All posts in Multicultural Books for Kids

Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit December

Welcome to #DiverseKidLit ! Please join us in sharing your diverse children’s book links and resources, as well as visiting other links to find great suggestions and recommendations.

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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Free Books from Multicultural Children's Book Day!

Free Books from Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) is a non-profit that I co-founded along with fellow mom, Mia Wenjen, that has a mission of helping kids “see themselves” on the pages of the books they read. This event has evolved into something so incredibly wonderful and positive: far more than all of us could have ever imagined.

Free Books from Multicultural Children's Book Day!

As we approach our fifth MCBD, I am excited to report that we have so many amazing things planned for our 2018 online event (1/27/18). , This holiday is usually just a one day event, but because since the day of this children’s book-related holiday lands on a Saturday, we decided to get creative on how we can make this one-day event a week-long party! Read more…

Books for Kids and Teens to Learn About Indian Culture & GIVEAWAY!

Books for Kids and Teens to Learn About Indian Culture & GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome my guest author today, Padma Venkatraman, with an extensive list on books for kids and teens to learn about Indian culture. She has broken out her list into four categories:

  • picture books
  • younger middle grade
  • older middle grade/younger young adult
  • young adult/adult

We are also giving away 4 copies of her books. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.


Books for Kids and Teens to Learn About Indian Culture

I’m honored to contribute a list of titles that help readers ‘learn about India and Indian culture.’  This list is just a starting point – and is limited (as indeed, all lists are). The titles that came to mind today are mostly fiction by Indian American authors and American publishers; obviously there are several excellent authors and publishers whose work isn’t included. In addition, most of the protagonists below appear to come from Hindu families; but in deference to the unfortunate anti-Islamic sentiment that prevails in parts of the world today, within each age category I have added at least one book that features a Muslim protagonist (from the Indian subcontinent).

Picture Books for Kids and Teens to Learn About Indian Culture

Lights for Gita by Rachna Gilmore, illustrated by Alice Priestly.

Gita, whose family has recently immigrated, discovers the true meaning of Diwali, the festival of light, when her plans to celebrate it go wrong. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

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Vietnamese Folk Tales for Kids

Vietnamese Folk Tales for Kids

According to legend, Vietnam’s history began four thousand years ago when a dragon prince named Loc Long Quan married a fairy princess  named Au Co. They had one hundred children, but this was too much for them to handle, so the parents agreed to separate. Au Co moved to the mountains with half of the children, and Lac Long Quan moved to the lowlands near the sea with the other fifty. Their oldest son founded the first Vietnamese kingdom.

In 111 B.C. China invaded Vietnam and ruled for almost one thousand years. Although China influenced Vietnam greatly, the ancient Viet culture was never completely destroyed. It is still evident in much of Vietnamese folklore.

From Children of the Dragon by Sherry Garland

With a country origination belief steeped in dragons and fairies, it’s not surprising that Vietnam has a rich culture of folk tales. Unfortunately, there are not many folk tale picture books in the United States that tell these stories but there are some great compilations of Vietnamese Folk Tales that I’ve included below.

How about you? Have you read any Vietnamese folk tales? What books am I missing? Thanks!

p.s. Related posts:

Exploring Vietnam through Kidlit and Culture

Ice Cubes at the Door: A Survey of Lunar New Year Traditions by Janet Wong

 

Vietnamese Folk Tales for Kids

Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam by Sherry Garland, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

Use this folk tale compilation as an introduction not just to Vietnamese folk tales, but also Vietnamese history and culture. At the end of each folk tale, Garland includes notes related each of the six folk tales about how this ties into modern day Vietnam including flora and fauna, animals, and holidays. Compare The Boatman’s Flute in this book withThe Fisherman and the Goblet: A Vietnamese Folk Tale. [advanced picture book with six folktales, ages 6 and up]

The Golden Slipper: A Vietnamese Legend by Darrell H. Y. Lum

The similarities to Yeh-Shen are not surprising given that China ruled Vietnam for a thousand years. This story is also called The Brocade Slipper, and the slight deviations are a mysterious “godmother-like” figure that helps Tam, the daughter. There’s also a fish in this story, and luckily, it does not get consumed. The father in this story dies of a broken heart when he sees how poorly his daughter is treated by the second wife. The slipper is slightly different too. It is procured from the ground by the rooster that Tam treats kindly, and falls off while she’s riding on horseback to the autumn festival. A soldier finds the shoe and gives it to the prince who conducts a shoe fitting right at the event. [fairy tale picture book, ages 6 and up]

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Seven Amazing Folktales from India & 2 Book GIVEAWAY!

Seven Amazing Folktales from India & 2 Book GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome my guest author today, Chitra Soundar of Pattan’s Pumpkin.

Pattan’s Pumpkin by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Frané Lessac

This reminds me of a Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater meets Noah’s Arc story. Pattan finds a yellow-flower vine wilting in his valley, and he replants and cares for it. It turns out to be a pumpkin of enormous size, growing as tall as the mountains. When a terrible storm rages across the valley, Pattan wonders if perhaps his pumpkin can save the seeds and grains and saplings, the goats and birds and bison, and protect them all as the storm clouds burst and the waters rise. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Chitra is sharing seven more wonderful folktales from India. We are giving away two copies of Pattan’s Pumpkin. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

Seven Amazing Folktales from India

As a child I grew up listening to folktales that my grandmother and her sister told me. Our summer holidays were spent picking tender mangoes from our garden trees, washing them and preparing them for pickles while listening to an epic story or funny trickster tales. As an oral storyteller and a writer, I love telling folktales – especially those that have been passed down generations, through word of mouth. I’ve chosen seven stories from India, because seven is a number that’s in most of our folktales (from seven seas to seven hills).

Grandma and the Great Gourd: A Bengali Folktale by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, illustrated by Susy Pilgrim Waters
This is one of my absolute favourite because it brings to life a village in Bengal and evokes the thrill with the rhythm of the narration. It’s also a classic trickster tale that many Indian folktales are famous for. [picture book, ages 3 and up]

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Asian New Year Picture Books and Crafts

Asian New Year Books and Crafts

Author Debbi Michiko Florence and I are creating a six-part Asian Culture Series with books, activities, and recipes. We are kicking off the series by looking at the Asian New Year.

Did you know that Japanese New Year and Korean New Year are celebrated on January 1st, but Chinese New Year and Tet, Vietnamese New Year, is celebrated based on the lunar calendar? (More Chinese New Year books here.)

microwave mochi for Japanese New Year

Today, we are sharing:

  • Making mochi the easy way by way of a microwave!
  • A Chinese Red Envelope Craft
  • A picture book list for Asian New Year

Thanks for coming on our Asian Culture series journey. Will you celebrate an Asian New Year this upcoming year? We hope this post will make it easier! Read more…

Top 10 Chapter Books about Chinese Culture & 3 Book GIVEAWAY

Top 10 Chapter Books about Chinese Culture & 3 Book GIVEAWAY

Please welcome author Dori Jones Yang, whose latest book is The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball. She presents ten middle grade chapter books to learn about Chinese culture. It’s a great list!

We are also giving away 3 copies of The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

How about you? What books with themes of China have you or your children enjoyed?

——–

My newest book, The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball (age 10 and up), tells how another Chinese child adapted to life in America. This one takes place in the 1870s, when China’s government sent 120 boys to New England to study English and technology for fifteen years. While researching the Chinese Educational Mission, I was fascinated to learn that many of the boys loved playing baseball—despite the requirement that they wear their hair in a braid. That set my imagination on fire. My book tells of two fictional brothers; one adapts rather quickly and the other has a much harder time.

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Lao and Hmong Children's Books

Lao and Hmong Children’s Books

It’s clear to me when trying to create this list that there are not enough Lao and Hmong children’s books out there! They were hard to come by even through my public library system so I purchased Lao Folktales and The Hemp and the Beeswax: A Hmong Cinderella. If you need either for your home or classroom library, please leave me a comment about why you need it and I’ll send them to you.

How about you? Do you have any book suggestions for this list? They would be most welcome. Thank you!

 

Mali Under the Night Sky: A Lao Story of Home by Youme Landowne

This is the true story of Laotian American artist Malichansouk Kouanchao, whose family was forced by civil war to flee Laos when she was five. Mali lived an idyllic life in the country with her family until the war began. Forced to flee, Mali and her family are arrested for not having a home in this country. With her childhood memories to sustain her, Mali tells stories of home to her fellow refugees. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui

A Hmong man is included in this story as a side character so I’ve included it in this list.

This is a gentle story that touches on more serious subjects. A boy and his father go on an early morning fishing trip but they fish for dinner not for sport. The boy asks his father why they need to fish since his father works two jobs. Fishing also reminds his father of his brother, another sad subject touched on since his brother who fought by his side in the Vietnam war never returned. This quiet story is like the pond itself, tranquil on top but teeming with possibilities including life or death underneath. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit Linky

Welcome to #DiverseKidLit ! Please join us in sharing your diverse children’s book links and resources, as well as visiting other links to find great suggestions and recommendations.

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

Read more…