Spark and Pook are proud to be part of the 2nd Annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Read on for information about the purpose of this event and it’s creators and sponsors as well as how you can participate. Also included is my review of Beautiful Rainbow World, one of the multicultural books being highlighted as part of this event.
Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these books into classrooms and libraries.
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. Another goal of this exciting event is to 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.
“MCCBD 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 the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, the multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.”
Valarie Budayr is a children’s book author and publisher who comes from a very diverse background and is intent on bringing that diversity into children’s literature. You can read more about her here. Or visit her at Jump Into a Book.
Virtual Book Drive:
We’re also partnering with First Book to offer a Virtual Book Drive that will help donate multicultural children’s books through their channels during the week of the event. We want to help get diversity books into the hands of kids who most need it, and now we have a way to do it! The Virtual Book Drive is LIVE and can be found HERE.
Children’s Book Council:
MCCBD is collaborating with Children’s Book Council to highlight wonderful diversity books and authors on an ongoing basis all year.
Spark and Pook’s Review
I was given a copy of Beautiful Rainbow World in exchange for an honest review.
I am very happy to say that I adore this children’s book by the sister duo Suzee Ramirez and Lynne Raspet. This picture book, which celebrates diversity, has two great things going for it: the photographs (which are GORGEOUS) and the message. Thankfully I’ve been given permission to share a few of the photos with you because I wouldn’t be able to do them justice with only my words.
Many photographers from around the world contributed to the beauty of this book. The stunning photos are of young boys and girls from various countries such as Russia, Libya, India, and America-to name a few.
The book is actually an extension of the song, “Beautiful Rainbow World” by award-winning folksinger Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou. If you purchase a copy of the book, you can download the original song.
The message of the book celebrates the diverse cultures found around the world, but it also encourages us to embrace our own uniqueness (our hair, eyes, language, and customs). My favorite line is, “We’re all so different, yet so alike.”
This stunning book would make a great visual aid for children who live in areas that don’t experience much cultural diversity. The only negative thing I can think of is that the end of the book came too soon. It left me wanting more photos. I mean, look at those faces!
As a trained educator, my mind immediately starts racing with ways this book could be incorporated and extended. For teachers (of any age group), it would be the perfect introduction to a unit on diversity, cultures and customs, or world geography. It would also be great for lessons on similarities and differences.
As a parent, the way I would (and plan to) use this book is after a few read alouds, we would listen to the song along with the book. Then we would extend our conversations about different cultures by talking about the different cultures that make up our family. Then we would explore other cultures through pictures and through their food.
If you would like a copy of this book, you can order it from www.MulticulturalKids.com. If you order from the website before March 31, 2015 you can use the coupon code MCCBD for free shipping. You can also find it at the following links.
Suzee Ramirez and Lynne Raspet are sisters ~ the two youngest in a family of five children. Suzee Ramirez is married and has two lovely animal- and nature-loving girls. They call Southern California home. She enjoys yoga, being creative, traveling, being with her family, and everything outdoors and in nature. She has been in the graphic design field for many moons. Lynne Raspet is a mom of four who bounces all over the country with her Air Force pilot hubby and loves discovering new places to travel and adventure everywhere they live. Previously she was a bilingual English/Spanish Kindergarten teacher in California. She loves capturing REAL LIFE with her camera and has been featured on several photography sites. Most of all she loves seeing the world in new ways with her little family! In addition to publishing, Suzee and Lynne co-own Multicultural Kids (multiculturalkids.com), an online supplier of products for children that encourage children to discover and appreciate the amazing world and all of its people.
Sponsorship details can be viewed HERE.
Author Sponsors include:
Beautiful Rainbow World by Suzee Ramirez
Lulu and the Very Big Meanies by Mac McGooshie, illustrated by Alexis Hogwood
Real Street Kidz Multicultural Children’s Book Series by Quentin Holmes
How YOU can participate:
1. Spread the word about MCCBD and the need for diverse children’s books! Remember our hashtag. #readyourworld
2. Like MCCBD on Facebook to hear more about authors and books that celebrate diversity.
3. Make a donation. Click here to help get multicultural books into the hands of kids who need them most.
4. Bookmark MCCBD blog to have continual access to an extensive list of diverse children’s books from around the world.
5. Follow MCCBD on Pinterest to keep the inspiration coming. This board is filled with great books and activities related to diversity.
6. Get a copy of Beautiful Rainbow World and/or other children’s books that celebrate diversity to share with your loved ones.
Do you have a favorite multicultural children’s book already? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.