Posts tagged ‘empathy’

THE MAGIC WITHIN

Millie’s Magic (Feel Loved Tales

Written by Hilary Hawkes

Illustrated by Andrea Petrlik

Millie the Mouse decides she wants to get a birthday gift for her grandfather. When she asks her grandmother what to get for him, Grandma suggests something magic.

Millie takes her grandma’s suggestion and searches everywhere for magic. She enlists the aid of a badger, a chicken, and a frog who try to direct Millie. At the end of the day, Millie is tired and exhausted.

Will Grandfather be disappointed that Millie does not have a birthday gift? What special message does he have for her that she will remember for the rest of her life?

Cute illustrations with easy to read text make this book a good choice for a bedtime or read-aloud tale for preschoolers and early readers.

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WELL WORTH THE EFFORT

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

Written by  Yewande Daniel-Ayoade

Illustrated by Renate Logina

What a charming book to encourage children who have social anxiety fears! This book will certainly benefit children who are moving into new neighborhoods or schools or those who are shy and introverted.

Kayla has just begun class in a new school. She desperately wants to follow her grandma’s advice to try new things and the words, “What’s the worst that can happen,?” echo in her brain. But somehow she is afraid to approach classmates or new situations. She feels physical and mental anxiety.

One day, Kayla is invited to a party that will open the door for her.. Kayla also reveals her kindness toward her younger autistic brother.

This beautifully illustrated multicultural book teaches empathy, kindness and social-emotional skills to primary grade children in an easy to understand format. Highly recommended to parents and teachers.

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LIFE LESSONS

Her Name Was Flower

Written by Imani Cortez

Illustrated by Alexandra Ignateva

This book is a series of short stories to encourage empathy and acceptance of differences among members of the human race. The protagonist is named Flower. She is the daughter of the Sun and Moon.

Flower struggles to find her identity. She has trouble and sometimes disrespects her parents who try to teach her. When Flower becomes a bit older, she goes off to search why others do not accept her. Along her journey, Flower discovers that the most beautiful part of our Earth is the ability to respect and accept our uniqueness.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful. Cortes’ sends her readers many worthwhile lessons. However, young children may be confused and need guidance as to how to interpret them.

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Algorithms, family, and holidays, a winning combination.

Merlin Raj and the Santa Algorithm: A Holiday Yuletide Dog’s Tale

Written by D.G.Priya

Illustrated by Shelley Hampe

The author creates a unique plot that will engage middle-grade and young teens. She does a good job of explaining how algorithms work, while creating a heart-warming tale of family devotion and holiday spirit.

Peter has a service dog named Merlin who accompanies him to school. His Golden Retriever friend tries hard to serve his master but often winds up in trouble instead. Readers are treated to a Christmas tale in while the family struggles to maintain traditions like baking and cutting down the Christmas tree while mom is traveling for work.

Along the way, readers learn how algorithms work, enjoy a bit of humor, and empathize with a close family who just want to get things right.

The black and while illustrations are charming. They enhance the feeling of identification with both human and animal characters. Recommended for ages eight and older.

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PLAYTIME

Sam the Speedy Sloth (Book 1)

Written by Matthew Ralph

Sam is an unusual sloth. Unlike the rest of his species, Sam does not enjoy sleeping or staying inactive. One day he searches the rainforest for a playmate.

He meets Tammy the Toucan, Amy the Armadillo, and Oscar the Otto. Each has a favorite game, but they do not share the same set of skills. Will they be able to find a game in which each can use their unique talent to excel?

This charmingly illustrated picture book teaches children about animals of the South American jungle. They also learn that individual differences are not a roadblock to friendship and shared activities.

This book is a good choice for preschoolers as well as primary grade readers. In addition to the tale, readers are challenged by interactive activities like finding the hidden fruits, spotting the differences in pictures, word scrambles, and a fun fact pages on each of the animals featured in the book.

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#Ellie’sElaboratePlan

The Underground Toy Society Helps Ellie Elephant

Written by Jessica D. Adams

Illustrated by Janelle and Janiece Adams

Janelle and Janiece are on a trip with their parents. Janiece is having so much fun. She forgets and leaves her stuffed elephant, Ellie on the swing. Now Ellie is a very smart stuffed elephant. She knows that the family will depart soon. Ellie desperately tries to run and jump up into the camper before anyone discovers her missing. To her dismay, she is not successful.

Ellie finds a chipmunk who says he can help. Chippy directs Ellie to a mole who tells her about The Underground Toy Society that helps reunites toys with their owners. Ellie discovers it’s not so easy to find Murry the Mole. Along the way, she meets a toy train and a bunny who also try to help her. Readers learn about the kindness of all these toy characters. Ellie wants to get home before Janiece discovers her missing because she does not want Ellie to feel sad. Ellie displays much love and concern for her owner.

Readers get the underlying message that children need to take good care of their toys and develop a sense of responsibility. There are a few wonderful child drawings to personalize this beginning chapter book for early readers.

A QUESTION OF SURVIVAL

Dragon Thunder (Dragon Dreamer Book 3)

Written by J.S. Burke

This book may be read as a solo sci-fi, fantasy adventure. I have been fortunate to read the first two books in this series and can fully appreciate the development and depth of the characters in Book Three.

The ice dragons fled their homeland due to a volcanic eruption. The golden dragons and creatures of the sea have all been forced to relocate. Drakor, leader of the ice dragons, is young and inexperienced. He is wary of Mardor who has already challenged him and lost. Now Drakor must gain the trust of the dragon colony who are wary of their leader.

There are two parallel stories. Readers follow Scree and Orm, the octopi who hunt the seas and ally themselves with the dragons. Arak leads the golden dragons who will need to decide whether to fight or trade with the ice dragons in the New World. There will be food shortages and new enemies like the Dwire, who become new threats to survival.

This book is a fascinating and intriguing combination of science fiction, fantasy, adventure, biology, environmental science and societal mores. Readers will experience many scenarios, war, peace, empathy, division, healing, and generational struggles.

A highly engaging read for middle-grade, young adult and adult readers.

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FOREVER FRIENDS

The Sunny Adventure: a story about true friendship (Animal World Alice Ira Book 1)

Written by Alice Ira

Illustrated by Elena Teplova

Translated by Nina Kutia

This book is a tender tale about a little fox named Redkin and her first hunting quest. Redkin is rather lazy. She reacts with shock where her mother tells her to go out and find her own food. A bit reluctantly, Redkin sets off on her quest. She looks up at the Sun and decides that it looks like a delicious pancake. She decides to bring it home to her mother.

Redkin meets a frog named Loudcroak along her route. They decide to become partners. Redkin remains fearful but Loudcroak provides the courage and inspiration to continue their search. Other animals offer advice, but the sun continues to elude them.

How will Redkin handle her defeat? What does the fox learn about friendship, compassion, and bravery?

This book is targeted for ages six through twelve. While the length of the book is appropriate for a beginning chapter book, some of the vocabulary is a bit advanced for the lower end of this audience. I would recommend the book particularly for reluctant readers; the illustrations are beautiful and suited to the mood of the tale. Recommended especially for readers ages eight through twelve.

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#ReadYourWorld

I’m delighted to participate once again. It’s been my pleasure and honor to review a book for this event since its inception seven years ago. This year I would like to present a beautiful picture book.

FAMILY VS. FRIENDS

SUMO JOE

Written by Mia Wenjen

Illustrated by Nat Iwata

What a fun and informative rhyming picture book! Sumo Joe, the protagonist, faces two dilemmas. He loves and fiercely protects his little sister, Aikido Jo. Sumo Jo also wants to practice sumo with his friends. When Jo decides that she wants to enter the sacred ring prohibited to females, he faces conflict. Should he allow his sister to step inside and compete?

The illustrations are charming and the text simple and fun to read for young children. This book becomes more than a picture book because it teaches readers about Japanese culture including the ancient rituals of sumo wrestling and aikido. The characters are diverse and empathetic.

I particularly enjoyed how the author explained the moves and the vocabulary associated with martial arts and ancient rituals. Readers may be able to imitate the basic moves, if interested in learning more. The book is a good choice to enhance a multicultural classroom library or home school unit on Asian culture.

I was gifted a copy of this book from the author to read and review in preparation for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. 

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings,

Platinum

Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls,

Gold

Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,

Silver

 Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,

Bronze

Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers BooksTimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveLauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

One of a Kind

Only One Samantha

Written by Allesandro Reale

Illustrated by Hank Darwin

Samantha enjoys being unique. She doesn’t need to fit in with the crowd. Every day she wears a different outfit to school. It doesn’t bother her that her classmates criticize her for not wearing clothes like them.

One day, Samantha’s teacher arrives strangely dressed. It is School Dress up day. All her classmates have forgotten. Only Samantha has dressed appropriately. What will happen?

Samantha has the confidence and courage to be true to herself and not depend on the opinions of others. This message is an important one for elementary and middle-school children to understand. This book contains black and white images that the reader may dress and color to their own preference.

Recommended especially for children ages six through twelve, but certainly appropriate for any age.

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