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

I am super excited to be participating in Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature.

Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom have teamed up to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event.  On January 27th, Jump into a Book and Pragmatic Mom will be presenting the first ever Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books. The event is sponsored by Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books, Chronicle Books, and Susan Daniel Fayad: Author of My Grandfather’s Masbaha.

The reason they have created this event is this sad data:
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.

Just being a part of this awesome group of bloggers (links at bottom) and watching everyone start to post their reviews has made me think a lot about the books out there and the full and beautifully colored spectrum of all the people that make up this world. I was lucky to grow up in Los Angeles where multi-culturalism was just a way of life. We now live in an area that is a lot less diverse. I hope that I am managing to show my girls that the world is full of different people. We ourselves are in the minority where we live. Although we are white, we are Jewish in a very non-Jewish area. So my girls will always have that sense of being slightly different themselves, but in a way that no one can see on the surface. However, we have been really fortunate to find a lot of great books that show multiculturalism, to some degree because I’m the crazy mom who scours the library for something new and different and because I buy a lot of books about Jewish culture. Whatever the case may be, I’m going to dedicate this whole week to posts about multi-cultural books leading up to Monday’s big event.

I received the beautiful book How Far Do You Love Me? by Lulu Delacre from Lee & Low Books. This is a simple, yet emotionally and artistically beautiful book about the common love that all parents have for their children. Each spread is gorgeously illustrated with images of different locations and people around the globe.

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The story itself is a wonderful bedtime story for the younger set. It was based on the author’s game of “How far do you love me?” with her daughters. Each answer is a stop on one of the seven continents. From “the top of the peaks lit by the morning sun” in the Grand Canyon in Arizona to a glacier in Antarctica, and from the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt to the “crannies of the corals rough and twisted on the ocean floor” of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.IMG_3189

Our absolutely favorite part of the book was actually the map at the back of the book which points out all of the stops. My older daughter (nearly 7) had us flipping back and forth to see locations. She was especially excited by the picture from Egypt and of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

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This is a great way to see different parts of the world and to talk about the bigger world around us. It opens children’s eyes to other cultures and perhaps encourages them to dream of traveling beyond the world they inhabit.

For more information about Multicultural Children’s Book Day, including how you can get involved, please visit the main page at Jumping Into A Book.

Please also visit our collaborative Pinterest board, Multicultural Books for Kids, to see more great books and check out all of these amazing blogs participating in the event!

2GirlsLostInaBook · 365 Days of Motherhood · A Bilingual Baby · A Simple Life, Really? · Africa to America · After School Smarty Pants · All Done Monkey · Andi’s Kids Books · Anita Brown Bag  · Austin Gilkeson · Barbara Ann Mojica · Bottom Shelf Books · Cats Eat Dogs · Chasing The Donkey · Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac · Children’s Books Heal · Church o Books · CitizenBeta · Crafty Moms Share · Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes · Early Words · Flowering Minds · Franticmommy · Gathering Books · GEO Librarian · Gladys Barbieri · Going in Circles · Growing Book by Book · iGame Mom · I’m Not The Nanny · InCulture Parent · Itsy Bitsy Mom ·Just Children’s Books– Kid World Citizen · Kristi’s Book Nook · Mama Lady Books · Mama Smiles · Mission Read · Mother Daughter Book Reviews · Mrs AOk · MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter · Ms. Yingling Reads · Multicultural Kids Blog · One Sweet World · Open Wide The World · P is for Preschooler · Rapenzel Dreams · School4Boys · Sharon the Librarian · Spanish Playground · Sprout’s Bookshelf · Squishable Baby · Stanley and Katrina · Teach Mama · The Art of Home Education · The Brain Lair · The Educators’ Spin On It · The Family-Ship Experience · The Yellow Door Paperie · This Kid Reviews Books  · Trishap’s Books · Unconventional Librarian · Vicki Arnold · We3Three · World for Learning · Wrapped in Foil 

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it.  I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. All opinions are my own.

15 responses

  1. WOW! The illustrations in this book are wonderful! 🙂 Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Oooh, this looks like a great book! I love how it shows unity across diversity, and includes so many geographical references. My kind of book! Thanks for sharing!
    Julie

  3. We have this book, and we too love the map as well. This is in fact one of our favorite books at home! Thanks for sharing!

  4. wow that looks like a beautiful book with lovely illustrations. my son would love it. i like that it carries a message about the common feelings we all have for our family.

  5. This book looks lovely!

  6. This book is really lovely. I like the idea of a map in the back, it makes it interactive and interesting for the kids. I love that your 7 year old kept flipping to the back of the book. Thanks so much for sharing #MCKlitday!

  7. Thank you so much for joining us for Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Thank you so much for doing 7 days of posts to help us get the word out!!! You totally rock!

    1. so thrilled to be a part of a great program. we read a ton of “multi-cultural” books, but I know it isn’t the norm. Trying to just do my part to spread the love.

  8. stanleyandkatrina | Reply

    The concept reminds me of “Guess How Much I Love You” with a geography twist. 🙂 I like that. Lovely review!
    ~Christine M/Cool Mom
    for the Stanley & Katrina Gang

    1. I couldn’t for the life of me remember the title of that book when I was writing this! Thanks for stopping by!

      1. stanleyandkatrina

        🙂 Normally I wouldn’t remember except that was one of the handful of books that we have read over and over and over and over since my daughter was born – and she’s now ten. Time flies!

  9. […] kids or students. I myself wrote about Jewish books, Civil Rights, Folk Tales, and the great book How Far Do You Love Me? which spans the […]

  10. […] · Andi’s Kids Books · Anita Brown Bag  · Austin Gilkeson · Barbara Ann Mojica ·  Books My Kids Read · Bottom Shelf Books · Cats Eat Dogs · Chasing The Donkey · Children’s Book-a-Day […]

  11. This looks so good – I had chills reading this review. Thank you for showing some of the pages too – I could easily see this is a book I could read at my toddler Story Time. Looks like it would be perfect for many many themes!

    1. Thanks! It is a great book for younger kids.

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