Multicultural Children’s Book Day

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multicultural childrens book day

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


January 27, 2014

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.

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.

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.

Content does matter, and we know that the more children read—especially about themselves—the better the odds are to close the achievement gap,” Prewitt said, who speaks to groups about the 30 Million Word Gap. The study showed that low income children hear 30 million fewer words by age three than high income children.  “It’s time for the publishing industry to catch up with reality and maybe Multicultural Children’s Book Day will be the catalyst.”Renee Prewitt-Author and CEO of Prewitt Group

Meet your hosts and co-creators of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

Valarie Budayr

Valarie Budayr of Jump Into a Book is a best-selling children’s author of The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide To Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. She is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and is proud to be a play and reading advocate. Valarie’s mission is to inspire children,families, and communities, to experience and create our world together while having fun.


Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom is a Harvard grad with a love  of children’s books (picture books through YA) and sneaking in teachable moments in art, science, math, foreign language and language arts. Mia is passionate about getting kids excited about reading and helping parents ensure that their child is successful at school.

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

  • Have children bring in their favorite multicultural book to school on this day and share it with the class.
  • Have a special Multicultural Children’s Book Day book read aloud time.
  • Create a Multicultural Children’s Book Day display around the classroom or library.
  • Read Around the Continents and Countries. Great resources list a and
  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day page at Jump Into a Book.
  • Visit our Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board for more reading ideas.
  • Do a craft or activity presented on Jump Into a Book or Pragmatic Mom which relates to the many cultures in our world. Here are a few of our favorites:

Read Around the Continents: South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Western Europe.

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani

The Monkey King

Grandfather Tang’s Story: Storytelling with Tangrams

Mama Miti

Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days

Our Wonderful Sponsors!

Wisdom Tales Press:

Wisdom Tales Press is a children’s book imprint of World Wisdom for the purpose of sharing the wisdom and beauty of cultures around the world with young readers and their families. Visit Wisdom Tales Books.

Chronicle Books:

Chronicle Books

One of the most admired and respected publishing companies in the U.S., Chronicle Books was founded in 1967 and over the years has developed a reputation for award-winning, innovative books. Recognized as one         of the 50 best small companies to work for in the U.S. (and the only independent publisher to receive this award), the company continues to challenge conventional publishing wisdom, setting trends in both subject and format, maintaining a list that includes illustrated titles in design, art, architecture, photography, food, lifestyle and pop culture, as well as much-admired books for children and ancillary products through its gift division. Chronicle Books’ objective is to create and distribute exceptional publishing that’s instantly recognizable for its spirit, creativity, and value. For more information about Chronicle Books, visit

Chronicle Books proud presents Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson as their Multicultural Children’s Book pick!

«“Baker’s entire life spreads out in this tapestry of words.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

« “An extraordinary dancer and woman is here celebrated with style and empathy.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Josephine_FC_LoRes (2)

Lee & Low Books:

Lee & Low Books

LEE & LOW BOOKS is a award-winning children’s book publisher focusing on diversity. Our books are about everyone, for everyone. Our goal is to meet the need for stories that all children can identify with and enjoy. We publish picture books, middle grade, and YA titles, including bilingual books under our CBP imprint and science fiction and fantasy under our Tu Books imprint.

Author Susan Fayad

Susan Fayad

Susan Daniel Fayad, author of My Grandfather’s Masbaha was written as a tribute to her father to honor him in the eyes of her children. Fayad wrote the book to highlight Lebanese culture while emphasizing a universal theme of appreciation and counting your blessings. You can connect with Susan on Twitter (@grandadmasbaha ) or Facebook.

Tweet: Please Pin, Tweet, Like,Honk, Dance or Shout to help us spread the word on this important event! #MCKlitDay

Pinterest collage

Support our MCCBD Review  Bloggers!

60+ wonderful bloggers stepped forward and agreed to review multicultural children’s books for our special event. Please take a moment to visit these bloggers, read their reviews and say “thank you” for spotlight all of the amazing books, authors and publishers.

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 ·  Books My Kids Read · 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 · Kid Lit ReviewsKid 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  


Four Feet, Two Sandals

Written by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed

Illustrated by Doug Chayka


This story is based on Mohammed’s experiences working with refugees in Peshawar, which is a city on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. It tells the story of two preteen Afghani girls living in a refugee camp in Pakistan, but the authors point out it could easily apply to any of the 20 million refugees living all over the world. The majority of them are children.

Lina and Feroza become friends when a “clothing dump” arrives at their tented camp. Both girls find one sandal and agree toshare and take turns wearing them. Most children can’t conceive of the hardships suffered in these camps. This short book portrays them in its illustrations, scrubbing their clothes clean with rocks in the stream and carrying jugs of water from the well. The girls practice their writing with sticks in the sand because there is only enough room for the boys to learn in a small one room used as a school. As time goes on the girls develop a deep friendship. One day Lina and her family find their number posted on the board for placement in America! But Feroza and her grandmother are not so lucky. Feroza offers a gift to Lina. Will she accept? What does the future hold for these girls who have forged a deep friendship out of the ravages of war?

Chayka does a marvelous job with the illustrations by using warm, soft colors to give the feel of the desert and by poignant facial expressions. The book is targeted to children age six and older. Younger children will get the idea from the pictures; older children who can read independently will want to discuss topics with parents and teachers. The subjects of friendship, sharing and displaced persons are all explored. I highly recommend this book to teachers as a good introduction to teaching about the conflict in the Middle East.