23-W by Beverly

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This week at ABC Wednesday, W is the letter of focus.

W is for Window.
We all look through windows of our homes expecting to see our neighbourhood, our yard or maybe even someone walking by – something familiar. Windows though can provide an unfamiliar view when we are travelling.

Books as well can be windows on the world around us, offering us views we are familiar with, or more and more, views which we are unfamiliar with.

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Dr. Rudine Sims-Bishop stresses the lack of diversity in children’s books:

“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books. (1990, p. ix)”

Too often, children fail to see themselves in books. As Felicity LuHill says:

“When it’s good, reading can be both a window and a mirror. In this way, diverse children’s books are windows and mirrors. They allow us to see new things about others and ourselves. The trouble occurs when texts for early readers provide only one view, and it’s a mirror for only a select few.”

Chad Everett makes this point:

“Viewing literature through a lens of windows and mirrors helps us understand that, in addition to texts being stories to be enjoyed, they are powerful tools of social justice.”

 

We all need diverse books. In this fractured world where it is often “them vs us”, where racism and hate are growing, now more than ever we need windows that show our diverse world and mirrors that reflect our uniqueness.
Throw open the window. Look at the world in wonder and acceptance. We need diversity, we need tolerance.

 

Check out the following, which look at the need for diversity in books, especially for children:

Shannon Hitchcock

Why We Need Diverse Books

Ted Talk by Grace Lin

 

 

23-T by Beverly

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What an appropriate week for ABC Wednesday – as T gets centre stage.

So – T is for  Thanksgiving and of course, turkey:

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the U.S!

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A perfect turkey for this special day – on Thursday, created by my young granddaughter.

In Canada, we celebrated Thanksgiving in October. There are some differences in our two celebrations. Check here to see how.

 

T is also for thanks. 

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Having an attitude of gratitude is so important. So many health benefits have been shown to take place when we give thanks, when we are giving, when we keep a gratitude journal and record what we are thankful for.

The blog “Newly Creative” is hosting  21 Days of Practising Gratitude. Do check it out here.

 

23-Q by Beverly

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Another week and another letter. The letter this week is Q – a letter that can be a challenge.

I chose quill – which most know as the sharp barbed hair on a porcupine or a hedgehog. It is a defense mechanism that is often a painful reminder to dogs especially, who get too close and curious, to a porcupine.

Many years ago, I took a quill basketry course – to create a small  cedar basket, using dyed quills to decorate it with. I chose the trillium for the lid, which is Ontario’s official flower.

It was a definite challenge to create the basket and took a week of work to make it. But using the quills was fun and not as difficult as I thought it would be. I was proud of the result.

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Quill can also mean a writing instrument. Originally a feather’s tip was sharpened and dipped in ink. Now, a pen may be inserted in the hollow shaft of the feather. We used one at our wedding.

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Here is my art tag for this week:

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