Building Bookshelves in West Africa — Update!

Hello supporters!

The fun has started: we’re now on the hunt for books to fill the bookshelves! We’ve been in touch with our first school in Thies and are peeling our eyes open for quality children’s books. Watch the video for a short update:

Kristen and Charles

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Stolen Words: A Book Review


Book Review: Stolen Words
Written by Melanie Florence
Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Format: Hardcover w/ Jacket
24 Pages
ISBN 13: 978-1-77260-037-7

Stolen Words by Melanie Florence, an award-winning writer of Cree and Scottish heritage, is a moving and eloquent story about the pain caused by losing language and the importance of reclamation. Continue reading

GoFundMe: Building Bookshelves in West Africa


Together with my husband, as we prepare for our third family trip to Senegal, West Africa — now with a little one in tow — an image continues to tread in our minds: a school — no, a classroom — a shack, a blackboard, and a shelf…full…of outdated books; but about 15 eager students raising their hands. The image is of excitement for education, hidden in plain sight on the streets of Dakar. That was two years ago, and we haven’t stopped talking about it since. Continue reading

Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox: A Book Review

Groundwood Logos SpineWhat animal on this Earth do you connect with? Why? Danielle Daniel guides children to answer this question and explains the cultural tradition of the Anishinaabe totem animal in this beautifully illustrated book.

Wearing crafted masks, we hear children explain why they identify with awesome creatures such as a deer, a butterfly or a wolf — a quiz that can be related to by children both inside and outside of the Aboriginal sphere. Continue reading

Building an Aboriginal Reading Culture

After a busy week, I’m finally able to update you on what’s been happening! If you follow my Instagram, you probably already know: children gathered from completely different backgrounds last week for Reading Culture‘s multicultural workshop series. I don’t think I could have been more excited to show off my books, Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel, which focuses on the idea of the totem animal in a direct but beautiful way; and Stolen Words by Melanie Florence, which introduced the history of the residential school system — a touchy but necessary conversation.

FE6A8609Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel

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A Northern Alphabet: A Book Review


The concept of a reading culture includes taking a child anywhere beyond what they readily know, and The Northern Alphabet will be new territory for many young readers, Canadians included.

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An African Alphabet: A Book Review


“An elegant African bestiary, from the familiar to the exotic.” Our first guest reviewer, Leslie J. Scott, educator and children’s book enthusiast, gives her perspective, from content to design, on Eric Walters’s beautiful board book for baby’s first library.

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To see her reading by Kristen Ndiaye

06e5bfc3c36b7370613414065d12cd6eI drink wine because my mother drank wine.

I traveled young because I believe that, if she could go back, she would have traveled young. I read, most definitely, because of her, but I don’t say that in the way that one might think. Continue reading

The Nian Monster: A Book Review

I’m very excited to have been sent The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang to review in celebration of Multicultural Children’s World Book Day 2017. Reading Culture fits well into their mission to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include children’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves and I’m thrilled to be promoting an organization that aligns so closely. You can find more information on them and other diverse books in the special links below. Continue reading