Posts by Raquel Cavalcanti, Children's Librarian

Dive into Diversity: Environmental Activism in Children’s Picture Books

The protection of our planet and its resources is a global concern, and activists worldwide have been and continue to work on saving the planet from environmental destruction – including our younger generations. An interesting site for kids and educators about kid environmental activists and activism that is worth exploring is Young Voices For the Planet, founded by author and illustrator Lynne Cherry who is well-known for her rain forest classic, The Great Kapok Tree. Gathered here are noteworthy picture books (both stories and nonfiction) that are about environmental activists who have helped and are helping to save our world.
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Perfect Picture Book Biographies for Women’s History Month!

Congress first designated March as Women’s History Month in 1987 to honor and celebrate women’s achievements and contributions to American history. The beginnings of the March celebration of women and their important accomplishments started much earlier, however. Kate Hannigan writes in her blog, “Like any great creation, Women’s History Month traces its roots to the tiniest seed of an idea—or in this case, a single date on the calendar: National Woman’s Day. First observed on February 28, 1909, it was organized by the Socialist Party of America to call for equal rights for women on the job and at the
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Dive into Diversity: Girl Power

To celebrate Women’s History Month, I have gathered together ten diverse titles with feisty and loving girl protagonists. Most are recently published titles and all are available as eBooks on OverDrive, or can be obtained by placing holds on the titles through the library catalog and picked up at the Library. For further reading, I also recommend: “55 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models”, a “Girl Power” booklist from Colours of Us (a website dedicated to multicultural children’s books) as a good resource for both nonfiction and fictional picture books to celebrate Women’s History Month. With all these
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Women’s History Month StoryWalk

Mae Among the Stars By Roda Ahmed, Illustrated by Stasia Burrington Starting February 26th, 2021 Get ready to journey into outer space as you take a walk along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the Library Plaza. Follow the panels and read, Mae Among the Stars, by Roda Ahmed and Illustrated by Stasia Burrington.  The StoryWalk will be available to view from February 26 – March 29. Mae Among the Stars is inspired by the life story of Dr. Mae Carol Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space. As a child, Mae’s family encouraged her to
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Reads Revisited

Reads Revisited is a blog series where Trove and Edge Librarians revisit some of their favorite childhood stories. In today's column, Trove Librarian Raquel Cavalcanti revisits From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (OverDrive; Library Catalog) by E. L. Konigsberg. Originally published in 1967, the story of the adventures of Claudia and Jamie was already a bit dated when I read it as a geeky art-loving child. It reads now, quite clearly as historical fiction, but I still greatly enjoyed hearing the audiobook of the story of the two young protagonists running away to hide out at the
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Black History Month StoryWalk: Mamie on the Mound

The Trove’s 2021 Black History StoryWalk Mamie on the Mound: A Woman in Baseball’s Negro Leagues By Leah Henderson Illustrated by George Doutsiopoulos Starting January 28th, 2021 Get ready to step back in time as you take a walk along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the Library Plaza. Follow the panels and read Mamie on the Mound by Leah Henderson and illustrated by George Doutsiopoulos.  The StoryWalk is up and ready to view on the Library's windows through 2/23. Mamie on the Mound tells the real-life story of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson who did not let her “two strikes”
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Categories: Authors & Books, Events, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

#BlackJoy Picture Books

Black History Month is celebrated in February, but Black history encompasses every day from the beginnings of this nation, to today and onto the future. The struggles of the past, as well as the present, should not be ignored or forgotten, however it is equally important to remember and celebrate the joys and triumphs. Children’s author Kelly Starling Lyons eloquently writes in her blog, “Children’s books showcasing Black joy remind us of the beauty of family, friendship and community. They are touchstones that surround us with the blessing of who we are. In a world that tries to set us
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) will be celebrated on January 29th, 2021. According to its founders, MCBD “is an online and offline celebration that attracts thousands of supporters, educators, parents, caregivers, book reviewers, and quality authors and publishers who join forces to shine the spotlight on diversity in children and YA literature.” The founders effectively define the important key points of what makes an excellent multicultural book for children in their website article, “What is a Multicultural Book?” To celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day, I have gathered together notable picture book biographies that highlight diverse people in history and today
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

This year, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be celebrated on Monday, January 18th, 2021. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15th, 1929 and his legacy is profound – perhaps now more than ever. “As a child, I remember studying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. only from one perspective—the man who had a dream. Without a deep understanding of Dr. King, I lacked the ability to apply some of his profound principles to my life. Years later as an adult, I read his autobiography and was amazed at the depth of his personhood. Out of this
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Categories: Featured, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

Celebrate Christmas and New Year’s: Children’s Books

Christmas and New Year’s are times to spend with family, and create memories. This year, the challenge to safely create family special moments is greater, but with a little ingenuity it can be done. Penguin Books has come up with 13 Festive Family Activities to Get You in the Christmas Spirit. They write, “The run-up to Christmas 2020 is certainly going to be a little different. But you don’t have to go to a Christmas market or a Santa’s grotto to experience the mirth and merriment of the season.” I really like the activities they list – they are safe,
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Celebrate Kwanzaa with Books!

Kwanzaa, celebrated yearly from December 26th to January 1st, is a holiday that focuses on the importance of family and community for African Americans and Africans around the world. Founder of the holiday, Dr. Maulana Karenga writes, “As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.” Kwanzaa – a Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, the title of the official Kwanzaa organization website, is a great place to learn about Dr.
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

New Books for Children and Teens

Ordering books for the children’s and teen collections is a rare part of our jobs that hasn’t changed too much over the past six months. While many other aspects of the workday look different now, it’s still a joy being able to select fantastic books and materials for patrons to enjoy. We’d like to take the opportunity to share some fresh new titles from our carts this month. The Trove My Rainbow by DeShanna Neal, Trinity Neal & Art Twink Preschool-Grade 2 Street Date: 10/20/20 OverDrive Library Catalog “In their #OwnVoices picture book debut, mother-daughter duo and transgender rights advocates
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

Books for Young Readers to Celebrate Hanukkah!

In 2020, Hanukkah begins at sundown on Thursday, December 10th, and continues through Friday, December 18th. PJ Library, a Jewish early literacy organization, writes, “Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, brings joy and sparkle during a dark time of the year. Beginning on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which falls in November or December in the Roman calendar, Hanukkah is a time to eat delicious latkes (potato pancakes), play dreidel (a traditional game featuring a spinning top), enjoy gathering with family and friends — and, of course, light Hanukkah candles.” The website nicely describes the origins of the
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Children’s Books

The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly. The United Nations website states the occasion “aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. The 2020 theme is “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World.” In her blog post “Representation Matters: 10 Children's Books with Disabled Characters,” Margaret Kingsbury, herself a disabled mother,
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Noteworthy Native American Nonfiction Titles for Children

Native American Heritage Month is celebrated in November and is dedicated to highlighting the history, culture, traditions, and contributions Native Americans have made and continue to make to the U.S. Highlighted in this blog are noteworthy nonfiction titles for children in grades K-6 on notable Native Americans, and Indigenous history and culture. For further reading, I highly recommend as a premier resource for information and critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children’s and YA books, Dr. Debbie Reese’s blog, American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL). My blogs have been highlighting the diversity found in our country’s monthly celebrations, but will
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

New Books for Children and Teens

Ordering books for the children’s and teen collections is a rare part of our jobs that hasn’t changed too much over the past six months. While many other aspects of the workday look different now, it’s still a joy being able to select fantastic books and materials for patrons to enjoy. We’d like to take the opportunity to share some fresh new titles from our carts this month. The Trove I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes & Gordon C. James Age 5-6 Street Date: 9/1/20 OverDrive “Barnes and James reunite, after the multi-award-winning success of Crown, for this
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week was established in 1990 by the U.S. Congress in recognition of efforts by the National Alliance on Mental Illness to educate and increase awareness about mental illness. It takes place every year during the first full week of October. In her Publisher’s Weekly article, “Mental Health and Middle Graders,” Shannon Maughan writes, “A 2019 article in JAMA Pediatrics cites data revealing that one in six youths ages six to 17 experience a mental health disorder in a given year, and that in 2016, 16.5% of U.S. youths ages six to 17 (7.7 million people) experienced a
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Trove StoryWalk: Steamboat School

Get ready to step back in time as you take a walk along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the Library Plaza. Follow the panels and read, The Steamboat School: Inspired by a True Story by Deborah Hopkinson. In 1847, the Missouri law stated that “No person shall keep any school for the instruction of negroes or mulattoes, reading or writing, in this State.” However, teacher, Reverend John Berry Meachum, and his students refused to accept discrimination based on skin color. Read how Reverend Meachum opened the “Floating Freedom School” on a steamboat in the middle of the Mississippi
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15th to October 15th. The month-long celebration recognizes the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. The day of September 15th is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Announcing Project LIT Community Chapter

Great news! The Library has become a chapter in the Project LIT Community and is in the process of organizing both teen and middle grade Project LIT Book Clubs, contacting community organizations, schools, and authors, and connecting to students in White Plains. Our Project LIT goal will be to “read, discuss and celebrate books that affirm and value all students.” What is Project LIT Community? It is a national grassroots literacy movement that is dedicated to increasing access to culturally sustaining books and promoting a love of reading. Dr. Jarred Amato and his Maplewood High School (Nashville, TN) students founded
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Categories: Authors & Books, Book Discussion, Events, Featured, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.