Hello, everyone! As you might remember, we’re trying something new and moving to a more sustainable approach with our mailings. We’ll be featuring our monthly letters online to our newly designed website blog instead of in print. Follow the QR code provided with each mailing to access the monthly letter to families. You’ll learn about what we’re up to at Loving Little Minds, what book we picked for both age group, and hear about the latest updates here.

It’s May (where is the year going?), and that means it’s Asian American Pacific Islander Month, Both of our featured books celebrate this.

Our book pick for our birth to 2 year-old readers is ‘Ohana Means Family written by Ilima Loomis and illustrated by Kenard Pak. Come along and immerse yourself in the tradition of taro and poi and how it connects to the Hawaiian people through this unique nursery rhyme. We get to see how things come together as a feast is prepared on the islands. Gorgeous watercolor paintings capture the beauty of Hawaii as well as the details of the kalo harvest, a staple of the culture.. 

The book is a tribute to family, members of all generations, earth, wind, and water. 

A glossary on the last page shares definitions of terms used in the rhyme, and readers can learn more about kalo as it links to Hawaiian roots.

From the author: “It is through a shared meal that we come together as a family. An ‘ohana can include not just parents, children, brothers, and sisters, but also neighbors, visitors, and friends old and new. Food connects us—not just with one another, but with the whole world.” This is something that resonates with my own culture (that of Indian Americans), as well.

For our 3-6 year-old readers, we picked Once Upon a Book by Grace Lin and illustrated by Kate Messner. We join Alice, who is bored at home on a particularly gray and cold day. Looking for something to do, she sees a book through the corner of her eye–and picks it up.

The pages envelop her in new surroundings, much more colorful and evocative than her own–she travels to rainforests, desserts, reefs, and the vastness of space. The illustrations on each page swallow her up, enabling her to travel to novel, distant lands.

Not only are the illustrations in this book a treat, but the prose is equally as whimsical and gentle.

I loved this book because it’s the embodiment of the magical and true idea that books can expand your entire worldview and give you access to places previously “forbidden,” a reminder of the sadness of the recent book ban.

My kiddos delighted in finding the hidden bunny on each page.

This next month will be a fun one for us at Loving Little Minds! We will be at the annual Medford Square, Massachusetts festival, Circle the Square, which showcases local businesses in a family-fun atmosphere in the town greenspace. It’s hosted by a local arts organization, CACHE Medford, and brings together local artists and businesses in a fun-filled afternoon. We’ll be playing games and showcasing books. Come visit us if you’re able! 

Thank you as ever for your support. See you in June!


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