I was pleased and honored to be invited by local activist, Liz Friedman, to lead a family program for a new social justice group, We Stand Together, as a part of their month-long Hannukah Ally Action. They state on their website, “We Stand Together is a movement of individuals, organizations, and leaders committed to taking a stand for those at risk of -or who are already- being subjected to hate locally and nationally. Our first Ally Action is in support of the Jewish community, in which we take a stand against anti-Semitism following the massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.”
I offered to lead a storytime featuring Susan Verde and Peter Reynold’s new picture book, I Am Human: A Book of Empathy, and to gather picture books with themes of empathy, solidarity, and learning about Jewish identity for a family read-in after the storytime. Abrams Kids Books donated 25 copies of the book to give to attendees, and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art agreed to host the event and to give free admission to the first 25 attendees.
Oh, and did I mention that we planned this in just two weeks?
And we had about 45 people show up!
And we had an amazing time! (See my Facebook post for photos).
Here is the book list I made for the family read-in portion of the day, with some help from a teacher at Gan Keshet Preschool in Northampton, MA who passed along title suggestions to Liz. Feel free to add more suggestions in the comments. And, for a pdf of the list, including some framing commentary from me and Liz Friedman about the event, click here: We Are Human Book List.
- Why Am I Me?by Paige Britt, illus. by Selina Alko and Sean Qualls
- Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse by Marcy Campbell, illus. Corinna Luyken
- The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate by Janice Cohn, illus. Bill Farnsworth
- I Can Helpby David Hyde Costello
- Snow in Jerusalem by Deborah da Costa, Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu
- The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
- Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom and Salaam by Fawzia Gilani-Williams, illus. by Chiara Fedele
- Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser, illus. by Claire A. Nivola.
- I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët
- Come with Me by Holly M. McGhee, illus. by Pascal Lemaître
- All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold, illus. by Suzane Kaufman
- I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien
- Someone New by Anne Sibley O’Brien
- The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco
- Elijah’s Angel by Michael J. Rosen, illus. by Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson
- All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illus. by Marla Frazee
- You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith, illus. by Danielle Daniel
- I Am Human: A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde, illus. by Peter Reynolds
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illus. by Rafael López
- Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, illus. by E.B. Lewis