Our theme for today’s Diverse Children’s Books linkup is Diverse Book(s) Featuring a Character with a Disability. (Need ideas? Check out past winners of the Schneider Family Book Awards.) (The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)
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Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.
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We hope this community will grow into a great resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, September 17th and on the first and third Saturdays of every month.
Our theme for the current linkup is Diverse Book(s) Featuring a Character with a Disability.. Themes are a suggestion only; all diverse book posts are welcome. If you’re interested, you can start planning now for our upcoming themes …
September 17th linkup: Favorite Bilingual Book(s). Think about your favorite book or books that are published in bilingual (or multiple language) editions.
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We are officially ending our reading theme on restlessness and refuge in literature. What better way to do that than to introduce this recently-published picturebook that allows readers to get into an airport, take flight, and leave home – and yes, come back again.
The Airport Book
Written and Illustrated by: Lisa Brown
Publisher: A Neal Porter Book: Roaring Brook Press, 2016 ISBN:626720916 (ISBN13: 9781626720916). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
I was traveling a great deal during the last week of May until the first week of August. Bus terminals and airports, not to mention the efficient metros, and the occasional taxicabs have become my best friends. It was with a bit of trepidation that I picked up this book – to be honest, the book cover was just so-so to me. I was also wondering if it would do my experience in quite a lot of airports some justice – the frenzied hurrying, the constant queues, the occasionally-interminable wait, the meetings and partings, the joyful hellos and the tearful farewells.
The minute I opened this picturebook, I knew my fears were unfounded. There is something about a well-designed picturebook with all its dynamism, its aliveness, its storyline arc that is discernible yet manages to be subtle at the same time that just grips the reader.
For parents traveling with young children (mine is now a teenager, thank heavens – but of course that is a different animal altogether), the dialogue and the well-placed details would definitely ring true.
And then there is the “Where’s Waldo?” vibe to the entire narrative that gets the reader to follow each traveler closely – just to see where their story takes you. I realize that I have taken the entire atmosphere of airports for granted – I hardly have any photographs of the inside of an airport – probably because I am focusing more on whether I am in the right boarding gate, and that I have ample time to put my foot up – before I get screened and scanned another time for liquids or whatnots. But seeing the image below just takes me right back to the many airports I’ve been to.
Over and above this picturebook providing a detailed description of what to expect in airports, the “diverse” element is a given rather than explicitly articulated or pounded over the head of the reader. For one, the family that is the highlight of the narrative is evidently biracial – and the reader can see the multiplicity of ethnicities, races, colours among the people found in the airport – which is exactly how modern international airports are like. The ‘diversity’ is taken as a matter-of-fact rather than touted as an issue.
While I have read quite a fair bit of picturebooks on traveling for our reading theme, this one I believe, is a class of its own. And to end this fairly-long review, here is one of my favourite pictures taken while I was flying from Munich to Singapore via Amsterdam. Look at the fire in the skies over the Netherlands – and this, at nine in the evening. Such beauty in the heavens.
What a privilege to be able to fly. What a gift.
How about you, dear friends, what is your favourite airport?
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