The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story

I came across this book recently and it reminded me of the Lisa See novel The Island of Sea Women, about the female South Korean divers who harvest a variety of sea life to sell for their income. This story is the children’s picture book version, with wonderful illustrations by Jess Snow and informative text by Tina Cho. There is a brief explanation of haenyeo on the back pages, and I found it to be a fascinating subject.

For English language learners

I attended a workshop this week geared towards helping children who are English language learners. One of the resources shared was Colorin colorado, ‘a bilingual site for educators and families of English language learners.’ Developed to help parents, families, teachers and librarians, Colorin colorado has many articles, books, lessons and links to guide people learning English. The home page promotes current events appropriate for younger people. There are lessons for literacy, language and vocabulary instruction, videos, web casts, and articles to guide children to success. The site is worth a visit for any parent or teacher regardless of what language is spoken. They have a wealth of terrific resources to explore (supported by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers).

Big Nate on TV

Later this month, the popular Big Nate character from the Lincoln Peirce books will make his debut on television. Paramount will begin showing Big Nate episodes on February 17th. Appealing to the Wimpy Kid and Bart Simpson crowd, Big Nate is an appealing character for a wide audience. Created with a team from Nickelodeon, there will also be original music (22 songs). Check out some of the Big Nate books to get ready for the new series.

Central Park’s Swedish Cottage

Plan a fun, child-friendly day out in NYC this year. The much beloved marionette theater at The Swedish Cottage in Central Park is reopening in February 2022 with shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December. In the heart of the park, the marionette theater hosts fairy tale puppet shows for the younger set. Children will love the old-fashioned dolls and colorful sets. Now playing is ‘Wake Up, Daisy!’ -a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Round out your trip to the theater with a visit to Central Park’s 100+ year-old merry-go-round which opened in 1871 (and reopened after being pandemic-closed for 18 months). The 57 horses are being restored and upgraded. If the kids are still awake, wander over to the Central Park Zoo before grabbing a hot chocolate and heading home with a day of great memories.

You Are Never Too Young

The latest issue of American Libraries Direct highlights an 8 year old boy who wrote and illustrated his first book: The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis. After doing so, he slapped a homemade spine sticker on it, and added it to the shelves at the Ada (Idaho) Community Library‚Äôs Lake Hazel branch. He told a local TV station that he has been wanting to do that since he was 5 years old. His parents called the library to ask for it back, but the branch manager said that they added it to the collection, since it met their criteria for book selection. There is currently a waiting list to read it. So you are NEVER too young to publish your first book. Go, Dillon!