Sanctuary + pass along books

Sanctuary + book pass alongs

I am exiting from my self-created
verse novel writing retreat
to share three book titles for
these times.

These times
meaning, days following
the loss of three lives at Charlottesville
due to a domestic terrorism murder &
affiliated helicopter crash.

Heather D. Heyer
H. Jay Cullen Berke M.M. Bates

c.2017 JanGodownAnnino Tallahassee memorial for Charlottesville – two friends, two lights

As one of my first actions in response to these deaths,
I sought out books that can help me better understand
various faiths & cultures.

I am one of those uninformed persons who has never
taken a world religions class, although as
a Christian, I feel it is my responsibility to know much
more about my Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Baha’i, Jewish
& other-faith, neighbors.

So I am fortunate to be learning from
by Howard R. Greenstein, Kendra Hotz and John Kaltner.
I will pass this book along to a commenter here.

I also bought THE FAITH CLUB from Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver
and Priscilla Warner. This is also a book for adults, but it grew from
discussion, when the three authors actually
orgaized to write a children’s
picture book. I will
also pass it along to a commenter here.

Please help.
I’m looking for titles of recent (2016-2017 or upcoming)
K-1st grade excellent picture books
that unfold lively, engaging stories with joy,
while managing to represent
various cultures & beliefs.
Appreciations for your recommendations, which
I expect to find & place in the book bag I take to school,
as a longtime volunteer reader.

c.2017 AG Ford illustration
Kelly DiPUcchio text

I found a 2017 bundle of joy, compliments of
the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library,
that is
LITTLES, And How They Grow by Kelly DiPucchio
(Grace for President), with artwork from AG Ford
(What Color is My World.)


Littles are washed in warm sudsy baths
with duckies and daddies
that quack and who laugh

I can’t help but feeling, even knowing in my heart,
that if the Ohio young man responsible for
the compassionate Heather’s death,
had grown up in a compassionate
family whose members
regularly read him books
such as LITTLES, he wouldn’t have been on
the wrong section of the participants, that
weekend. Nor would he have written
that high school paper tribute to
the hateful set of beliefs that is Nazism.

My heart goes out to
the victims’ families,
to Charlottesville and
personally to the children’s authors
I know in that lovely area of Virginia,
along to educators and librarians,
as the community
works harder than ever,
to continue on what many know is its
true progressive path.

Deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall Overcome
Some day

I feel fortunate to know Poetry Friday, a Shining Light
& promoter of peace.

And I found this little light to shine
for the whole world
via LITTLES’ author
Kelly DiPucchio & I hope you like this little light 🙂

Also please know these urls:


18 responses to “Sanctuary + pass along books”

  1. What a heartwarming and thoughtful post, dear Jan. That was such a horrible tragedy and should never happen in this country. You are so wonderful, to be a volunteer book reader and open up minds with books representing diversity. I can’t suggest many picture books but I recommend LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson, for its sheer joy, and EACH KINDNESS by Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis, which teaches compassion in such a beautiful way.


    • It is so thoughtful for you to visit, with all you have going on, Joanne.
      Appreciations for your kind words & the two recommendations.
      I’m so pleased to be reminded of LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET.
      And I look forward to discovering EACH KINDNESS.
      Hope you & Family are spiffy.


  2. Thank you for this heartfelt and touching post, Jan. I don’t have any book suggestions for you but I wanted to thank you also for sharing the terrific video. I’d never heard of gravity-powered light!


  3. Oh my goodness, there are so many wonderful, wonderful picture books out there – where to even start?

    “Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors” by Hena Khan is a beautiful picture book glimpse into Islamic culture.

    “My Brother Charlie by Holly & Ryan Peete” has a young male POC with autism – most picture books about disabilities and learning differences feature white children, so this is a wonderfully inclusive book.

    “A Piece of Home” by Jeri Watts is a beautiful story about immigration featuring a young Korean protagonist.

    “Dragonfly Kites” by Tomson Highway is a classic about indigenous children living in northern Canada that just got a fresh new look with updated illustrations.

    “Teacup” by Rebecca Young and “My Beautiful Birds” by Suzanne del Rizzo are gentle introductions to the refugee crisis.

    Kudos to you for striving to spread light and love.


  4. Here are some recent favorites for your bookbag:

    I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien
    One Family by George Shannon
    Beautiful by Stacy McNulty
    Sparkle Boy by Leslea Newman
    Lovely by Jess Hong
    Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus
    Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
    Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall


  5. Thank you for sharing these titles. I, too, find reading a way to understand and learn. I’m not familiar with many picture books. I am thankful you will be sharing books that show hope and curiosity–rather than–fear about people who might be different, or might be more like us than we realize


  6. Hi Jan, your compassion encircles your text literally and figuratively. I’m on my phone right now but I’ll be back with some book titles. I find myself “dealing” as an individual and as a public school educator having to make kids from a wide variety of backgrounds feel safe enough to lean. Tall order these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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