Valarie Budayr of Jump Into a Book and I are getting excited for January 27th to roll around so we can celebrate multicultural children’s books along with all of you and many wonderful parenting and children’s book bloggers! So far, more than two dozen bloggers have signed up to help us celebrate diversity in children’s books and we will be matching them up with books from publishers!
Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Books
January 27, 2014
Our wonderful sponsors include:
Platinum Sponsor: Wisdom Tales Press
Wisdom Tales publishes both children’s and teen titles and was created for the purpose of sharing the wisdom, beauty, and values of traditional cultures and peoples from around the world with young readers and their families.
World Wisdom has been publishing children’s books by Caldecott medal winner, Paul Goble, since 2005; since 2002 it has produced many acclaimed books that are well-suited for teens, especially those about the American Indians.
I featured two of their picture books this past year:
The Conference of the Birds by Alexis York Lumbard and illustrated by Demi
The Conference of the Birds reads like an ancient parable about moral and spiritual development with an underlying message of perseverance.
The Fantastic Tales of Krishna by Demi
Demi’s book both helped me understand the Hindu gods which helped when I read Percy Jackson-like Zoe and Zac’s Ghost Leopard chapter book, as well as for understanding the world religions.
Valarie has a popular post on Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days by Michael Oren Fitzgerald. Her kids learn how to make a bow and arrow!
Gold Sponsor: Author Susan Fayad
Susan Fayad just joined us as a Gold Sponsor. She is the author of My Grandfather’s Masbaha which teaches a wonderful lesson in gratitude and is set in Lebanon. I love how this universal life lesson applies to all children and also teaches the reader a little more about Middle Eastern culture and family life.
My Grandfather’s Masbaha by Susan Daniel Fayad
One summer day at his grandparents’ home in Lebanon, Adam gets upset after his friends leave after a play date. His grandfather (Jidoo Yousef) helps him realize how much he has. By using the masbaha (a string of beads) he learns how to count his blessings. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Silver Sponsor: Lee & Low Books
Jason Lee started off this conversation when he wrote on how the children’s book industry published the same number of multicultural books despite the rise of children of color.
I’ve posted on many Lee and Low picture books:
Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams
My oldest was fortunate to attend a book club for 4th graders about the Lost Boys of Sudan where she met William, a lost boy living in Boston, whose story is very similar to the Brothers in Hope. It was his ability to swim that saved him.
Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki
In remembering the Veterans in my life that I thought about my Uncle Arthur who was a member of the 442nd Squadron during the time his family, including my mother, was forced to relocate during WWII for being Japanese American. While my family did not end up in a concentration camp, Ken Mochizuki’s family was and it was the all American past time of baseball that saved them.
As Fast as Words Could Fly by Pamela M. Tuck
We were fortunate to have Civil Rights icon Ruby Bridges visit our elementary school and she reminded us that there were many, many people who fought for Civil Rights besides her but whose stories are not known. This includes Pamela Tuck’s father’s story about how he used his typing skills to prove that he had the right to attend a previous all white high school. His story is all the more important because it reminds us all that every single person can make a difference.
Bronze Sponsor: Chronicle Books
I’m really excited about these books!
Fish Finelli: Seagulls Don’t Eat Pickles by E. S. Farber, illustrated by Jason Beene
Multicultural books that present characters from all races but in which race is not the story plot is all the more important because it shows “kids like us.” Fish’s story in this delightful easy chapter book is more about bullies, pirate treasure and adventures with his buddies but I appreciate that fact that his friends include a boy of color.
An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long
Aston’s excellent non fiction picture book celebrates the incredible variety of eggs and their beauty and wonder. Her series is excellent!
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson
Powell does justice to Josephine Baker’s fascinating life as an entertainer and Civil Rights activist.
We also want to thank publishers The Jewish Library, Eliassen Creative LLC, Walden Pond Press and Barefoot Books and authors including Margi Preus and Natasha Yim for providing review copies of their books!
I hope you can join us on January 27th when we will be linking up and posting on our favorite multicultural books for kids! Please also visit our collaborative Pinterest board, Multicultural Books for Kids, to see more great books!
To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.