Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Super Star Children's Book Review: Write to Me

Welcome to the monthly children’s book review feature with a focus on diverse books here at Bird Meets Worm! My team of reviewers and I are so excited to be championing books celebrating everything from gender diversity, people of color, the LGBTQ community to ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, people with disabilities and developmental challenges to controversial topics, unique family situations and anything and everything I did not include. It is to say we take a rightfully board view of diversity! We aim to shine a light on books that bring both familiar experiences to those who do not often see themselves represented in books and new experiences to those looking to expand their worldview. Here at Bird Meets Worm we believe in the power of story to build empathy and thus a better world for you and me and everyone. Look for a new review on the second Wednesday of every month.

PS You may have noticed that we're a week late this month! It's the third Wednesday! Apologizes! The New Year has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start, BUT we're slowly getting into the flow of things and I'm SO excited to announce that this year our review team will include me, returning super star reviewer Joan Charles (Illustrator/Designer), NEW reviewer Laurie Young (Author/Art Director/Book Designer) and NEW reviewer Sarah Orgill (Children's Educator). It's gonna be a great year!!


Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian
They Left Behind
Written by Cynthia Grady • Illustrated by Amiko Hirao
Picture Book ( ages 4-8) • 32 Pages
Published by Charlesbridge • 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5808-9688-7

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, ordering all Japanese-Americans living in the United States to interment camps. Women, men, and children had only days to pack up a few belongings and leave their homes, their schools, their businesses, and their friends and neighbors for an uncertain future in a prison camp.

When San Diego children’s librarian Clara Breed heard the news, she gave self-addressed, stamped post cards to her young Japanese-American patrons and asked them to write to her. Over the course of the three years of their imprisonment, she exchanged letters, care packages, books, and visits with scores of children.

Cynthia Grady tells this heart-wrenching story through actual letters written by the children to Miss Breed. The children’s own words are sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes hopeful, but throughout, the comfort of books is an underlying theme. Miss Breed’s letters and care packages are like lifelines, reminding the children of their past freedom and offering hope for their futures.

Miss Breed did more than offer friendship to the interned children and their families. She wrote magazine articles about the treatment of the Japanese and lobbied for schools and libraries in the camps.

The soft color-pencil pictures by Amiko Hirao subtly illustrate this testament to compassion, activism and true friendship between the children and their former librarian.

Buy this book:

Reviewed by: Joan Charles

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year from Super Jane

As you may have noticed, the first day of the new year also happens to be the first Tuesday of the month, which is usually interview day here at Bird Meets Worm. However, due to an unexpected hiccup I will not be posting an interview today. But do not fear, we most certainly will be back next month with a goodie of an interview and all the rest of the year, too. Happy New Year! Wishing you peace, love and joyful artmaking all year long! XO Super Jane

Rainy day hello • © Jane Smith