Saturday, February 9, 2008

Virtual Book Tour: Day 9

Today is Saturday, February 9, and at 2:00 I’m delighted to be appearing live and in person at Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop in La Verne, California. Click on the link to the store for more information and directions.

We’ll be celebrating Black History Month together at the store by reading D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet. After the short storytime, our younger guests will have the opportunity to make a craft! So invite and friend and come join us for this fun, free event!

Just for Kids!
If you live too far away to join us at the store today, you can make the craft at home. We’re making tambourines.

During the days before the Civil War, tambourines could easily be made from scraps of metal or an old tin pie pan. Nails were used to poke holes in the center of metal bottle caps, where were then attached with wire around the edge of a pie tin. Since some plantation owners didn’t allow drums, tambourines were an instrument that made a nice rhythm.

Here’s how to make your own tambourine:

2 white dinner-sized paper plates
Hole punch
Thin ribbon
12 jingle bells

Use markers to decorate the bottoms of the two paper plates with fabric designs from Africa. Look at the pictures above for authentic patterns. Staple the two plates together with the plate surfaces facing each other to form the tambourine. Use the hole punch to punch out 12 holes around the edge of the tambourine. Tie on a jingle bell at each hole.

To play the tambourine, shake it to jingle the bells in a rhythmic beat. You can also hold it in one hand and hit it against the palm of your other hand.
-from A Kid's Guide to African American History

Yesterday’s Trivia Q and A:
Yesterday’s question was:
What city-state in northern Nigeria became an important center of trade, culture, scholarship, and religion during the Middle Ages?
a. Cairo
b. Kano
c. Casablanca
Answer: b. Kano. This ancient walled city was the northernmost stop most caravans came to from across the Sahara Desert bringing desert salt and Mediterranean goods. Traders came to Kano looking for spices, metals, and the city’s famous indigo-dyed textiles made from cotton grown in the region.

Today’s Trivia Question:
Which pilots in World War II flew the famous airplanes known as “Red Tails”?
a. The Tuskegee Airmen
b. The Golden Thirteen
c. The Buffalo Soldiers
Submit your answer by posting it as a comment to today’s blog. It won’t be published on the blog, but your name will be put in a hat to be drawn for 5 prizes to give away at the end of the tour. Check back in tomorrow for the answer!

To read what others are saying about my newest book, D is for Drinking Gourd, check out one reader’s review on Amazon, an online bookstore.

And here’s another review from The Old Schoolhouse: The Magazine for Homeschool Families. Enjoy!

Coming tomorrow:
On Day 10 of my Virtual Book Tour, I’ll post photos of Mount Vernon from my trip when I visited this historic site last June. Many African Americans who were enslaved worked and lived on this plantation.

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