In March we saw an increase in violence against Asian communities, both in Canada and the US. It feels like every way we turn there is ignorance, racism and hate focused on someone we care about.
In my daily life, I work in a library, and while my role isn’t focused on children, I love to read the new picture books. Over the last 5 years there’s been a significant increase in diverse stories. Stories written by BIPOC folx, telling little children that they are seen and heard and loved.
So yes, I finished the Bridgerton series. You knew it was going to happen. But I also read several picture books, and I’m excited to share those with you too!
I’ll be doing a review of the Bridgerton Series as a whole once I’ve listened to the novella on Violet Bridgerton. That will take awhile — I’m not an audiobook person and I can only find the novella in audio format. For now, the love stories of the 8 Bridgerton siblings has concluded. I will likely re-watch season 1 on Netflix again next month.
I find the Pablo Neruda compilation to be so cute. Beautiful and aesthetic packaging. However, these are not my favourite poems by Neruda, and I would recommend reading a different edition of his works (especially if you’re unfamiliar with his poetry).
I read a lot of amazing children’s books this month. Grace and Box showcases the creativity and imaginative spirit children have. Princess Arabella at the Museum is similarly exploring the creativity that can be stimulated from existing works of art (rather than imagination). Lift is also a book focusing on imagination. It was actually my favourite of the three, though they all have their merits. I loved the illustrations and how the story stemmed from feelings of jealousy in having to share with a younger sibling. Spoiler alert: our young adventurer does end up sharing the joy of creativity with the younger sibling!
Be Amazing gives young people a short and sweet history of Pride and the individuals who have had a hand at creating a more inclusive North America. Papa, Daddy & Riley is a sweet story about a young girl who is told that her family is not a family because it doesn’t fit the heteronormative nuclear mold.
Eyes That Kiss In the Corners is beautifully illustrated. In a time when anti-Asian hate is rampant, I think it’s so important for young Asians to see that they are valued. That their differences make them special, beautiful, and remarkable. This book was such a lovely read, and incredibly important for young children to understand the things that set them apart should be celebrated. The Sun is Also a Star is a teen romance. The Jamaican American Nicola Yoon’s husband is Korean American and similarly her two protagonists are Jamaican American and Korean American. The perspective changes each chapter, usually going between Daniel and Natasha, until the individual stories blend together into a day centering on love, struggle, and difficult life decisions.
Expect more picture books for April. But not as much fiction. It’s been busy the last week of March going into April, and the reading has slowed down a lot. Wishing you all a lovely April ahead!