Friday, January 24, 2014

Multicultural Children Book Day

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 Book

Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains an affiliate link. For full disclosure, please click here.
Josephine Baker
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

Multicultural Children's 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.


Erica MomandKiddo said...

I have a copy of this book in front of me right now. I love that it is for older kids but still vibrantly illustrated.

Anonymous said...

Awesome review and love all of the great info before the review! I desperately want to read this book as well. My daughter actually really enjoys the longer picture books, but good to know that you recommend more than one sitting.

Julie A said...

I loved this, too! Curious if your daughter had a lot of questions about it, as a few of the concepts mentioned must be unfamiliar to 7 year olds. (I didn't try it with my almost 6.)

Pam Margolis said...

I love your daughter's comments!

Frances Evans said...

Such a wonderful review! I especially like that Smarty Pants is reviewing as well. :) I'll be pinning for future reference. My little one is only 5 yrs. old.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

This book sounds like one Emma would adore.

Cool Mom said...

Perfect review of a fantastic book. I love that you included the link to the Diversity Calendar. More than one sitting is an excellent recommendation for this book. I was thrilled we were able to review it as well. Great job. Tweeting now...
~Christine M.
for Stanley and Katrina

SJ Begonja said...

Ohh man, your daughter is so cute. GREAT REVIEW!

Ticia said...

Hmmm.... I'm thinking she was one of the people I encountered as we were doing our state studies, but I couldn't find anything that was age appropriate about her, since some of her more well known shows were rather burlesque, and not appropriate for 6 year olds. But she seemed like a fascinating individual.

I seem to recall reading an interview with one of her kids after he'd grown up, and some of her adopted family loved their life, and some of them walked away from her life because they didn't like constantly being in the spotlight, she felt kind of like an Angelina Jolie of that time.....

Jump into A Book said...

Wonderful post. I can hardly wait to read the Josephine Baker book. Thanks for celebrating Multicultural Children's Book Day with us.

Emma @ P is for Preschooler said...

I liked this book as well, but it's definitely for kids a little older. I think your suggestion to read it by chapters instead of all at once is a good one!

Carrie said...

What great advice on picking a book! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!