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Grandma's ABC Goodnight

An #ownvoices ABC story, this book depicts an immigrant child's day in the city as they recap it to their Grandma who lives abroad.

Photo of Niha Rika

Written by

Italicized font is the desired sound recording for each page/or it can be the text if a sound recording is too high-tech 

Grandma,

America is so big. (So big! So big! So big! [like an echo])

So many people belong here. (Welcome everyone!)

You see everyone at the community center. (Hi Chris! Hi Chetan! Hi Cecelia!)

I go to the daycare there. (giggles!)

While Mommy learns English. (a-E-i-o-u!).

I tell my friends about my family. (“My grandma is my favorite person”)

I tell them about how you live across the globe. (swhoosh [sound of spinning a globle])

After class we walk home. It is where we live. You will too when you visit. (bird sounds hear while walking.. chirp chirp)

Sometimes we eat ice cream on the way. (slurp!!!!!!)

Then mommy goes to her job. (click…click…click sound of typewriter/keystroke)

She drops me at pre-school with all the kids.

The library there is filled with languages, even ours. (Salam! Shalom! Hola! Benvenuto!)

We also walk down Martin Luther King Jr street.

It goes through so many neighborhoods, even to the one with tall buildings

It is named after a man with a dream. He dreamed of Our Story. (I had a dream…”)

The street takes us to the park to play. I can swing so high. I can almost see you. (whoosh…sound of swinging)

Afterwards it is quiet time. (shhhhhh!)

I nap with the red blanket you made for me. (ZZZzzzzzzz)

Then the sun goes down and the skyline twinkles. (sounds of crickets)

Daddy picks me up. We ride the train. (sound of the Philadelphia train rolling up at a station)

We ride all the way into Uptown and walk home. (Next stop: Uptown Station)

We call mommy on the phone and I hear her voice. (Hi Mommy!)

Together we say goodnight to the world. (Goodnight friends! Goodnight park! Goodnight library!)

Even to the tall buildings that look like x-rays at night. (Goodnight tall buildings!)

I yawn. Daddy puts me in bed. He tells me stories of you. (When I was little, your grandma…”)

I dream of tomorrow, together with you at the zoo. (Grandma, Look at that lion! ROAR!)

Goodnight Grandma

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

1) By positively reflecting an immigrant child’s experience through their own eyes, this book hopes to acknowledge the daily challenges immigrant families overcome (e.g. racial stratification/spatial segregation/family fragmentation*) as they reconstruct their lives in their new homes - while building POC literature representation. 2) The pre-recorded English narration also engages caregivers (of all English levels) to engage by reading along with children. *Zhou, “Growing Up American" 1996

Share your suggested book title

Grandma's ABC Goodnight

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Grandma, America is so big. So many people belong here. You see everyone at the community center. I go to the daycare there, While Mommy learns English. I tell my friends about my family. I tell them about how you live across the globe. After class we walk home. It is where we live. You will too when you visit. In the winter we ice skate. In the summer we eat ice cream. Then mommy goes to her job. She drops me at pre-school with all the kids. The library there is filled with languages, even ours. We also walk down Martin Luther King Jr street. It goes through so many neighborhoods, even to the one with tall buildings It is named after a man with a dream. He dreamed of Our Story. The street takes us to the park to play. I can swing so high. I can almost see you. Afterwards it is quiet time. I nap with the red blanket you made for me. Then the sun goes down and the skyline twinkles. Daddy picks me up. We ride the train. We ride all the way into Uptown and walk home. We call mommy on the phone and I hear her voice. Together we say goodnight to the world. Even to the tall buildings that look like x-rays at night. I yawn. Daddy puts me in bed. He tells me stories of you. I dream of tomorrow, together with you at the zoo. Goodnight Grandma

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

Babies under the age of 1 are ‘citizens of the world*’, as they can discriminate all sounds of all languages. In turn babies catalogue daily and lingual and sounds in the 1st critical development period to create biological mechanisms to learn languages paving language abilities all the way up to puberty.* This book, through repetitive reading and exposure to words allow babies to gain basic sounds. The book design is envisioned to provided two tools for caregivers to support to children’s adoption of the various sounds: 1) Pre-recorded Audio: Supports caregiver’s (even with limited English proficiency) to read the book/sounds using the audio as a guide, increasing engagement 2) 2nd Recording Functionality (optional): Empowers caregivers to choose a second language to record the story in, exposing the child to sounds of another language, further building the child’s catalogue of sounds within their memory. *Patricia Kuhl, “The linguistic genius of babies.” TED Talk, 2

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I do not have familiarity with Philadelphia or its residents. I have lived in DC for 5.5 years, and observed how a highly transient population (positioning myself within this context) impacts the native and immigrant population trying to establish and/or protect the essence of their communities.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

This book resonates with immigrant urbanites as it interweaves their interactions: 1)City funded resources: community centers/public transportation/city parks, 2)Environmental/spatial segregation while meeting daily demands: location of home in relation to the ‘tall buildings’, linked via MLK Jr. Street and, 3)Fragmentation of the family unit: the parent’s work hours/grandma living abroad - leaving little together time. Overall, as 92% of immigrants live in cities*, they see their lives reflected through through the various city-based interactions/spaces frequented, gaining a sense of self as their city experience is part of the American experience. *Resilient Cities at The Forefront, 2016

Location: Country

U.S.

Location: State or Department

WA

Location: City

Seattle

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a daughter of Nepalese immigrant parents and grew up in an America where people of color representation was limited, especially in literature. I received my education, a Master in public Global Health at Emory University. In particular, I studied the intersection of health outcomes in immigrants in the USA from an ethnographic perspective. With this training, I became an ethnographer, prioritizing the study participants’ perspective and voice and how it shapes their interactions with people, institutions, and systems in America. For this approach, I prioritized a similar process by using secondary sources to understand the lived experiences from the perspective of immigrant children and caregivers within the built environment and institutions of urban centers they frequently access.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

16 comments

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Photo of Perlina Murray
Team

The title is too long.

Photo of Niha Rika
Team

Thanks for the feedback! I'll take note of it. :)

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