YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Read Your World

January 27, 2015

Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

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Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. On January 27th, 2015 this dynamic duo will be hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along via book reviews, author visits, multicultural booklists and visit the huge multicultural book review link-up that will occur on the MCCBD website 1/27/15.

Here are some ways you can help us celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day

  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website and view our booklists, reading resources and other useful multicultural information.
  • Visit our Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board for more reading ideas.
  • Have children bring in their favorite multicultural book to school on this day and share it with the class.
  • Watch for the #ReadYourWorld hashtag on social media and share.
  • Visit our Diversity Book Lists and Resources for Educators and Parents on our website.
  • Visit MCCBD sponsors (you can find them HERE)
  • Create a Multicultural Children’s Book Day display around the classroom or library.
  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website on January 27th to view and participate in our huge blogger link-up, multicultural book reviews, giveaways and more!

Other Fun Details:

Our Sponsor Line-up Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop, Gold SponsorsSatya House,  MulticulturalKids.com,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof, Silver Sponsors: Junior Library GuildCapstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books,  The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze Sponsors: Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author   FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

Our CoHosts: We have NINE amazing Co-Host. You can view them here.

-MCCBD now has its own Paper.li! A Paper.li is a free online newspaper that aggregates information on the topic of multicultural books for kids from all over the Internet. Please feel free subscribe and stay up-to-date with this topic.

-Connect with us on our new Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay

-Connect with us on our new Twitter https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDay

We are hosting a Twitter party! Join us for Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party on Jan 27th 9:00pm EST. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages. Use this info to share with your readers and to tweet it out!

If you have not done so, check out the MCCBD blog! Thanks to support from the Children’s Book Council we are posting author interviews like crazy and are thrilled with the response. You can find the MCCBD blog here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/blog/

Platinum Sponsor Wisdom Tales Press is hosting a book giveaway on their website that anyone can enter. Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. Here’s a tweet: Book #giveaway at Wisdom Tales Press! Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. #ReadYourWorld http://ow.ly/Hr0MC

If you would like more information, or have questions regarding Multicultural Children’s Book Day, please contact Valarie Budayr at Valarie@AudreyPress.com or Mia Wenjen at pragmaticmomblog@gmail.com

PLEASE READ THE REVIEW OF MY MULTICULTURAL SELECTION

The Unboy Boy

Written by Richa Jha

Illustrated by Gautam Benegal

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I am reviewing this book as a guest blogger for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. This forty page hard-cover picture book is interesting on many levels.

Gagan is a happy boy who loves nature and looks at the world with optimism. His brother, Pavan, is mean-spirited and self-centered. When Gagan plays with ants, Pavan calls him Mousey. Gagan’s classmates taunt him with the name Sissy the day he brings his stuffed toy Bingo to Show and Tell. So Gagan asks his mother if he is a boy; she assures him that she loves him dearly and that he is a soft and gentle boy. In his dreams Gagan imagines himself a superhero, but Pavan and his friends continue to try to make Gagan into their own boy image by chasing him with worms, destroying plants, and playing with water guns. Gagan ignores them as he reads and works on his stamp collection. Even his grandfather urges Gagan “to be a man” by playing with toy guns. Gagan feels sad, lonely and isolated.

Things come to a climax when the children at school attend summer camp. At night, Pavan and his friends begin to tell stories of ghosts, goblins, murderers and zombies. They warn Gagan that the trolls will rip his stuffed Bingo apart. When a cat named Scuttie disappears and other mysterious events occur, the children become frightened. Gagan disappears from the story….Will he survive? If he escapes the danger, will the children continue to bully him?

This story reminds me a lot of Charlotte Zolotow’s 1972 book, William’s Doll, which related the tale of a boy who wanted a doll for Christmas because he wanted to practice being a father one day. At the time it was controversial and received mixed reviews because it presented a male character who did not act in accordance with the stereotypical image of an American boy. On the other hand, it was acceptable for boys to play with G.I. Joe soldier dolls.

Illustrations in this book remind me a bit of Mo Willems. The cover gives a hint of scary creatures who are drawn in dark silhouettes. Mischievous children are portrayed with mean faces, while Gagan is happy and smiling. There are some rather scary images, even though they are displayed in a cartoon-like format. Parents of young children might think twice about making this a bedtime story for sensitive children. The lessons of being true to yourself and disregarding gender based stereotypes are valuable. Teachers and parents can use the book as a basis for discussion on many levels. I would recommend the book for children older than age six.

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HORSING AROUND

Horses: Amazing Pictures & Fun Facts on Animals in Nature

Written by Kay de Silva

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This book is a must for a child interested in horses or for an adult who wants to know more about these beautiful animals that have played such an important part in history. It is well organized and illustrated with color photographs. The author explores the family and habits of horses, their anatomy, how horses communicate, the types of breeds, and relationship to man.

Here are a few interesting facts that I discovered. A horse lies down for only 45 minutes a day, and when it does, others in the herd keep watch. A horse’s eyes are the largest of all the land mammals. Horses have baby teeth like humans. You are able to tell a horse’s age by looking at its teeth. Older horses have yellow teeth and other pattern markings. That is where the expression that it is rude to look a gift horse in the mouth originated! I learned that a horse’s height is measured in hands (each measures four inches or ten centimeters).

One of the most interesting sections discussed temperament. Horses are classified as hot blooded, warm blooded or cold blooded. Hot blooded horses are quick to learn and have lots of energy; many are race horses. Warm blooded horses are calmer and are more suitable to be riding horses. The cold blooded horses are heavier and more muscular. They are very calm and suited to work like working on farms. Today horses are involved in sporting events like horse racing and individual equestrian events. Earlier in our history, horses were used in warfare.

The author packs a lot of information in this book of less than sixty pages. Whether the reader is a horse enthusiast or just an admirer, the book and its illustrations are pleasing and informative. It is written in simple language. Recommended for children and adults ages eight and up. If you admire these beautiful animals, I don’t think you will be disappointed in this book.

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GROW YOUR MIND

Mind Mapping for Kids: How Elementary Students Can Use Mind Maps to Improve Reading Comprehension and Critical Thinking

Written by Toni Krasnic

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Cautionary Note; This book is not intended to be read and forgotten; be prepared to spend time putting it to the test! Krasnic’s goal is to engage elementary students to use mind maps to connect the dots not just collect them. Once that task is accomplished, students can see and use the big picture to ask meaningful questions allowing them to become better readers and learners. The author’s purpose is to provide a guide for teachers and parents to help young students use mind maps to improve their reading comprehension and critical thinking.

Krasnic divides the book into three parts. Part One explains the fundamental principles of visual mapping both in mind mapping and concept mapping. In the second part, the Concise Reading Method (CRM) is fully explained. This technique marries the eight reading strategies to mind maps. These strategies will sound familiar. They include Summarizing, Applying Previous Knowledge, Visualizing, Evaluating, Synthesizing Information and then asking Critical Questions. Teachers and parents working with the common core curriculum will recognize many of these. Part Three contains enrichment activities with additional examples, templates, and tips for students, parents and teachers on how to use these techniques.

The author speaks to each of the target audiences. Teachers are encouraged to experiment and teach children to use their unique abilities and interests to create many kinds of maps Students are urged to believe in themselves by taking control of their learning and assuming personal responsibility for their education. Parents of very young children must allow their children to choose what and how to learn by facilitating their natural curiosity. Once a child becomes school-aged, a parent needs to partner with the school and display the child’s work throughout the home.

The materials in this book are comprehensive but well organized and easy to follow. Readers are encouraged to ask questions and seek additional assistance. The drawings and illustrations make the concepts easy to understand. I urge parents, teachers and students to spend some time looking them over. Time and energy invested now might last a lifetime.

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AVIAN VACATION

Robby’s Quest :Ocean Bound

Written by D.C. Rush

Illustrated by Daniela Frongia

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Robby’s Quest:Ocean Bound is the second book in the four book series featuring Robby as the protagonist and leader of a diverse flock of bird adventurers. I enjoyed this second chapter book even more than the first. It is more richly illustrated and the story flows seamlessly.

The fourteen feathered friends have arrived in Arizona to which they fled after a hurricane destroyed their winter home in Florida. Lately, the weather has been getting quite warm so the birds have a conference and eventually vote to migrate further west to San Diego where they can take advantage of the cool ocean breezes and plentiful food supply. Ruby has been there with her last flock; she offers to serve as a guide.

Less than a week later, the flock arrives in San Diego, where each group goes off to explore the sights. Two of the younger birds, a robin named Joy and her friend Josie, the sparrow, fly out to investigate a cruise ship, only to fall asleep and find themselves stranded at sea. Robby leads a group of six rescue birds in a search party. The reader follows the adventures of both groups. Will Joy and Josie ever rejoin their group of faithful friends?

This early chapter book story contains endearing story characters and a well integrated plot with just the right amount of challenge for an early elementary school reader. Color illustrations are simple but add interest to the story. Qualities like friendship, team work, bravery, cooperation and loyalty are seen as valuable traits. The ending to this adventure involves a new discussion among the birds as to future plans. Will the friends remain together or find new adventures on their own? Stay tuned.

I’M IN…ARE YOU?

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CLICK ON THIS BUTTON TO START YOUR QUEST!

WATCH THE VIDEO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE READING QUEST.

Happy New Year from all the Authors in the Ultimate Reading Quest! This year myself, and all the Quest authors, want you to enjoy your reading experiences more than ever! So in 2015, the Ultimate Reading Quest has more, more, more! More authors and more books, means more mystery, more danger, more intrigue and more edge-of-your-seat adventure awaits you! We want you, our readers, to be able to fill that Kindle, tablet or E-reader you got for Christmas, with fabulous reads to take you through 2015. The Quest is so much fun! Who doesn’t love searching for treasure? The ULTIMATE READING QUEST is about finding books that are “perfectly” suited to your reading taste by clicking on choices. To thank you for participating, the authors have decided to give away oodles of prizes for free! Enter your name to win Amazon cards and free books from authors! Plus a whole store of treasured books are just waiting to be discovered by you!

Enjoy your journey as you travel through the QUEST! Don’t forget to enter the raffle on the first page of the Quest. And please leave comments or questions for the authors of the Quest. We would love to hear from you. What are you waiting for? Click on the button above or below to get started on your QUEST for the next ULTIMATE READ!

 
Integrating the art of story with technology and curriculum to enhance learning for the 21st century.

questteaching@gmail.com

Meet the author and get extras at : www.questteaching.com/wordpress/

Novel available at the following links : https://www.amazon.com/author/sharonskretting
Twitter: @QuestTeaching https://twitter.com/QuestTeaching

TRAPPED IN NEGATIVITY

Prince Iggy and the Kingdom of Naysayer (The Adventures of Prince Iggy Book 1)

Written by Aldo Fynn

Illustrated by Richie Vicencio

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Young Iggy attends the Naysayer Academy where all the boys and girls of the kingdom are forced to study. They never leave and must eat the same horrible porridge everyday. Miss Spitfire, their teacher, tortures the children both physically and mentally. To make matters worse, Iggy is teased and bullied by all the other children. In the land ruled by King Naysayer, disobedience is punished by torture. Dishonesty and selfishness are considered virtues not faults. Long ago Iggy had mysteriously floated to the shores of this kingdom; he does not know his parents or origin

One day the children decide to throw Iggy down a trash well. He screams for help. A man throws a rope down to rescue him, but then kidnaps the boy and throws him in the back of a wagon. Iggy can’t understand why; but the man named Captain Swell tells him that the ring Iggy wore on his finger proves that he is the prince from the Rose kingdom, who was kidnapped long ago. At first Iggy does not believe his good fortune. To gain back his power he must get back the ring that King Naysayer has stolen from him. Along the journey, Iggy meets a fortune teller, Professor Jones, and an eccentric named Henry O’Henry who will collaborate with him to restore his throne. Will Iggy triumph over adversity? Does he return to Naysayer and punish his tormentors?

This book is intended for tweens and young teens. The black and white line drawings with a graphic novel look break up the story and make the short chapters more visual and interesting. I must give warning that there is some rather coarse language and some pretty nasty examples of bullying behavior which make it inappropriate, in my opinion, for children younger than ten. Lots of adventure, mixed with twists and turns in plot, a bit of magic and fantasy, and the type of humor that appeals to this age group make the book a nice package for the middle grade reader. Parents and teachers might want to preview the book if children will be reading the book independently.

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LEARNING TO LEAD

Winston Churchill: The Inspiring Story and Lessons of Winston Churchill

Written by Anthony Taylor

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This book is an interesting reflection on the life of Winston Churchill. Make no mistake; this book is not a comprehensive biography or a carefully researched historical document, but it does provide insight into a passionate leader who was able to lead Great Britain to victory over the Nazi threat. The focus of the book is to use Churchill as an example in studying the steps and strategies necessary to become a successful leader.

Taylor reveals the challenges faced by Churchill’s lack of support from his wealthy parents who viewed him as a failure as well as his disastrous stint as Lord of the Admiralty and removal from office due to his failed naval strategy during World War I. Over the years, Churchill faced political ups and downs; he did not hesitate to switch political parties when they supported causes to which he was morally opposed. He gained first hand battle experience as a war correspondent and was taken as prisoner. He became a prolific writer, securing the Nobel Prize for Literature after the war in 1953. Churchill realized that knowing oneself was the key to inspiring people. He succeeded in this even though he had to overcome a speech impediment to do so. Winston did not know how to admit defeat; he preferred bloodshed and living with the consequences.

The crux of this book comes in chapter six in which Taylor outlines the ten life lessons to be learned from Winston Churchill. He lists them and provides examples of how Churchill used these attributes to maximum potential. These include: courage, learning from one’s mistakes, faith and persistence, good leadership skills, patience, experience, positive attitude, inspiration, knowing oneself, and patriotism. Taylor urges every reader who sees himself as a potential leader in his field to use Churchill’s life as an inspiration to follow.

I would recommend this book in particular for tweens and teens who are interested in learning more about the period between World War I through World War II. Critics who say that the book is not a carefully researched historical document or a biography in the technical sense are correct, but I believe that this short piece is an excellent supplement for teachers who want children to go beyond studying the facts to understand better the motivations and actions of Churchill during the period.

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