Multicultural Children's Book Day Twitter Party 2017 and book giveaways!

Win 1 of 12 Diversity Children’s Book Bundles! 100+ Book GIVEAWAY

Please join us for our Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Win 1 of 12 Book Bundles! Giving away Book Bundles every 6 minutes!

Twitter Party

Friday, January 27th

9 pm to 10 pm EST

Hashtag: #ReadYourWorld

We will be discussing the state of children’s book publishing and giving away diversity book bundles every six minutes! We invite EVERYONE to join us: authors, publishers, parents, caregivers, librarians, KidLit lovers. You don’t have to be an author or publisher sponsor to join us! Let’s talk about our favorite multicultural and diverse children’s books, authors, and illustrators!

How do you join the Twitter party? Just use hashtag #ReadYourWorld to find us. When you tweet, use the hashtag so everyone can find you!

Multicultural Children's Book Day Twitter Party 2017 and book giveaways!
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Civil Rights Movement through Art and Books for Kids

Civil Rights Movement through Art and Books for Kids

Today, I wanted to look at the Civil Rights Movement told through art and children’s books. Both are powerful communication tools both to educate and as a means to connect with emotionally with what happened.

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter & Shane W. Evans

How many bubbles are in a bar of soap? Name all sixty-six judges in the state of Alabama.

These “tests” were forced on African Americans to prevent them from voting prior to the Voting Rights Act.

Lillian Allen inspired this picture book. In 2008, at age one hundred, she campaigned for Barack Obama and cast her vote for him as well. Her efforts to bring in voters for him on a hilly neighborhood is also serves to portray the symbolic struggle for voting rights that African American had to overcome: slavery, poll tax, ridiculous and impossible trivia tests, angry mobs, KKK threats, and police violence. [advanced picture book, ages 5 and up]

This book is in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. In 2014, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1065, allowing states to create “voter ID laws” which require all citizens to present a state-issued ID when voting, even though this is a financial obstacle for the poor and elderly to obtain.

The right to vote still needs protection today!

For example, this powerful painting depicts the murders committed by KKK, still not labeled as a terrorist organization today!

National Gallery of Canada

Civil Rights Movement Art
IMG_7920

Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood

Augusta Scattergood tackles a little known subject: that Asian Americans were also subject to Jim Crow laws in the South. In this chapter book, she gently weaves together a story of Azalea, a rising fifth grader sent to live her grandmother in Arkansas that she’s never met before. Grandma Clark is a woman with a towering presence; she encourages Azalea to make friends with Billy Wong who is also new to their small town. He’s living with his Great Uncle and Aunt so that he can attend a previously all white school and works in their small grocery store. There’s also the bully, Willis, and Scattergood shows us that things are not black and white; behind his prejudice are family responsibilities heavy for a young boy to bear. Grandma Clark’s plan for a more tolerant community is simple; she utilizes Garden Helpers to help out while she’s recuperating, thus forcing everyone to work together. Azalea discovers that she’s more similar to her grandmother than she realized, and their relationship, like hers with Billy Wong, strengthens from the adversity of facing racism around them. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

 

Gordon Parks: An African American Photographer Who Used His Lens to Expose Racism

My favorite children’s book on a photographer who used his lens to capture the separation of races which makes a powerful statement is the little known Gordon Parks.

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jamey Christoph

Weatherford is an outstanding voice in children’s literature and here she tells the story of Gordon Parks who overcame racism himself, and used his self-taught photography skills to capture a segregated America. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

I have a post about Gordon Parks and here are some of his photographs that he took for a Life Magazine article that never ran.

Gordon Parks: Black History Month Read more…

Year of the Rooster Book GIVEAWAYS: 7 Winners!

Chinese New Year Crafts and KidLit GIVEAWAYS!

Chinese New Year is Saturday, January 28th 2017. It’s the year of the rooster!

Are you born during the Year of the Rooster? Years of the Rooster include 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, and 2029. Your Rooster personality can be described as:

Hardworking, resourceful, courageous, talented and confident. Roosters are extroverts, outspoken, honest, and loyal. Roosters are also described as active, amusing, popular and attractive.

To celebrate Chinese New Year, I have an Upcycled Rooster Egg Holder craft which will hold our naturally dyed red eggs! Next, I’ll show you how to fold an easy origami chicken. Finally, I have a lot of giveaways! 7 winners will received Chinese New Year themed books and 1 lucky winner will get 24 Chinese Red Envelopes with a Chicken theme from The Dumpling Mama!

Happy Chinese New Year! Are you celebrating in some way this year? Maybe just with a meal? Please share!

p.s. I have other Chinese New Year posts:

Chinese New Year Crafts

Chinese New Year Crafts and Books

Chinese New Year Red Envelope Crafts

15 Wonderful Chinese New Year Books

15 Wonderful Chinese New Year Books Read more…

Multicultural Children's Book Day 2017 Update

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Update!

MCBD Sponsorship has officially closed so we are ready to share the final line-up along with a few “FAQ’s”

  1. MCBD is a non-profit that is in its fourth year
  2. Our official hashtag is #ReadYourWorld.
  3. MCBD was created by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom
  4. The Big Giant Linky: The much anticipated review linky will not be live until the morning of 1/27/17 and will be located here on the MCBD site and also on all CoHosts’ sites. This link-up is a compilation of 400+ books multicultural book reviews and activities that will create a robust online resource for parents, grandparents, educators, caregivers and librarians. A separate Linky will be available for those reviewing on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
  5. MCBD offers many FREE resources for those looking for information on diverse books for young readers including our Classroom Kindness Kit and our Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents.
  6. Our 17 CoHosts are made up of powerhouse moms, bloggers, writers and reading advocates. Our CoHosts are:

A Crafty Arab, All Done Monkey, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Educators Spin on it, Franticmommy, Growing Book by Book, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Mama Smiles, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Randomly Reading, Spanish Playground, The Jenny Evolution,The Logonauts and Youth Literature Reviews

Multicultural Children’s Book Day‘s 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. Read more…

Chinese New Year Books Instead of Tiki Tiki Tembo

Chinese New Year Books Instead of Tiki Tiki Tembo

I have to say that I’ve read Tiki Tiki Tembo to my kids so many times that we all can say his long version name. I just wanted to suggest other books for Chinese New Year because it’s kind of a fake Chinese Folk Tale about why Chinese names are so short today. For kids who might not have a lot of exposure to China, Chinese Americans and/or Chinese Culture, it sets the wrong tone, implying that the Chinese are foolish and stupid.

Grace Lin’s blog has more:

  • The book purports to be an “old Chinese folktale,” but it is not. It is actually thought to be based on a Japanese folktale called Jugemu. Presumably, that tale was picked up and retold by Westerners, who mistakenly attributed it to China and added to the story. The result is a story that is neither Japanese nor Chinese, and it exemplifies the racist attitude of, “Chinese, Japanese, what’s the difference, they’re all the same.” from Wikipedia
  • Though the book’s illustrations are beautifully drawn by Caldecott Medal-winning artist Blair Lent, they do not authentically depict Chinese people, as noted by The Multiculturalist above. Tikki Tikki Tembo’s shoes are actually strikingly similar to traditional Japanese geta footwear, again reinforcing the inaccurate perception that all Asian cultures are the same.

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How To Get Your Book Noticed: Marketing for Authors

How To Get Your Book Noticed: Marketing for Authors

I recently got an email from a new author asking for advice on how to get her book noticed. I wrote her a short reply about The Long Road and The Immediate Fix. Then I got to thinking that I really didn’t cover it enough so I thought I’d try to tackle that today.

First of all, I will say that while I am a marketer with an M.B.A. from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Business in Entrepreneurial Marketing, and I started a company, Aquent (renamed from MacTemps), out of college that landed on the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Private Company six years later at the #12 spot, I have never worked in children’s book publishing nor marketed a book.

Aquent

I do, however, know how to get bloggers to notice your book, from the backwards perspective of publishers, PR folks, and authors asking me to cover their book. And I also I think that building the brand of YOU, THE AUTHOR, is not so different from building a blog following. Over the past seven years, I built a blog audience of 100,000+ page views a month, and a social media following:

I have a Twitter following of 76,900

My Pinterest following is 143,700

My Facebook network is 6,400 (personal and PragmaticMom)

My Google + network is 11,200

My Instagram following is 7,600

My LinkedIn connections total over 3,500

and I can share with you my learnings and takeaways.

So read on if you want my 2 cents …

First of all, I noticed that publishers don’t spent a ton of time or money on most authors. Sure, if you are Rick Riordan, they go crazy with a huge marketing campaign, but for most authors, it seems to be about a three week campaign. And here’s why …

Think about how many books publishers launch each year. And when they reach out to bloggers, the emails asking for coverage can feel like too many times to the well. Bloggers like myself stop reading and responding to these requests. Blog tours get harder to set up. You see where this is going … publishers want authors to set up their own blog tours. It’s because that a personal request from an author is going to get noticed a lot more than a mass email from a publisher or a PR firm.

Marketing for books  is generally a “set piece” comprised of:

  • Advertising (consumer, trade, school, library)
  • PR (bloggers, publications)
  • ARC distribution
  • Promotions (Goodreads, school and library conferences, trade shows)
  • Author appearances (school visits, book store events, conference events)

Authors get a budget based on how many books they are expected to sell. ARCS and advertising are hard costs. PR and outreach are staff time, and I am guessing most likely email blasts to internal lists. Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit Linky: Human Rights!

Happy New Year!

Our theme for January is Human Rights. (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

I wanted to share with you a great discovery: a  novel in verse that tells the story of quiet heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by  Shadra Strickland

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark case that made mixed race marriages legal. That Richard and Mildred’s very last name is “LOVING” and that their crime is loving each other says something about fate perhaps.

In 1955, in Virginia — state slogan: Virginia is for Lovers (formerly Virginia is for history lovers)– two teenagers fell in love amidst segregation, racism and cruelty. Their marriage broke a Virginia 1924 law to preserve racial integrity and keep children of partial white ancestry out of all white schools. The fact that this law implied that one race was superior to another — this legislation allowed Negroes to marry those of other races, thus subjecting them to losing their racial purity — was an inconsistency that won their case.

It took nine long years during which they lived in exile in Washington DC for them to win their case. Told in mesmerizing free verse that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, this chapter book is as important as their landmark case. [Novel in verse, ages 8 and up.]

p.s. If you want more background, I have this post on my Instagram.

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

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Diverse Minds HS Writing Challenge: $5000 Prizes

Diverse Minds HS Writing Challenge: $5000 Prizes

For High School Students in the following areas:Washington, D.C. Metro Area, Southern New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and New York

Diverse Minds Writing Challenge

Now celebrating its 11th Anniversary!

This innovative competition asks high school students, in each region, to write and illustrate a children’s book that tells a story of tolerance, diversity or inclusion.

Students currently enrolled in the 9th – 12th grades are eligible to participate. The first place-winning individual or team will receive a college scholarship of $5,000, and B’nai B’rith will professionally publish the winning submission – making the student a published author! Submissions placing second and third will also receive scholarships.

In addition, the teacher of the student(s) who place first will receive a $1,000 stipend and the school will receive a $500 grant. The submission deadline for DC/Delmarva and New Jersey will be March 18, 2017.

Diverse Minds HS Writing Challenge: $5000 Prizes

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FREE Classroom Kindness Kit from Multicultural Children's Book Day

FREE Classroom Kindness Kit from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Now more than ever, a message of hope, compassion, empathy and understanding is needed.

Now more than ever, we need to come together as a nation of beautifully diverse people and encourage and implement KINDESS.

Kindness is word that many of us are hearing more and more thanks to a concerning, tense and sometimes scary 2016. It something we all as humans need to be mindful or especially when it comes to being role models for kids. As always, encouraging and teaching kindness to children starts at home and in the classroom.

Powerhouse Children’s Publishing Company, Scholastic, has noted that books and activities that promote kindness will be a key trend in 2017…

Kindness Classroom Kit

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