Welcome to my #BloomBag initiative! Bloom Bags are canvas book totes filled with 5 diverse, inclusive and mindful books. My goal is for this initiative to serve schools and communities to bring more diverse books into the hands of children. Until then, I'll be teaming up with different authors, publishing companies and bloggers to bring you #BloomBag giveaways.
The August #BloomBag giveaway consisted of:
"Priya Dreams of Marigolds and Masala" by Meenal Patel
Priya lives in the United States and her family is from India. She feels the magic of the place that her family comes from through her Babi Ba’s colorful descriptions of India – from the warm smell of spices to the swish-swish sound of a rustling sari. Together, Priya and Babi Ba make their heritage live on through the traditions that they infuse into their everyday lives.
Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala is a celebration of the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren, the threads that connect each of us to our heritage, and the power of sharing our traditions with others.
About Meenal - "I love to draw people, intricate patterns, imaginary worlds and faces on the unexpected. I am inspired by kids (especially my nieces!), strong women, family, textures in nature, little joys from everyday life (hello icecream) and my Indian-American heritage. I believe in the importance of all people having the opportunity to see themselves reflected in art as well as seeing into other people’s worlds through art – most especially the young humans in our lives who are so greatly influenced by the imagery that surrounds them in early life.
Making art is my happy place. It’s the moment when I can look inward, find joy and then push that joy outward in the form of making something. And hopefully that joy reaches someone else.
When I’m not making art I love reading to my nieces, cooking chana masala, playing with my puppy Dosa, visiting Minnesota (where I grew up) and being in the beautiful outdoor spaces of California."
"The World Collector" by Peter H. Reynolds (contributed Aartee Badiani @whatarewereading)
In this extraordinary tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower. From the creator of The Dot and Happy Dreamer comes a celebration of finding your own words — and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.
Aartee's focus on @whatarewereading is to encourage the habit of reading from a young age. Reading played a big role in her life growing up and now she is sharing that with her children and hopes to inspire more parents to set aside more time for reading into the daily routines of their children.
"Mateo Finds His Wow" by Gabi Garcia
It’s raining on Saturday morning and Mateo is bored and cranky. He can’t find anything to do… except make a list of things he can’t do.
Mateo sits, he sulks. His brain feels stuck. Readers can follow along as Mateo discovers that appreciating what’s right in front of him can help turn the page on a grumpy day. Mateo Finds His Wow is a wonderful book that encourages all of us to find our own wows to be thankful for.
Gabi Garcia is a mama, licensed professional counselor and picture book author. She spent the last 20 years as a school counselor serving K-12 students. When she is not busy keeping up with her spirited daughter, you can find her jotting down story ideas in her notebook. Gabi lives with her family in Austin, Texas.
"Brown Like Dosas, Samosas and Sticky Chikki" by Rebecca Manari (contributed by Kulture Khazana)
A fairy tale style picture book about a girl in India being comfortable in her skin. This book is great for kids to learn about self esteem and self confidence. The book includes a shade card to showcase how we are all made of different shades and appreciated.
Started by a mompreneur, Kulture Khazana provides Indian cultural books, workshops and online content across North America. Kulture is a play on the word “culture” and Khazana” means treasure. After the birth of her son, Kulture Khazana’s founder and an immigrant mom, experienced a need for materials to pass on heritage and culture to her son. In early 2018, Akruti Babaria quit her full time job and set on a mission to source these materials for her family and other families raising a global child.
"What Can We Be" by Ryan Crawford
Pirates, Wizards, Astronauts and more! What CanWe Be? is a delightfully playful daddy and daughter story. Millie LOVES playing with her friends at school but finds home time so BORING. Her friends fly rocket ships, fight dragons, cast spells, protect cities from supervillains even sail the seven seas — all from the comfort of their bedrooms! After all, with a sharp imagination, and a little help from Dad, you can be anything she wants to be!
Ryan Crawford is a writer, husband, and father living in London. After breaking into publishing through Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels, his latest book - “What Can We Be?” takes those escapist concepts and channels them into a children’s picture book. His goal has always been to tell stories that capture the imagination as well as reinforcing important themes like family and friendship. And WCWB aims to take children on an inspirational journey that helps them explore the depths of pretend-play and the bond it creates between parents and children. A bond he shares with his own two kids.