To celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day, book review bloggers are matched with publishers and authors who have produced books showcasing diversity in characters and settings. Since I blog about books, places and books that take you places, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review books published by East West Diversity Press. The publisher sent me a number of books to choose from and I enjoyed them all!
Two books I received were for very young children. Since I work with children developing literacy skills, these books were perfect matches.
My Grasshopper Buddy – El Saltamontes Buddy by Michael Smith (author) and Octavio Oliva (illustrator) is a delightful story about a young boy chasing a grasshopper. The boy tries to catch the insect but, as anyone who has tried to catch a grasshopper knows, it jumps just out of reach. The ending is satisfying; “Then all of a sudden he lands on my knee. Did I catch the grasshopper or did he catch me?” “Entonces, de repente, `el cae sobre me. Atrape al saltamontes, o el me atrapo a mi?” The grasshopper is hidden on many pages which causes children to interact with the book as they search for him.
My Ducky Buddy – Mi Amigo El Pato by Michael Smith (author) and Octavio Olivo (illustrator) is a companion book to My Grasshopper Buddy. Who doesn’t love rubber duckies? This picture book features the same boy enjoying his bath with his ducky. This happy book describes the daily childhood activities of bathing and bedtime. The ducky is a fun character that cheerfully plays in the bubble with the little boy.
Both these books have colorful and child appealing illustrations with upbeat rhyming text.The fact that both books are written in English and Spanish makes these books extra special. I work with young children who are learning to read as well as learning to speak English. I read these with a first grade Spanish speaking girl who was excited with these bilingual books. Listening to and reading these books in both languages helps students with their vocabulary development in both languages. In addition to reading these books individually with children, I also shared it as a read aloud to the entire class. These are good books to use when children are feeling extra energetic. They made hand actions to go along with stories as they listened to them.
The children made ducky and grasshopper headband hats which were a big hit. Children can easily make these themselves except for the stapling.
For each grasshopper hat you will need:
green construction paper, googly eyes, a pipe cleaner, scissors and glue
Copy the grasshopper template on green paper.
Cut a 2″ wide strip of paper to fit around the child’s head.
Cut out the circle (head) and legs and glue them to the headband.
Punch 2 holes at the top of the head and thread the pipe cleaners through the holes. Curl the ends with a finger.
Glue on the eyes and draw a mouth.
Staple the at band to fit the child’s head.
For each ducky hat you will need:
yellow construction paper, orange construction paper, googly eyes, scissors and glue
Run the template on yellow paper.
Cut a 2″ wide yellow strip to fir the child’s head.
Cut out the duck’s head, feathers, tail. Glue them to the band.
Cut out the orange beak. Fold it in half and staple it to the duck’s face.
Glue on the eyes.
Staple the hat band to fit the child.
Not only is East West Discovery Press a generous sponsor of Multicultural Children’s Book Day but they are also a great resource for parents and teachers trying to be more inclusive with the books they share with children. They specialize in multicultural and bilingual books. For more information visit their website.
The mission of Multicultural Children’s Book Day 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 Bookand Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom have teamed up to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. On January 27th, Jump into a Book and Pragmatic Mom will be presenting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day will include book reviews from noted bloggers all over the world, giveaways and book-related activities for young readers of all ages. The MCCBD team will also be partnering with First Book to create a Virtual Book Drive for the event, and with The Children’s Book Council to offer readers quality resources along with fun and informative author visits.
MCCBD’s 2015 Sponsors include 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.
Join the fun!