All posts in Best Books for Kids

Best Multicultural YA Books & Kid Lit Blog Hop

Best Multicultural YA Books & Kid Lit Blog Hop

These are the Young Adult books from the 2015 Notable Books for a Global Society. Part I from the list of picture books is here and Part II of middle grade books is here.

Best Multicultural Young Adult Books for Teens

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle

Did you know that there was an Apartheid system in Panama during the construction of the canal? Whites were paid in gold and those of color, much lower wages —  in silver. Margarita Engle’s background as a botanist and agronomist is evident as she tells a story of the ecological impact of the Panama Canal as well as the Civil Rights story that is largely unknown.

I have an interview with Margarita Engle on Silver People at the Multicultural Children’s Book Day blog. [novel in verse, ages 12 and up]

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2014 Cybils Winners: Early Chapter Book and Easy Reader

2014 Cybils Winners: Early Chapter Book and Easy Reader

It was so much fun to judge the final round of the Cybils for Best Easy Reader and Early Chapter Book. I felt like our committee really pondered long and hard to come up with the winners in a multi-step process:

  • We procured the books, mostly from the library (copies were sent by publishers if your library didn’t have it)
  • We read all the books within about a 3 week period
  • We shared notes on each book via a shared Google Doc
  • We ranked the books within each category on the Google Doc
  • We meet via Google Chat to discuss and choose winners (about an hour)
  • The winners were written up with editing from the group

And the Cybils winners are …

Cybils 2014 Easy Reader Winner

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Top 10 Multicultural Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

Top 10 Multicultural Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

Valarie from Jump Into a Book and I are starting series of book lists to highlight our favorite multicultural children’s books. We plan to turn this into an eBook which we will give away next January for Multicultural Children’s Book Day and sell the rest of the year to raise money for our non-profit so that we can donate more books to kids.

I’m kicking off my lists with my favorite multicultural board books for babies and toddlers. I’ve always loved board books; they are full body entertainment for babies who might explore them with their teeth and virtually indestructible for toddlers! But it was surprisingly hard to find board books with diversity and inclusive themes. I hope you like my first list!

What are your favorite multicultural board books? Please share!

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Easter Eggs Pysanka Style: Video, Picture Books and GIVEAWAY

Easter Eggs Pysanka Style: Video, Picture Books and GIVEAWAY

In celebration of Easter, I wanted to share this video and two picture books about the Ukranian craft of egg painting called Pysanka.

A pysanka is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word pysankacomes from the verb pysaty, “to write”, as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax.

Many other eastern European ethnic groups decorate eggs using wax resist for Easter. These include the Belarusians (пісанка, pisanka), Bulgarians (писано яйце, pisano yaytse),Croats (pisanica), Czechs (kraslice), Hungarians (hímestojás), Lithuanians (margutis), Poles (pisanka), Romanians (ouă vopsite, incondeiate or impistrite), Russians (расписанное яйцо “rаspisannoe yaitsо”), Serbs (pisanica), Slovaks (kraslica), Slovenes (pisanica, pirhi or remenke) and Sorbs (jejka pisać). from Wikipedia

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Best Multicultural Chapter Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Best Multicultural Chapter Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

This is Part 2 of the 2015 Notable Books for a Global Society Award, for middle grade readers ages 8 and up. I haven’t read them all so I’ll use book jacket blurbs with age range to make this list more helpful for parents and teachers looking for books for kids.

Many of these chapter books deal with difficult themes like genocide, racism, and violent civil wars. Will kids and parents actually put themselves through these kinds of experiences where the protagonist goes through unimaginable hell? I hope so. These are important stories that haven’t received the attention they deserve and if kids are aware of the mistakes made by their elders in the past, perhaps this is our best hope they will not be repeated in the future.

Part I from the list of picture books are here. I will post on the best young adult books from this list at the next Kid Lit Blog Hop. Read more…

Picture Book of the Day Celebrates Women's History Month

Picture Book of the Day Celebrates Women’s History Month

I’m thrilled to be participating in KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month, run by Margo Tanenbaum, of The Fourth Musketeer, and Lisa Taylor, of Shelf-employed. I met Margo at KidLitCon in 2012. Their great blog celebrates women in history by organizing a month of guest posts about women in history. My post on Anna May Wong was on March 11th.

Anna May Wong

 image from Wiki Commons

I am also chosing Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story for Picture Book of the Day today, and I include a short interview with author Paula Yoo. You might remember her for her wonderful post on Best Biographies for Kids. Read more…

Top 10: Spy and Superhero Chapter Books for Kids

Top 10: Spy and Superhero Chapter Books for Kids

My son has recently become very interested in DC and Marvel comics from the video game Injustice. It’s been great because, though a video game that he played a lot, it’s led to him reading comics, learning about comic book artist icons and drawing his own comics.

my son's comics based on DC and Marvel comic superheroes

We’ve been reading about spy and superheroes in books at home as well over the past two years. In some of these books, the protagonist is in a highly trained school for espionage, but in others, it’s just an ordinary kid called upon to go undercover. Some have special powers, some do not, but they all entertain!

These spy/superhero books are almost as good as a video game! Here are a few of our favorites. I’m finding that if this topic appeals to your child, you can slip in other authors and genres to keep the reading going!

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Best Multicultural Picture Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Best Multicultural Picture Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

This is a really great multicultural/diversity/inclusion book list for kids: 2015 Notable Books for a Global Society Award. I haven’t read them all so I’ll use book jacket blurbs with age range to make this list more helpful for parents and teachers looking for books for kids.

I am splitting this list into three parts. Today I will cover Notable Books for a Global Society picture books. For the next Kid Lit Blog Hop, I’ll post the middle grade books and finally, young adult on the following one. Read more…

17 Great Books for Kids and Teens on the Arab World

What Do Muslims Really Want Anyway?! 17 Books on Muslim World for Kids

Please welcome my guest poster today, author Elsa Marston who is my resident Middle Eastern Children’s literature go to! She has a list of recommended books for kids and teens at the bottom of the post.

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Lately we’ve been reading about terrorist actions by Muslims in Europe and other places, events that have again raised anger and confusion. Are Muslims really committed to hostility toward other religions? Or do most Muslims want to find common ground and live together with non-Muslims, without fear or threats? Read more…