All posts by Jalissa

Upcoming Webinar: The Importance of Reconstruction in Today’s Classrooms and Libraries

Join us for a critical webinar on Wednesday, January 19th, 2022 at 4:00 PM EST about using children’s books to teach Reconstruction. Reconstruction was a brief period in American history from 1865–1877 when efforts were made to confer citizenship rights on the 4.4 million African Americans emancipated from slavery as well as approximately 500,000 African Americans who were already freed from slavery.

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All the Bilinguals I’ve Been: A Guest Post by Author Alessandra Narváez Varela

In this guest post, author Alessandra Narváez Varela talks about her journey growing into her bilingualism and how that grew into her latest novel, Thirty Talks Weird Love

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Honoring Indigenous Stories on Veterans Day

In honor of Veterans Day, editor Elise McMullen-Ciotti writes about military service within Indigenous communities.

Did you know that American Indians and Alaska Natives serve in the military at five times the national average and have the highest per capita involvement than any other US population? (NICOA, USO). As a book editor, when I have the privilege of receiving a new manuscript that features modern Indigenous characters, I can usually find at least one character in the book who has served or is serving in the military. This is not surprising! Military service within our communities is par for the course — a big part of our living culture. When those in the service return home, they are not just returning home to the US but also to our own sovereign Native Nations. Military service is a big deal.

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Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown

We’re so excited to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown and illustrated by Sara Palacios. Over the years, the iconic, titular character, Marisol, has touched the hearts of young readers everywhere through play, imagination, and just being her amazing self!

Renowned author Monica Brown wrote this title as well as others in this lively series—Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash/Marisol McDonald y la fiesta sin igual and Marisol McDonald and the Monster/Marisol McDonald y el monstruo—to bring her own experience of being multiracial to life. Fans of the award-winning Marisol McDonald series will be encouraged to embrace their own uniqueness like Marisol who takes pride in her individuality.

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Books About Joy: A Diverse Reading List

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our much-anticipated Books About Joy: A Diverse Reading List, a list inspired by our blog post, “10 Picture Books That Are Not About Oppression,” which continues to be one of our most-read and shared articles to this day.

This updated and more in-depth list of diverse books reflects the daily lives of children and the joy of play, family and friends, and being themselves.

A disproportionate number of books about BIPOC protagonists focus on their marginalization. Though it is important for children to understand the history and complexity of oppression, racism, and discrimination, children—especially children of color—also deserve to see themselves thrive and to experience the joy of being
part of a loving community.

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Upcoming Fall 2021 Tea Time Talks: Meet our Editors and Authors

Tea Time Talks

Curious about the ins-and-outs of the editorial process? Join us for our Fall 2021 Tea Time Talks  between our authors and editors!

In these short, casual conversations, get a behind-the-scenes look at our publishing process as our Lee & Low editors share a (virtual) cup of tea with their authors. Hear them describe the initial inspiration and the development process, discuss questions that came up during the editing, and reflect on decisions they made.

Join us live, or register for a link to watch the recordings later!

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Creating Diverse Books for Leveled Reading: An Interview with Gaylia Taylor

In this blog post, we interviewed Reading Recovery® teacher and Bebop Books author, Gaylia Taylor, about creating diverse books for leveled reading.

Why is diversity important in books for students learning to read? How is diversity critical to your work as an author?

Gaylia Taylor: Diversity is essential for students learning to read because they are for the first time stepping out of their world into a world that exists outside of themselves. As authors, we can put readers in the proximity of others. When we are around others, we can begin to understand different cultures and appreciate others’ differences. We write to extend boundaries. Each group has a gift. If we collect all of the gifts and put them together, we know love. As an author, I write to celebrate this–the heritage of cultural diversities.

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Beginning Readers Webinar Resources: Diversity in Books for Beginning Young Readers

We had a wonderful turnout for last week’s webinar, “Diversity in Books for Independent and Instructional Reading and Writing in Kindergarten and First Grade” with Jennifer Serravallo, renowned literacy consultant, expert, and New York Times bestselling author, and Adjoa Burrowes, educator, artist, and award-winning Lee & Low author and illustrator.

Keep reading for links to resources and materials shared during the webinar and feel free to reach out for more information and/or a Professional Development certificate.

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Learn More about COLLTS PreK Curriculum from the American Institutes for Research

Lee & Low Books is the exclusive publisher of the American Institutes for Research preschool curriculum, Cultivating Oral Language and Literacy Talents in Students (COLLTS). Today we’re sharing frequently asked questions about the curriculum.

Is COLLTS only for dual language learners?

No! The Center for English Learners at the American Institutes for Research designed the COLLTS PreK curriculum to meet the needs of dual language learners and English learners in any PreK setting. All children can benefit from COLLTS.

Are the books included in the kits?

Book bundles are sold separately because PreK settings vary widely in how many staff at different sites want to have the mentor text to share with students. You may customize number of copies for English here and Spanish here.

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Live Webinar with Jennifer Serravallo: Diversity in Books for Independent and Instructional Reading and Writing in Kindergarten and First Grade

As schools prepare for a critical academic year like no other, educators are looking to engage with students in essential literacy skills while providing high-quality literature that students can relate to, enjoy and learn from.

Join Jennifer Serravallo, renowned literacy consultant, expert, and New York Times bestselling author, and Adjoa Burrowes, educator, artist, and award-winning Lee & Low author and illustrator for an upcoming Live-Only Webinaras they discuss:

  • how diversity and identity fits into reading instruction
  • how to incorporate race and social justice into your literacy block
  • explicit tips for supporting comprehension, phonics instruction, and writing techniques with incredible texts

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