Welcome to the party. The vibrant Children’s Literature Community is celebrating Multicultural Children’s Books Day!
On Twitter we are at #ReadYourWorld.
For Jan. 27, a world of attention lights upon what many editors and writers focus on all along the year – books for children ages pre-school through 12, which illuminate ideas of creativity, fun, friendship, dedication to justice, love, and peace among the many cultures of the World and especially among children.
To see some of the Multicultural Day leaders, please check out below. I share here from a possible 300 books or perhaps 3,000 in the universe – who knows how many with these values, there are? Certainly a higher number than decades back, but there is wide room for more.
The Hawaiian Hiatus of Herkimer Street by Desirae Foston, collects a community where neighbors are so in synch with each other and their pets, that they dream of a vacation together. This 15-page story with short text on color block art pages, is narrated by an unnamed child. Neighbors lift off in a home-sewn giant balloon. Adventures ensue. Surfboards and tropical flowers appear in this tall tale, which names a real NYC street. (Book sent by publisher.) Visit an author interview by Valerie Budayr and link to an audio connection.
While I have your attention I can’t resist sharing the stage with some previously celebrated multicultural titles & also pointing out a couple more.
Poetry for Young People by Langston Hughes is a visit to music-making, work days and community celebrations from one of the country’s most important writers. The 26 story poems, songs of accomplishment at home and out in the world, are edited for grades six and above, by David Roessel & Arnold Rampersad. The illustrator is the late Benny Andrews, of Georgia, a celebrated artist who provided a folkloric style for this book. (My book purchase.)
Crossing Jordan, by Adrian Fogelin, sets the stage for two middle school neighbors – Cass, who lives in the fixer-upper, working class neighborhood of a southern town, and a newcomer this summer, Jemmie. Crossing Jordan is the first novel in linked storytelling from this award-winning author; others include the forthcoming Some Kind of Magic. Despite parental anxiety and outright hostility, about the girls being from different races, the two discover with exuberance, sweat and joy, what they have in common. This is an International Reading Association Notable Book for a Global Society Honor Book and it won many state awards & other distinctions. (My book purchase.)
MALALA/IQBAL by Jeanette Winter is a flip-the-book-over concept design to package two separate, but chillingly similar, stories together. It tells the activism of two children in Pakistan.
Future Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai is only 11 as she starts to speak up against the Taliban, advocating education for girls. Instead of agreeing with her, the Taliban shoots her in the head and neck, on a private van, en route to school. She survived. And the world will benefit from her leadership the rest of her life.
The poignant story of Iqbal Masih is shockingly, lesser known. With this potent picture book thousands of children will know that this boy was only 4 years old when he was chained to a factory loom, to make carpets. When a new law said factories couldn’t abuse children this way, he becomes a child-activist, telling children in carpet factories all over Pakistan that they are free. Iqbal’s life is threatened but he doesn’t stop spreading the good news. He is only 12 when riding his bicycle one day, he is shot and killed. (Borrowed from LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library.)
Although I haven’t seen Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt De La Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson, I’d like to share this link to a New York Journal of Books review by Janice Floyd Durante, who offers a website that exemplifies Multicultural Children’s Book Day values. I would also like to shine a star on The Brown Bookshelf, a thorough source for a long time. http://thebrownbookshelf.com/2015/01/19/shining-the-light-announcing-the-new-honorees/
Bookseedstudio blogger Jan Godown Annino is the author of the multicultural story, She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader, illustrated by Lisa Desimini, with a letter to children by Moses Jumper, Jr. , an ALA/Amelia Bloomer Top Ten Title. But wait, there’s more!
The important nuts & bolts….
For more on Multicultural Children’s Book Day celebration’s sponsors/leadership visit
Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop; Satya House, MulticulturalKids.com, Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof, Junior Library Guild, Capstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books, The Omnibus Publishing; Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing, Rainbow Books, Author FeliciaCapers, Chronicle Books Muslim Writers Publishing & ,East West Discovery Press.
Africa to America, All Done Monkey, The Educators Spin on It, Growing Book by Book, Kid World Citizen, Many Smiles, Multicultural Kid Blogs & Sprouts Bookshelf which are all beautifully linked together at Pragmatic Mom, the blog of this event’s co-creator, Mia Wenjen.
Valarie Budayar, of Jump Into A Book, is also the co-creator.
Brava, to each of you!