"A book is an adventure. In it you will do battle, climb peaks, perform experiments, fall in love, find treasure, make magic. You will learn remarkable things."
- Susan Orlean, Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader edited by Maria
Popova and Claudia Bedrick
I recently attended a wonderful webinar organized by the nonprofit, Embrace Race, discussing how to use books in order to engage children about race and justice. Their mission of raising thoughtful, informed and brave children resonates deeply with my personal intention to use Storytime a platform to inform, broaden and deepen discussions with little humans around issues of diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility.
Through the webinar I heard about the concept of "Windows, Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors" in children's literature, which was developed by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop in her paper by the same name (you can read that here). Books can be mirrors in which we see ourselves, windows allowing us to peek into the lives of others, but also sliding glass doors inviting us to step into those lives.
With this concept as my basis for inspiration, I take to heart the imaginings of Susan Orlean in her letter to a young reader: "A book is an airplane. You will step on board and fly, soaring anywhere and everywhere, traveling to every corner of the earth, while sitting in your reading chair."
In 2021 Storytime will take us on a trip around the world without ever leaving the comfort of our story corner. We'll accept the invitation to see ourselves and others in the stories we read, and walk through the sliding glass doors into lives and perspectives that are not our own.
With that in mind, I turn to you dear friends and readers, with a solid dose of curiosity:
What have been your mirrors and windows? What stories or picture books do you remember from your childhood, or have you come across in your journey as parents which feel representative of the country of your origin, or your ancestors' origins? Through which sliding glass door do you want to walk?
Thanks for sharing, wishing you all a safe and healthy holiday season, and looking forward to our adventures together in the new year!