Saturday, October 26, 2013

Farewell, I'm On Leave from the Elephant Rag & One Last Phenomenal List - Books for a Healthy Planet

 Hello Friends,

I want to conclude The Elephant Rag posts with a vision. It's  Kirsten Cappy's compilation of books  and ideas about engagements with the books to build understanding among the world's people.
I'm Your Neighbor Books  offers a selection of children's and young adult books indexed by geographic region, setting, and themes. 

The Elephant Rag blog remains available to readers.  You'll find many reading lists of multicultural books.   I documented many of my projects. They include:
The New Hampshire Humanities Council bilingual book project to create a Nepali-English folktale and  Tell Me a Cuento, a reading project with moms in Lawrence, Mass sponsored by the Lawrence Public Library.

I invite you to read my posts at, and
The Pirate Tree, Social Justice and Children's Literature is created by a collective of children's book writers who I am honored to join. 
You can reach me at tfarish at gmail 
Thank you!  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Second Generation from Bhutan

 The Bhutanese Nepali folktale produced by the New Hampshire Humanities Council, The Story of a Pumpkin, returned to Laconia, NH today where we first heard the story in the U.S.  What is wonderful is that the story, told by a  grandmother, Hari  Tiwari, is now with the children and grandchildren of Bhutanese refugees in the U.S. and all of us who live here.  Pictured here is storyteller Hari Tiwari's grandson and artist's Dal Rai's son, Anmol. After listening to Dal and Laconia children's librarian Gail Drucker tell the story, we had snacks.  The boys are eating a sweet Bhutanese pastry known as elephant ears since they sort of look like that. Below is Dal Rai and his newest son, Adrin, both wearing a garland.
The Story of a Pumpkin ends with the traditional words in a Nepali tale - "The teller of this tale receives a flower garland and the listener receives a garland of gold."
The Story of a Pumpkin is distributed by the    University Press of New England. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Picture Books about Poets

Marcie Flinchum Atkins collected a beautiful set of illustrated books about poets for a bibliography Picture Books About Poets. The poets represent a number of cultures so I wanted to share this reading list with you.  Marcie divides the list between traditional picture books and illustrated books with lots of text.
Many of these books would be excellent selections for adults as well as kids.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ways to Say "Hey"

I got to meet Fred Lipp reading his book Bread Song about a Thai boy who moves to Maine and feels shy in his new Portland neighborhood.   Fred himself used to be shy as a kid but now likes to go wandering about the city, meeting folks.  He talked about subtle ways people might reach out, say hey to each other.  He met a man who took off his cap, lowered it down by his side, and sort of turned it toward Fred.  That was an a real warm hello, Fred said.  Then there's the country way. A man's got two hands on the steering wheel and when you go by, he lifts his right point fingers.  That's a man, Fred says,  I want to go back and have a good chat with.  In Bread Song, the boy gets a warm hello at the  real and wonderful Standard Baking Company in Portland when the real baker, Alison Pray, invites him in to hear the bread sing, the little pops of dozens of loaves when she first takes them from the oven to cool.
Bread Song is one of the books featured in Curious City's I'm Your Neighbor Portland city-wide reading project.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Outstanding International Books 2013 on Google Maps

Here is the cover of ISLAND by Marije and Ronald Tolman
from Germany, one book you'll find on the Outstanding International
Books Google Map
Here is a very fun display of IBBY's list of Outstanding International  Books  for 2013 on Google Maps where you can travel from country to country as you place the book in the world.  These are books published outside the U.S. by international publishers and available in the U.S.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Next Big Thing - "Madhu's Seeds"

I'm happy to tell you that my next big thing is a story I wrote for New Hampshire Home.  Children's book writer Joyce Ray invited me to tell about this project in her post about her next big thing, her new book, Feathers and Trumpets. I had no idea what I was going to write for New Hampshire Home. I was honored to be invited to write the closing back page essay, but hoped no one would attempt to photograph the writerly kind of home I keep.  The theme, though, was sustainability. And that led me to gardens. And that led me to community gardens.  And that led me to the stories I'd heard and read about refugees and immigrants recreating recipes from their homelands after they got a plot of land in a community garden in their urban American neighborhood. And that led me to Sycamore Community Garden in Concord, New Hampshire. And then to one gardener: Madhu Bhandari from Bhutan, and her daughter-in-law. I also met her granddaughter who may be old enough this spring to come to the garden and help.  Madhu told me a story about mustard seeds.  The story, "Madhu's Seeds"  (p. 90)  appears in the March/April issue of New Hampshire Home.  It also planted a seed in my mind for the novel I am secretly working on this cold February night.
Please meet writer, Tammi Truax.
Tammi Truax will be posting at about her debut novel Holy Buckets.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

CBC "Best Of" Diversity List

The Children's Book Council has created a list that recognizes award-winning books with protagonists representing diverse cultures.  Here's a link to their Diversifying the "Best-of"List.  CBC Diversity advocates for "an inclusive and representative children's publishing industry." Patricia McCormic's NEVER FALL DOWN is the next book on my list to read.  I know it takes us back to the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia in a novel based on the life of Arn Chorn-Pond.  My novel, THE GOOD BRAIDER, about a girl from South Sudan is included.  There's more than war here. Fiction and nonfiction are intertwined.  I like that.  The list takes readers to Cuba, the Congo, and the diverse communities we live in.