Multicultural Children’s Book Day (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Its mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ 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.  


CLiF is happy to participate as a book reviewer for the first time! The CLiF staff decided we would have a parent and a child review the books, so we requested a book appropriate for 9 year old Zoey Irwin and her mom Meredith Scott, CLiF’s Program Director, to read and review. All we knew was our book would come from Shout Mouse Press. We got two. We read the books separately and did not discuss them. Here our reviews:

Time for Change: The Lion and Hyena Story by R.E.L. Platt, Taijah Evans, and Naseem Roach and Illustrated by Jamilla Okubo

A dangerous situation forces a lion and a hyena to work together and to put aside historic, ingrained biases about the other animal.

Zoey: I like the dedication, because it shows that this book meant to give people courage. I like that Asia, the hyena, said they have to work together to escape. I like that they used persistence to get out and to get the lion pack to not kill the hyenas. I like the hyenas peacefully protesting. The most meaningful line of the book is: “Mya stood up on her back legs and said ‘I might be young, but my voice matters.'” The other most meaningful line is: “We are tired of fighting all the time. It is not benefiting anyone, we need to come in peace.”

Meredith: I thought the best part was when they stood together against the elders. We all hear a lot about working together and seeing people for who they are, but less about how hard it is to defend someone who is different than you to a group with known strong, dissenting opinions. Research says that bullying can be minimized if other kids try to stop it; that would certainly be easier to do if you were a united front as Asia and Mya are.


Out of Breath: Kendra’s Big Secret by Destiny Mayhew, Aderemi Abosede, and Kairon Cunningham and Illustrated by Zoe Gatti

Kendra worries if she is good enough to help her hockey team especially since she keeps it a secret that she suffers from asthma.

Zoey: I think the moral of this book is even if some kids are mean to you, a team sticks together and won’t let anyone down. I think the most meaningful line in the book is: “Then Kendra heard Elijah the Eagle shout ‘Let’s bring it home for Kendra.’ The rest of the teammates cheered. ‘We got you Kendra Kangaroo Helena shouted.'”

Meredith: I felt so sad for the kangaroo – it is hard to keep a secret, especially one that has potential to embarrass you or negatively impact others and yourself. I was so glad she had found a trusting adult, her coach, to tell, and that she had one close friend to keep her going. I think this is a great book for pointing out ways to cope with stressful, maybe dangerous, situations.


After we wrote the reviews, we discussed the following things:

Reach Incorporated – We both thought it was really exciting that these books were written by teenagers and illustrated by up and coming artists. We talked about the process of writing, editing, illustrating, and publishing a book, and how that fits into school and how the topics they chose reflect issues for kids. “Reach Incorporated develops confident, grade-level readers and capable leaders by training teens to teach younger students, creating academic benefit for all involved. By trusting teens with real responsibility for real outcomes, Reach’s unique programs build foundational skills in an engaging and empowering way. As elementary school reading tutors, the teens of Reach noticed that few children’s books reflected their reality. They decided to do something about that: they wrote their own. Now these teens are diversifying children’s literature, one smart-fun-real-brave-bold story at a time.”

What it means to be brave in these books – Zoey is well-versed in growth mindset; it was interesting how these ideas popped up in her conversation about the books. For her the idea of persistence dominated, and for me, it was standing up for oneself. Interesting generational differences!

How the illustrations impacted the story – We both liked the bright, big illustrations.

How the choice of animal influenced the story – How the animals were drawn was discussed, how their main distinguishing features were emphasized. I was interested in the idea of lions and hyenas as enemies; I always thought of them as partners.

Overall, we loved the books!


MCBD Resources:

Over 500 diverse book reviewers will be publishing their book reviews between now and the 27th so watch for them on social media (follow the #ReadYourWorld hashtag!). The Big Giant Linky will be live on 1/27 (on the MCBD website) and will ultimately be a giant and in-depth diverse book resource.

TWITTER PARTY! If you haven’t had a chance to take a sneak peek at the Twitter Party and questions, you can find them here. Please share news of our Twitter Party like crazy on social media and I’ve attached a shareable image for you to use. AND, if you want to participate and possibly win a book bundle, RSVP to the Twitter Party HERE.

The Read Your World: A Guide to Multicultural Children’s Books for Parents and Educators ebook created by the MCBD team and many of our book reviewers and supports will be FREE the week of January 26th-30th. Spread the word!

One of our CoHosts, Kim from Educators’ Spin On It was kind enough to create these wonderful and free downloadable MCBD bookmarks!

Giveaways! Oh, the GIVEAWAYS! Scoot over to the MCBD blog and there is a dozen diverse book giveaway going on. FUN-NESS!

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators

FREE Classroom Empathy/Understanding Refugees Kit!

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press


2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo,  Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles,  Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen,  Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

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.





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