Tag Archives: initiative

Rad Women Worldwide

Written by: Kate Schatz

Illustrated by: Miriam Klein Stahl

For Ages: 8-16 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Global Community, Activism, Trailblazers, Women in STEM, Artists.

Summary: This book is much like it’s counterpart but on a global and more in-depth scale.  Women from every continent are featured, spanning thousands of years throughout history.  Ancient Mesopotamia to modern day, some of these rad women featured: Maria Montessori, Frida Kahlo, Grace O’Malley, Nanny of the Maroons, Bastardilla, and the ENIAC Programmers among many others.  The graphic illustrations of Rad American Women remain, but the biographies have much more heft.  Amazing figures like Sophie Scholl, Poly Styrene, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Wangari Maathai share pages with more well-known historical figures like Josephine Baker and the Williams sisters.  If the pint-sized rebel in your life enjoyed Rad American Women A-Z, they definitely need to get down to business with this one!

Reflection Questions:

  • Who is the rad woman from where your family lives currently or used to live?
  • Which ones of these people is your favorite?  Why?
  • What activist work speaks to you the most, out of all the women?  Why do you think?
  • How do you improve your community already, and how could to improve it more?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Pick a country featured in the book.  What other activists and artists live there as well?  What kind of work do they do, is it the same as the rad woman we read about?
  • Think about what good you could do for your community now.  Can you do it by yourself, or do you need help?  Many hands make light work, so a long-term community service project as a class or scout troop could be a fun a positive way to start a new school or calendar year!

About the Author & the Illustrator

kate-schatz-webKate Schatz (pronounced ‘Shots’) is the New York Times-bestselling author of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide, as well as My Rad Life: A Journal and Rid of Me: A Story. She is the co-founder of Solidarity Sundays, a nationwide network of feminist activist groups. She’s a writer, organizer, public speaker, educator, and left-handed vegetarian Bay Area-born-and-bred feminist activist mama.

 

 

 

miriam-klein-stahlMiriam Klein Stahl is a Bay Area artist, educator and activist and the New York Times-bestselling illustrator of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide . In addition to her work in printmaking, drawing, sculpture, paper-cut and public art, she is also the co-founder of the Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High School where she’s taught since 1995. As an artist, she follows in a tradition of making socially relevant work, creating portraits of political activists, misfits, radicals and radical movements. As an educator, she has dedicated her teaching practice to address equity through the lens of the arts. Her work has been widely exhibited and reproduced internationally. Stahl is also the co-owner of Pave the Way Skateboards, a queer skateboarding company formed with Los Angeles-based comedian, actor, writer and skateboarder Tara Jepson. She lives in Berkeley, California with her wife, artist Lena Wolff, daughter Hazel, and their dog Lenny.

Rad American Women A-Z

Written by: Kate Schatz

Illustrated by: Miriam Klein Stahl

For Ages: 8-16 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Activism, Strong Women, Trailblazers, Musicians, Artists,

Summary: This book goes through the alphabet, each letter representing a famous woman. Jovita Idar, Odetta Holmes, Carol Burnett, and Wilma Mankiller are some of the famous figures written about. Each page has a brief description of her achievements followed by several biographical paragraphs of more detailed information. Illustrations are black and white graphics against a brightly colored background, with names stamped above. Having this introductory conversation about so many strong and revolutionary women can introduce young readers to a variety of new worlds and new access points to activism. Perfect for a quick story or an introduction to a longer unit on any of the topics covered in the book: activism, neurodiversity, music, or comedy. The book leans heavily on activist leaders and could be considered a primer for the aspiring young trailblazer.

Reflection Questions:

  • Which one of these women is doing something you would like to do?
  • Who would you like to learn more about?
  • Which person that we read about is your favorite?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Pick one of the rad women featured and learn more about her accomplishments.  How can you follow in her footsteps and help make the world a better place?
  • Find a rad woman in your own community!  What has she done for your area, and could she come visit the class and talk about what she does everyday?

About the Author & the Illustrator

kate-schatz-webKate Schatz (pronounced ‘Shots’) is the New York Times-bestselling author of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide, as well as My Rad Life: A Journal and Rid of Me: A Story. She is the co-founder of Solidarity Sundays, a nationwide network of feminist activist groups. She’s a writer, organizer, public speaker, educator, and left-handed vegetarian Bay Area-born-and-bred feminist activist mama.

 

 

 

miriam-klein-stahlMiriam Klein Stahl is a Bay Area artist, educator and activist and the New York Times-bestselling illustrator of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide . In addition to her work in printmaking, drawing, sculpture, paper-cut and public art, she is also the co-founder of the Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High School where she’s taught since 1995. As an artist, she follows in a tradition of making socially relevant work, creating portraits of political activists, misfits, radicals and radical movements. As an educator, she has dedicated her teaching practice to address equity through the lens of the arts. Her work has been widely exhibited and reproduced internationally. Stahl is also the co-owner of Pave the Way Skateboards, a queer skateboarding company formed with Los Angeles-based comedian, actor, writer and skateboarder Tara Jepson. She lives in Berkeley, California with her wife, artist Lena Wolff, daughter Hazel, and their dog Lenny.

You Hold Me Up

Written by: Monique Gray Smith

Illustrated by: Danielle Daniel

For Ages: 3-6 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Social-Emotional Learning, Family, Kindness, Community.

Summary: This book uses the title phrase “you hold me up” to speak about kind acts loved ones do for one another.  This book is great for young children to learn acts of kindness, and become introduced to what a caring community does for one another.  These tender illustrations by Daniel accompany sweet words about the importance respect, listening, comforting, and laughing.  The unique illustration style is simple and Daniel uses the cutest heart shapes for mouths, reinforcing the idea that love and holding others up can be done with kind words.

Reflection Questions:

  • How do your loved ones hold you up?
  • How do you hold others up?
  • What can we hold others up in our community every day?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Draw a picture of a time when someone held you up.  What were they doing?  How can we do that for others?
  • Write a list as a class of ways to help and hold others up that you don’t see very often.  No answer is too small!
  • What are some community members that may need some extra support?  Think about some ways you could hold them up, or some ways you could help that part of the community as a whole.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

c4-0502-smith-jpg

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent and is the proud Mom of twelve year old twins. She is an award winning author, international speaker and sought after consultant. Her career has focused on fostering paradigm shifts that emphasize the strength and resiliency of the First Peoples in Canada. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.

 

danielle danielDanielle Daniel was born and raised in a mining town where nickel is golden. She wishes she could live in the depths of the forest— Swiss Family Robinson style, but winterized. She is haunted by the stories of her ancestors; the ones that exist within her DNA.  She was once an elementary school teacher but now she writes, paints and illustrates stories in her tiny studio. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book called: Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox (Groundwood Books), winner of the 2016 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award (CCBC), finalist for the First Nation Communities Read Award, the 2017 Blue Spruce Award and one of NY Public Library’s Most Notable Titles in 2015. Her second children’s book, Once in a Blue Moonwas released fall 2017 (Groundwood Books). Her book, The Dependent A Memoir of Marriage & the Military  was published fall 2016,  (Latitude 46 Publishing)  shortlisted for the 2017 Louise de Kiriline Lawrence Award. She is currently working on two novels; one for adults and one for children. She has a B.A Arts, B.A.Ed, and she is currently an MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. She is Métis and she lives in Sudbury Ontario Canada, the traditional territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnaabeg, with her husband Steve, son Owen and their dogs Frodo and Suzie.

 

 

 

When We Were Alone

Written by: David A. Robertson

Illustrated by: Julie Flett

For Ages: Infant and up

Language: English and Cree

Topics Covered: Indigenous Voices, Residential Schools, First Nations,

Summary: This tender board book explores the history of residential schooling that was inflicted upon Indigenous and First Nations people.  A young girl helps her grandmother in the garden and asks questions about things her grandmother does, such as wearing bright colors, having long hair, and speaking in Cree.  The narrator’s grandmother tells of the times in her childhood that she was forced to live in a residential school, and had her autonomy, culture, and language taken away.

The book’s typography changes colors when speaking about past and present, which is a beautiful representation and goes well with Flett’s illustrations.  The book approaches this time in history in an accurate and easy to understand way for young children.  It is a story of a young girl subverting authority with an emphasis on explanation and healing; a grandmother living her truth despite those that tried to steal her culture demanding submission from the Indigenous children they took from their families under the guise of education.

Reflection Questions:

  • How would you feel if you were told not to do things important to your family and culture?
  • How do you think the children feel when they sneak away and remind themselves how important their culture is to their identity?
  • Do you think the children feel better once they’re back with their families instead of at the residential school?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Residential schooling is an important part of Indigenous history. Learn about all types of schooling as part of an in-depth unit about schools around the world, as well as in your community.
  • Invite a classroom guest to come and talk about their culture!
  • Talk with elders in your community about how they grew up.  What things are different from how you’re growing up today?  What things are the same?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

david a robertsonDavid A. Robertson is an award-winning writer. His books include When We Were Alone (Governor General’s Literary Award winner, McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People winner, TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award finalist), Will I See? (winner of the Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award Graphic Novel Category), and the YA novel Strangers. David educates as well as entertains through his writings about Canada’s Indigenous Peoples reflecting their cultures, histories, communities, as well as illuminating many contemporary issues. David is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He lives in Winnipeg.

julie flettJulie Flett is a Cree-Metis author, illustrator, and artist. She has received many awards including the 2017 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her work on When We Were Alone by David Robertson (High Water Press), the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book for Little You by Richard Van Camp (Orca Books), and she is the three-time recipient of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Award for Owls See Clearly at Night; A Michif Alphabet, by Julie Flett, Dolphin SOS, by Roy Miki and Slavia Miki (Tradewind Books), and My Heart Fills with Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Books). Her own Wild Berries (Simply Read Books) was featured in The New York Times and included among Kirkus’s Best Children’s Books of 2013. Wild Berries was also chosen as Canada’s First Nation Communities Read title selection for 2014–2015.

When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community

Written by: Gayle E. Pitman

Illustrated by: Christopher Lyles

For Ages: 4-8 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Activism, LGBT Families, Community, Acceptance.

Summary: This book is told from the perspective of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin.  It briefly talks about how they met and fell in love, eventually buying a house on a hill.  The rest of the book looks at community landmarks in San Francisco that they had a hand in creating for fellow LGBT San Franciscans.

The story is relatively vague, just introducing these landmarks to children.  In the back of the book is more detailed information about the specific buildings associated with their activism.  Detailed are: the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, City Hall, Castro District, and the Glide Urban Center among others.  Also included is a note to parents, caregivers, and educators that talks about the importance of making the LGBT community visible in books and educational communities.

Reflection Questions:

  • Have you ever been to San Francisco?
  • Have you ever seen any of these places in the book?
  • Do you think these women feel proud that they helped form a sense of community in the city they loved so much?
  • How do you think you can help form community with the people around you?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Find out about landmarks in your town. Who made them, and why are they important to your community?
  • Is your school named after someone? What did they do for people to have a school named after them? If your school isn’t named after an important community figure, who is someone you think should have that honor? Write some letters and let the school board know your opinion!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

gayle e pitmanGayle E. Pitman, PHD teaches Psychology and Women/Gender Studies by day at Sacramento City College. By night, she writes children’s books and engages in other forms of subversive creativity. Her debut picture book, This Day in June, won the 2015 ALA Stonewall Award, was a Rainbow List Top Ten pick, and won the IRA’s 2014 Notable Books for a Global Society Award. How’s that for her first shot at writing children’s books! Her books, teaching, and general commentary have been featured in publications ranging from School Library Journal to The Advocate. She has also been interviewed on National Public Radio, the BBC News, “Good Day Sacramento,” and various podcast

christopher lylesChristopher Lyles is a professional illustrator who spends much of his time working in a variety of media and exploring new fields. Since graduating art school in 2001 and MFA in 2015, Chris has contributed to children’s publications, greeting cards, editorial illustrations, and gallery installations. His illustrations have been recognized by The Society of Illustrators LA and American Illustration. Chris also exhibits his work on the East coast and in LA. Recent clients include Little Bee Books, Lerner Publishing, and Magination Press. Chris lives in the small town of Simsbury, Connecticut with his beautiful wife, their two young sons, and dog, Riley. His interests include hiking, exercising, traveling, teaching art to children and looking for old stuff.

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist

Written by: Jess Keating

Illustrated by: Marta Alvarez Miguens

For Ages: 4-8

Language: English

Topics Covered: Trailblazing, Science, Women in STEM, Asian-American Women, Courage, Self-Confidence.

Summary: Eugenie was a young girl that loved sharks more than anything.  She loved diving underwater and gazing at all of the sea life.  Eugenie read every book she could find about sharks, and even became the Queens County Aquarium Society’s youngest member!  As Eugenie got older, some professors told her women weren’t smart enough to be scientists.  She studied and studied, earning her degree and finally being able to dive in the open ocean to research aquatic life.  Eugenie discovered three new species of fish!  She even dispelled the myth that sharks can never stop swimming, and soon Eugenie became known as “Shark Lady”.  In order to prove sharks weren’t mindless killing machines, she trained some to push a button to earn a reward!  Eugenie Clark did not give up, and she achieved her dream of ensuring sharks were respected, loved, and studied.

The last few pages of the book is more scientific information about sharks, as well as a timeline of Eugenie’s accomplishments. This book is great for a budding scientist, or an accompanying book for a science unit in school!

Reflection Questions:

  • What’s your favorite underwater creature?
  • If you were going to become a scientist, what would you like to study?
  • Do you agree with Eugenie that sharks are smart?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Pick a shark featured in the book and learn more about them. Do you think you could train a shark like Eugenie did?
  • Get in touch with a local aquarium or marine biologist, are they able to visit the classroom or video chat? As a group, make a list of questions to ask the scientist about different topics they study!
  • Visit an aquarium or touch tank and get up close to the creatures of the deep that Eugenie loved so much!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

jess keatingJess Keating is a fiction and nonfiction writer who loves telling fun stories in any way she can. She also has a Masters of Science in Zoology, so she gets to throw around goofy animal facts a lot. Did you know that a sea cucumber breathes out its BUTT? Moving on. She’s always loved writing and making up stories. She even started a library in her room when she was a kid, so she could charge my brother late fees. To this day, he still owes her 8 bucks. She is also a giant science nerd, and loves to incorporate weird science in her books. Today, she writes books for adventurous, curious, and funny kids. Some are middle grade novels and some are picture books, but they are all fun to read! (Promise.) Her agent is the brilliant Kathleen Rushall of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Marta Alvarez Miguens 2Marta Alvarez Miguens is a children’s book illustrator. Born in 1976 in a small town in Galicia (Spain), she has lived in Santiago de Compostela, Bordeaux, and Berlin. She currently lives in La Coruña (Spain). Marta has been illustrating professionally since 2002 for publishers such as Santillana, Anaya, Edelvives, and Oxford University Press, among others. Marta participated in the International Biennial of Illustration in Bratislava (BIB) and is a member of the Galician Illustration Association (AGPI). Her artwork is characterized by happy colors and cute children and animals with red, healthy cheeks. She uses digital techniques to create her pictures, which gives her more freedom to experiment with color and textures. She has also worked in gouache and watercolor. In her spare time, Marta loves playing with her three cats, walking in the woods, watching movies, and drinking a cup of coffee with her friends.

Mary Had A Little Lab

Written by: Sue Fliess

Illustrated by: Petros Bouloubasis

For Ages: 3-5 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Self-Esteem, Initiative.

Summary: This book is cleverly written in a rhyming scheme about a little girl scientist named Mary.  She looks through her lab window and notices that other children have friends and pets, and Mary gets to thinking.  She hatches a plan to engineer a machine that will make her friends, and it works!  Mary has a friendly pet sheep, and all the other children in her classroom want them as well.  When making duplicate sheep, the machine breaks.  Suddenly, there are sheep everywhere!  Mary’s classmates (and new friends!) help her fix the machine.  Mary adds wheels to her lab to herd her new flock of sheep, and starts a new business venture with both her human and ovine pals!

Reflection Questions:

  • What is an invention you would like to make?
  • Who are some friends you think would be good at helping engineer your invention?
  • Who are some famous women scientists that you have learned about?
  • What important contributions to science do you think they’ve made?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Design an invention like Mary.  What are some supplies you need?  Can you draw some plans for the invention, or make a model with recycled materials?
  • Have a Science/Invention Fair as a class and share all of your ideas.  What are some ways you could help make these inventions real?
  • As a group, come up with an invention that your community needs.  Who would you talk with to make plans for your invention to be used by people in your community?
  • Visit an inventor or engineer in their lab, or come visit the classroom.  Compile a list of questions to ask the scientist about their lab.  Do you think it looks like Mary’s lab in the book?
  • Sign up for a Skype A Scientist session, and get connected with scientists all over the world without having to leave your classroom!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

sue fleissSue Fliess (pronounced “fleece”) is the author of numerous children’s books including Tons of Trucks, Shoes for Me!, Robots, Robots Everywhere! and The Hug Book. Her background is in copywriting, PR, and marketing, and her articles have appeared in O the Oprah Magazine, Huffington Post, Writer’s Digest, Education.com, Daily Candy Kids, Travelmuse.com, and more. She’s super excited because her Oprah Magazine article was chosen for inclusion in O’s Little Books of Happiness! She has also written stories for The Walt Disney Company. Her picture books have received honors from the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, have been used as curriculum tools in schools, in museum educational programs, and have even been translated into French and Chinese. After spending 17 years in sunny Northern California, her family moved to beautiful Northern Virginia, where they live with our English Labrador named Charlie and way too many mosquitoes.

Petros BouloubasisOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA was born in Athens, Greece, where he attended the Graphic Institute of Design. He has participated in exhibitions in Greece, Spain, Japan and Iran. He teaches graphic design & illustration at private colleges.