It is time to celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day!
All children need to see children like themselves in the pages of a book. It is also important for all children to learn about children who live in other places, speak different languages, look different, or have different challenges to face. Reading opens the world to children and helps them to see that people are far more alike than different and share common dreams and aspirations.
This yearly event was begun by Valerie Budayr at Jump into a Book, and Mia Wenjen at Pragmatic Mom to get the word out about the importance of reading diverse books. Their 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.”
There are numerous sponsors and co-hosts including bloggers, authors and publishers. Bloggers receive books to review and then they are linked up to create an awesome list of diverse multicultural books to share with children.
I received a fantastic book that I am excited to share with you.
Don’t Judge a Bird by Its Feathers by Tori Nighthawk (author and illustrator) published by Anne Stone Publishing.
This book is set in high in the rainforest of New Guinea. There are animals we would view as common and some that are unusual to us. The most beautiful are the birds of paradise.
Birds of paradise have extraordinary plumage and the most beautiful was Luminous whose feathers shone like sunlight. Phoenix was a clever bird of paradise but, unfortunately for him, his feathers were dull. He fell in love with Luminous and tried to woo her as birds of paradise do by dancing, shaking, and hopping. The other male birds made fun of him and he flew to wise Great Turtle for advice.
Phoenix followed Turtle’s suggestions and practiced singing, dancing, and finally dressed in feathers discarded by a harpy eagle in order to attract Luminous. Sadly, Luminous and her friends laughed at him.Phoenix didn’t give up, however. He decided to bring a clam shell to Luminous as a gift.
When he reached her tree, he saw a python who was preparing to have Luminous as his next meal. Phoenix swooped in and dropped the shell on the snake’s head. The snake saw Phoenix and, thinking he was his enemy a harpy eagle, quickly retreated.
Luminous saw how brave and courageous Phoenix was and apologized for teasing him. All ends well as the two eventually fell in love. Yeah!
Why you should share this book:
There aren’t many books about New Guinea and this one includes great back matter information about the variety of animals and plants living there.
The message is important – integrity is much more important than appearance.
We need to be careful with our words. Teasing hurts – apologies help.
The author, Tori Nighthawk, wrote and illustrated Don’t Judge a Bird by its Feathers at the age of 13!
I shared this book with a class of second graders.
First, they were excited to learn that this beautiful book was written by a girl and they were interested in learning about more about her.
They visited her website, torinighthawk.com, and learned how she created the illustrations and that she has received a number of awards for the book.
The students were fascinated by the birds of paradise. It led to a student initiated search for more information about the birds. They also were excited to learn about New Guinea.
The students were quick to infer that people are all different and they shouldn’t be judged on appearance.
Finally, the students were thrilled to learn that, thanks to the MCCBD sponsors, they were going to be able to add Don’t Judge a Bird by Its Feathers to their classroom library!
The students made bird of paradise finger puppets. You can visit the Mr. Printables website and download your own bird of paradise puppet pattern (and check out the other very cool bird finger puppet patterns).
For more information, I suggest you check out the website for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
You can download a free poster here.
Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld
Lisa Yee, Joseph Bruchac, Jacqueline Jules, Valerie Tripp, Debbie Dadey, Todd DeBonis, María de Lourdes Victoria, Sherrill Cannon, Pack-n-Go Girls®, D.G. Driver, Janet Balletta, J. J. Parsons, Charlotte Riggle, Miranda Paul, Leza Lowitz, Ann Berlak, Marti Dumas, Carl Gundestrup, Carole P. Roman, Cathleen Burnham, Heidi Smith Hyde, Greg Ransom, Keila Dawson, Stephanie Workman, Gloria D. Gonsalves, Stephen Hodges, Quentin Holmes, Jeaninne Escallier