children's lit,

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6-year-old Vanae James-Bey has created a book celebrating black indigenous cultures across the globe

  • Even a 6-year-old understands that representation matters. Vanae James-Bey and her mother, Veronica Bey, teamed up to create a coloring book celebrating the black indigenous cultures around the world.
  • The coloring book, The Indigenous Adventures of Princess Vanae, has already been given high praise since going on sale on March 31. 
  • The book lets readers in on a journey learning about the history and culture of the native-born black people in Africa and the Americas, the Root reported.
  • “We’ve received tons of positive feedback, with orders from Australia to Amsterdam,” Bey told the Atlanta Black Star. “Parents asking for one for boys are as negative as the feedback gets.”
  • The book was a family project. Johnathan Ellerbee, Vanae’s uncle, provided the illustrations for the book in April 2016. 
  • Vanae, who is homeschooled, researched all kinds of indigenous cultures with her mother. Ellerbee then drew illustrations of the 6-year-old wearing their traditional dress and jewelry. Read more (4/27/17)

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Love-filled illustrations from children’s books:

From The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Frank Morrison


From Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee


From Love Is by Diane Adams, illustrated by Claire Keane


From Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini


From Chloe, Instead by Micah Player


From When an Elephant Falls in Love by Davide Cali, illustrated by Alice Lotti


See more love-filled illustrations from children’s books over on our blog.

quoth-the-corvids  asked:

So, I know you really like Peter Pan and I have been reading it recently in my uni lit society. Everyone else thinks it's lovely and brilliant escapism and stuff, but I mostly think it's unnerving. Especially Mr Darling deciding to live in a dog kennel. It's a funny idea but then when you think about how his children have disappeared and he seems to think it's some kind of atonement... It really makes me feel uneasy. I don't see what everyone else is seeing in it and I can't express why to them

Well, it is unnerving. It’s totally unnerving. There’s no reason it can’t be escapist and unnerving at the very same time. Consider Harry Potter. Consider Alice in Wonderland. Consider Narnia. Consider Treasure Island. Consider Coraline. There’s no rule saying something can’t be unsettling just because it’s ostensibly an adventure story for children. Half the reason I love Peter Pan is that it is so deliciously twisted. But I’ve talked about that quite a bit already. Please see this post here and this post here, and you might find some of the answers you’re looking for.

My half of my art trade with the AMAZING @taryndraws!  We share a love of tea and witches, so naturally I had to paint a tea witch for her.  I imagine this witch cultivates her own plants to concoct some kind of healing brew, and of course uses magic to do so.

By the way, I’ve started using my Instagram story to post process photos of my paintings, so if you’d like to see all the rough sketches etc that come before the final piece, head on over to my Instagram to check it out!  

To my children, I will say, “Fill your skin with kindness and find solace in your solitude. It takes bravery to be kind. But to be brave you will need to know how to stand for something even if you are completely alone.”
—  Nikita Gill, Lessons I Will Teach My Children

I made an offhand comment about the covers of Dealing With Dragons yesterday, and I found that I still have a lot of thoughts and feelings on this subject. And it’s Valentine’s Day, so I’m going to talk for a while about something that I love.

This, by Tim Hildebrandt, is the cover of the edition that I checked out of the public library multiple times as a kid. It’s good enough that it got me to pick up the book, but I find it lacking in humor, and it doesn’t even suggest that this princess and this dragon are going to become close friends. In general I’m also not a huge fan of Hildebrandt’s dragon design. To my eye Kazul here is too small, too bumpy, and too starey. The chameleon eyes are an interesting design choice to make the dragon more like a real-world lizard, but it also makes her look alien.

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A warm up painting from the other day.  I rarely paint without a pre-drawn sketch or color rough, but sometimes it’s fun to just let go and see what happens – apparently, bright colors!

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters
of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you,
they belong not to you.

You may give them your love
but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies
but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward
nor tarries with yesterday.

—  Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet