Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017

Happy Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Today’s event, in its fourth year, is a time to discover and celebrate books by and about a diversity of people. The following website and other host sites have this linky collection of hundreds of book reviews. What a great resource! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/welcome-to-our-4th-multicultural-childrens-book-day/

You can participate in the discussions by searching for the hashtag #ReadYourWorld on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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My Amazing Day and I (Karin) are participating in multiple ways this year.

I contributed review copies of My Amazing Day to Multicultural Children’s Book Day reviewers, which, fittingly, have received some diverse reviews:

  • The Spain-based website bambolango shared a review in both Spanish and English. The review includes some nice activity ideas.
  • This Facebook review is from an Australian reviewer who sells charming keepsake cards for babies’ first words via her Facebook page, WordsOfBub. I love what she said about how adults and toddlers might view My Amazing Day.
  • Over at Books, Babies, and Bows, the blogger shares a review of My Amazing Day, which includes her 4-year-old daughter’s drawing in response to being asked what happened during her amazing day. All us reading fans will love her response.
  • And at @Victors_Books on Instagram. Not only is there a review, but this awesome montage of photos from Victor’s own amazing day.

I also volunteered to be a reviewer and was treated to a review copy of a beautifully written and illustrated book from longtime multicultural children’s book leader, Lee & Low Books. My review of Mama and Papa Have a Store can be found on my author/editor website here: https://karinfisher-golton.com/2017/01/26/mama-and-papa-have-a-store-mcbd-review/

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Here is more information from the Multicultural Children’s Book Day team:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsors include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawMaria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

MCBD Links to remember:

MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use their official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

 

Indie Author Day at the Berkeley Public Library

I will be participating in Indie Author Day at the Berkeley Public Library this coming Saturday, October 8. Details are here: https://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/events/indie-author-day-central. I’ll be one of the “speed readers.” (Much easier when your book is only 101 words long! I plan to get through the whole thing and have time to say a little about its creation.) I also look forward to visiting with readers and signing books.

Indie Author Day is a new event for readers and creators of independently published books. It will take place at libraries across North America. Here is general information about Indie Author Day: http://indieauthorday.com/.

My lifetime of loving reading and children’s books began in the Berkeley Public Libraries. When I think of them, images of being in awe at the number of books…and possibilities, of looking through low shelves at eye level, of having a librarian figure out just the book I’d love to read come to mind. I am so pleased to get to participate there as an author.

My Amazing Day Wins 2015 BAIPA Children’s Book Award

I am thoroughly delighted to announce that My Amazing Day was presented with the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA) Book Award for Fiction: Children’s Picture Book on December 12, 2015.

BAIPA President, Becky Parker Geist presents Karin Fisher-Golton with the BAIPA Book Award: Children's Picture Book Category. (Photo by Judy Baker, Brandvines)

BAIPA President, Becky Parker Geist presents Karin Fisher-Golton with the BAIPA Book Award—Fiction: Children’s Picture Book Category. (photo by Judy Baker, detail)

BAIPA is a highly regarded organization devoted to elevating the art of publishing. Its membership draws from the wider San Francisco Bay Area and ranges from novices to well-established professionals. Karin has found her membership in this organization both highly beneficial and enjoyable.

The BAIPA awards had not been given since 2013, so My Amazing Day was considered among a group of children’s books published between mid-2013 and mid-2015. A panel of judges evaluated the books for writing style, editorial standards, cover design, interior design, and marketability. A complete list of 2015 BAIPA Book Award winners is here.

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My Amazing Day in Two Giveaways

As may go without saying, I am definitely a “gratitude every day” type person, but as the days darken, the nights and mornings get chilly, and the Thanksgiving and December holidays approach, I find this time of year feels like a season of gratitude. In the honor of the season and the two-year anniversary of the book’s release, I am giving away two signed copies of My Amazing Day at Goodreads. The giveaway starts today and ends November 30. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/161555-my-amazing-day-a-celebration-of-wonder-and-gratitude

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Amazing Day by Karin Fisher-Golton

My Amazing Day

by Karin Fisher-Golton

Giveaway ends November 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

bookcover_RoutledgeIn addition, I am pleased that My Amazing Day is among many compelling books with multiracial connections that will be given away at a Facebook event celebrating the release of Sharon Chang’s well-researched book, Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World. The virtual release party is taking place December 11, here: https://www.facebook.com/events/637306289742765/642046252602102/

In April 2014, Sharon Chang posted an in-depth review of My Amazing Day which includes a very thoughtful discussion of the role of race and identity in children’s books. In addition, I loved how she noticed and appreciated so many of the details of our intentions in creating the book. All that, plus the post ends with an adorable photo of her son, at age four, reading the book to their dog! That review (which I love to revisit on occasion) is here: http://multiasianfamilies.blogspot.com/2014/04/book-review-my-amazing-day-celebration.html

Everyone is invited to enter our Goodreads giveaway and attend the Raising Mixed Race release party. Enjoy all the coziness and gratitude of this time of year!

Wider Distribution Through New Leaf

I am very pleased to announce that My Amazing Day is now available to wholesale customers via the New Leaf Distributing Company. This is a great step for further getting My Amazing Day out into the world. The book does well in bookstores and gift shops, but many store owners do not purchase directly from a publisher because they want to minimize their transactions. Now they can purchase My Amazing Day along with other mind/body/spirit-themed books and products, New Leaf’s specialty.

Here is the list of Amazing Stores where My Amazing Day is available right now. Every store that has carried My Amazing Day has been a place with a thoughtful owner or buyer who loves what they do. I have enjoyed and learned from this time of working with them directly. I am grateful for where My Amazing Day‘s path to stores has been, and excited about where it is going.

Note that the arrangement with New Leaf is non-exclusive, and wholesale customers can still purchase My Amazing Day directly from the publisher. (Use this contact form to get terms.)

Gratitude Season Events 2014

A big part of the magic of this time of year, with Thanksgiving and the December holidays, is wonder and gratitude. Last year I was too busy getting started for author events, but thought I’d love to do them at this time of year in the future. I’m glad to say they are happening this year.

If you are in or near Oakland, El Cerrito, or San Rafael, California, please check out our new Events page, and spread the word to friends, especially those with small children. All the events are in wonderful stores. On Saturday, November 8, I’ll be in Oakland at Kelly’s Corner–a new and consignment store for ages 0-8, with a gift annex featuring locally-made crafts. On Saturday, November 15, I’ll be at the excellent indie bookstore, Laurel Book Store, in its brand new downtown Oakland location. On Sunday, November 23 I’ll be at JennyK, a place where I consistently find perfect gifts for adults and kids in my old neighborhood in El Cerrito. And on Saturday, December 13 Elizabeth and I will be at another excellent indie bookstore, Copperfield’s, in San Rafael.

More info on our Events page: http://ouramazingdays.com/events/

Happy First Anniversary

Today is the first anniversary of My Amazing Day‘s release date. As so often happens when time passes, it both seemed to come quickly, and I marvel at how much has happened. When I think of My Amazing Day‘s first year I have a slew of images come to mind–of people telling me their child or grandchild asks for the book again and again, of stories of families starting gratitude traditions inspired by the book, of charming photos and videos people have sent depicting little children enjoying the book, of reading to a group of preschoolers and them being totally engaged, of hearing from a shop owner that people come in to a buy a copy and then come back to buy more for gifts, and from another shop owner about the look of delight on people’s faces when they first look through the book. All that (and more) is truly a dream come true.

I am grateful to my collaborators Lori and Elizabeth for having the idea of a book that would start children of a lifetime of gratitude and then asking me to be its author, and also for using their creativity and talents to make My Amazing Day visually impeccable. I am grateful to our model Lily for being her beautiful, expressive self and for going with the flow of three grown-ups’ ideas with a camera clicking nearby. I am grateful to our Kickstarter backers–who made it possible for My Amazing Day to be printed as a board book–for their generosity and trust. I am grateful to family and friends, particularly my husband, Elizabeth’s husband, my son, my parents, my parents-in-law, Sarah, Justine, and Sheila for all their many kinds of support. I am grateful to the members of my writers groups (Marik Berghs, Rachael Posnak, Wowlvenn Seward-Katzmiller, Judy Gamble, Kay Frydenborg, Sheri Doyle, Stephen Aitken, and Carol Shank)–this book and all my writing is certainly better because of their feedback. I am grateful to Innosanto Nagara, author/illustrator of A is for Activist; Judi Riley, publisher of Absolutely Awesome Island Animals; Marik Berghs, author of Grace Notes; and Luan Stauss, owner of Laurel Book Store for sharing their wisdom on the publishing and business parts of bringing a book into the world.  I am grateful to all the other people who gave feedback on the book or other insights, helped package Kickstarter rewards, and more, particularly Lisa and Ilani. I am grateful to the shop owners (Amazing Stores), librarians, and reviewers (What people are saying…) who were open to My Amazing Day, took it on, and became its advocates. In the pattern of the book, I’ll end with me–I am grateful to myself for my commitment to the vision of a book about wonder and gratitude for a very young audience, for stepping into the unknown again and again, and for trusting what I know.

Signed books ready to be packaged for Kickstarter backers, late October 2013

Signed books ready to be packaged for Kickstarter backers, late October 2013

Stay Calm, Leave Room for Gratitude

I’ve been noticing lately that “stay calm” is a great lesson of parenting. Things just work better when I stay calm. With parenting there are so many opportunities to practice: Stay calm when your precious child is bleeding and sobbing. Stay calm when your innocent child says something completely inappropriate for a situation. Stay calm when your adorable child makes a mess that you never thought possible. Stay calm when your sweet child whines with a marathon runner’s tenacity. Stay calm when you realize you forgot to stay calm.

I was contemplating this just last night. That turned out to be fortunate timing because this morning, when my 9-year-old son and I were putting away clean dishes and I was facing away from him, I heard a very loud crash with metallic tinkling overtones. Without turning around I said aloud, “I think I just heard the sound of the silverware drawer falling on the floor…now I’m going to turn around and see what that looks like.” In that brief moment I’d taken, I’d already reminded myself to stay calm, which was a good thing because not only did I see the silverware all over the floor, but I saw sharp knives next to my son’s sock-clad feet.

I asked him to notice the knives and walk carefully away. In an alternative not-so-calm universe I would have had dramatic and loud things to say, that would have included keeping him out of the room entirely, while I fixed everything myself, perhaps alternating with demanding he do some particular task in a stressed-out voice.

Instead, I asked him to get a dish towel from the drawer in the dining area so that we could put the clean silverware from the dishwasher on the towel to make room in the dishwasher for the silverware on the floor. While he was out of the room, I picked up the knives. Then we started cleaning up together.

I didn’t point out that it’s not a good idea to pull out the drawer vigorously. I think he already got that message. In fact, I think being calm left space for it to sink in.

Being calm, also left space for gratitude—gratitude the knives hadn’t landed on his feet, gratitude I’d remembered to stay calm, gratitude that he could help in this situation, gratitude for the opportunity to remind him and myself that when we make mistakes we can just simply fix them, gratitude for his good company.

What could have been an unpleasant interlude turned into a sweet time together.

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photo by Warburg

Amazing May 31: Commitment

Oh my goodness. I did it. It is May 31, and I posted a blog post every single day in May.

The notion of launching OurAmazingDays.com’s blog with a post every day in May began sometime in April with the passing thought: “I like the sound of ‘Amazing May.’” It crossed my mind a couple more times in April, but it wasn’t until the late afternoon of May 1 that I gave it serious thought. I am generally the type that takes a good, hard look before I leap, but occasionally I do leap quickly, and this time I did.

I didn’t make it far into May 2 before I wondered if I’d really be able to do this every day. Every single day. Even the busy ones. Even if there were days when I didn’t feel well. There were days that were busy, and there were days when I didn’t feel well, and I did it anyway.

AmazingMayFisherGoltonLike any commitment, there were things about it that were hard and stressful. But also like any commitment there was learning, surprises, support, and joy. The actual writing of the posts was very fun—I loved the topics and the intention. Finding the time wasn’t always easy. I developed strategies. Finding fitting, available photos could be a challenge, but so satisfying when I found the right one. After all these years of writing, I love that I still continue to learn about writing, and I certainly did so this month.

I am very happy to have this content on OurAmazingDays.com and hope people will continue to find it, enjoy it, and join in the discussions.

Commitments can be both scary and exciting because we don’t really know what is going to happen. How amazing that we make commitments anyway. Commitments to projects, animals, adventures, movements, practices, and people. The world is a better and more interesting place because of our commitments.

Thank you to all of us who take those leaps. Thank you to all of you who have shared this Amazing May with me.

Amazing May 30: Our Relationships with Ourselves

The final words and final “thank you” in My Amazing Day are “Thank you, me” because when we thank ourselves we are thanking that one person that was there for every moment of our amazing day. As I tell my son sometimes, “you are the one person you get to be with for the entire time you are here.” If you know him, you know how lucky he is! And you all know yourselves well enough to know how lucky you are, too.

You are the one that gets lumps out of your socks, makes your pillow just right, makes sure you don’t eat anything yucky. You pause so that you can enjoy things. You get yourself people time when needed and alone time when needed. You get the things done that are important to you. You can make yourself laugh. You can even look in a mirror and be the one who really listens.

I think it is so valuable for all of us to acknowledge ourselves and especially for children to do so. By recognizing their own contributions to themselves, children can see that they have the power to help themselves, the ability to enjoy themselves, and the knowledge that they are always in good company.

photo by roseoftimothywoods

photo by roseoftimothywoods

What an amazing relationship. What a serious commitment.

Thank you, selves. Thank you, me.