Hooray for Multicultural Children’s Book Day!
I am excited to share Mystery if the Giant Masks of Sanxingdui by Icy Smith (author) and Gayle Garner Roski (illustrator) published by East West Discovery Press, one of the sponsors of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
This picture book has an interesting back story. In 1986, construction workers digging near the Chinese village of Sanxingdui, discovered two huge pits filled with thousands of unusual bronze, gold, jade, ivory and pottery artifacts. Archaeologists quickly realized that this was the site of a previously unknown kingdom dating back to the 11th and 12th century BC. The most amazing objects found were the enormous bronze statues and dozens of large bronze masks and sculptured heads.
Who were the people who created these fascinating artifacts? What became of this civilization? These questions are at the heart of the Mystery of the Giant Masks of Sanxingdui. Author Icy Smith has woven together a beautiful tale about a young girl named Min, daughter of the chief of Sanxingdui. As the villagers prepare for the upcoming Warrior festival, Min describes the gigantic bronze mask with bulging eyes and wide ears that will be used in the ceremonies as well as the bronze statues of fish and birds that the villagers are famous for casting. When word comes that the village is in danger of being invaded, they must decide how to respond. Min plays an important role in the decision which results in the burial of the bronze statues. The story is enhanced by beautiful illustrations which bring to life this intriguing tale.
Included in Mystery of the Giant Masks of Sanxingdui, are photographs, maps and an author’s note which explain what is known about the Sanxingdui culture. This book is a perfect blend of fiction integrated with the facts making it an excellent book to use with elementary and junior high school students studying world history.
If you live near or will be visiting Orange County, California make it a point to take a field trip to the Bowers Museum where there is a current exhibit of the incredible artifacts from Sanxingdui. The museum’s website has additional information and photographs of the statues well worth seeing. The exhibit will run until March 15, 2015.
As an activity to go along with Mystery of the Giant Masks of Sanxingdui, we made masks using the book’s illustrations painted by Gayle Garner Roski. You can download a template using cardstock here. Just cut out the eyes and attach string or elastic.
Here is a scary picture of two of my children wearing the masks:
For more information about East West Discovery Press, visit their website.
Read on for information about Multicultural Children’s Book Day:
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.
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:
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!