Welcome to our 4th Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Here’s how to celebrate:
- Link up your diversity book reviews
- Win diversity book bundles at our Twitter Party tonight! We’re giving away 100+ children’s books from 9pm to 10pm EST. RSVP here. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld.
- Get your a copy of Read Your World: A Guide to Multicultural Children’s Books for Parents and Educators. It’s FREE today through January 31st!
Book Reviewers: Please link up your book reviews here. We have set up FOUR linkys so you can add your blog review based whether your review is on a BLOG, INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, or YOUTUBE.
Let’s Celebrate Chinese New Year and Multicultural Book Day!
Chinese New Year’s Eve Day is January 27th, the same day as Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Let’s celebrate them together! Chinese New Year is celebrated for two weeks each year starting on the night before the lunar new year begins. This year it will end on February 11, 2017. Billions of people around the world celebrate this holiday (did you know that one out of four people in the world is Chinese?)
Take a look at this Chinese New Year Parade. What do you see and feel? The energy is so infectious! Can you feel the drums beating? Can you hear the firecrackers popping? See the lion dip, zig zap and prance down the street, shaking its head to the beat of the drums.
Did you know that the lion in a Chinese New Year parade comes from the imagination of the Chinese people? It has the soft body of a lion, the shaggy fur of a lion, the eyes of a rabbit, the antlers of a deer, the ears of a dog, the antenna of a dragonfly, the paws of a tiger, the horn of a rhino, and the beard of a billy goat!
Here are two crafts for you to help you celebrate Chinese New Year. Make your own “hong bao” and a Chinese lantern. Read about the traditions, and fun traditions Chinese families use to celebrate this most important of holidays in All About China: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More for Kids.
Allison Branscombe is the author of All About China: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More for Kids; she can be reached on Twitter @abranscombe2, on Instagram at #abwriter, on You Tube at http://Bit.ly/1rpkMdM and on Facebook at http://bit.ly/2kqvkYi
All images are from All About China: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More for Kids, Tuttle Publishing, copyright 2014.
One of the most admired and respected publishing companies in the United States, Chronicle Books was founded in 1967 and over the years has developed a reputation for award-winning, innovative books. The company continues to challenge conventional publishing wisdom, setting trends in both subject and format, maintaining a list that includes fine art titles in design, art, architecture, and photography. Inspired by the enduring magic and importance of books, our mission at Chronicle Books is to create and distribute exceptional publishing that is instantly recognizable for its spirit, creativity, and value.
Chronicle Books is an independent publisher based in San Francisco. Inspired by the enduring magic of books, we create distinctive publishing that’s instantly recognizable. [Read more…]
Starting Thursday, January 26th, through Tuesday, January 31st, our Multicultural Children’s Book Day ebook will be FREE on Amazon!
Read Your World: A Guide to Multicultural Children’s Books for Parents and Educators is a “Best Of” list of diversity books lists for children contributed by 20 bloggers and 2 authors:
Alex Baugh of Randomly Reading
Amanda Boyarshinov of The Educators’ Spin On It
Valarie Budayr of Jump Into a Book
Erica Clark of What Do We Do All Day?
Rebecca Flansburg of Frantic Mommy
Anna Geiger of The Measured Mom
Svenja Gernand of Colours of Us
Michelle Goetzl of Books My Kids Read
Jennifer Hughes of The Jenny Evolution
MaryAnne Kochenderfer of Mama Smiles
Marie-Claude Leroux of Marie Pastiche
Katie Logonauts of The Logonauts
Stephanie Meade of InCultureParent
Katie Meadows of Youth Literature Reviews
Leanna Guillén Mora of All Done Monkey
Becky Morales of Kid World Citizen
Carrie Pericola of Crafty Moms Share
Jodie Rodriguez of Growing Book by Book
Melissa Taylor of Imagination Soup
Mia Wenjen of PragmaticMom
Uma Krishnaswami, author
Please welcome J. Torres with his eight favorite diversity graphic novels. He is best known for DC Comics’ Teen Titans Go series. Other noteworthy titles include the Eisner Award-nominated Alison Dare, the Shuster Award-nominated Bigfoot Boy, and the Parents’ Choice Award-winner Brobots. Today he shares eight of his favorite graphic novels that have fantasy, mythology, and diversity.
Fantasy, Mythology, and Diversity in Graphic Novels
1. Usagi Yojimbo: The Ronin by Stan Sakai
Written and drawn by the award-winning cartoonist Stan Sakai, this long-running series of graphic novels tells the story of a samurai rabbit on a warrior’s pilgrimage in a world populated by anthropomorphic characters. Influenced by Japanese history, folklore, and cinema, Usagi’s story is a sweeping epic with both episodic tales and multi-volume arcs, and the first volume “The Ronin” is the best place to start. [graphic novel, ages 10 and up]
2. Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise by
Based on the popular animated series which drew from Chinese, Indian, and numerous Far East as well as tribal cultures for its settings, costuming, martial arts, and other world-building, this series of graphic novels features the further adventures of Aang and his friends. “The Promise” builds wonderfully on the family and friendship, coming-of-age, and balance of power themes of the cartoon with the same drama, action, and humour thanks to writer Gene Luen Yang and artists Gurihiru. [graphic novel, ages 8 and up]
Guest post from Globe Smart Kids
We are drawn to books that feel familiar
Research says that we feel most safe and comfortable around the things and people we know well, that feel familiar to us. We find them in our personal ‘bubble’, they are like us in terms of gender, nationality, language, race, religion, culture, education, socio-economic situation, location etc.
On the other hand, our natural basic instincts often tell us to be wary of something new and different; unfamiliar things make us uncomfortable and sometimes even anxious. While this might have been a useful instinct in the past, in our diverse globalized world this instinct is not doing us any favors.
What you consider familiar and foreign is defined at a young age
Children begin learning about themselves and the world around them in a formative way between two to five years old. Attitudes are shaped, and they start to notice identity and differences between themselves and others. This is also the age where imagination and imagery are key components of how kids learn.
Over 70 years of research in ‘intergroup-contact theory’ has shown that if you have a positive experience with someone from outside your daily bubble, you are more likely to choose a similar experience again in the future. Contact with the unfamiliar can happen face-to-face (direct contact) or indirectly, such as through a book, a TV show or even your own imagination. By intentionally reading multicultural books to children during the formative years of early childhood, we can begin to fundamentally transform what feels foreign and what feels familiar.
Beyond multicultural books
But there is more. Technology now offers something new in the field of intergroup contact: simulated intergroup contact. And it is great for younger kids. Where books spark imagination and bridge worlds, interactive books can enhance those effects. Even before kids can go out and explore the world themselves, technology like peer-to-peer narration, simulation, language learning and games can make friendship outside a bubble an experience kids are excited about (making it one more like to happen). At Globe Smart Kids, we are studying and learning (http://globesmartkids.org/impact/) more every day about this exciting field in partnership with researchers at the University of Kent in the UK.
Enrich your bubble with diverse friends
Let’s work together to make sure there are books that reflect the familiar and unfamiliar bubbles of all readers. And let’s step it up and celebrate diversity beyond printed pages by helping our children to feel excited and confident to make friends outside their daily bubble. This will set them up for happiness and success in our diverse globalized world.
PS: Find a personal story of making the foreign feel familiar in this TEDx talk: “How a child’s imagination can fight prejudice” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDUcSNSSFS8&feature=youtu.be)
Sanny Zuiderveld is co-founder of non-profit Globe Smart Kids, the maker of One Globe Kids: an immersive digital library of global stories designed to encourage cross-group friendship for children 4 – 10 years, accessible via iOS apps and website.
She is a Dutch marketer and engineer living in NYC, enjoying raising a 10-yr-old global citizen.
Connect with Globe Smart Kids
Global friends library: www.oneglobekids.com
Pomelo Books are the curators and publishers of The Poetry Friday Anthology series for K-5 and Middle School. Their books include The Poetry Friday Anthology (all four editions: for the Common Core, for the TEKS, for K-5, and for Middle School). Also, 3 ebook anthologies: Poetry Tag Time, P*TAG (for teens), and Gift Tag (holiday poems). The Poetry Friday Anthology® series helps teachers and librarians teach poetry easily while meeting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and the Texas TEKS for English Language Arts (ELA)/Poetry and Science & Technology. Celebrate Poetry on Fridays—and any day—with The Poetry Friday Anthology®!
HERE WE GO: A Poetry Friday Power Book for children, tweens, and teens, features 12 PowerPack sets that combine: 1) diverse anchor poems; 2) new original response poems and mentor poems by Janet Wong; 3) PowerPlay prewriting activities; and 4) Power2You writing prompts.
Please welcome illustrator Carl Angel. The Girl Who Saved Yesterday is about remembrance for the past and for those who came before us, celebrated through my imagery and the beautiful poetic language of Julius Lester. The list below relates to his book in either its respect for ancestors, or in its transcendent use mythical elements and/or poetic language.
We are giving away a copy of The Girl Who Saved Yesterday. Please enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
Respect for Ancestors Picture Books
Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott
Gerald McDermott’s work and this book had a profound impact on my imagination as a child. The themes of fathers and sons still resonates. I still get chills whenever I look at his images. So striking, so beautiful, so elemental. (ages 3 to 7)
Why Do Adults Need to Discuss Diverse & Inclusive Books with Children?
Guest post by Stefanie Paige Wieder, M.S.Ed.
The need for diverse and inclusive books for children has become clear. When children see themselves reflected in books, it increases their feelings of positive self-worth. Conversely, when children rarely or never see themselves reflected in books, they receive the message that they are outside of what is acknowledged and accepted as “normal.”
Furthermore, research shows that without thoughtful adult intervention, children develop stereotypes. As early childhood anti-bias education expert and human development faculty member at Pacific Oaks College, Louise Derman-Sparks, explains:
“By the age of two, children begin absorbing socially prevailing stereotypes, attitudes and biases about themselves and people different from themselves. They begin to show discomfort or fear or even dislike toward a person with a different skin color, different language or with a physical disability.”
Books that depict people from all walks of life help combat this. But they can’t do the work alone.
Why the need for adult conversation around these books?
Children often need adult guidance in order to make the connection between what they read in books and their own knowledge and experiences. Connecting new information to what they already know enables children to make meaning of the new information and integrate it into their lives. Savvy teachers often introduce a topic by asking children what they already know. This activates children’s prior knowledge, which gives them a context for integrating new information. It also allows the teacher to assess where there may be gaps in understanding.
Adults also play a key role in answering questions about a book: providing explanations and factual information, or modeling for kids how to do research to get additional information.
Talking explicitly about issues like culture, race, religion, sexual orientation and abilities can be awkward for adults. But for children, it’s not awkward. It’s essential. They are already thinking about these topics and making sense of them in their own way, whether adults talk with them about it or not.
When having conversations with children, adults should find the balance between drawing out what kids know and providing factual information. If a child does express a stereotype or incorrect notion about others, it is important for the adult to gently correct their thinking.
Diverse and inclusive books are a critical and welcome part of children’s lives. As adults, it’s our role to make sure children receive and understand the messages of these books with open hearts and clear minds.
What do your children see in the books they read?
Stefanie Paige Wieder, M.S.Ed, is Senior Director of Product at Barefoot Books and a child development expert with over 20 years of experience. She earned her dual master’s in Early Childhood General & Special Education / Infant & Parent Development & Early Intervention from the Bank Street Graduate School of Education and her B.A. from Harvard University.
Want more of Stefanie’s expert tips to nurture your child or students’ empathy? Download a FREE empathy-boosting activity and discussion guide here!