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Deb Andries and Her Reading Team
November 2020

Rais­ing Star Read­ers is delight­ed to drop in again on Deb Andries and her Read­ing Team as they cel­e­brate diverse new offer­ings from Deb’s local library. Here’s how Deb describes the books that are help­ing to bring her joy:

Read­ing remains a joy. Read­ing remains a trea­sured moment and a teach­able moment. Read­ing is shared.

Joy­ful read­ing occurs when the twins, Myles and Hayes, now 14 months, make every attempt to “sit” and “eat” the book! How­ev­er, the joy also occurs when I hear them bab­ble and attempt to mim­ic and repeat the rhythm of a nurs­ery rhyme or asso­ciate the pic­ture with the word or text on the same page. They love pick­ing and choos­ing books, open­ing them (and quick­ly clos­ing if left alone!); they also love “sit­ting” to spend indi­vid­ual and twin time togeth­er on Grammy’s lap. Late­ly we’ve enjoyed a pletho­ra of board books from Grammy’s bas­ket and their own shared trea­sured books from their brother’s collection.

Raising Star Readers

Deb and her girls: daugh­ter Abby (left) with her daugh­ter Emmy; daugh­ter Kellsey (right) with her daugh­ters Hayes (who she is hold­ing) and Myles (who Deb is holding)

My biggest shout-out goes to Thomas St. Ange­lo Pub­lic Library in Cum­ber­land, Wis­con­sin. They have curat­ed a num­ber of new books in their col­lec­tion, all of which high­light diver­si­ty. I was for­tu­nate to access titles includ­ing Danc­ing Hands by Mar­gari­ta Engle (illus­trat­ed by Rafael López); A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang (illus­trat­ed by Seo Kim); Tomor­row Most Like­ly by Dave Eggers (illus­trat­ed by Lane Smith); Tak­ing Time by Jo Lor­ing-Fish­er; and Catch That Chick­en! by Atinuke (illus­tra­tions by Angela Brooksbank).

Grayson, Fin­ley, and I shared Hair Love by Matthew A. Cher­ry (illus­trat­ed by Vashti Har­ri­son). As we know, see­ing our­selves and oth­ers in books is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to invite shared con­ver­sa­tions around how we are dif­fer­ent yet all alike.

Raising Star Readers

Grayson, Deb, and Fin­ley read­ing Hair Love

Where Are You From?One par­tic­u­lar sto­ry, Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Mén­dez and illus­trat­ed by Jaime Kim, gen­er­at­ed dis­cus­sions around how chil­dren in oth­er regions and from dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties refer to their grand­par­ents. We also shared and talked about how we all “belong” to some­one, some­where, and the impor­tance of shar­ing our sto­ries of belong­ing and the “place” we are from.

The joy of shar­ing trea­sured moments in books, bor­rowed and curb­side pick-up in the days of the pan­dem­ic, mean our oppor­tu­ni­ties to grow are unlim­it­ed as I share win­dows and mir­rors with my loved grandchildren.

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Bookol­o­gy is always look­ing for new Read­ing Teams to help us cel­e­brate the joys of read­ing aloud togeth­er. Con­tact Lisa Bullard for fur­ther infor­ma­tion if you’re inter­est­ed in participating.

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