Chen Jiang Hongwas born in Tianjin, China, where he studied fine art at the School of Arts before completing his postgraduate education at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. After graduating, he moved to Paris where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and began his career as an artist. His work has been exhibited around the world, notably at the library gallery at the Louvre, at the Centre Pompidou, and at Versailles. His work is in the permanent collection of the Snite Museum at the University of Notre Dame. He illustrated 22 books and wrote 12 of them, combining traditional techniques -such as Chinese ink painting on rice or silk paper- with a modern conception of storytelling and mixing Chinese legends, culture, history and universal emotions and questionings. – from Cultural Services, French Embassy in the United States
“Chen’s expressive brush paintings shift deftly between fearsome and warm, conveying the tigress’s inner conflict using body language and expressions without anthropomorphizing her. Readers will recognize these characteristics and conflicts within themselves and realize that only bridges of compassion will truly build lasting peace. This richly illustrated tale is both emotionally compelling and thought-provoking, and its timely message of understanding and compassion will resonate with readers of all ages.” —Kirkus Reviews
Speculative Fiction Workshop with Diana Nucera
Participants will get a crash course in the basics of what makes up AI. Then they will create a collaborative speculative story that explores the forms AI takes today and depicts a future of technology that is equitable and inspiring. The project resists narratives of dystopian futures by using popular education, design and storytelling to lay the groundwork for creative imaginings.
Learners will walk away with a greater understanding of AI in our everyday lives and the agency they have in shaping the future of technology. This is a great opportunity to engage in some important, intellectual conversations with your child(ren).
Date: Wednesday, January 29 2020
Who: Parents and caregivers, teachers and students in grades 5 – 8.
Location: Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, 185 Court St, in the Firehouse
Cynthia Alonso is an illustrator and graphic designer originally fromBuenos Aires, Argentina and currently living in Berlin. Her illustration work has been included in the Society of Illustrators’ Annual Exhibition, among others, and was shortlisted for the NAMI CONCOURS in 2019. In addition to working on children’s books she also does lettering, animation, surface design, and editorial illustration.
Cynthia is the creator of The Aquarium, a dreamy wordless picture book about a girl who tries to transform her home into a habitat for a beautiful orange fish. It received a starred review from School Library Journal. El Raton de Biblioteca, known in English as The Reader was written by Luciana De Luca and illustrated by Cynthia Alonso. It follows a girl who is lucky to be a passionate reader surrounded by books. Alonso’s vivid, color-soaked illustrations bring the young protagonist’s literary explorations to life.
Author Visit: Kyle Lukoff
Wednesday, November 6
Grades: Pre-K4 and Kindergarten
Kyle Lukoff is an author and school librarian who writes about transgender kids, poetry, and queer lives. In addition to writing and librarianship, he also participates in sensitivity readings and presents across the country about the importance of children’s and youth literature.
Kyle’s book When Aidan Became a Brother is a heartwarming story about a transgender child whose parents are expecting a new baby. It received starred reviews from a variety of publications like Kirkus and School Library Journal. A Storytelling of Ravens is a playful book illustrating some esoteric collective nouns, a nuisance of cats and a smack of jellyfish among them. The Max and Friends series follows the experiences of a trans child. Forthcoming books include Explosion at the Poem Factory.
What: Digital Citizenship, Ethics, Data, AI, & the Future workshops
“Whachu’ Know About Data?” (from Our Data Bodies) is the first of a two-part workshop series which explores our understanding of how data impacts our daily life. Together, through interactive activities and discussion, participants will have space to open up the conversation on what data is, the types we encounter, how we share it, and why it matters not only to ourselves but the greater community.
Born in Rwanda in 1956, Scholastique Mukasonga experienced from childhood the violence and humiliation of the ethnic conflicts that shook her country. In 1960, her family was displaced to the polluted and under-developed Bugesera district of Rwanda. Mukasonga was later forced to flee to Burundi. She settled in France in 1992, only two years before the brutal genocide of the Tutsi swept through Rwanda. In the aftermath, Mukasonga learned that thirty-seven of her family members had been massacred. Her first novel, Our Lady of the Nile, won the 2014 French Voices Award and was shortlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary award. In 2017 her memoir Cockroaches was a finalist for the LA Times Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose.
ISB parent, writer and curator, Omar Berrada will translate. This event will be held in the gym.
Zine Mania! Workshops 2019
.An after-school workshop series for 4th – 8th graders about zines and zine making led by a diverse group of artists and educators.
Alison Wilgus – Monday, February 4th – Collage Comics Alison Wilgus is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and cartoonist. She has worked for Cartoon Network as colorist and staff writer, published two nonfiction graphic novels. She currently co-hosts a podcast about comics publishing called “Graphic Novel TK” with Gina Gagliano.
Aatmaja Pandya is a cartoonist and illustrator from New York. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2014 with a BFA Illustration degree. Her current project is Travelogue, a fantasy “diary” comic with a focus on worldbuilding. She likes drawing comics about wizards and video games and surly teens.
Hermann Mejía is a Brooklyn based visual artist born in Caracas. He was recently featured by the Huffington Post as one of 15 famous Venezuelan artists its readers “should know about”. Before being published and showing work in international galleries, Hermann was part of the street art movement. His distinctive tags and murals decorate street corners and main thoroughfares in Caracas.
Elisa Hevia, Hermman’s wife, is a talented mixed media artist and beloved and Spanish Nursery teacher at ISB.
Christina Long, MFA, has been the Creative Director of #Blkgrlswurld ZINE, a small press that celebrates and documents Women of Color who participate in heavy music genres like Metalcore, Hardcore, Punk and Mathcore. #Blkgrlswurld Zine have been collected by libraries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art P.S. 1, the Schomburg Center for Research On Black Culture, The Barnard Zine Library and Wasted Ink Zine Distro.
As a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and writer, Michael Hearst takes his fascination with extremely specific themes together with his desire to learn as much as he can about almost everything and creates unique books, lyrics, and soundtracks that appeal to children and adults alike. His most recent project is a three-part book series, each book geared toward a different large theme: Curious Constructions, Unusual Creatures, and Extraordinary People.
Hearst has performed and given lectures and workshops at universities, museums, and cultural centers around the world. He has toured with The Magnetic Fields, performed with The Kronos Quartet at Carnegie Hall, and has appeared on such shows as NPR’s Fresh Air, A+E’s Breakfast With The Arts, and NBC’s The Today Show. While best known for his solo albums Hearst also a founding member of the band One Ring Zero, whose most recent compilation is The Recipe Project, in which the band has taken recipes from today’s top chefs (Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio, David Chang, etc.), set them to music, and sing them word for word.
Jorge is an author, musician, and architect born in Córdoba, Argentina and living in Mexico. Together with talented illustrators from all over the world, he has created a profound and sensitive body of work that has received numerous awards and distinctions, including a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book award,the ALIJA Poetry Prize for Children, and five Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominations. He has published more than 40 books translated into many languages and 8 CDs. Check him out on Facebook, Youtube, Bandcamp, Spotify, and at www.jorgelujan.net! This multilingual event was set in collaboration with Enchanted Lion Books and was attended by 3rd and 4th Graders.
Born in Bourgogne in 1970 and currently living in Paris, Marc is known for his bestselling children’s series Around the World with Mouk as well as his monthly Ariol comic strip in J’aime lire, a magazine for young readers. Both series have been adapted into popular animated TV shows. He has also created several popular puzzles for children.
Several of his works have been translated into English and published in the United States, including Around the World with Mouk, The Day No One was Angry, and Ecology and the Environment: Step-by-Step. Most recently he illustrated the book Dumpster Dog, written by Colas Gutman and translated from the French by Allison Charette. Dumpster Dog will be published shortly by Enchanted Lion.
Monday, March, 4th – Thursday, March 7th, 2019
ISB’s Middle School student book club, the Booklets, spearheaded a Book Drive for Project Cicero and Books through Barsfrom March 5th through the morning of March 9th, 2019.
Project Cicero is an annual book drive whose mission is to supply under-resourced public schools, homeless shelters, juvenile detention centers, and other public community centers in the NYC area with books. These books are collected through generous donations by communities like ours!
Books Through Bars is an organization that collects adult paperback books for people incarcerated in jails around the country. Men and women in our jails have very little access to books. Inmates are not allowed to use the internet and rarely have access to computers. This is why providing them with books is a very important thing to do.
Heroes, Gods & Quests: An ISB Odyssey
Friday, February 8th, 2019 from 6–10pm
On Friday, February 8th, 2019 the ISB Library hosted a one-of-a-kind, a magical evening exploring the world of Greek Mythology exclusively for 4th Graders!
The Librarians, the Booklets, parent volunteers, teachers, and fantastic guest artists will collaborate to create a magical Greek Mythology themed event in the library and beyond. This special evening immersed the students into the world of Greek Mythology through performances, a workshop with George O’Connor, theater, crafting, storytelling, games and a magnificent Greek feast in our transformed spaces. Wreath crowns were be made, togas were worn, poetry was recited, and Gods and Heroes made appearances!
Gabrielle Balkan, author of Book of Bones: 10 Record-Breaking Animals, 50 Cities of the U.S.A.: Explore America’s Cities with 50 Fact-filled Maps, The 50 States: Fun Facts: Celebrate the People, Places and Food of the U.S.A! among other gorgeous and informative map and activity books came to speak to 3rd and 4th Graders this January. Gabrielle, a local Brooklyn resident, has been writing and editing books for young readers for over 15 years.
The ISB Library hosted Caldecott Honor-winning children’s book author and illustrator Bryan Collier for 1st and 2nd Graders. Bryan is the recipient of the Coretta Scott King award which recognizes outstanding books for young adults and children by African American authors and illustrators that reflect the African American experience, as well as the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award for Uptown, the first book he both wrote and illustrated. He has collaborated with a number of notable authors including Langston Hughes, Mo Willems, Nikki Grimes, and more.
“Like a fairy-tale walk in the woods, “The Forest” is a thrilling visual excursion into uncharted territory featuring elaborate die-cuts, gatefolds and embossed images created by two artists from Italy and Spain.” -L.M. NYTimes
ISB Multilingual Book Fair
Tuesday, November 6th, 8am-4pm
On Monday, November 5th, from 6:00pm-7:30pm, ISB is hosted its 2nd Annual Book Fair Preview Evening. ISB parents, staff, and alumni parents were invited to enjoy wine, cheese, and conversation while perusing the bounty of shiny new books set to debut at the 14th Annual Multilingual Book Fair.
The Preview Evening will featured a presentation by ISB parent and writer/translator/curator Violaine Huisman on her novel Fugitive parce que reine, as well as musical stylings by ISB parent and award-winning cellist Jeffrey Zeigler.
Past 2018-2019 Multicultural Book Club Meetings
Multicultural Book Club 2018 – 2019
Library Committee and Diversity Committee are delighted to announce our book club for parents and staff. Contact the email@example.com for more information.
This special book club meeting took place at 6:30 pm on January 24th in the gym at ISB. The meeting was organized in small student lead discussion groups and was open to students in grades 5-8 and their parents, older siblings, teachers, and staff. The trilogy is available at the ISB school library, public libraries, and in the middle school classrooms.
Matteo Farinella combines scientific expertise with a life-long passion for drawing, educational comics, illustrations and animations to make science more clear and accessible. He is the author of Neurocomic (2013), Cervellopoli (2017) and The Senses (2017). His illustrations won the NSF Science Visualization Challenge (2015), and have been featured in exhibitions such as the Society of Illustrators (2015) and STEAM Within the Panels at the AAAS Art gallery (2017). In 2016 Matteo joined Columbia University as a Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience, where he investigates the role of ‘visual narratives’ in science communication. Working with science journalists, educators and cognitive neuroscientists he aims to understand how these tools may affect the public perception of science and increase scientific literacy. If you want to know more about this project please visit cartoonscience.org
Zine Mania! Workshops 2018
An after-school workshop series for 4th – 8th graders about zines and zine making led by a diverse group of artists and educators.
Thursday, April 5th – Leigh Hurwitz: An Introduction to Zines
School Outreach Librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library and founder of Genderful! A space for kids ages 6-12 and their caregivers to explore gender through art and creativity.
Esther K. Smith is the author and designer of HOW TO MAKE BOOKS, Making Books with Kids, and 4 other book arts book. Artistic Director of Purgatory Pie Press, one of the longest running artist/presses she hand-makes limited editions and artist books in NYC, collaborating with the Press’s founder and letterpress printer Dikko Faust, and other artists and writers.
The International School of Brooklyn had the pleasure of hosting Drag Queen Story Hour for Nursery, Pre-K, Kindergarten, First Grade, Second and Third Grade classes on May 7, 2018.
Drag Queen Story Hour began in San Francisco in 2015, and over the next two years, became a popular event at libraries, schools and community centers throughout New York City as well. The School hosted Angel Elektra, a drag queen who was trained by librarians to read relevant picture books and lead crafts that celebrate all forms of self-expression.
They have received tremendously positive press, including this write-up in the New York Times.
Author Visit: David J. Smith
On Thursday, April 19th, as part of Culture Week, the award winning author David J. Smith presented to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades. Smith has been teaching middle and high school English, geography and social studies for over 25 years around the world. He is the author of the following books:
Breaks down the population of the world into a collection of one hundred representative people and describes what one would find in this global village, covering languages, ages, religions, food, air and water, schooling, and possessions, accompanied by vivid color illustrations.
Looks at how children live in countries around the world, discusses whether their basic needs for clean air and water, adequate food, health care, and education are being met, and shares stories of individual children.
Author Visit: Emma Otheguy
ISB’s library was honored to host a rising star in the world of Children’s Literature, Cuban-American writer and historian Emma Otheguy. Students were treated to her “Research for Kids” presentation, delivered in English for French students, and for Spanish classes, in their target language. Critics are hailing her debut book, Martí’s Song for Freedom (Martí y sus versos por la libertad), as a “poignant tribute to one of Latin America’s most important historical figures.” In supple, bilingual verse, Otheguy chronicles the life of revered poet and revolutionary José Martí, who kindled the fight for Cuban independence using the power of the pen. Martí’s words remain strikingly relevant today, and his “crusade for justice” is sure to resonate with ISB’s budding political theorists.
Emma Otheguy, a New York native whose parents emigrated from Cuba, is a former elementary school Spanish teacher and current PhD candidate in History at New York University, focusing on Spain and colonial Latin America. Martí has garnered numerous accolades, having been named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and the New York Public Library.
Movie view: Screenagers
On October 24, 2017, The International School of Brooklyn collaborated with Brooklyn Heights Montessori School to screen Delaney Ruston’s award-winning documentary, “Screenagers” followed by small group discussions with students and parents.
Fun fact: ISB parent Paul Brill composed the music for the film!
Do you ever wonder how screen time affects your child’s development? How does social media affect our relationships? Watching this film will not give us all of the answers, but it will open up the conversation. It probes into the corners of family life, starting with Ruston’s family, and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games, academics, and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain, scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.
ISB Book Fair 2017
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
ISB gym; 192 Luquer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 Open to the public
8:00am – 4:00pm, Book Fair!
The 2017 ISB Book took place on Tuesday, November 7, and featured hundreds and hundreds of authentic French and Spanish books for all ages, as well as a curated selection of English titles and multilingual magazine subscriptions. The 2017 vendors were: La Librairie des Enfants, Chau Chau Luna, Stories Bookshop & Storytelling lab, L’ecole des Loisirs, and Bayard/Milan. Visitors young and old enjoyed story-time reading with middle school students in our pop-up Book Nook. In addition to books, ISB gear, including a new ISB library tote bag was available for purchase.
The day also included a book signing with writer/ISB parent Florence Mars and illustrator Pauline Leveque for their new book, “Say Bonjour to the Lady.” A special thanks to Pauline for designing our flyer!
Author/illustrator Jacques Goldstyn
On Friday, September 15th, 2017, Jacques Goldstyn, Canadian author, illustrator, and geologist extraordinaire mesmerized the 1st grade with his stories and drawing demonstrations in the learning commons. Thanks to the local publishing house, Enchanted Lion, Jacques shared his books, “Bertolt” and the wordless “Letters to a Prisoner.” He showed the students his tools: pencil colors, markers, pens, and a watercolor kit as well as his sketchbook. Students has the opportunity to ask thoughtful questions such as, “Who are they sending the letters to?” “Where are the bees in winter?” and “How do you make a book cover?”
Author/illustrator Sandrine Revel with live music from Hanyi Meng
On Monday May, 8th the French author and illustrator, Sandrine Revel, who published a graphic biography, “Glenn Gould” gave a live drawing performance. Hanyi Meng performed Gould’s repertoire on piano while Sandrine drew. Students in Grades 4 – 8 participated and the event from 9 am – 9:50 in the gym.
About Sandrine Revel:
Sandrine Revel is a prolific French creator of graphic novels. In 2001, she won an award for her work for young readers at the prestigious Angoulême International Comics Festival. She has published more than ten graphic novels in France as well as a successful line of Children’s comics. Glenn Gould won her the French Artémisia award, which recognizes female comics creators.
About the book, “Glenn Gould”:
The biography seeks to understand the eccentric personality behind the persona. Who is the mysterious Glenn Gould? Why did he abruptly end his career as a performing musician? Why did he become one of Glenn Gould was a Canadian pianist, a child genius who became a worldwide superstar of classical music remembered for, among others, his almost revolutionary interpretations of Bach. This graphic novel the very first of his peers to disappear from the public eye like J.D. Salinger? Sandrine Revel delves into the life of Gould with hand-painted illustrations and the viewpoint of an adoring fan. 2017 marks a number of important anniversaries for Gould: the 85th of his birth and 35th of his death, but also the 60th of his legendary tour of Russia, a first for a Western artist, and of his debuts with the world’s leading orchestras.
About Hanyi Meng:
Born in Tianjin, China, Hanyi Meng began her piano studies when she was four. She earned her first international prize at the 6th Asian Youth Music Competition in 2007. A virtuosic pianist with a unique cultural background, Meng is currently exploring the works influenced by traditional Chinese music in Western music genres. She is interested in the intersection of the cultural differences. Meng is currently pursuing her master’s degree at NYU Steinhart with Artist Faculty Alexander
Kobrin. She is the development director at the French-American Piano Society, a non-profit arts organization prompts the cultural exchange between pianist from France and the United States.
This event is made possible by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French-American Piano Society
ISB’s Literacy Week is a celebration that aims to highlight the importance of literacy in our lives and education.
ISB Multilingual Book Fair 2016
Literacy Week kicked off with the 12th annual Multilingual Book Fair. Book Culture,Bayard-Milan, and l’école des Loisirs/Max Book Club supplied hundreds of high-quality multicultural books, magazines, and games for all ages in French, Spanish, and English. Tables were filled with colorful covers and intriguing titles in a variety of genres! It was delightful to see the enthusiasm on people’s faces as they perused the selection. Students cozied up in the “Book Nook” to read, and Middle School student volunteers read aloud to younger students
ISB Workshop: “We Need Diverse Books: The Importance of Equal Representation in Children’s Books Panel Discussion with Authors and illustrators Selina Alko and Sean Qualls.”
On Friday, November 11th, ISB parents and staff, as well as local school librarians, teachers, and neighbors, gathered for the culminating event of ISB’s Literacy Week: a workshop focused on the need for diversity and equal representation in children’s literature. This workshop addressed how we, as parents and educators, can use children’s books to prepare our children for a more global society and foster curiosity, empathy and global citizenship.
In this workshop, Jill Eisenberg, Senior Literacy Specialist from Lee & Low Books, the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in the country, gave an informative presentation and expertly moderated a panel with Authors/Illustrators Selina Alko & Sean Qualls. Sean, Selina, and Lee & Low are deeply committed to promoting inclusion and diversity. They discussed the lack diversity in children’s literature today and the work that they are currently doing in this field. The panelists then opened the floor to questions from the audience.
Artist/Illustrator Visit: Hervé Tullet
On September 2016, ISB welcomed internationally renowned artist, illustrator, and writer Hervé Tullet. He led a workshop with our Pre-K through 5th Grade students and kicked off the school year with creativity and collaboration. ISB has many of his more than 30 titles in the Library. Learn more about him by visiting his website. Check out this video of the event by Caleb Cooks:
In October 2015, Beatrice Alemagna read to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grades in French. She is the author of many beautiful books such as “Le merveilleux dodu velu petit,”, “Che cos’è un bambino?” and many more. She’s won many awards such as the Mildred L. Batchelder Award, Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Bologna Ragazzi Award honor, among others.
In January 2015, we hosted Adam Gidwitz for the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Grades. Adam Gidwitz is the author of the “A Tale Dark and Grimm trilogy”, which was named a New York Times “Editor’s Choice”, a Publishers Weekly “Best Children’s Book of the Year”, a School Library Journal “Best Children’s Book of the Year”, and an ALA “Notable Book”.
Check out the book trailer to get a taste of what his books are all about:
Author/Illustrator Visit: George O’Connor
In February 2015, George O’Connor visited the 6th, 7th, and 8th Grades. George O’Connor is the author and illustrator of the Olympians graphic novel series. In OLYMPIANS, author & illustrator George O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren’t sedate, scholarly works. They’re action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama adventures, with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life, in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology. Read more about the series on his website: olympiansrule.com
Author Visit: Mitali Perkins
During Mitali’s workshop, students learn about the author’s Bengali heritage as featured in her novel Rickshaw Girl, and how the lives of girls in Bangladesh are changing for the better. Her multicultural presentation was multi-sensory, entertaining, and enlightening. Students were transported to a Bengali marketplace as they tried on traditional clothing and acted out a scene where they bartered with each other over the price of bananas. Mitali Perkins is the author of nine books for children and teens, including Rickshaw Girl, Tiger Boy, and Monsoon Summer. Born in India, her family moved around the world before immigrating to the United States when she was a little girl. Follow Mitali’s blog here.
By Jasmine Chu, Sophie Amieva, and Regan Penaluna, Library Committee Co-Chairs Everyone loves to linger in the ISB Library! Preschoolers cuddle up in the morning with their parents and a good book. Lower Schoolers gather to do homework or unwind on the bean bag chairs. Middle Schoolers collaborate on group projects. Students especially adore adore
by Pat Hough, Technology Integration Director During the 4th Grade Artifacts unit, students studied traditional Native American totem poles in their Digital Skills class. After looking at photos and videos of actual totem poles and discussing their meaning, each student made a sketch of a totem figure. The students worked in pairs and combined elements
Did you know that George O’Connor’s graphic novel series, The Olympians, is the most popular series in the ISB Library? This inspired the Library team and the Middle School Booklets Club to host an immersive extravaganza that would transport 4th Graders to Ancient Greece!