The Story I’ll Tell: Book Review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017

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In celebration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017, we reviewed The Story I’ll Tell, by Nancy Tupper Ling, illustrated by Jessica Lanan, and published by Lee & Low Books (the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in the country). This lyrical and gorgeous picture book subtly touches upon adoption, the wonderful ways families come together, and the love shared between parent and child. I was excited to read this book to my k/1 class since it tied in nicely with our Social Studies theme, Families & Homes.

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We read, The Story I’ll Tell, several times and had many heartfelt conversations. A few even picked up on the adoption slant of the story and shared personal stories. While the rest of the class didn’t understand this concept, we did come to an understanding that families come together through close friendships, religious institution, neighborhoods, school communities and work relations. Also, that families come together in many special ways and the most important thing is love.
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We asked families to share with their children how they came to their home. We said that their “coming home” stories could be factual, magical, or a hybrid of both. Most of the little ones found inspiration from this story, saying that they came to their home on a hot air balloon, or on an ocean wave. But some shared very specific and factual events to tell how they came to their home. As they narrated their stories I laughed, cried and felt much joy to be privy to them. Then they chose a sentence from their “coming home” story that best described their journey home. Their complete stories were pasted on the back of the heart mobiles.

Priceless…

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One day at work my parents met. Later, up in Big Sur, at Pfeiffer Beach, they made a wish for me. I came on a whale and found them. They took me home and I became part of their family. We are a fun family with a lot of laugher.

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I was on a rainbow star and I slid down the rainbow. The same star came back and took me to my parents. They screamed because they were so excited. And then, another star slid down and brought my twin brother, Grant. I brought rainbows and rainbow stars to my family.

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They were at my grandma’s, my dad’s mom. My mom wanted to wash laundry but grandma’s washing machine was broken. So she went to their old house and washed the laundry there instead. She was washing the clothes, and sitting on the couch with her cat, Whiskers. My mom felt contractions, so she had to gather all the clothes, but they were wet. She put them into the car. And then she went back to my grandma’s house and told my dad and they went to the hospital. And then, when it was time, I came out like a football! My dad thought the doctor would miss, but he was wrong because the doctor did catch me. My parents were so happy.

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One magical night I was in an invisible hot air balloon. It drifted over the sparkly ocean. The wise wind blew the hot air balloon to my family. When my mom saw me, she smiled and held me to her heart. My brothers were excited! My dad was sleeping so he didn’t see me ‘til the next morning. When my dad saw me he smiled and hugged me.

 

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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) 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 in 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.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

 Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawMaria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

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 work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

 

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i

 

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Int’l Latino Book Awards 2016: Picture Book Winners

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The ILBA ceremony was held on Thursday, September 8, 2016 at Cal State University Dominguez Hills. A large community of Latino authors came together to celebrate the work and progress made in the literary world. Monster Slayer was awarded Honorable Mention: Best Latino Focused Children’s Picture book – Bilingual.

Here is a list of winners in the Children’s Picture Book Categories. Hopefully these books will make their way into classrooms and your homes.

Best Latino Focused Children’s Picture Book – Bilingual

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          Best Latino Focused Children’s Picture Book – English

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Best Latino Focused Children’s Picture Book – Spanish
Las Estrellas de los Reyes Magos, Tere Rodríguez-Nora; Illustrator: Walter Torres; Ediciones Norte, Inc.
Best Children’s Fiction Picture Book – Bilingual
Robbie’s Big Soccer Game ~ La gran final de fútbol de Robbie, Jill Barletti;
Illustrator: Jelena Brezovec; Snowflake Stories, LLC
Best Children’s Fiction Picture Book – English
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Best Children’s Fiction Picture Book – Spanish
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Best Children’s Nonfiction Picture Book – English
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Best Children’s Nonfiction Picture Book – Spanish or Bilingual
                                                &
Best Educational Children’s Picture Book – Bilingual
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Best Educational Children’s Picture Book – English
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Best Educational Children’s Picture Book – Spanish
Mi Práctico Líbro de Escritura: Un Nuevo Método Divertido y Fácil para escribir Historias, Amada Irma Pérez, Ilustrado por: Lili Sosa; Writers’ Groups of Ventura & Beyond
Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book – Bilingual
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Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book – English
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Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book – Spanish
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Here is a complete list of winners in all categories:
Congratulations to all the ILBA 2016 winners!

2016 Purple Dragonfly Book Award:Monster Slayer!

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Monster Slayer/ Exterminadora de monstruos has been awarded a Purple DragonFly Book Award in two categories: Family Matters & Cultural Diversity – Honorable Mention.

The Purple Dragonfly Book Awards are geared toward stories that appeal to children of all ages. We are looking for stories that inspire, inform, teach or entertain. A Purple Dragonfly Book Awards seal on your book’s cover tells parents, grandparents, educators and caregivers they are giving children the very best in reading excellence.

Monster Slayer is a story based on my childhood. Growing up, I was not very kind to my little sister. As life presented me with challenges, my little sister was always there to save the day and I don’t know what I would do without her. I think it’s fitting that this bilingual picture book (English & Spanish) is being recognized as a book that helps teach siblings the importance of family and celebrates the richness of cultural diversity.

Here are some of my favorite Monster Slayer illustrations so beautifully done by the very talented Lina Safar.

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Congratulations to all the 2016 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Winners!

Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and can reflect the light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.

 

 

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016: Hands Around The Library

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In celebration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day (January 27th, 2016), we read Hands Around The Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books, written by Susan L. Roth and Karen Leggett Abouraya. This powerful story tells of the movement that took place in Egypt in 2011 when people of all ages stood up to protect the great Library of Alexandria. The story is told in first person, making it easier for young children to follow and understand the importance of this protest, in a country where people’s freedoms were not being honored. The story begins…

          Once upon a time, not long ago, many people in Egypt were

          sad and sometimes angry, because they were not free to speak, 

          or vote as they wished, or gather in groups. They knew about 

          freedom, but only from books, or the internet, or whispering inside

          these safe walls of our Alexandria Library. 

The collages by Susan L. Roth are also really creative. They are rich with colors and emotions.

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          After reading the story, we made a systems map on why libraries are important. The students had great understanding of the functionality of libraries and made many connections. Some of the comments were that libraries are important because it’s a place for learning and knowledge as well as reading about important people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman.

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Library Systems Map by k/1 Students

We then listed the overarching concepts that were mentioned in the story and discussed how people can change the world for the better. We asked the students,  “What do you stand up for? ” and “How do you make the world better?”  We took pictures of them holding a whiteboard where they wrote what they stand up for. In response to how they make the world better, answers ranged from helping my mom, picking up trash at the beach, feeding the homeless and being nice to my sister. I was really pleased with the depth of understanding my little ones demonstrated and hopeful that our young will continue to carve out a path of peace, freedom and justice for all.

I stand up for…

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The MCCBD team’s mission is 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.

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld

Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press * StoryQuest Books*Lil Libros

Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk*Candlewick Press

Silver: Lee and Low Books*Chronicle Books*Capstone Young Readers

Bronze: Pomelo Books* Author Jacqueline Woodson*Papa Lemon Books*Goosebottom Books*Author Gleeson Rebello*ShoutMouse Press*Author Mahvash Shahegh* China Institute.org*

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Host and you can view them here.

A free copy was sent to me for an honest review and I was not compensated.

MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY 2015 – Book Review: Immi’s Gift

unnamedOn January 27th, 2015, schools, educators, librarians and bloggers across the nation will be participating in the 2nd annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day. #ReadYourWorld

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. (Founders: Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom

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Immi’s Gift, written and illustrated by Karin Littlewood is a very sweet and simple book with a powerful message: We are all inexplicably connected to each other. Immi, a young Inuit girl lives alone in her igloo and wishes she had some company. One day while fishing, she finds a colorful wooden bird attached to her fishing rod. The colorful object stands out in contrast to her snowy environment and Immi attaches the wooden bird on her necklace, next to her white polar bear pendant. She later finds other colorful treasures: a red flower, a purple feather, a green leaf and an orange starfish and uses them to decorate her igloo. Drawn in by the colorful igloo, animals come to visit and they spend their days with Immi telling stories in the warmth of the igloo. But when her igloo begins to melt, she packs her things and decides to drop her polar bear pendant into the fishing hole.  Across the other side of the world, an islander boy throws colorful treasures of his island into the ocean and wonders where they go. He then notices the white polar bear on the sand and puts it on his necklace, where the wooden bird once used to be. While I love the quiet message this book shares, I was also really impressed with the illustrations. They are big, detailed and emitted many emotions. One of my students said, “Ms. Barbieri, it makes my heart feel funny, like I’m gonna cry.”  “Me too,” I said because I had a teardrop moment when I first read the story.

Students decorated their own igloos.

Students decorated their own igloos.

Trying to make world connections for my students, we read and learned about the Inuit culture.  To my chagrin, some of my first graders began to laugh and negatively comment on the images I shared on the Inuit culture. Upset, I asked these few where their families were from. They quietly said, “Mexico.” Then I said, “Oh, don’t Mexicans have a funny way of speaking? What’s it called, Spanish?” After a few moments a student said, “I know what you’re doing. You’re trying to teach us that it doesn’t matter what we speak because we’re all the same in the inside.” (We had been discussing Martin Luther King and his legacy earlier in the week).  Another student said, “And if we make fun of people then the light in our heart gets smaller and that’s not nice.” 

Interactive /Shared Writing

Interactive writing to develop a shared informative report.

I explained to my first graders that while in our predominantly Latino community, we might look the same, if we were to go to a place where we were the only person who looked and sounded like us, then we would probably feel oddly different. And if someone were to make an ignorant comment about our culture and family, it would most likely hurt our feelings.  I shared with them that while I was a college student at USF, a debate began over Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action) since it was a heated topic on the ballot. I looked around my class of about 30 students and noted I was the only person of color. A student then began to say why they should do away with Affirmative Action. I was and am, a proud product of Affirmative Action.  After my classmate’s remark, one I found to be cutting, I remember feeling horribly alone and angry. Thankfully, it made me determined to be the top of my class. But think how many in this situation don’t make it, feel defeated and give up.

As an educator, as a Latina, as a human being with diverse stories to tell, I see the importance of opening our students’ world perspectives and the need for diversity and inclusion in all communities. I shared this quote with my students and I hope they remember this conversation and Immi’s Gift.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.  -Martin Luther King Jr.

I invite you to participate in MCCBD 2015!

  • 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.

MCCBD’s 2015 Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop

Gold Sponsors: Satya House, MulticulturalKids.com, Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof

Silver Sponsors: Junior Library Guild, Capstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books, The Omnibus Publishing

Bronze Sponsors: Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing, Rainbow Books, Author Felicia Capers, Chronicle Books, Muslim Writers Publishing, East West Discovery Press

I received a free copy of this book for MCCBD 2015. I was not compensated in any way for this review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.