Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature!

I am participating in Multicultural Children’s Book Day, which takes place on January 27th!

I am a kid who loves to learn about different cultures and countries. I am trying to learn different languages too. I guess I try to find books like these so I never really thought about there not being that many out there. That’s why when I had a chance to participate in Multicultural Children’s Book Day, I signed up! The event is co-hosted by Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press.

Here is the mission of the day –

“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.“

I have been highlighting some great multicultural books this week, but I was sent two AWESOME books from Barefoot Books to specially review for MCCBD. Barefoot Books has a bunch of great multicultural books in their catalog, make sure to check them out. PLUS Barefoot books is hosting a giveaway on the 27th. Please like them on Facebook by clicking HERE and on the 27th see how to enter to win!

Now onto the reviews!

The Adventures of Odysseus

127 pages – ages 8+

Retold by Daniel Morden and Hugh Lupton

Illustrated by Christina Balit

Published by Barefoot Books August 1, 2010

The Greek king of Ithaca, Odysseus, was called upon to fight against Troy in the Trojan War. After the war, Odysseus and his soldiers sailed for Ithaca. But, when they moor at a strange island, and blind the giant cyclops Polyphemus, Odysseus shouts his name during bloating to the monster about who blinded it. The cyclops curses Odysseus and his crew. Polyphemus’ father, the god of the sea, Poseidon, then makes it extremely trying for Odysseus and his crew. Most of the crew die. Will Odysseus and his men every see home again?

This is a great re-telling of the Odyssey by the blind poet, Homer. I love how this abridged version of the Odyssey is pretty simple, but very informative and perfect for the age it is written for.  In this book, kids learn more about the Ancient Greek culture through the fabulous illustrations and the enlightening text. The illustrations are awesome –

Isn’t that gorgeous?

They have a collage-y look, don’t they? I think this is a great re-telling of the Odyssey and kids will earn a lot from it!

Now onto my second book (Barefoot Books actually set this one to me as a birthday present, but I think it goes really well with MCCBD too so I am also reviewing it! 😀 ) –

Little Leap Forward – A Boy in Beijing

By Guo Yue and Clare Farrow

Illustrated by Helen Cann

128 pages – ages 10+

Published by Barefoot Books March 1, 2011

Little Leap Forward is a young boy living in Early Communist China. He and his friends have a pretty happy life. They fly homemade paper kites and play by the nearby river. They seem like they have a life that any kid would have. That is, until soldiers come and change everything! The soldiers want to get rid of “Old China” by burning and wrecking anything that reminds people of the way they used to live and to prepare for “New China”.

This is a great nonfiction autobiography that was written by Little Leap Forward himself! I learned a lot about China in this time period. Little Leap Forward (in the book) is a nice young boy who cares about nature and what is going on around him. I think I would enjoy meeting him.  The illustrations are beautiful and well-done. They help me see the story better. Here, look at this –

Is that not magnificent? I love how they have a warm-ish feeling to them. There is an afterward in the book about what happened to the author after the story ends. It really added to the completeness of the story. I totally enjoyed learning about China during this time period. I haven’t read any other stories set in this time period.

I give both of these books 5 out of 5 bookworms!

A special shout-out to the awesome sponsors for this event –  Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & LowBooks, Chronicle Books, and Susan Daniel Fayad, author of My Grandfather’sMasbaha.

A SUPER BIG SHOUT-OUT to the co-creators of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature event Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press.

PLUS!! One of the day’s sponsors Wisdom Tales Press is giving away a complete set of their books for MCCBD! Click HERE to go THERE and see how to enter!

PLUS!!! I got a 2 hour school delay today because it is so cold WOO! Okay that really doesn’t have anything to do with MCCBD but I am happy about it! 🙂

Please visit the other participating blog post for this important celebration. You can find a list of the posts/bloggers right below!

 

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