It’s Time to Celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day!
I am excited to once again be a part of a fun-filled event where diverse books for children are shared and celebrated. I was thrilled to receive a book from Language Lizard.
The Giant Turnip
By Henriette Barkow (illustrator) and Richard Johnson (illustrator)
Translated by Bhadra Patel
Picture book suitable for ages 3-8
This classic retelling of The Giant Turnip is special for a number of reasons. First of all, it is not only written in English but includes text written in Gujarati. (More on that later)
Instead of taking place in the Russian countryside, this version is set at an urban school where Miss Honeywood’s class plants a garden each year. The children prepare the soil, plant the seeds, water, and weed.
When the children return from vacation, they are happy to see the fruit and vegetables in the garden. But the turnip now was taller than a giraffe and wider than an elephant! How were they going to get it out?
The students come up with inventive ways to harvest the massive turnip but finally decide to tie a rope around it and pull it out together. Of course, after a number of unsuccessful attempts, they finally get the turnip out of the ground and enjoy a feast.
The illustrations show children of all races and include a girl in a wheelchair working alongside her classmates. The colors are rich and seem to glow on the page. Readers will have fun looking at the expressions on the faces of the characters. Check out the boy at the bottom of the illustrations – that’s what I’d be doing since I’m not a fan of turnips.
I love the school garden setting, the creative processes the children use to harvest the turnip, and the diverse characters. In addition, the book is written in Gujarati which is a language that I was not familiar with. I may not know how to read Gujarati but I think it is beautiful to look at. This book is a perfect way to introduce children to the 45.7 million people who speak it in India, primarily in the state of Gujarat.
Here is a link to more information: http://aboutworldlanguages.com/gujarati
And here are a few phrases to try out:
And a map of the main area where it is spoken:
I am very excited to learn about Language Lizard which publishes bilingual books in over 50 languages. There are many books in Spanish that I want to add to the library collection I am building in Nicaragua as well as books that I want to share with Spanish speaking children that I work with as a member of REFORMA.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. The mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!
Medallion Level Sponsors
Super Platinum: Make A Way Media
BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board
Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Lori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts
A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup,Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground