Coloring Feathers

This week libraries, archives, and cultural institutions around the world are sharing free coloring sheets and books based on their amazing collections. Hosted by The New York Academy of Medicine, the #ColorOurCollections archives is up year round, and the 2021 edition features 95 institutions from around the world, including the Princeton University Library!

The library’s “Coloring Feathers” pages were selected by Jennifer Cabral-Pierce, and are part of “Capturing Feathers,” her fantastic digital exhibit. It celebrates a collaboration between Princeton University Library and the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Together, they worked to digitize and study the personal journals of ornithologist Charles H. Rogers (1888-1977).

In honor of the “Coloring Feathers” theme, Katie and I also selected some blog bird posts we love, utilizing materials you can find at home. Note: If you don’t have feathers handy, just fringe some paper!

An easy-to-assemble bird puppet with fantastic flapping wings:

spring chicken

Our ever popular wrist parakeet (and an owl version for all you wizarding fans):

perfect parakeets

A hilarious hide-and-seek duck game in your own home:

fridge duck_4

A reading birdy on a perch (birdcage optional if you have pipe cleaners around!):

tweet-reading-is-sweet

Or, how about a snack worthy of a swan?

the snack of the swan 3


Coloring page is from Physica Sacra, (ca. 1731-1735), vol. 1, page 642, Princeton University Library Collection Treasures of Rare Book Division, EX Oversize 5366.816q, Rare Book Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

The BiblioFiles Presents: Nadia Hashimi

Just posted! A webcast and podcast with Nadia Hashimi.

Born to Afghan parents who immigrated to American in the 1970s, Hashimi began her career as a medical doctor, but also wrote stories about the rich and complex experiences of Afghan culture. This resulted in a number of  bestselling international novels for adults and the two books for children we will be discussing today – One Half From the East, and The Sky at Our Feet.

One Half from the East is the story of Obayda the youngest daughter of an Afghan family living in Kabul. When her father loses his leg in a car bombing, the family moves to a remote village. As her father retreats further into depression, it becomes increasingly more difficult for the family to live. This is when Obayda first hears the term bacha posh, which is the practice of turning a girl in the family into a boy by cutting her hair, dressing her in boy’s clothing, and changing her name. Ohbayda, now Obayd navigate this completely different world.

In The Sky At Our Feet, we meet Shah, whose American name is Jason. On his mother’s birthday, Jason learns that his father did not die in a car accident as his mother has always told him. His dad is a murdered Afghan journalist, and his mother has been living on an expired visa, terrified she will be discovered, deported, and separated from her son. When her worst nightmare happens, Jason is left alone. His only hope, he believes, is to find his mother’s friend in New York City and ask for help.

Hashimi writes with richness, emotion, and empathy, enfolding the reader into her characters’ lives and families. Difficult topics such as violence, racism, poverty, and misogyny are handled deftly, clearly, and with compassion. She applies the same powerful brushes to her beautiful themes as well, like friendship, identity, inclusion, and acceptance. The result is an intimate and uplifting reading experience.

Follow this link to the BiblioFiles interview

Announcing: One to One

Introducing our newest virtual offering, One to One, a program that proudly mentors and encourages young writers to explore their voices!

The idea builds on First Draft, our writing feedback program. One to One adds an additional resourcenow, instead of receiving your edits from Dr. Dana through email, you can choose to connect via Zoom to discuss face-to-face. You can reconnect with us as many times as you like – to talk writing, receive prompts, rework your story, or start an entirely new one.

Like First Draft, One to One is available to all (big shout out to our young writer in THAILAND!). Please feel free to share this resource with your classroom, neighborhood, library, and home.

Also, please note that like First Draft program, One to One is recommended for writers ages 9-17. We accept submissions of creative writing, works of fiction, and personal essays. We do not offer feedback on school assignments, college essays, or academic writing. You’ll find submission information here.

We look forward to mentoring your relationship with the written word!