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111 Trees

2020

by Rina Singh and Marianne Ferrer

"In a small village in India, a boy grows up to make a huge difference in his community by planting trees to celebrate the birth of every girl. Based on a true story, this book celebrates environmental sustainability, community activism and ecofeminism. This is the story of Sundar Paliwal, who is from a small Indian village ruled by ancient customs. As he grows to be a man, Sundar suffers much heartbreak and decides it is time for change to come to his village. Sundar is determined to live in a place where girls are valued as much as boys and where the land is not devastated by irresponsible mining. Sundar's plan? To celebrate the birth of every girl with the planting of 111 trees. Though many villagers resist at first, Sundar slowly gains their support. And today, there are over a quarter of a million trees in his village, providing food, water and opportunities for women to earn a living. His efforts have turned a once barren and deforested landscape into a fertile and prosperous one where girls can thrive. Based on true events in the life of Sundar Paliwal, and written in collaboration with him, Rina Singh's uplifting story shows how one person can make a difference in a community. Beautiful illustrations by Marianne Ferrer sensitively bring the evolution of the village to life. With strong links to the science curriculum, this book offers lessons on environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship, as well as the concept of ecofeminism. It also explores ideas of social development, community and culture, and the character education traits of responsibility and cooperation. A thoroughly researched author's note with photographs and more information about the village of Piplantri is included." -- publisher

Biography Informational Oppression & Resilience

Ani’s Light

2020

by Tanu Shree Singh and Sandhya Prabhat

"Everything has turned dark. Will Ani find his light again? This sensitive, hopeful story will help kids explore their sadness when a close family member is undergoing medical treatment, while highlighting sources of light that can bring stability during uncertain times. It is also a terrific resource for anyone who wants to understand the ups and downs of coping with a parent’s illness. Ani's stuck in a dark cloud because his mother hasn’t been home. His friends and family try to brighten his mood, but nothing helps. When Mama finally comes back, but with her hair missing, Ani’s light gets brighter and brighter, chasing away his darkness. The unconditional love between Ani and his mother shines through as the two enjoy their precious time together, whether it’s forever, or just for now. Includes a note from the author explaining ways to help a child through a family crisis." -- publisher

Any Child

Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy

2020

by Tara Dairman and Archana Sreenivasan

"Extreme weather affects two children’s lives in very different ways and shows how the power of nature can bring us together. One girl. One boy. Their lives couldn’t be more different. While she turns her shoulder to sandstorms and blistering winds, he cuffs his pants when heavy rains begin to fall. As the weather becomes more severe, their families and animals must flee to safety—and their destination shows that they might be more alike than they seem. The journeys of these two children experiencing weather extremes in India highlight the power of nature and the resilience of the the human spirit." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

Fauja Singh Keeps Going

2020

by Simran Jeet Singh and Baljinder Kaur

"The inspiring true story of Fauja Singh, who broke world records to become the first one hundred-year-old to run a marathon, shares valuable lessons on the source of his grit, determination to overcome obstacles, and commitment to positive representation of the Sikh community. Every step forward is a victory. Fauja Singh was born determined. He was also born with legs that wouldn’t allow him to play cricket with his friends or carry him to school miles from his village in Punjab. But that didn’t stop him. Working on his family’s farm, Fauja grew stronger to meet his own full potential. He never stopped striving. At the age of 81, after a lifetime of making his body, mind, and heart stronger, Fauja decided to run his first marathon. He went on to break records all around the world and became the first person over 100 to complete the grueling long-distance race. With inspiring text by Simran Jeet Singh and exhilarating illustrations by Baljinder Kaur, the true story of Fauja Singh reminds us that it’s both where we start and how we finish that make our journeys unforgettable." -- publisher

Biography

Feast of Peas

2020

by Kashmira Sheth and Jeffrey Ebbeler

"Hard-working Jiva might not be the only one anticipating a delicious feast of peas from his garden. Every morning, Jiva works in his garden until the sun turns as red as a bride’s sari. He plants peas and beans, potatoes and tomatoes, eggplants and okra in his vegetable patch. While his friend Ruvji admires his plants Jiva sings, “Plump peas, sweet peas, Lined-up-in-the-shell peas. Peas to munch, peas to crunch I want a feast of peas for lunch!” But each time Jiva is ready to pick the peas for his feast, they’re already gone. He tries making a scarecrow and a fence, but it’s no use. Who might have taken them this time?” From award-winning author Kashmira Sheth and illustrator Jeffrey Ebbeler (Tiger in My Soup) comes this original #OwnVoices story set in India, featuring a deliciously amusing mystery about gardening, anticipation, hard work, and generosity. Teacher’s Guide available!" -- publisher

Beautiful Life

Going Up!

2020

by Sherry J. Lee and Charlene Chua

"An elevator ride to a birthday party turns into a shared experience bursting with joy in this multicultural story about community, togetherness and the special feeling of belonging. Today is Olive's birthday party, and Sophie and her dad have baked cookies. Sophie's dad holds the platter so Sophie can push the elevator button for the tenth floor. But on the way up, the elevator stops to let the Santucci brothers get on. Then on the next floor, Vicky, Babs and their dog, Norman, get in. And as the elevator ascends, it keeps stopping, and more neighbors squeeze in to the crowded space: the Habibs, the Flores family, Mr. Kwan, Vi Tweedle with her Chihuahua, Minx. Everyone is going to the party! Playfully combining the excitement and anticipation of a party with children's universal love of riding in elevators, Sherry J. Lee's picture book story is ultimately about community and a sense of belonging. With characters from many cultural backgrounds, it showcases the everyday diversity that many urban children experience. Charlene Chua's illustrations provide loads of funny details and visual narratives that aren't in the text, making for a multilayered reading experience. The book's tall, narrow trim size adds to the effect of the rising elevator." -- publisher

Any Child Cross Group

Grandmother School

2020

by Rina Singh and Ellen Rooney

"This brilliantly illustrated picture book tells the story of the Aajibaichi Shala, the Grandmother School, that was opened in Phangane, India, in 2016 to teach local grandmothers how to read and write. Every morning, a young girl walks her grandmother to the Aajibaichi Shala, the school that was built for the grandmothers in her village to have a place to learn to read and write. The narrator beams with pride as she drops her grandmother off with the other aajis to practice the alphabet and learn simple arithmetic. A moving story about family, women and the power of education—when Aaji learns to spell her name you’ll want to dance along with her. Women in countless countries continue to endure the limitations of illiteracy. Unjust laws have suppressed the rights of girls and women and kept many from getting an education and equal standing in society. Based on a true story from the village of Phangane, India, this brilliantly illustrated book tells the story of the grandmothers who got to go to school for the first time in their lives." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Oppression & Resilience

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