I Know How to Ni-hao by Susan Aspley (author) and Lucas Richards (illustrator) published by Susan Aspley as part of the I Know How To series.
I am always on the lookout for books that introduce and celebrate a broad variety of cultures and introduce children to people of different backgrounds. I was thrilled to be matched as a book review blogger with I Know How to Ni-hao written by Susanne Aspley with illustrations by Lucas Richards for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
I Know How to Ni-Hao follows a child on her first day in a language immersion school. Most children have some trepidation when going into a new classroom but this child is going into a classroom where the lessons are taught in Mandarin!
“Crisp clothes, pointy crayons and a purple back pack!
Red notebook, ten pencils, and a healthy snack!
First day of school, who will I meet?
Where is my cubby? Where is my seat?
“Ni Hao,” said my teacher, with a delightful face.
She said some more words and I took my place.”
The story is written in light and lovely rhyme accompanied by cheerful illustrations which depict characters from many cultures. The text is written in Chinese characters accompanied by pin yin, the phonetic system for transcribing Mandarin.
The illustrations depict all the things in a typical classroom such as pencils, books, desks and friends. The story with labeled illustrations continues as the girl walks home and tells her mother about her day and concludes with the message “We’re alike more than different. We sing, laugh and play, learning new languages just opens a way.” I couldn’t agree more. The book includes a number of activities and a glossary of words included in the book in English, Mandarin and pin yin.
I Know How to Ni-hao is one of three books in Aspley’s “I know how to” series intended for children in language immersion classes. I think that these books would also be helpful for children who are learning English.
The author, Susanne Aspley, has a fascinating background having served in the army, being a photojournalist, and a Peace Corps volunteer. She has a website where you can find more information about the “I Know How to” book series and language immersion.
I believe it is crucial for children born in other countries to learn as much as they can about the customs, culture and language of their birth country. Taylor Spivey is a young artist living San Francisco, California. She was adopted in China and always is interested in learning more about Chinese language and culture. She travels to China frequently and loves art. Taylor created a coloring page to go along with I Know How to Ni-hao.
Want to know more about Multicultural Children’s Book Day?
Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Read Your World
January 27, 2015
Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.
Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. On January 27th, 2015 this dynamic duo will be hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.
The Multicultural Children’s Book Day team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along via book reviews, author visits, multicultural booklists and visit the huge multicultural book review link-up that will occur on the MCCBD website 1/27/15.
Other Fun Details:
Our Sponsor Line-up Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop, Gold Sponsors: Satya House, MulticulturalKids.com, Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof, Silver Sponsors: Junior Library Guild, Capstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books, The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing, Rainbow Books, Author FeliciaCapers, Chronicle Books Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.
Our CoHosts: We have NINE amazing Co-Hosts. You can view them here.
-Connect on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay
-Connect on Twitter https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDay
Help get books to children who need them. MCCBD has partnered with First Book to create a Virtual Book Drive connected to their Stories for All initiative which features books that contain a diverse array of characters and cultures. We have created our own Virtual Book Drive page to raise funds to purchase multicultural books that First Book will work to distribute to under-served children. The MCCBD Virtual Book Driveis now LIVE so please visit the page and do your part on getting books into the hands of kids!If you would like more information, or have questions regarding Multicultural Children’s Book Day, please contact Valarie Budayr at Valarie@AudreyPress.com or Mia Wenjen at firstname.lastname@example.org