to American History but especially significant for African American’s American History. The Drinking Gourd is the name that African American’s used to describe the big and little dippers that would guide their way in the night sky, during their journeys on the Underground Railroad. This book was good because it not only defined the word in a sentence, it also gave a more though discussion of the term on the side, and the history and time period that made the term significant. Another example is Buffalo Soldier and then on the side the book tells about a couple of missions that the US Army used these soldiers for.

Excellent book and would be a great style to copy and use in other cultures to talk about significant events in history.

Author: Sandin, Joan

Title: Coyote School News

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Date/Awards: 2003

Multicultural Aspects? Mexican American History

Why Chosen? Cover looked interesting.

Synopsis: The story of a one room school house is told by Ramon Ramirez. The story (really a bunch of small stories) are set in the 1930’s just south of Tucson, and retells the daily life of the kids that attend the school and the 1 page school newspaper that they all help to publish. One interesting theme in the stories is that the teacher is very pro-Spanish and says that Spanish is a beautiful language that people have been speaking around these parts for hundreds of years and that the kids should be proud that they can speak Spanish. I am not sure that this attitude was entirely accurate.

This story uses Spanish words intermingled in the English story and includes a glossary in the back of the book. It even made a reference to Tucson’s annual February rodeo.

Author: San Souci, Robert D.

Title: Sister Tricksters: Rollicking Tales of Clever Females

Publisher: August House-Little Folk

Date/Awards: 2006

Multicultural Aspects? Depiction of strong female characters

Why Chosen? Interesting cover and subject


This book was in the picture book section but I do not think that it really qualifies as a picture book, because many of the pages are full of words and are missing the pictures! This book is a collection of 8 tales all with smart female characters getting the better of the male characters. There is also perhaps a class thing going on here, as in many stories, the female character is also represented by the “prey” and the male character is representing the aggressive animal. For example in one story the family of rabbits and mrs. Rabbit in particular, is getting the better of a couple of hungry foxes that are passing buy the house.

Again I am not sure that this book would qualify as a picture book as the tales are long and too long for a smaller child. I think it might have been better to chop up this one book into a series of eight smaller books with more pictures.

Author: Satrapi, Marjane

Title: Persepolis

Publisher: Pantheon Books

Date/Awards: 2003/ Alex Award

Multicultural Aspects? Iranian culture

Why Chosen? Recommended in class on 2/3

Synopsis: This book was my second graphic novel and now I am hooked. Persepolis is the life story of a young girl who was only 9 when the Shaw of Iran was overthrown by the fundamentalists. This book is the story of how she and her family adapted and dealt with all the changes that came to her country. One interesting example is that the teenagers/young adults had to wear the headscarf and no makeup—in other words appear modest and yet they would have a second life at night at a party in someone’s home where they would drink; wear makeup and western “provocative” clothing. She mentioned that they all were very good at leading this “double life” and that it almost became a mental state that was hard to separate yourself from.

This book also addresses the issue of leaving Iran. Satrapi’s parents talk about escaping from Iran when the Shaw is over thrown but her father says why? So I can become a taxi driver and my wife a cleaning lady? No thanks! I was thinking how hard that choice was to make, to stay and live life under this harsh and extremist group, or be free and a taxi driver in another country.

Author: Schachner, Judy

Title: Skippyjon Jones

Publisher: Scholastic

Date/Awards: 2003

Multicultural Aspects? Mexican-American?

Why Chosen? Recommended by Librarian Jane D.

Synopsis: This is a popular kids book that I have seen people check out of the library and even my relatives have read this book to children. However I am not sure what conclusions to make. The story is about a misbehaving cat who disobeys his mother and has been sent to his room, to behave like a cat in the future. However Skippy spends the entire punishment imagining this great adventure with some dogs, and his desire to become a Chihuahua like them. This book was another book that Jane D. and I had a discussion about. She and I were talking about all the Spanish words that are used in this book and we were wondering if this was really inclusive or being derogatory towards the Latino culture. We did not come to any conclusions as we both found arguments for either side.

Author: Schaefer, Carole L.

Title: Someone Says

Publisher: Viking skols

Date/Awards: 2003

Multicultural Aspects? Chinese imagination tale

Why Chosen? Cover looked interesting

Synopsis: This was a fun, imagination building book about pre-schoolers in China, I think. The kids are all imagining themselves being different animals when outside on the playground (a bird or a frog) or inside when they eat their lunch (let’s eat our noodles like Tigers!). The item they are imaging is drawn lightly around them as if all the kids are able to see that they are really building a big house with their blocks. All the pictures of imagined things are in a Chinese style (the house, the singers etc...) and it was an all around good book that I think many younger children would enjoy. The only negative observation that I would make is that the kids seem to be very “light” skinned, but other than that you can hardly tell what race/nationality they are. It is sometimes hard to tell if they are boys or girls, they are depicted in such a generic way.

Author: Shea, Pegi D.

Title: Tangled Threads: A Hmong girl’s story

Publisher: Clarion Books

Date/Awards: 2003/ New York Public Library "Top 100 Books"

Multicultural Aspects? Hmong girl immigrates to America

Why Chosen? Recommended by Valencia Librarian

Synopsis: This was a hard book to read with very vivid and emotional parts about living in a refugee camp and then the adjusting to American life of a Hmong girl and her grandmother. I was sadden by the responses of the American peers to the main character, Mai, that the students always had some racial slur or insult to throw at her, but I imagine that those kind of things must happen a lot in high school, as it does with adults. I did enjoy their fresh views on life in American and how they tried to mix their traditional ways with the new American ways.

The book also spends time talking about the famous embroidery that is a Hmong traditional cloth called pa’ndau and wove the story around the symbolism and the traditions of that cloth and its importance to the Hmong people.

Author: Sis, Peter

Title: The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

Publisher: New York: Frances Foster Books

Date/Awards: 2007 (2008 Caldecott Medal Honorable Mention)

Multicultural Aspects? Childhood / youth in Prague, Czechoslovakia

Why Chosen? Award winner

Synopsis: This story is about the author’s childhood in Czechoslovakia and how he was always interested in drawing. He tells the story through parts of his diary and also with pencil drawings, mainly in black and white with only red in many parts, to symbolize the Communist Party. He is able to interject some historical events and milestones of his youth to move his story along. I think this would be a good picture book for an older reader, as I think there are too many long passages for a smaller child.

I wonder if this “picture” book is really more of a short graphic novel than a picture book.

Author: Smith, Charles R. Jr.

Title: I am American

Publisher: Scholastic

Date/Awards: 2003

Multicultural Aspects? Picture book with all sorts of children represented

Why Chosen? Looked appealing and multicultural

Synopsis: This book was a collection of children’s photos that celebrated the diversity of the children who live in the United States. The book did spend some time pointing out physical differences between the children such as almond eyes or large noses which I must admit that I did not like as much as the different way that children dress wearing a baseball cap backwards etc… I did think that this book had a great idea, and maybe one similar could be made with adults in a variety of job uniforms and being represented by different cultures.

Author: Stauffacher, Sue

Title: Nothing But Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Date/Awards: 2007

Multicultural Aspects? African American

Why Chosen? Cover was inviting

Synopsis: This was a great story of the famous tennis pro Althea Gibson (whom I admit I had never heard of). It chronicled her love of any sport, and the reader was able to hear the voices of her parents and neighbors saying how quick she was, and fast, but always she was trouble. Then one day a friend who worked with youth in Harlem saw in her a tennis star and bought Althea a racket and a ball and even convinced a tennis club to give her free lesions on how to play the game.

Through tennis, Althea learned to control her temper and play with good sportsmanship. Through her perseverance and great skills, Althea was able to break the color barrier in the game of tennis in the United States, and eventually won two titles at Wimbledon. This book also gave a time line of important events in Althea’s life and her website for readers to get more information about her.

Author: Stock, Catherine

Title: Gugu’s House

Publisher: Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Company

Date/Awards: 2001

Multicultural Aspects? Story from Zimbabwe Africa

Why Chosen? Recommended by Youth Librarian Tanya at Valencia Library


This is the story of Kukamba’s visit to her Grandmother’s compound in the countryside. Kukamba helps her grandmother with her clay animals and her art that decorates the compound as well as assist with the daily chores. The family is waiting for the rains to come, and when they finally do, they wash away all the art on the compound walls. Kukamba is upset that all the art has disappeared, but her Grandmother explains that it is all due to the cycle of life. She shows Kukamba the rainbow that has appeared along with all the wild flowers that now surround them in the village.

Nice story about a village life in Zimbabwe, Africa. The illustrations portrayed the characters in a complementary way and also depicted the village life positively. The wildflowers were also nicely done as well.

Author: Swamp, Chief Jake

Title: Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning

Publisher: Lee & Low books

Date/Awards: 1995

Multicultural Aspects? Mohawk Indians

Why Chosen? Recommended in I is for Inclusion article

Synopsis: This book was almost a long prayer of giving thanks for the world around us, from the 6 nation Iroquois people from the U.S. and Canada. The book jacket notes that every day the Iroquois people wake up and give thanks for the world around them. It is part prayer and part celebration of life. I also enjoyed the simple illustrations as well as the glossary in the back of the book that retold the prayer in the Iroquois language.
Author: Tapahonso, Luci

Title: Navajo ABC

Publisher: Macmillan Books

Date/Awards: 1995

Multicultural Aspects? Navajo Indians

Why Chosen? Recommended in the I is for Inclusion article

Synopsis: This was a cute alphabet book that related each letter to an item that is used or made by the Navajo people. The pencil drawings were nicely done, and I also liked that in the back of the book, there was a glossary that not only explained in depth what each item was but also how to pronounce the unfamiliar words.
Author: Tayac, Gabrielle

Title: Meet Naiche: A native boy from the Chesapeake Bay Area

Publisher: Beyond Words Pub.

Date/Awards: 2002

Multicultural Aspects? American Indian daily life

Why Chosen? Recommended in I is for Inclusion article

Synopsis: This was a good book written by the Smithsonian Institutes National Museum of the American Indian. It tells about a boy, Naiche and his modern Native American life. I think this book (which would be better for an older student) really takes the “mystery” out of what life is like to live on a reservation in the United States. There are a lot of pictures that show Naiche eating breakfast at the table and then going off to school, as any child might, and these are combined with pictures of a ceremonial Hogan, dancing and other more traditional Native American cultural practices.

This book would be better for an older student, as there is a lot of description surrounding Naiche and explaining the important aspects of his world.

Author: Thomas, Joyce Carol & Zora Neale Hurston

Title: The Three Witches

Publisher: Harper-Collins

Date/Awards: 2006

Multicultural Aspects? African folk tale

Why Chosen? Recommended by classmates

Synopsis: When their Grandmother is off to the store, 3 witches arrive to the house and threaten to eat a girl and boy. Witches had already eaten these children’s parents so the children knew to be afraid of these witches. The children try and appease the witches at first and then run away as fast as they can and hid up in a tree. The witches start to chop down the tree that the children are hiding in and so the children cast a spell that blinds the three witches and slows down their chopping. The Grandmother arrives home to release the family dogs who come and attack the three witches and free the children.

The book jacket says that this story is adapted from an African Folk tale by Zora Neale Hurston. I thought that the tail was a bit violent and vivid. The witches are drawn with long teeth and sharp nails and have their eyes blinded by the wood as they are trying to chop the tree down

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