Blog Tour ~ The Crystal Beads by Pat Black-Gould + Katya Royz ~ Guest Post
Welcome all to the Blog Tour for The Crystal Beads by Pat Black-Gould + Katya Royz organised by The Children’s Book Review + Purple Butterfly Press~ I am absolutely delighted I can be part of this amazing tour! I just had to participate in this one as the book sounds stunning and I definitely want to read it. I always had an interest in WWII books.
For today’s post I got a guest post from the author + book/author information, and oh yes, there is also a giveaway to win a copy of the book! Be sure to join!
Let’s get started!
Ages 8+ | 40 Pages
Publisher: Purple Butterfly Press | ISBN-13: 9781955119207
A Star of David necklace or a rosary?
In 1939 Poland, a young girl is asked to give up one of these and accept the other without understanding why. However, what she must part with happens to be her most prized possession—a precious gift given to her by her father before he died.
The child’s mother then teaches the girl a “game” to prepare her for what is to come. As the Nazis invade the country, the mother is forced to make a heartbreaking sacrifice.
This beautifully illustrated picture book is loosely based on a true story. Although told through the eyes of a young girl, the book is written for readers of all ages. It also contains two study guides. One is for children, parents, and teachers. The other is for adults who may gather in places of worship, book clubs, and small groups. Discussion topics include themes of compassion, empathy, and diversity.
Buy this book here: Amazon
About the author:
Pat Black-Gould, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and an author. Her short stories have appeared in several literary journals and anthologies.
Many years ago, Pat heard a powerful story that haunted her until she committed it to paper. The Crystal Beads was first published in Jewish Fiction. net in 2020. The short story then won first-place honors in two writing competitions conducted by the National League of American Pen Women, Washington, D.C.
The first was an award by the Pen Women Florida State Association. She then received the Flannery O’Connor Short Story Award as part of the National Biennial Letters in Competition. Pat felt it important to bring the story to a younger audience. At that point, she rewrote it as a children’s book. She hopes that The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey, will do justice to the story she once heard and carry its message to younger generations.
Pat’s writing explores topics such as compassion, tolerance, and diversity. She continues to examine these themes in her upcoming novel, Limbo of the Moon, written with her co-writer, Steve Hardiman.
Topic: How Picture Books Teach Compassion, Empathy, and Diversity.
Several picture books teach the concepts of compassion, empathy, and diversity. We are fortunate to have such a choice of books available now for children. As I was researching this topic, I came across an article by Kylie Rymanowicz from Michigan State University Extension:
When children read stories, they are given the opportunity to understand the story from the perspective of the characters. Think of reading as a game of role-playing, where children can practice seeing the world through someone else’s eyes that allows them to develop an understanding and respect for the experiences of others. 1
When I wrote my children’s book, The Crystal Beads, Lalka’s Journey, my goal was to teach children about compassion, empathy, and diversity. I bring young readers to 1939 Poland, where a Jewish mother must make a heartbreaking sacrifice to protect her young daughter during the Holocaust. To keep her child safe, she places her in the hands of a stranger—Sister Teresa, who runs a convent school.
The mother thanks the nun for sheltering the girl, but also knows she is placing Sister Teresa at risk. The nun then states, “I trust that the power that joins us is greater than anything that divides us.”
I wrote that statement for Sister Teresa specifically to encourage children to look past race, color, and religion and see the inherent humanity of those who may differ from them. This then encourages children to be mindful of bias and prejudice and instead focus on and explore what we all have in common as human beings.
As a psychologist, I’m aware that young children view the world and other people through an egocentric prism. Their emotional and cognitive growth should be sensitively nurtured as they develop the ability to empathize with others, leading to greater compassion and understanding of diversity. Regardless of the setting, the background of the characters, and the era in which the story takes place, children’s books can play a valuable role in ensuring that our younger generation can develop these skills.
1 Children and empathy: Reading to learn empathy. Kylie Rymanowicz, Michigan State University Extension – April 2017