Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Just Rant"


My Second Grader is reading "Just Mabel" in school. The book is perfect for a beginning reader- simple, but with a sprinkling of words that challenge. Attractive illustrations that engage, and refuse to let the attention flag.
Mabel is the friend I wished I had in school- smart and loyal, with just the right amount of self doubt. She stands upto bullies, and stands by her friends. She learns to love herself, and isn’t scared to be different.

"Just Mabel” is an appropriate book, but I am still disappointed- couldn’t the school have chosen a similar book set in India?


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A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

15 comments:

LTM said...

thanks for the rec! I just took my oldest to BAM looking for books, and I was literally stumped... She's too old for Junie B. Jones, bored w/Magic Treehouse, not interested in Friendle... We'll check out Mabel.

And if I run across a book set in India, I'll pass it along.

Funny--My rising 3rd grader just said she'd write a book set in India for your son to read. I didn't bother to go into how long the pub. process takes... :D

Laura Eno said...

It would be nice if children's books could be set in familiar locations to give the child a sense of identity.

Wonderful how you wrote a drabble and still completely got your point across!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I used to love reading as a child, always had my head in a book, children today .....or most of them don't seem to know what a book is.
Enjoyed your post

Yvonne.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maybe you need to write that book, Rayna!

Tina said...

I agree with Alex, you could write it. I have a question, though. Is English the native language in your part of India? Or do you learn something else first, and then the English? Just curious because Swedish is my native language, but I learned English at the same time. My parents spoke English to each other, and a mix of both to their kids. Dad is Swedish, mom American.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ LTM- the books is good for a beginning reader, but an older kid may find it a little easy. But again, there is a lot of dressing and glamour, so a girl may well like it.
And would your third grader like a book with two Indian kids that I wrote?

@ Laura- I think so too- it is hard for them to relate to things which they haven't experienced first hand. And thanks.

@ Yvonne - what would our childhood have been without books?

@ Alex- for my kids, I do. Even if not the actual physical book, I tell them enough stories. But I would like Indian books as readers too.

@ Tina- English is the language of instruction in India. And most of the time, I think in English, and translate into whatever Indian language I am speaking in. But most kids grow up speaking Hindi or one of the other local languages, and pick up English when they go to school.

Jemi Fraser said...

In Canada we have an immigrant culture so we have a pretty wide variety of cultures in every classroom. It's HARD to get books to represent each culture. Especially when I'm trying to get books at all levels & all genres. Really frustrating!

LTM said...

one word: YES!

seems like she read a book set in India last year. She had a really great teacher. But when I asked, she couldn't remember (which is when she offered to help... can't imagine where she gets that~ ;o)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

And from a boy's point of view, too!

Theres just life said...

It much more interesting when you know the area the story takes place in. You can see everything vividly in your mind and see yourself in the story.

Tabitha Bird said...

Cool book. I wonder if there are books like this set in india. That would be cool.

Hart Johnson said...

Natasha- I hear you! Kids need books they can identify with at that age. I mean it is GREAT to havre really varied exposure, but for the early readers...

This is why YOU need to get your children's book career under way! WRITE those books set in India.

*giggling at Leigh's 3rd grader*--that is so sweet!

Lola Sharp said...

I'm new here...but I agree with my friends Alex and Hart. Write the book you would like them to read.

I remember when my daughter was that age. I miss that age. They grow up so fast.

~Lola

Clarissa Draper said...

That's a good question. They should do that. Perhaps you should do that and add some of your wonderful photographs.

CD

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Jemi- I guess it must be, but I am really impressed you are making an effort. If I do find any good books set in India, I will let you know, though I am sure your problem would not be with India as much as with some of the non-English speaking countries.

@ LTM- I wonder too!!!

@ Diane- that too is a point, though Mabel is a good role model for kids- regardless of gender.

@ Theres just life- don't you think so too?

@ Tabitha- there are some great books set in India- not as many as there should be, but there are. The problem is that the schools seem blind to the need to introduce books set in India.

@ Hart- oh that it were that simple!!! The strangest thing is that yesterday, I found a book written by an Indian author, published by an Indian publisher, and priced for an Indian audience. And the characters all had names like Brian, John, Betty. WTF!

@ Lola- they do, don't they?

@ Clarissa- now, that is an idea! Why did I never think of that?

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