ARP Tuesday Links

JamboKids is a new toy company that offers toys, dolls and books based on characters of diverse heritage and background. I’d love to read your reviews of the JamboKids products or the new book by Naomi Hirahara referenced below.

JamboKids was launched in late October 2007 by a husband and wife team who were looking for fun and effective ways to inspire and encourage their young son and daughter they adopted from China. Their goals were to help their children appreciate their cultural heritage, recognize and develop their unique talents and gifts, and build the strengths of character that would help them meet life’s challenges in a global world.

However, not much existed in their age group in the form of a fun all-in-one solution that incorporated a toy or dolls that looked like them, included storybooks about child characters whom they could relate to who met life’s challenges in positive and uplifting ways, and was based on leading-edge research in the areas of childhood character development.

It was out of this need to celebrate cultural diversity, promote positive childhood character development, and provide useful tools to parents that the idea for JamboKids was born. JamboKids products are now available to anyone who is interested in helping children grow up with a positive self-image and the strengths of character that will help them live good lives and succeed in an increasingly culturally diverse world. Visit the JamboKids Web site.

Some Native teens are disinclined to participate in one aspect Pactific Northwest American Indian culture–the eating of lamprey. That may mean the loss of yet another Native tradition and, suprisingly, the lamprey.

Albert Adams plunged one arm through a gushing waterfall and into a narrow crevice. He ran his hand along the slimy rock and leaned in deeper. A heavy sheet of water tumbled over his head. Adams closed his eyes. He held his breath.

Suddenly, he felt something — a slippery, squirmy, eel-like fish. He closed his fist around it. He stepped back, gasped and tossed the skinny fish into a burlap bag that a nearby friend was holding open.

Then he lunged under the waterfall for another.

Pacific lamprey are a traditional food for many tribes in the Northwest including the Warm Springs and Wasco tribes, headquartered on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

On a recent outing for Warm Springs teens, Adams, 18, proved he would do just about anything to get his hands on a lamprey. He braved slippery footing and thundering Willamette Falls to pluck hundreds of lamprey off the rocks.

But don’t ask him to sink his teeth into one.

“I just think they taste gross,” he said with a shrug.

Tribal elders applauded the enthusiastic efforts of Adams and the other teens who performed the annual lamprey harvest at Willamette Falls last month. But some said they worry that future generations won’t value the animal as highly for its unique taste. Read more…

Rice Daddies reports on a new tween book by Naomi Hirahara (Sadly, I’m posting this link too late for you to be a part of the blog’s signed book giveaway.):

The book follows 12-year-old Angie Kato, a Bay Area girl forced to spend the summer at her grandparents’ flower shop in Gardena to avoid her parents’ impending divorce. We follow her journey of growth and self-awareness as she learns to fold the titular origami wedding displays that her family’s shop sells [we have ours hanging in our living room!]. I can’t wait to put a copy of this on The Pumpkin’s “for future reading” shelf. Read more…

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek,, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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