In these tumultuous times we live in, it’s important to embrace diversity in all its shapes, sizes, and colors. I’m honored to be a part of this year’s 4th Multicultural Children’s Book Day–a day that encourages reading and celebrates diversity with our children. Our family has a total of six kids (yes, you read that right!), all ranging in ages from 19 to 2 years old. Because three of them live in the UK the majority of the year, the remaining three were graciously given books to read for today’s event. Their ages are 11, 7, and 2.
Book 1: Let’s Read, by Carol McDougall & Shanda LaRamee-Jones
This little board book was a lovely addition to the books my youngest son already loves to read. It’s colorful, has warm, smiling faces of babies and caregivers, and of course, delivers a fun message about reading. We’ve read this book every night since it arrived and he’s still not tired of it.
He loves to point at the children and repeat the main theme of each page, “I am seeing,” or “I am pointing,” or “I am reading” for example. I definitely recommend this book for little ones to read and take in the diversity of people presented.
Book 2: Captain Mama’s Surprise, written by Graciela Tiscareño-Sato and illustrated by Linda Lens
My 7 year old daughter really enjoyed this book. At first, she was a little confused by it’s bilingual page layout (it’s written in both English and Spanish), but once she realized she was meant to read the part that made sense to her, she really flew through the book. She read it all in one sitting, pointing out all of the neat aspects she enjoyed. Some of the things she identified with most was the fact that she’s in second grade, and so is the main character who’s narrating the story. She also liked that the copilot’s name, Lieutenant Kai was similar to her littlest brother’s name (we call him Kae, but his name is Kaelen – pronounced Ky-len). Above all, she thought the surprise at the end was the most fun and wished she could go on a field trip like this some day. This was a fun read, as well as educational, and entertaining. The illustrations and artwork were beautiful (as well as technically drawn) and we both recommend it for children in the second grade bracket. Very cute!
Book 3: Loving vs. Virginia, written by Patricia Hruby Powell, artwork by Shandra Strickland
My 11 year old wasn’t quite sure what to make of this book at first, as he’s used to reading more fiction than non-fiction. Even I was not familiar with the Loving vs. Virginia case until we got this book. Now I see there’s even a moving coming up, which should bring more attention to this important case. Loving vs. Virginia was a beautifully crafted book that includes a wonderfully different written tale, along with photos, excerpts from newspapers, pieces of legislation and illustrations. While we got this toward the end of the week, my son read through a good majority of the book, asking questions about why Mildred and Richard weren’t supposed to fall in love. He didn’t understand the laws and prejudices that were set against them during that time. We talked a lot about interracial marriage and how it’s changed over the past few decades. It’s a wonderfully depicted tale of unconditional love and the ability of the human spirit to overcome injustice–something that is in serious need of rekindling in the era we enter. We very much recommend this novel.
Both my 7 and 11 year old have loved playing with these cards and creating a story out of them. This set comes with 38 story cards that include 12 characters, 13 vehicles and animals, and 13 planets. They’ve tried building the story based on the loose rules they give (pick three cards; 1 from each category of characters, planets, and vehicles/animals). They’ve also let their imagination get the better of them and building a more complex world using far more than three and taking over an hour to tell the story. As a science fiction author myself, it was fun to watch their imaginations play off each other and the cards as they crafted their stories both together and separate. Very fun cards and we would highly recommend them to parents with children in this age range.
About Multicultural Children’s Book Day
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change all of that.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books
Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Delores Connors, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember:
MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i
Carissa Andrews is a Multipassionate MN Entrepreneur, Young Adult Sci-fi Author, freelance writer, graphic designer and artist, unapologetic progressive, Lightworker, truthsayer, and occasional badass.
Her YA science fiction novel Pendomus, is available now through Amazon. Polarities, Book 2 of the Pendomus Chronicles, and Revolutions, Book 3 of the Pendomus Chronicles are in final edits and will be released in September and October of 2017. Stay tuned for more release details!