#ReadYourWorld: Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018


For more content on children’s books and media, please visit our sister site (https://happeninginsideyourhead.wordpress.com/).

10 Little Ninjas by Miranda Paul.  Illus. by Nate Wragg.

10 Little Ninjas is a bright, colorful picture book that counts down from ten to zero (along the ’10 Little Monkeys’ pattern) as ten brothers and sisters let their imaginations run wild . . . much to the chagrin of the parents trying (and failing) to put them to bed.  The children and their parents transform respectively from ninjas “sneaking out of bed” and chiding sensei to “hungry reef sharks swimming lazy laps” and fed up lifeguard until finally all ten are sleeping in one big bed . . . each still dressed in the costume for one of the night’s pretend-play adventures.

The text itself has a steady rhyme which makes for a good read-a-loud book (though there are a few slant rhymes that sound a bit ‘off’ in oral readings) and small details in the illustrations provide opportunities for richer, dialogic reading with an older child.

The dedication gives the reader an indication that this is a book that pays homage to multi-racial blended/adoptive/foster families but since the story itself doesn’t address it, grown-ups may want to take the learning opportunity to explicitly point out this type of family structure to their children.

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Release Date: August 9, 2016

Recommended Age Group: 2+

Thank you to author Miranda Paul and publisher Alfred A. Knopf for their generous donation.


Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford.  Illus. by Eric Velasquez.

Schomburg defies genre in the sense that it is not exactly a picture book biography (a newer, and much loved sub-genre of picture books for older readers, of which Schomburg is definitely a prime example) since the scope is so wide.  With lots of dense text (written at a higher reading level), Schomburg is so much more than a biography of Arturo Schomburg himself.  With a really nice timeline, bibliography, and source notes at the back, it is a great book to provide an entry point for readers wishing to explore further into Schomburg’s life and/or prominent figures in African-American history as a whole.  There are facts that even I, as an adult reader, was ignorant to (John James Audubon was mixed race — French-Creole?!).  The illustrations deserve a ‘reading’ all their own.  Lush, textured panels remind the eye of oil paintings and bring an even deeper sense of gravitas to Shomburg’s quest.

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Release Date: September 12, 2017

Recommended Age Group: 8+

Thank you to author Carole Boston Weatherford and publisher Candlewick Press for their generous donation.

Jupiter Storm by Marti Dumas.

Jupiter Storm is an #ownvoices middle-grade fantasy novel that follows 10-year-old Jackie Johnson as she discovers what at first appears to be a butterfly chrysalis or insect egg (Jackie dubs the unknown life-form the ‘chrysalegg’) growing on her beloved snapdragon plant.  But when the ‘chrysalegg’ hatches, what emerges is no butterfly!  The novel is fast-paced, with a healthy amount of character detail.  The African-American protagonist and author are noteworthy especially since fantasy and sci-fi seem to have a problem not only failing to publish authors of color (not a problem restricted to these sub-genres, but rather a plague upon the houses of children’s publishing as a whole) but also failing to include characters of color in primary protagonist roles.

Jupiter Storm will be part of a series . . . the second installment is set to be released this coming March.  Since Plum Street Press is a boutique publishing house, librarians may find it hard to include the series in their collections (it is not, for example, available through Baker and Taylor — but, if possible, it is worth buying the inexpensive paperback version from other retailers.

Publisher: Plum Street Press

Release Date: November 13, 2017

Recommended Age Group: 8+

Thank you to author Marti Dumas and publisher Plum Street Press for their generous donation.

Swift Walker (series) by Verlyn Tarlton.  Illus. by Norma Andriani Eka Putri.

This trio of books (Swift Walker: A Space Adventure; Swift Walker: Continental Journey; Swift Walker: A Journey Around the Oceans) follow the inquisitive Swift as he explores the world around him . . . walking so fast that his feet won’t stop before they’ve traveled over all seven continents, through the depths of Earth’s oceans, and into outer space.

The illustrations mimic the style of a coloring book or computer drawings — simple, sharp lines and primary colors — and, in fact, there is a coloring book version of Swift Walker (Swift Walker: World Geography Coloring Book).

Despite my appreciation for the first-person perspective (most especially from a child of color), unfortunately, none of the books include any kind of bibliography, glossary, notes, etc. that brings the series up to the professional standards that most librarians and teachers would measure a non-fiction selection against.  Though because of these deficits, I can’t recommend the inclusion of the Swift Walker series in a school or public library collection, these would be good volumes to include in a home library . . . more for fun or to spark interest in the topic.

Publisher: Plum Street Press 

Release Date: 2016-2017

Recommended Age Group: 3+

Thank you to author Verlyn Tarlton and publisher Plum Street Press for their generous donation.

More information about MCBD:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our 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.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

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 BernardoAuthor Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne BroylesAuthor 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 MysticPrincesses.com, 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 QueenAuthor 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.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/

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

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

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

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