Thankfully, we have made it to our third year! With the help of the fantastic staff at La Pintoresca Park and the wonderful volunteers, Chocolate Storytime is at 3 years strong. We’ve read dozens of books to hundreds of children and families, and it has definitely been a rewarding experience for all who have participated. Our desire is to keep up the momentum and continue for many more years to come.
Our February 2017 marked a special afternoon of stories, music, singing and art for Chocolate Storytime’s third year! We had a sweet mommy special guest reader, Ifetayo “Ife” Sangode Olaitan. She brought along her sweet baby who enjoyed listening to her mother’s voice and moving around the carpet.
The first book,”The Colors of Us” by Karen Katz, is about seven-year old Lena who wants to paint a self-portrait of herself, but isn’t quite sure what what color brown she wants to paint her skin. She and her mom take a walk through their neighborhood to learn about all the beautiful shades of brown.
The next book that Sister Ife read was “Before He Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane” by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Sean Qualls. It was about the revolutionary musician and the sounds of his culture and in his neighborhood–hambones knocking in Grandma’s pots, Daddy strumming the ukulele–that inspired his genius.
The children were also encouraged to imagine as they listened to “Winter,” a poem by Nikki Giovanni from the book, “The Sun is So Quiet”.
once a snowflake fell
on my brow and i loved
it so much and i kissed
it and it was happy and called its cousins
and brothers and a web
of snow engulfed me then
i reached to love them all
and i squeezed them and they became
a spring rain and i stood perfectly
still and was a flower
“The Tree of Hope” by Amy Littlesugar and illustrated by the prolific, Floyd Cooper was about about holding on to expectancy in the midst of not so good circumstances. It was a longer read for the older children, but nevertheless, it kept them engaged in questioning and predicting.
In the last book, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the kids repeated all of the words to the song of the same title, and we ended storytime by singing the first stanza, accompanied by the awesomely inspiring Ms. Betty J. Ford who dazzled us with a exciting rendition of the song.
Afterwards, the kids enjoyed art with the Armory Center. They used their creativity to design a story quilt. Thanks to Lilia Hernandez, Director of Community Programs from the Armory Center for the Arts for always supporting our home library, La Pintoresca and Chocolate Storytime.