Friday, January 31, 2020

Cerca/Close and Lejos/Far: Multicultural Children's Book Day


Cerca/Close and Lejos/Far by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Blanca Gómez (Candlewick Press, 2019).

Happy Multicultural Children's Book Day! This year, I have the pleasure of reviewing two books. These companion board books are in both Spanish and English. The text is comprised of simple statements teaching kids the concepts of close and far, illustrated by scenes of friends, a little girl and boy, at their homes. They are very quiet and sweet books.





Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own.


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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.


MCBD 2020 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings, Platinum Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls, Gold Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS: A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press, Silver Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe, Bronze Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers Books, TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books, Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales   Author Sponsor Link Cloudhttps://www.barefootbooks.com/l Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Lauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series Green Kids Club, Inc. 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. Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews 


FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day


TWITTER PARTY! Register here!


Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Fry Bread

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal (Roaring Book Press, 2019). 

This is a wonderful book about the history and tradition of fry bread. Fry bread is also used as a metaphor for the Native American people in this lyrical story.  I loved that Native people of all colors, ages, and sizes are portrayed to show their true diversity, which often gets neglected in stereotypical representations in media. There is an author's note at the end, which includes a recipe and extended historical information. I highly recommend this beautiful book.





Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Cats and Carols

Cats and Carols by Lesley Anne Ivory (1995, Little, Brown and Company).

I recently discovered the wonderful art of Lesley Anne Ivory, a British artist who has illustrated over 40 children's books, all about cats. I love her warm, detailed paintings, often starring her own kitties or friend's cats. 

This book has various Christmas carol lyrics with an illustration for each. It's a beautiful book for your collection. As you can see below, my own sweet Mia enjoyed it, too. 







Find more Christmas children's book ideas on my Pinterest board here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Maggie May and Lizzie Loo

Maggie May and Lizzie Loo by Maggie Cordish and Lizzie Schaul, illustrated by Christiane Beauregard (Mascot Books, 2019). 

This is a beautifully illustrated, rhyming picture book written by two real-life sisters. Maggie May is going to the park, but isn't too happy when her mother makes her bring along her little sister Lizzie Loo. She doesn't want her "too small to play" sister getting in the way of her fun time with the big girls. But when they get to the park, the big girls think Lizzie Loo is pretty cool because she's great at cartwheels, climbing the jungle gym, and catching balls. Maggie May realizes her sister is just like her.

This is a fun story about dealing with sibling rivalry and the bond between sisters. I especially loved the creative, colorful illustrations. 





Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own.


Friday, January 25, 2019

Galápagos Girl: Multicultural Children's Book Day



Galápagos Girl by Marsha Diane Arnold, illustrated by Angela Dominiguez (Lee & Low, 2018). 

This is the true story of Valentina Cruz, who grew up in the Galápagos. From a young age, she loved the animals there and promised her grandfather that she would always take care of them. She grew up to become a biologist and help preserve the biodiversity of the islands. There is biographical information on her in the back of the book, as well as facts about the Galápagos and the animals who live there. It's a beautiful book that young animal and nature lovers will love. 







Thank you to Lee & Low for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for my review!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th 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 homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.



MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Medallion Level Sponsors Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org. Super Platinum: Make A Way Media GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTV, Lerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press, SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls, BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,


MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini, Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Claudia Schwam, Lori DeMonia, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC 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. Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media!

MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.

FREE RESOURCES From MCBD Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: https://wp.me/P5tVud-1H Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/ 

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

An Early American Christmas

An Early American Christmas by Tomie dePaola (1987, Holiday House). 

This is a charming book about an early American family (originally from Germany) preparing for Christmas. There is an author's note in the beginning explaining how most people in New England back then didn't celebrate Christmas, and that he read a historical source that told of an Irishman being chased out of town because he was "a Christmas Man." This inspired him to think, "what might have happened in the early 1800s if a family who celebrated Christmas moved into a New England town?" 









Friday, October 26, 2018

My Cat Likes to Sit in Boxes

My Cat Likes to Sit in Boxes by Eve Sutton, illustrated by Lynley Dodd (Puffin Books, 1973). 

Now that I have my own house, I can finally have a cat.  I've always loved cats, but wasn't allowed to have one in my previous apartments, so I'm looking forward to getting one soon. The book I'm sharing today is about the unseen narrator's cat and how it likes to sit in boxes. They describe all sorts of clever, fanciful cats from different countries, and compare it to their cat, who simply likes to sit in boxes.