Mountain Chef Review and Craft for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2

As part of the 2017 Multicultural Children’s Book Day, I’m excited to share with you about a FANTASTIC children’s book I’ve been given to review. I’ve also included a paper fortune cookie craft to go along with this book. Once you read more about it, you’ll know why I’m including this particular craft.

But first, if you’re not familiar with Multicultural Children’s Book Day…


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017  is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. 

Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity on home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 

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 holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that. This event has also proven to be an excellent way to compile a list of diverse children’s book titles and reviews for parents, grandparents, educators and librarians to use all year long.

Current Sponsors: For the MCBD 2017 event, we have been very blessed to have some amazing Sponsors in place.

Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli.  We are beyond thrilled to have all 3 sponsors’ support.

Other Medallion Level Sponsors include Author Carole P. RomanAudrey PressKidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle and Chronicle Books

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

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

– Facebook page

– Twitter

 Mountain Chef ReviewFor my part of this wonderful day of celebrating diversity, I was given a copy of the book, Mountain Chef; How One Man Lost his Groceries, Changed his Plans, and Helped Cook up the National Park Service by Annette Bay Pimentel. This children’s biography tells the story of Chinese-American, Tie Sing.

The author focuses on a significant part of Tie Sing’s life when he helped to encourage the formation of the United States National Park Service. Pimentel briefly describes how Tie Sing came from humble beginnings, but had big dreams for himself.  During a time when Chinese-Americans were greatly discriminated against, Tie Sing worked hard and made a name for himself as the best trail cook in California.  Because of this, he was chosen to be part of one of the most influential camping trips in U.S. history; a 10 day hike through Sequoia National Park along with some of the most influential men of the day in order to encourage the U.S. Congress to create a National Parks Service.

It was Tie Sing’s task to ensure these campers enjoyed every meal while on the trail, but he went even further.  On the last night of the hike, Sing made fortune cookies for the  important guests.  He included inspiring messages in each cookie about the splendor of the mountains and forest. Those present on this hike remembered their messages and their hike and did everything in their power to influence the government. It worked, and a year later, the U.S. National Park Service was officially put in place!

I  really enjoyed reading this picture book.  The watercolor illustrations by Rich Lo help us see the majesty of the mountains and trees of the Sequoia National Park. I think the author does a good job explaining the injustices once faced by Chinese Americans in a brief but clear way that children can understand.  Pimentel uses vivid language when describing Tie Sing’s cooking…I find myself getting hungry each time I read the descriptions of the meals.

As a teacher, I was very happy to discover the factual information Pimentel includes in the final pages of the book titled, “What you may be Wondering.”  Again, she uses a format for presenting the information that kids can relate to; a question-answer format.

I love what I feel is the author’s overall message; that even if the world considers you small and inconsequential, you can make big things happen!

Because Tie Sing’s homemade fortune cookies were so pivotal in the story, I thought it would be fun if my daughter and I made some paper fortune cookies to go along with our reading of the book. I was surprised that even my 4 year old was able to make these with step by step guidance. The ones pictured here are the ones we made.

paper fortune cookies

I decided that instead of reinventing the wheel, I would just include the video that we learned how to make them from.  It is a great tutorial, although it took me three attempts at making one before I was successful.  But once I got the hang of it, I was able to make several in a row successfully.  Then I showed my daughter how to make them.

This is such a fun and quick-to-do paper craft and it’s also perfect for celebrating Chinese New Year!

To see more multicultural children’s books with activities, visit the giant link-up at Pragmatic Mom or at  Jump Into a Book. Learn more about how you can help spread multicultural awareness by visiting Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

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