In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI), District 30 welcomed author Natasha Yim via Zoom on May 16. She will also extend another virtual visit to Wescott and Willowbrook School students on May 19.
AAPI Month is an annual celebration that recognizes the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to the United States.
This visit was coordinated by Library Media Specialists Margaret Janavicius and April Eichmiller with the support of all grade level teachers. In addition, students had the opportunity to order her books
Ms. Yim currently lives in northern California, but was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and attended elementary school in Singapore and high school in Hong Kong. In 1979, she came to the U.S. for college and graduated from Dominican University in San Rafael. Over the past 25 years, besides children’s books, she's written magazine articles, plays, plays, and book reviews, and is currently working on two middle-grade novels as well as more picture book projects. Visit her online
During her virtual visit, she said that she loves sharing her passion for the writing process and “lives and works" by following the three ps: Perseverance, persistence, and passion.
She comes from a family of readers, and grew up reading, but finds herself listening more to audiobooks these days.
"Most of my job career has been in counseling or social work. I worked with Mendocino County Child Protective Services, and with kids in residential treatment centers, and group homes. It was here, reading and telling stories to kids who were away from their families, that I discovered the power of stories to soothe, comfort, and inspire children. I decided I wanted to write books for kids,” her website revealed.
“When I was young, I journaled and spent a lot of time writing poetry, and short stories. If you are interested in writing I think you should go for it. Keep on practicing,” Ms. Yim recommended.
She read her book, “Luna’s Yum Yum Dim Sum.” It is a playful exploration of division and fractions, featuring a cultural note. The story centers around a girl named Luna, who is celebrating her birthday by having dim sum at a restaurant, but she and her brothers can't agree on how to share their pork buns fairly.
How can three people divide up five buns? Should some siblings get more than others? Or should they cut the buns into smaller and smaller pieces so everyone gets the same amount?
"While embarking on the creation of this book I realized I could write about math in a creative and fun way. Math is all around us! It was a collaborative process with talented illustrator Violet Kim," she explained.
During a question-and-answer session with the students, she told them that it takes an average of three years to publish a book from start to finish.
"By hosting author Natasha Kim in recognition of AAPI Heritage Month we are learning how the craft of writing can connect us to our roots,” stated Willowbrook School Principal Dr. Scott Carlson.
"Thank you Natasha Yim @natashayim for visiting with Wescott and Willowbrook K-2 students this morning!” echoed Library Media Specialists Margaret Janavicius and April Eichmiller.