Diverse Children’s Books: My Two Blankets

I teach in a small school located in the downtown east side of Vancouver. It is a multicultural school with many different languages and cultures represented. My students are thrilled when a new student arrives at our school. They are excited to welcome a new friend and enthused about learning something new from someone new. As the teacher in the room, I am aware of how rich the learning is when a child from another country arrives. When this child has limited or no English skills, the learning is almost the most rich. It is then that we must be the most gracious, the most open, the most creative. Everything becomes about communication and connection.

This beautiful book – My Two Blankets written by Irena Kobald and illustrated by Freya Blackwood (published in Australia in 2014 by Little Hare Books and in North America in 2015 by HMH books for Young Readers) – portrays the reality of moving to a new country from the perspective of a young girl brand new to a place of strange words and new experiences.

Diverse Children's Books: My Two Blankets There's a Book for That

Cartwheel comes to a new country with her Auntie. They have come to be safe but everything is different. She doesn’t understand the strange words spoken or many of the things she observes. She wraps herself in a metaphorical blanket of home, of comfort, of known. When a little girl reaches out in friendship, Cartwheel is drawn to her smile and her persistent offerings of language and friendship. Soon the new strange language sounds softer and full of possibility.

In the story, where Cartwheel has moved from and where she arrives is never clarified. This could be the story of any child moving to a new place to escape war or conflict. It becomes a story for all of us.

I love the illustrations of Freya Blackwood – the loose lines, the strong imagery, her use of colour. Author Irena Kobald was inspired to write this book because of a friendship between her own daughter and a Sudanese child. Both author and illustrator live in Australia.

This would be a fantastic read aloud in primary/early intermediate classrooms.

Diverse Children’s Books is a brand new book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

DiverseKidLit

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact Katie at 1logonaut (gmail).

We hope this community will grow into a great resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, April 16th.

Hosted By:
Katie @ The Logonauts

Mia @ Pragmatic Mom
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Crystal @ Reading Through Life and co-blogger @ Rich in Color
Blog / Twitter / Google+

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

If you want to share a favourite or recently read diverse title, please leave a comment with the link (current link up technical difficulties) and then head over to Katie’s blog to share your link on the link up. Happy reading!

 

8 thoughts on “Diverse Children’s Books: My Two Blankets

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