Archive for September, 2016

#ReadYourWorld vs #WeNeedDiverseBooks

#ReadYourWorld vs #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Valarie and I are gearing up for Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th, 2017, so I thought this might be a good time to explain what I perceive to be the differences between two different but similar groups: Multicultural Children’s Book Day and We Need Diverse Books.

In a business analogy, one is a scrappy start-up. The other is a well-funded corporate entity, though, both organizations, in fact, are non-profits.

Let’s start at the beginning (a very good place to start)…

When Did It All Begin?

Multicultural Children's Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day was conceived in the August of 2013. Valarie saw that I was re-focusing my efforts on promoting diversity books in response to Lee and Low’s report that the number of children’s books of a diverse nature has not changed over the last fourteen years, and asked me if I wanted to join her in starting a holiday to promote .  Our first event was Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th, 2014 where we raised about $3k. We used this money for a part-time admin and to set up a non-profit and a website. Our revenues have doubled every year, allowing us to give away more books.

We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books started in April 2014 by young adult author Ellen Oh. They ran a successful Indigogo campaign that raised $333k in 2014. Their event is a forthcoming Diversity Children’s and YA Book Tradeshow Conference.

Read more…

Teaching Kids Kindness: Hasbro Kindness Campaign

Teaching Kids Kindness: Hasbro Kindness Campaign

Now that the kids are back in school, it’s a good time to discuss bullying at home with your kids. Did you know that the best way to deal with bullies is to have bystanders stand up for the victim? Some schools teach this as part of their curriculum, but this is a good lesson to reinforce at home as well.

Being kind and “choosing kind” is something that I think can be internalized such that it’s a plan and goals that each child defines individually, making it easy to make decisions when faced with a bullying incident.

I think the first place to start is defining kindness and the behavior that demonstrates it. I have three books of with three different takes on Choosing Kind. Let’s start with a picture book that demonstrates different ways kids can choose to be kind.

Teaching Kids to Choose Kind

What Does It Mean to Be Kind? by Rana DiOrio, illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch

The first example that DiOrio defines is something that seems very small, but actually has huge impact.

Being kind means … smiling at the new student in class.  Read more…

12 Amazing NEW Diversity Picture Books

12 Amazing NEW Diversity Picture Books

I’ve been collecting piles of new picture books and these twelve diverse picks stood out to me. How about you? What new diversity, multicultural, and inclusive picture books are you enjoying? Thanks for sharing!

Diversity Picture Book Most Likely To Win a Caldecott

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Sherman Alexie’s first picture book reflects on his Spokane Native American tradition of getting a new name to mark the transition to adulthood. There are 500 federally recognized tribal nations in the United States, each with its own diversity of language, ceremonies, and naming. To respect the deeper meaning of the naming, classroom activities where kids pick their own Indian names are not recommended as it is not culturally sensitive. This is a delightful picture book sure to engage kids. The vibrant illustrations by Caldecott illustrator Yuyi Morales perfectly match the story. [picture book, ages 4 and up]


Read more…

The Nian Monster

Cover Reveal: THE NIAN MONSTER

Today I’m thrilled to reveal the cover of a new great Chinese New Year picture book, The Nian Monster, by my guest author is Andrea Wang. I have more Chinese New Year picture books, new and improved Chinese New Year picture book list, and a Lunar New Year picture book list by author Janet Wong too. If you need Chinese New Year crafts and activities, I have a round up too!

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I am so excited to share the cover of my debut picture book, The Nian Monster! Actually, I’m not just excited, I’m queyue, which in Chinese means “to frolic for joy,” or more literally, “to jump like a sparrow.” So picture me hopping, fluttering, and chirping, “Look! Look!”

The Nian Monster Read more…

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

This is my third bilingual Spanish book list. Author Derek Taylor Kent wrote the first one. The second bilingual Spanish picture book list is from illustrator Wendy Martin. Today’s list is my own, the result of a pile of bilingual books that I’ve been saving for six months, and the books I read to create a Mexico picture book list.

What bilingual Spanish books do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

Bilingual Spanish Picture Books Hot of the Press!

Spectacular Spots/Magnificas Manchas by Susan Stockdale

A beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book of spotted creatures written in spare rhyme. Perfect for kids learning Spanish and for kids who like nature books. The back pages have more information about each animal and the role their spots play in their survival. [bilingual Spanish picture book, ages 4 and up]

My Dad is a Clown/ Mi Papá es un Payaso by José Carlos Andrés and Natalia Hernández

Because this book appeals to both kids and adults, this is an especially good picture book to use for anyone trying to learn Spanish. A little boy is called a clown when his classmate was angry with him. That’s ok with him because his father is an actual clown. His other dad is a doctor, and in watching his clown father at rehearsals, the boy finds a way to combine both professions. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Marisol McDonald and the Monster by Monica Brown, illustrated by Sara Palacios

Marisol McDonald likes being mismatched but she doesn’t like monsters. After hearing a noise under her bed, she’s certain there’s a monster there. She figures out her own solution to her phobia, but it turns out that the noise has a more prosaic explanation. And now, she has two companions under her bed at night. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Mama the Alien by René Colato Laínez, illustrated by Laura Lacámara

It’s a case of mistaken identity. Sofia finds Mamá’s identification card in her purse and discovers that she’s an alien. Sofia now believes that she’s half alien and gets to work to figure out what this might mean. What language does an alien speak? Will space ships land in her yard? Does she have hidden alien body parts? Finally, her parents realize what Sofia thinks and explain their reason for celebration. Mamá is becoming a citizen! Her old card was a Resident Alien card, which has been renamed Permanent Resident. This a humorous picture book to discuss the process of Naturalization with kids. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

10. Olinguito, from A to Z! by Lulu Delacre

Join a zoologist in the cloud forest as he searches for the elusive olinguito. The Spanish version showcases alliteration, while the English version tells an alphabet story of the animals in the enchanted forest of Ecuador. Together, both reader and scientist discover a new species of raccoon-like carnivores … the olinguito! [picture book, ages 2 and up]

Read more…

10 Great Picture Books To Learn About Africa

10 Great Picture Books to Learn About Africa

When my kids studied Ghana in 2nd grade, one frustration for their teachers was that the kids had impression of Ghana as a rural environment. They didn’t really get to experience or understand that Ghana also has cities. I wasn’t able to find enough books on Ghana to make a book list, so I’ve included picture books set in The Gambia, Mauritania, Malawi, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania on a variety of diversity themes.

What books on Africa do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

10. Boundless Grace by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Caroline Binch

Grace’s parents are divorced and her father moves to Africa where he re-marries and starts another family. Grace is nervous to go all the way to The Gambia with her grandmother; it’s so different from what she knows. There are sheep the roadside and the market is filled with open air stalls. Though she feels like she doesn’t fit in at first, her step family is kind to her. She realizes that her unconventional family which isn’t what she reads about in books, should be in one. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

9. Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane, illustrated by Hoda Hadadi

The people in Mauritania, West Africa are Muslim and the women wear a malafa. Lalla wants a malafa too but but it’s not for beauty, or to be mysterious, or to look like others, or to be like royalty. When Lalla hears the evening call to prayer, she realizes the malafa is so that she can pray like the others. And then she gets a malafa of her own to go to the mosque with her mother. A malafa is for faith! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

Featuring a Character with a Disability

Our theme for today’s Diverse Children’s Books linkup is Diverse Book(s) Featuring a Character with a Disability. (Need ideas? Check out past winners of the Schneider Family Book Awards.) (The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

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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Boston Freedom Trail for Kids, American Revolution Books for Kids

American Revolution Books for Kids & Boston Freedom Trail Guide

Boston Freedom Trail Book List for Kids

Follow the brick road! It’s not the yellow one though! The red brick line denotes Boston’s Freedom Trail.

This is my second time on the fifth grade end of the year field trip on Boston’s Freedom Trail. This year’s trip is slightly different as the Boston Tea Party ship was under repair and only just recently back in port.Boston Freedom Trail Book List for KidsIt booked up before we could get a slot so the children acted out a trial for the Boston Massacre instead at the Old State House museum.

Old State House Museum and Boston Massacre SiteRead more…

Top Ways to Teach Kids to Give Back

Top Ways to Teach Kids to Give Back

In this increasingly self-absorbed world where people can spend more time staring at a screen then they can communicating with each other face to face, it’s getting more and more important to teach children the importance of doing good in the world. As well, with the growing number of natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other conflicts and issues, in addition to the fluctuating economies around the world, there seems to be more people who need help than ever before.

If you’re keen to teach your children to donate to charities, volunteer their time, raise money for a good cause or otherwise help someone who needs it, read on for some ways you can encourage them to do good today.

Top Ways to Teach Kids to Give Back Read more…