What Is a Multicultural Book?If you look at the stack of books in your house that you either collected over time or brought over from the library, how many can you find that feature characters from a race or culture that is not your own? If I look at classic children’s books from US, I am surprised to notice how few books have these themes. Luckily, this is no longer the case, and I am happy to team up with other terrific bloggers to celebrate Multicultural Book Day, January 27th. On our blogs we are reviewing multicultural books representing different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The 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.” A collection of books and articles has already been started on the multicultural books for kids Pinterest board.
How to Choose Multicultural Books
1. Follow your child’s interests – find books about people breaking a color barrier in sports, science, or business.
2. Check out this wonderful diversity calendar at Kid World Citizen. Pick a cultural holiday that looks like fun and then read a book set in that country. As an example, Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and I am suggesting 8 ways to teach your children about China to celebrate this holiday.
3. If your family originated in a different part of the world, as most families in America, explore your family tree and read about the places your ancestors came from. This is certainly a no-brainer for us as we are first generation immigrants. Over years we read books both about Russia (my side of the family) and Germany (my husband’s side of the family).
4. Choose to learn about people of different faith. I highly recommend this Book of Buddhist Tales from Barefoot Books.
A Great Example of a Multicultural BookDisclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains an affiliate link. For full disclosure, please click here.
As a participant in a Multicultural Book Day, I was sent Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Christian Robinson, from Chronicle Books to review. My daughter is 7, and even though she is a very fluent reader I chose to read this book to her, so we could enjoy it together. I am sharing both her first Amazon review and my own opinion about this book.
Smarty: This is a great book! It has a lot of history and also poetry. There are a lot of adjectives, verbs, and details too.You should read this book if you like history, music, or dancing. I like all three! :)
Me: It was a mistake to read all the book in one sitting, as it is rather long for a picture book. It has chapters, and I would recommend reading one chapter a night to build anticipation. The language is very advanced, and the book is better suited for children age 7 and older (for once, Amazon age rating is spot on!) I admit that I have never heard of Josephine Baker before getting this book, and this is a shame, since she was a very extraordinary person. I loved distinctive illustrations by Christian Robinson and want to check some of his other books.
Help Us Spread Awareness About Multicultural Book Day
Please visit our landing page for more tips on finding and promoting multicultural books. Also visit our sponsors - Lee & Low Books, Wisdom Tales Press, Chronicle Books, and author Susan Fayad and choose some of their books to share with friends and family.