Introducing our Author Sponsors for MCBD 2019!
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Would YOU like to be a 2019 Author Sponsor for Multicultural Children’s Book Day? Get the scoop HERE!
Honorary Author Sponsors for MCBD 2019
The official MCBD2019 poster courtesy of author/illustrator, Julie Flett, is ready to take the world by storm! Needless to say, this poster’s beauty blew us away. Go here to read Julie’s story and download a copy for your reading area, library or classroom. A huge THANK YOU to Julie for lending her talents to create the masterpiece that is our official poster for 2019!
Mehrdokht Amini is an Iranian-British children’s book illustrator living in England. She graduated with a degree in Graphic Design from Tehran University and has worked as an illustrator for both educational and mainstream publishers ever since.
Mehrdokht loves working with publishers who are interested in cultural diversity because it gives her an excellent opportunity to undertake a close study of different cultures and communities, gain a better understanding of those cultures and appreciate people of different backgrounds to her own.
A HUGE “Thank You!” to Mehrdokht Amini for creating the poster for the 2018/2019
FREE Classroom Poverty Kit 2019: Poverty Doesn’t Discriminate | Understanding Poverty in America
Janet is a full-time educator and part-time bilingual children’s books author, advocator, and promoter. Her books are about Hispanic legends that teach a strong message of family values, traditions, and culture. Janet currently has two books available in English and Spanish and just published her third book, Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean.
Marlene and her six mermaid sisters are on a mission to save the oceans from mankind’s pollution. One mermaid is assigned to each of the Seven Continents to protect the surrounding oceans. Together the seven mermaid sisters take care of the sea animals and raise awareness on water pollution, conservation, and recycling around the world. The story is fiction but builds an important bridge for young children to connect with real environmental issues occurring in Florida and around the world. Join the movement of these mermaids on a mission to preserve the lakes, rivers, and oceans of the blue planet for future generations.
Her books The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid, The Legend of Roberto Cofresi – Puerto Rican Hero and La Leyenda de Roberto Cofresi – Un héreo de Puerto Rico have won numerous awards including:
2015 Mariposa International Latino Book Awards
2015, 2016 & 2017 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards
2016 & 2017 International Latino Book Awards
Kathleen Burkinshaw is a Japanese American author residing in Charlotte, NC. She’s a wife, mom to a daughter in college, and owns a dog who is a kitchen ninja. She has presented her mother’s experience in Hiroshima to middle and high schools for the past 8 years. Writing historical fiction also satisfies her obsessive love of researching anything and everything. The Last Cherry Blossom, is recently nominated for NC School Library Media Association YA Book Award, recently nominated 2019-2020 Volunteer State Book Award, 2018 & 2016 Scholastic WNDB Reading Club selection, 2016 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award Finalist (southeast region), nominated for both the NC Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award and the 2018 Sakura Medal in Japan
Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as books including It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk, Dear Dragon, Pirasaurs!, Albie Newton, How to Code a Sandcastle, Lost in the Library, and more.
His book, How to Code a Sandcastle has won numerous awards including the 2018 Summer Indie Kids’ Next List Selection.
Pearl and her trusty rust-proof robot, Pascal, need to build a sandcastle before summer vacation is over, and they’re going to do it using code. Pearl breaks the big we-need-a-sandcastle problem into smaller steps, then uses conditionals, loops, and other basic coding concepts to tell Pascal exactly what to do. But building a sandcastle isn’t as easy as it sounds when surfboards, mischievous dogs, and coding mishaps get in the way Just when it looks like the sandcastle might never work, Pearl uses her coding skills to save the day and create something even better: a gorgeous sandcastle kingdom.
In Chitra Soundar’s newest book, Farmer Falgu Goes to the Kumbh Mela, Farmer Falgu is headed to the Kumbh Mela in the vibrant city of Allahabad. There are a lot of things to see at the Mela, his friends remind him. But does Farmer Falgu manage to see them all?
Kanika Nair’s striking illustrations capture the colorful chaos and celebration that Kumbh Mela really is. This charming and thoughtful diverse tale by Chitra Soundar is perfect for ages 3-7. Chitra Soundar is an Indian-born British writer, storyteller, and author of children’s books, based in London. She has published over 30 books for children, in the UK, US, India, Singapore amongst others including You’re Safe with Me, Pattan’s Pumpkin and Where is Gola’s Home?. Her books have been translated into German, French, and Japanese to name a few.
Globe Smart Kids, Inc. is an American 501©3 non-profit organization with the mission to make the foreign feel familiar to children worldwide. We use storytelling, technology, and research to move children beyond prejudice and toward mutual liking and friendship outside their familiar bubbles. Our main program is One Globe Kids.
What if you could travel the world all by yourself? Without a grown-up. Without luggage. Without a plane ticket or a long bus ride. And what if, in every country you visit, a new friend is waiting to show you around? If that sounds like fun, then come along and explore the world with One Globe Kids!
One Globe Kids is an award-winning virtual library of global non-fiction stories and friendship activities for children 4 – 10 years old. Children can currently read and/or listen to friends in Haiti, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Burundi, New York City and Israel. They can practice speaking new languages and draw comparisons between their lives. One Globe Kids enables young children to experience friendship beyond geographic, linguistic and other boundaries that limit their connection with diversity.
Current One Globe Kids virtual library of global friendship stories:
- My Haiti – Valdo
- My Haiti – Gabou
- My NYC – Luna
- My NYC – Lucian
- My Burundi – Jenissa
- My Israel – Maya
- My Netherlands – Lars
- My Netherlands – Floor
- My Indonesia – Larasati
- My Indonesia – Aji
Access the stories via iOS app for iPhone or iPad or by computer via www.oneglobekids.org. Stories come with friendship activities, a standards-aligned ELA curriculum for K-2 and lots of activities for at home and in the classroom. They are also the proud recipients of the following awards:
- Ehon Digital Education Materials Award, Japan
- Finalist Early Years Excellence Awards, UK
- Academics’ Choice Award for Smart Media, USA
- Education App store5-starr Award, UK
- Ashoka Re-imagine Learning Challenge Pacesetter – #play2learn
- Scholastic – One of 6 best Social Studies apps & 50 awesome apps for teachers, USA
Joy and Sadness in a Charming Children’s Tale of Jewish Faith. The inspiration for this unique diverse picture book for kids was a long time in the making. Lori S. Kline, the author of Almost a Minyan, originally penned the book 30 years ago; around the time she moved to Austin, Texas.
Chosen as the Children’s Book Pick for 2017 by the Jewish Women’s Archive, Almost a Minyan is a delightful children’s book that will have a special appeal for girls and their brothers in Jewish households across the spectrum from Orthodox to secular. Aside from being vibrant and beautiful, Almost a Minyan contains both Hebrew and Yiddish words and has a glossary, so it’s an excellent teaching tool and introduction to Judaism.
Karen is a journalist who spent many years as a news broadcaster in Washington, D.C., reviewing children’s books before writing them. She reviewed children’s books and interviewed authors for the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, Children’s Literature, Washington Parent and others. She has written for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Voice of America, International Educator magazine and more. She has led Skype sessions between American and Egyptian children and presented workshops for teachers and librarians on using picture books to build global awareness. Karen is a former president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C.
Hands Around the Library – hardback, English and Arabic, Malala – paperback, hardback, eBook
Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012 3rd – 5th grades
Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words
Lee & Low (February 2019) 3rd – 5th grades, Spanish and English
2013 Arab American Book Award
2013 Notable Social Studies Trade Books
2013 Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books
2013 Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices
Facebook, Twitter, website.
Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi (餃子) is about a little Chinese-American boy named Brandon who gets a surprise visit from his grandma from China, Pó Po (婆婆). While Brandon and Pó Po (婆婆) are making Chinese dumplings, called jiǎo zi (餃子), Brandon makes a mess and he and Pó Po (婆婆) have a good laugh! They chat and bond over the experience. Then Brandon eats and eats and eats and makes a surprise at the end that delights the whole family! This story includes some conversational Mandarin Chinese (including Pinyin – pronunciation) and is written the way a real Chinese grandmother and her Chinese-American grandson would speak with each other. It is a fun read for families with children who are learning or are interested in, Mandarin or Chinese culture.
Eugenia Chu is an attorney, turned stay-at-home mom, turned writer. She is a first generation Chinese-American citizen who lives in Miami with her husband and son, Brandon. Brandon is the inspiration for her stories because when he was very little Eugenia couldn’t find children’s storybooks to read to him that touched upon Chinese culture and included some Chinese (Mandarin) words to teach and/or reinforce his Chinese vocabulary. Her solution? She started writing her own. Read more of Eugenia’s story on her website or connect with her on Goodreads.
Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series by Ajanta & Vivek takes kids to a journey across India as they experience festivals, cities, food, music, dance and everything else that makes the Indian culture so vibrant and joyful!
The series has 8 titles so far including festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Ramadan/Eid etc. regions such as Mumbai, Delhi and even one on Indian wedding! The books provide an in-depth view via fun and engaging content!
Ajanta & Vivek also teach fun multicultural content via their YouTube channel whose goal is to provide Cultural Screen Time and includes animations, dance-along videos, trip to Indian stores and more.
CultureGroove’s vibrant books include Let’s Celebrate Holi! (Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series), Let’s Celebrate Ramadan & Eid! (Muslim Festival of Fasting & Sweets), Let’s Celebrate Navratri! (Nine Nights of Dancing & Fun) Let’s Celebrate 5 Days of Diwali! (Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series), Let’s Visit Mumbai! (Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series) Delhi and Taj Mahal and more!
Me On The Page Publishing creates materials, sponsors events and publishes books to support building healthy and strong African American Families. Our vision is simple: to provide and promote what is true, healthy and good in presence and communications.
Me On the Page originated from the challenges experienced in finding books and materials that were engaging and reflected children of color in a positive light. Creator Phelicia Lang researched and sought materials across the nation to help fill this void and to build healthy self-esteem in her own children, and later her own students.
The concept of Me On the Page evolved from these challenges and the foundational beliefs, that stories do matter and diverse points of view deserve to be heard.
Providing children with access to engaging literature, where they can see positive reflections of their lives helps to develop healthy self/cultural concepts. Good literature will not only help them to develop a healthy self-concept, it will provide a window which they can look through to see other worlds and other points of view.
The “ELVES UP NORTH” is an interactive Christmas book which allows the reader to “adapt” the storyline to create different experiences each time. It can be read like a chapter bedtime story or out loud to groups.
The viewpoint is “you”, as you are asked to answer yes or no, complete small or big tasks.
A wizard, named ‘the Maestro’ asks for your help to find out why Castor the Elf is sad this season. If you agree, he will whisk you ‘Up North’. There, you meet Misty the Mouse and the Elves of Table 12. With Multicultural and characters with special needs, as the reviewer quoted, “It’s the first time Santa’s workshop shows the “real” world!” More than that, it is a story of friendship, of how important it is for everyone to feel like they belong and of how sometimes, the closest friends can even become family.
It’s up to you, Misty the mouse, the Elves of Table 12 and of course Santa, to save the day!
When not writing Lori can be found spoiling her three multicultural grandchildren. “I dream of a time when everyone is accepted as they are, for everyone deserves to feel like they belong. Although most of my books are classified for children, they are written for all ages, so kids and grandparents alike can enjoy. My goal is to build a bridge between us all while leaving behind a trail of smiles to remember along the way.”
Sarah Jamila Stevenson is a writer, artist, editor and graphic designer in Northern California. She is the author of three YA novels: THE LATTE REBELLION (Flux, 2011), UNDERNEATH (Flux, 2013) and THE TRUTH AGAINST THE WORLD (Flux, 2014). Her first novel for young adults, THE LATTE REBELLION, was a Scholastic Book Club pick as well as an IPPY Bronze Medalist in Multicultural Children’s Fiction. Her work has been featured on Capital Public Radio’s Insight and NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is also an active blogger: since 2005 she has been posting children’s literature reviews and information at Finding Wonderland (writingya.blogspot.com), a blog she shares with fellow young adult author Tanita S. Davis, and she is a regular participant in the Cybils Awards.
Sarah’s books have also won many awards including the IPPY Bronze Medal – Children’s Multicultural Fiction, Florida Teens Read List 2013 – 2014, Scholastic Book Club Selection, Third Prize, 2005 Smartwriters Write It Now short story contest for YA fiction and the Haworth Prize in Young Adult Fiction, Mills College, 2004.
Kimberly is an educator and an author who has taught college students for over 25 years. in 2018, she was the recipient of a Stanford GSE Alumni Excellence in Education Award.
Her book, LaDonna Plays Hoops, is published by MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing and is available on Amazon and Barnes-n-Noble. LaDonna Plays Hoops is an inspirational and contemporary story of a young, African-American girl who goes to visit her grandma for a family reunion. While there, she tries to become the family hoops star. She wonders if she has the skill and the will. The story presents subtle, everyday events that teach life lessons.
She has a BA in Psychology and Music from the University of Redlands and has co-authored several textbooks. Kimberly has also been writing children’s books for a while and LaDonna Plays Hoops is her first published work. I also co-author textbooks. I have a BA in Psychology and Music from the University of Redlands.
For her day job, Kimberly has a PhD for Stanford University in Child and Adolescent Development. She is also a professor of Child Development at Sacramento State in California and a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the American Educational Research Association, and the American Psychological Association. She is also a proud member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
About Nina the Neighborhood Ninja / Nina la Ninja del Vecindario
Nina’s a girl who takes charge. She uses her brain and her muscles to complete rescue missions. She doesn’t mind getting dirty and climbing trees. It’s all part of the life of the everyday girl superhero. Through a narrative and interactive questions, young readers are encouraged to recognize that the traits of being smart, strong, and speedy exist within themselves. Young girls will find this book to be a positive affirmation that they too can be superheroes. They always have been. Perfect for ages 3-6 and available in English and Spanish.
Author Sonia Panigrahy (Pah-Nee-Grah-Hee), is a public health professional, world traveler, adventure seeker, and fitness enthusiast. Her motto is that life is too short to be bored! Nina the Neighborhood Ninja was created out of Sonia’s lifelong love of reading. As her family and friends begin to have children, she looked forward to sharing this love with them. She believes that books are a powerful way to empower impressionable young minds.
Sonia was surprised that she could not find books for kids ages 3-6 years that realistically identified females as intelligent, physically tough, brave, and adventurous. She was disappointed that girls continue to be excluded from the heart of the superhero story. After unsuccessful attempts to find a young girl superhero protagonist on the pages of a book, especially one of color, she gave up. Then she created her own.
Alex Asks About Auntie’s Airplane Day: An Adoption Day Story (Illustrator Pieter Els)
Alex Asks About Auntie’s Airplane Day is a multigenre fiction story based on a nonfiction annual event, the adoption day celebration sometimes called “airplane day” or “gotcha day.” This is the story of how an adult aunt adopted from South Korea fits in an otherwise white family in Minnesota in the United States. It is meant for the young family relatives to help them understand how a family could have racial diversity. Celebrations such as airplane day and gotcha day are a good way to help family members with such memories. Alex Asks About Auntie’s Airplane Day comes in three different reading formats; paperback, Kindle Paperwhite, eBook, and Kindle Fire interactive eBook. This book will appeal to kids in the Pre-K through Grade 2 age group. Carolyn also offers a free “Gotcha Day” printable for educators and parents.
Carolyn Wilhelm has been writing mostly free lessons for teachers online since 1988. Carolyn is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), which has published four of her lessons on ReadWriteThink.org. Her educational resources are for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers as well as Teacher’s Notebook. Previous publications include a story in an anthology Mom for the Holidays: Stories of Love, Laughter & Tantrums at Christmas & Hanukkah by Nolan and Demas.
Dancing Dreidels is a delightful story of Rebecca and her four favorite dreidels, Sheila Shin, Gail Gimmel, Harry Hey, and Neil Nun. Rebecca waits for this holiday every year when the family gathers to celebrate. The smells of yummy foods fill the air. Singing, dancing, and the lighting of the menorah take center stage until it is time for the dreidels to spin for the evening’s grand finale. But, Sheila can’t stop falling down. Will Sheila be able to ‘dance’ at the Hanukkah party? A dreidel is a pointed four-sided spinning top,
played with at Hanukkah.
“Dancing Dreidels is a charming, inspirational and educational story that beautifully shares the wonders of Hanukkah with young readers and their families.”
Alva Sachs writes stories to empower, engage, and excite children to read for the love of reading. Stories that encourage children to explore their relationship with family, friends and the world around them create a wider understanding of themselves and others. Her books along with the illustrations by Patricia Krebs inspire and complement the themes of being a child as they grow into their own self-awareness.
Author Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay Fletcher met in a local Mommy and Me class 12 years ago when their kids were tots. They indie published their first book Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs together in 2012 to reassure children coping with loss and separation — now they are a dynamic duo committed to creating books to heal and inspire children of all ages!
Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is a timeless picture book with a powerful message: love is forever. It’s a wonderful bedtime book for any child, but especially helpful for children grieving a loss or coping with separation anxiety for any reason (divorce, deployment, foster care, etc). Soothing, lyrical text and heartwarming illustrations portray a diverse spectrum of children, engaged in joyful activities in nature.
The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm In 2014, they collaborated with LeVar Burton (Roots, Reading Rainbow, Star Trek) on a picture book to help children cope with trauma and turbulent emotions. The Rhino book is a valuable resource for families, therapists and Child Life specialists, and has been read aloud by Michelle Obama. It was also sent via rocket to the International Space Station for an innovative STEAM program called Storytime from Space.
The Big Adventures of Tiny House Their latest picture book tells the story of Tiny, an old farmhouse that is recycled into a tiny house on wheels and sets off across America. It’s a celebration of the meaning of home – and following your heart to a life that is big and amazing…no matter what size or shape you are.
Upcoming releases include Bernardo’s first novel Inspired (February 2018), a book intended to empower and encourage tween and teen girls, and a picture book biography of Theophile Steinlen entitled The Artist Who Loved Cats (Spring 2018). Find healing art activities and more information at www.sunkissesmoonhugs.com.
Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid
Milind Makwana grew up in Mumbai, India and moved to USA. He is a Software engineer working in Silicon Valley and is passionate about learning & teaching Hindu Dharma to younger kids growing up in the USA.
His daughter Yagnee inspired him to write his first book. He credits Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh for being the guiding force in his Life, where he also has been volunteering from past 12+ years.
His maiden book “A Day in Life of a Hindu kid” has received 5-star reviews on Amazon. It’s a unique short poem book which teaches selected Hindu mantras to the Kids by taking them through the daily activity of two American born Hindu Kids. Both the Hindi and English version of the mantras are provided along with their meaning in English to help the Kids learn them easily. With simple rhyming words and amazing full-page illustrations, this book is must-have for kids in the age group of 3-8 years.
Connect with Milind on Facebook
Angel Friends: Let Your Smile Shine is an inspiring story about friendship, kindness, resilience, bravery, and self-acceptance. Most people don’t realize how often bullying occurs with young children. Join Aria, India, and their Angel Friends, as they deal with the difficult issue of bullying and smart ways to resolve an upsetting experience. Aria’s Angel Friend, Michael, gives her some great ideas like to hold her head high, walk away and sing… “I will smile and I will shine. Look at me, I’m just fine. I won’t let you bring me down. You won’t even see me frown. I will smile and I will shine. Look at me. I’m just fine.” Parents can use this approachable book to discuss bullying with their children in a comforting way.
Tara Williams has been an early childhood special educator for over 20 years and a mom of one beautiful daughter. She realized books can be for both enjoyment and an amazing conversation starter with children. Many difficult topics can be addressed by using a great book. Tara wants everyone to Always Be Kind and Let Your Smile Shine!
Veronica Appleton is the creator of Appleville Books, a collection of children stories reflecting the everyday life of multicultural families. In 2016, Journey to Appleville, one of the first stories released from the collection, shares a tale of friendship and goal setting for all families. Veronica has visited more than 10 elementary schools and daycares to share the power of literacy.
When Veronica is not working on new children stories, she serves as Professor of Intercultural Communications and Organizational Communications at DePaul University. Veronica completed her undergraduate education at Purdue University, graduate education at DePaul University and currently pursuing a doctoral degree in organizational behavior and leadership at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology with significant research interests in organizational/workplace culture, employee engagement, and diversity management.
Veronica has been featured in Diversity Journal’s Top Professionals in Higher Education, FOX Chicago News, Chicago Woman Magazine, Story Monsters Ink Magazine, WCIU Now. Chicago, received the Relationship Advocate Award from Chicago’s Perspective Charter Schools, received the Champion of Growth Award from Coalesce Chicago, named the 2017 Chicago Scholars 35 Under 35 Young Leaders Making an Impact Award, received a nomination for the 2016 Jay Walter Thompson Bill Sharp Advertising Award, received the 2017 #Redefine Possible Women’s Leadership Award from the Chicago Sky Basketball Team, named Crain’s Chicago 20intheir20’s, and the 2017 DiversityMBA Magazine’s Top 100 under 50 Emerging Leaders Award. Veronica is a native Chicagoan.
Dr. Crystal Bowe is a family medicine physician who has written 2 children’s books (Doc Like Mommy, The Patience Song) and published one coloring book (Doc Like Mommy Coloring Book)! Crystal pulled the inspiration for Doc, Like Mommy from her real-life experiences and relationship with her daughter.
Dr. Bowe is accomplishing her goals and dreams in the world of medicine, and she is modeling to her 2 children that women can have it all. Her lovely book was inspired by her kids to see a diverse and inclusive world where books are windows into the world.
Connect with Dr. Bowe on her Adventures of Doctor Mom website.
Dr. Claudia May Bio
I am a storyteller, author, poet, educator, spiritual director, children’s book author, consultant, and professor. My children’s picture book, a three-movement poem entitled When I Fly With Papa (Wise Ink Creative Publishing), explores how children and adults can co-create a liberating and emotionally transparent relationship with God. The central character in this book is a 7-year-old black girl called Winnie who teaches readers how we can cultivate a relationship with God that is steeped in emotional freedom.
My character Winnie teaches us how to feel without apology. As she does so, she dares to live a life of outrageous love and bravery. She feels without inhibition. Her relationship with Papa liberates her from the expectations to limit her feelings to a set of emotions. He embraces her emotions without hesitation. Winnie is free because she is fully herself with Papa. Her imagination and human emotions fly with the Papa whose presence, love, power, and image are not confined by any time, space, feeling, or image. Can we:
Laugh with God? Play with God? Be silly with God? Be angry with God? Or cry with God?
Winnie, her stuffed toy Bear Bear, and God would say: ABSOLUTELY!
When I Fly With Papa can be purchased via my website (claudiamay.org.uk) where you will find further details about my professional profile and areas of expertise.
Sandra L. Richards is the debut picture book author of Rice & Rocks. Sandra brings a unique contribution to the world of children’s books. An American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, she hopes the book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Learn more about Sandra at www.sandralrichards.com.
Rice & Rocks centers on the adventures of Giovanni, a young Jamaican-American boy seeking to understand the importance of his family’s heritage. The charming and curious main character is based on Richards’ lost nephew of the same name, who passed away from meningitis at 8-years-old. After his death in 2007, Richards began writing as a way to preserve her memories of Giovanni.
The book’s title refers to the Jamaican staple rice and beans, a dish Richard’s nephew avoided eating because he thought the beans looked like rocks. The reference serves as the central theme of Rice & Rocks, which follows Giovanni and his magic parrot on a journey around the world to find other places where rice and beans are enjoyed. Young readers travel with Giovanni from Japan to Puerto Rico to New Orleans, returning home just in time for dinner to be served.
Richards, an American born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, hopes the book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Rice & Rocks is available for purchase at major bookstores and online. The book is the first in a series following Giovanni and his magic parrot as they embark on global adventures and learn about the importance of culture and diversity.
Signed Copies: http://sandralrichards.com/rice-rocks-order/
Author Erin Dealey writes in many genres, from board books to YA, including K IS FOR KINDERGARTEN (Sleeping Bear/illus. Joseph Cowman); GRANDPA’S FAVORITE and companion book GRANDMA’S FAVORITE (2018), as well as BABIES COME FROM AIRPORTS –a kids’-eye view of international adoption– Kane Miller / illus. Luciana Navarro Powell; and DECK THE WALLS (Sleeping Bear Press/ illus. Nick Ward).
When her initial career goal of Olympic Gold Medal Tetherball Player didn’t pan out, she became a teacher, theater director, actor, mom, and author. Among Dealey’s forthcoming picture books are SNOWGLOBE WISHES (illus. Claire Shorrock/ Sleeping Bear, winter 2019); PETER EASTER FROG (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum, illus. G. Brian Karas, 2021), and DEAR EARTH…letters from Room 5 (Harper Collins). Dealey’s first picture books with Atheneum, GOLDIE LOCKS HAS CHICKEN POX, and LITTLE BO PEEP CAN’T GET TO SLEEP have taken her to school visits as far south as Brazil and as far north as Tok, Alaska. Dealey is a former SCBWI Co-RA for CA North/Central, frequent conference presenter, and the social media/ PR Coordinator for East West Literary.
Sanya Whittaker Gragg has always wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. She worked nearly 10 years in marketing/PR and athletics while volunteering with homeless families and advocating for foster children. After receiving her M.S.W., she worked in Tulsa Public Schools as a school-based therapist and social worker.
She feels her most important jobs have been wife and mom. While raising two sons and talking to other parents, she realized “The Talk” was taking place in many families; especially those with boys. She wanted to help parents have that difficult conversation on what to do if approached by law enforcement.
Her debut book, “Momma, Did You Hear the News?”, is centered around ten-year-old Avery who is in a panic over the shooting of another unarmed black man. His parents decide it is time to have “The Talk”. They teach him and his brother a catchy and easy way to remember what to do if approached by an officer, while also emphasizing that all policemen are not bad.
A to the L to the I-V-E… come home ALIVE…that is the KEY!
Hi, I’m Elsa Takaoka!
I write books for children. I have always been fascinated by books. I read them, review them, collect them and now create them! If given the chance I also chit-chat incessantly about picture book trends, illustration-styles and what “works” in the world of children’s literature. Emi Makes a Friend is a new book Bilingual Book for Toddlers. This book offers Japanese/English an intro in Japanese (written in both Hiragana and Romaji for intro level- parents can read it with zero Japanese knowledge). And I also have a wonderful diverse picture book, Yumi’s Extraordinary Collection; a Diverse Picture book about a Japanese/American family for the age 5-9 crowd.
Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo is a new author of children’s books concentrating on stories which reflect the makeup of our multicultural society and the diversity of our families. She draws on her life experiences as she was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Chicago. She raised 3 multicultural children and is a retired educator. As an educator, she realized the importance of providing students with relevant stories that validate their multicultural lifestyles and promote positive self-esteem. The diversity of her family and friends serve as inspiration.
Her diverse children’s picture book, Diego’s New America / La Nueva America de Diego, tells the story of a curious young boy named Diego who liked to ask a lot of questions. One day he is assigned a project at school and he realized what he doesn’t know. Diego knew nothing about his family’s cultural heritage. Join him in learning about his family, the wonderful countries they came from and how their cultures are part of all that surrounds him.
“Love this book! It teaches children about traditions and cultural differences. Its message is to be proud of who you are and where you come from. “~ Angela J.
Anita Badhwar grew up in the multicultural city of Toronto, Canada but now lives in the United States. Anita decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing a South Asian children’s book series in 2012. In particular, she wanted to celebrate her heritage with the world by writing a book series that presented information about India, Indian culture and Hindu festivals. Since 2012, her books have been featured in several South Asian online magazines in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Anita currently works as an International Educator in higher education and lives in Florida with her husband, and two children, and her lovable dog Buddy.
Sylvia Liu is a children’s author and illustrator. Her debut picture book, A Morning with Grandpa, illustrated by Christina Forshay (Lee & Low Books 2016), won the 2013 Lee & Low New Voices Award. As a Chinese-American who grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and a former environmental attorney, Sylvia is inspired by a variety of experiences, people, and cultures. Some of her favorite things are cephalopods, aliens, oceans, old maps, and quirky, misunderstood creatures. She runs the kid lit resource website, Kidlit411.com, and her website is enjoyingplanetearth.com. Sylvia has also been honored as a 2013 Lee & Low New Voices Award and aHampton Roads Writers Conference, 1st place, Nonfiction Contest, Sept. 2017 winner.
In her book, A Morning with Grandpa, Mei Mei s grandpa is practicing tai chi in the garden, and Mei Mei is eager to join in. As Gong Gong tries to teach her the slow, graceful movements, Mei Mei enthusiastically does them with her own flair. Then Mei Mei takes a turn, trying to teach Gong Gong the yoga she learned in school. Will Gong Gong be able to master the stretchy, bendy poses? Winner of the LEE & LOW New Voices Award, this title celebrates, with lively spirit and humor, the special bond between grandparent and grandchild and the joy of learning new things together. Readers of all ages will want to try out some tai chi and yoga too!
Feyi Fay and the Case of the Mysterious Madam Koi Koi is a delightful delightful chapter book for ages 6-9 that, with the help of a magical app, tell the story of Feyi Fay. Feyi Fay travels the world helping kids with any problem they can imagine. Bullying, making friends, monsters… anything!
In book one of the series, Feyi is needed in England to help a little boy with a mysterious case. There’s a wicked woman wearing red shoes in town. She frightens kids at night and stops them from having fun ever again. She must be stopped. Armed with glitter that makes you invisible, chocolate chip cookies that make you giant-sized and a stick that shrinks you as tiny as an ant, Feyi Fay arrives on the scene and saves the day.
“An imaginative, humorous book with a strong emotional foundation.” – Kirkus Reviews
By day, Simisayo Brownstone is a Strategy Executive, crunching numbers and plotting graphs. By night, she’s a disorganized mom trying to keep up with tantrums and dirty dishes. When she finds time for herself, she spends it daydreaming about what it would be like to live in a world with real magic. A world where eating cotton candy makes you skinny and butterflies can transport you through time. And even though she knows she’s no longer 16, she secretly hopes that she’ll one day find out she has superpowers. Teleportation would be nice. Until that day comes, she writes.
Ann (Ana) Morris writes bilingual children’s books and consults on a variety of Spanish language projects.
As a teacher and community worker, Morris has collaborated with and served people from many cultures new to our country. She speaks and writes Spanish as well as English. She hopes to encourage children and parents learning to read their native language, as well as to motivate language learners.
Her newest book,
Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez! shares the story of three-year-old Amy who is off on an adventure-a sleepover at her aunt and uncle’s house. Readers can jump into this bilingual book and join Amy on her most exciting day, all while learning another language! When you finish reading, you will no doubt want to do it again! This delightful picture book for ages 4-6 is also available in both English and Spanish.
Ann’s other books include Mommy and Mikel Go for a Walk, Mami y Mikel dan un paseo, Surprise in Auntie’s Garden!, ¡Sorpresa en el jardín de la tía!, Everything Is Different, Todo es distinto.
Jacqueline is a former school librarian who found herself intrigued by almost every book she put on the shelf. She is the award-winning author of 40 books for young readers, including the Zapato Power series, the Sofia Martinez series, Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation, Duck for Turkey Day, Never Say a Mean Word Again, Feathers for Peacock, The Hardest Word, and Pluto is Peeved.Also a poet, Jacqueline is the author of three poetry chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in over 100 publications, including Cricket, Cicada, Germ Magazine, YARN, The Poetry Friday Anthologies, and One Minute Till Bedtime. She lives in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. and enjoys visiting schools in person and via SKYPE. Visit www.jacquelinejules.com to learn more.
Her award-winning Zapato Power Series includes:
Pascha Adamo is a former middle school educator turned stay at home mom who sought to fill a void in children’s literature: chronicling the everyday adventures of a child of color in a board book series. Pascha was made aware of the underrepresentation of persons of color after asking for books for her first born’s baby shower. After her first biracial child was born in 2014, Pascha began penning stories in the middle of the night. Pascha continued to write stories and had four illustrated before taking the leap to make the reality of the books a community effort.
In March of 2018, CeCe & Roxy Books was backed on Kickstarter, allowing Pascha to print limited copies of the first two books. “How We Came to Be,” tells the story of how Roxy, the pit bull, comes to be fostered by CeCe’s family. CeCe and Roxy is a children’s book series about an interracial family who foster their friend’s pitbull while he is deployed and the adventures that ensue. The series chronicles the everyday adventure that CeCe & Roxy have together. For ages 0-7.
Pascha now has two children with her husband, has recently moved to Alabama, and continues to write stories while making revisions to books 3-5 for hopeful release in 2019.
Investigative journalists SANDRA NEIL WALLACE and RICH WALLACE are award-winning novelists and nonfiction authors of books like Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights and Bound By Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story. Sandra is a former news anchor and ESPN sportscaster. The daughter of a refugee, she became a US citizen in 2016. Rich was a longtime senior editor at Highlights for Children magazine. Both Sandra and Rich are members of the advisory council for the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College and are founding year members of the Keene Immigrant and Refugee Partnership.
FIRST GENERATION: 36 Trailblazing Immigrants and Refugees Who Make America Great is an exceptional middle reader (ages 8-12) that honors the achievements of notable immigrants. The 36 immigrants and refugees featured in FIRST GENERATION are from 27 countries: Afghanistan, Barbados, Belarus, Czech Republic, Cuba, The DR of Congo, Colombia, China, Croatia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Egypt, Germany, India, Ireland, Iran, Japan, Korea, Mexico, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Poland, Russia, Somalia, Syria, Scotland, Turkey
The authors live in New Hampshire, USA
Award-winning American author, Padma Venkatraman, worked as a chief scientist on oceanographic ships, explored rainforests, directed a school, and lived in 5 countries before settling down in Rhode Island. Her middle-grade debut, THE BRIDGE HOME, a contender for the Global Read Aloud initiative, is available for pre-order and scheduled 2019 February release. In a Starred Review, Kirkus calls it “a blisteringly beautiful book.”
Life is harsh in Chennai’s teeming streets, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim. Very quickly, eleven-year-old Viji discovers how vulnerable they are in this uncaring, dangerous world. Fortunately, the girls find shelter–and friendship–on an abandoned bridge. With two homeless boys, Muthi and Arul, the group forms a family of sorts. And while making a living scavenging the city’s trash heaps is the pits, the kids find plenty to laugh about and take pride in too. After all, they are now the bosses of themselves and no longer dependent on untrustworthy adults. But when illness strikes, Viji must decide whether to risk seeking help from strangers or to keep holding on to their fragile, hard-fought freedom.
Patricia Newman’s award-winning books show kids how their actions can ripple around the world. With titles such as Neema’s Reason to Smile; Zoo Scientists to the Rescue; Sea Otter Heroes; and Plastic, Ahoy! Her newest book, Neema’s Reason to Smile, is a vibrant story about Neema, a young Kenyan girl who dreams of one day being able to afford to go to school. Slowly, and with great purpose, Neema makes a plan to save money in her dream basket and make her dream come true. One day, a mysterious young girl skips down the street wearing a red skirt and white shirt. Soon, she guides Neema all the way to a new school. For Grades 2-6.
Newman hopes to empower kids to think about the adults they’d like to become. Learn more about her books and passion here.
Lightswitch Learning: Lightswitch Learning is a division of Sussman Education Company, a leader in K-12 digital and print educational resources for over 45 years. Lightswitch Learning’s mission is to provide the most engaging and relevant resources parents and teachers need to help children succeed socially, emotionally, physically, and academically.
To support its mission, Lightswitch Learning publishes inspiring picture books, informational text collections, fiction collections, and bullying prevention programs for students. These titles model positive behaviors that can help students build the self-confidence they need to manage academic and social stresses while improving literacy skills and subject knowledge. Resources for teachers include professional development materials, companion teacher’s guides, classroom activities, and more. Parents are supported with parent guides created by leading practitioners to provide practical strategies to support their children in today’s complex world. These resources help students build 21st-century skills and are available in grade-appropriate bundles for schools and community engagement programs.
Lightswitch Learning donates a portion of the proceeds from their books to a number of non-profit organizations with related social missions, including pacer.org, nobully.org, reason2smile.org, afroamcivilwar.org, and many others.
For more information on Lightswitch Learning and to view the full catalog visit www.lightswitchlearning.com.
Shoumi Sen is the creator of “From The Toddler Diaries”, a series of children’s books on Indian culture and mythology. Her books ‘Celebrate Holi With Me!’ and ‘Celebrate Durga Puja With Me!’ have received rave reviews from kids and parents alike! ‘From The Toddler Diaries’ began as a series of poems that Shoumi wrote for her daughter. This collection was the life of several bedtime story sessions and play dates with friends. Inspired by this interest among kids and encouraged by their parents, she decided to publish the collection.
Shoumi Sen is a Strategy, Sales and Marketing professional at a leading global energy management company. She studied engineering at BITS Pilani and The University of Maryland, College Park, and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. Her childhood in Paris, Bombay, and Dubai provided her with opportunities to appreciate how Indians preserve their cultural connectedness even while living abroad.
In Shoumi’s words, “Living outside India, it is sometimes tough for parents to ensure that their children remain connected to their Indian roots, while at the same time, appreciating the culture of the place they are growing up in. Books can certainly help with that challenge and my hope is that ‘From The Toddler Diaries’ can play a part in helping our children grow into global citizens.”
Author/Illustrator Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing present The Cocoa Kids Collection Books© that puts minority and multiracial children center stage. It’s a self-published book series created for readers ages 6-8, that tackles big issues with wit, whimsy, and chocolate! Learn more about the author at her portfolio page.
Picture Books from the Cocoa Kids Collection include (www.CocoaKidsCollectionBooks.com)
Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain© features Isaiah, the precocious 6-year-old who gets the thing he loathes – chocolate – for his birthday. His anger leads to adventure and a lesson of making choices and emotional intelligence.
Eddie and the Hot Cocoa Hot Rod© introduces Eddie whose daydreams of auto-racing get him into trouble in math class. But, his racing heroes and a special math teacher help him make the grade and learn to never give up.
Lorena and the Magic Mocha Mirror©, follows Lorena who spends summers seaside with her family and is body-shamed by beach-bullies until a trio of mermaids teach her that hers and everybody is beautiful.
Traci Sorell writes poems, fiction, and nonfiction for children featuring contemporary characters and compelling biographies. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in northeastern Oklahoma, where her tribe is located.
Traci Sorell’s debut nonfiction picture book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, features the universal value of gratitude through a panorama of modern-day Cherokee cultural practices and experiences across the four seasons. It is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah. Illustrated by Frané Lessac and published by Charlesbridge Publishing, the book is a 2019 Orbis Pictus Honor Book, a 2018 Junior Library Guild selection and is on the 2018 Best Books list for Kirkus and School Library Journal. We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga has also received starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, The Horn Book and Shelf Awareness. This book is available as an ebook and is best for elementary school ages 5-10.
Traci has a Master’s degree in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. Previously, she taught at the University of North Dakota School of Law and the University of New Mexico. She also worked as an attorney assisting tribal courts nationwide, advocated for national Native American health care, and directed a national nonprofit serving American Indian and Alaska Native elders. For more information about Traci and her other forthcoming books, visit www.tracisorell.com.
Shereen Rahming is the author of Ahni & Her Dancing Secret, a graduate of UC Berkeley, a former teacher, and a current contributing writer for the Parent Voice Magazine. She was born in the small Central American country of Belize and immigrated to Los Angeles, California at the age of ten years old. Due to her Black and Latin heritage, she has a great appreciation for diversity and has become a passionate advocate for multicultural and diverse books.
Inspired by the lack of seeing book characters that looked like her as a child, she wrote Ahni & Her Dancing Secret for her daughter so that she would be able to see a character like herself in literature. She is currently working on a second book for her son. Her ultimate goal is to write and promote motivating stories that depict the true diversity of the world we live in and teach readers to appreciate and respect the beauty in themselves and others.
In Ahni & Her Dancing Secret, Ahni dreams of being a prima ballerina so she joins Madam Sabina’s dance school. But her spirit is soon broken when she discovers that the other students are far more advanced than she is and not as friendly as she expected. This charming story depicts the journey of little Ahni from an unsure hopeful to a confident dancer, by discovering the secret to success with the help of wise Madam Sabina. For ages 3-8.
Blythe Stanfel currently teaches Language Arts at a suburban high school in Iowa. If she is not ‘mubering (mom Ubering)’ her kids around town, she is grading short stories or reading YA books. Blythe’s Book, Out of the Pocket is available via Amazon.
Mercer eats, sleeps, and dreams football. Yet, his goal of playing at the University of Iowa seems unattainable with his father, who happens to be his head coach, fighting in the Iraq War. Mercer, whose slightly sarcastic voice masks his shyness with girls, struggles to see life outside of football. As he learns to manage without his dad, Mercer also learns about the life of a typical Iraqi teenager through e-mails with Ahmed, a young translator for Mercer’s father, who starts a correspondence with Mercer. Mercer provides support as Ahmed struggles to provide food and protection for his family in Iraq, and Ahmed helps Mercer cope with high school drama in America. Out of the Pocket is available as an ebook and on Audible. For ages 11-17.
Even short-attention spans will be hooked with the journal and email format that explores the justification for war and the hardships of high school life. Will Mercer be good enough to play football at the University of Iowa even without his mentor and father to guide him. Will his dad come back to see him play? Or will his dad come back at all?
Connect with Blythe via Facebook and Twitter
Christina Matula is a mixed-Taiwanese author currently living in Hong Kong with her family. Being a child of immigrant parents, she has always been curious about other cultures and far off places. She loves sharing stories that will spark an interest in and passion for Chinese culture in young readers.
The Shadow in the Moon is her first picture book and it is a sweet tale of two sisters listening to their grandmother tell the tale of the origins of the lunar Mid-Autumn Festival. Hou Yi, a brave archer, saves the world from drought and is given a magic potion for his deeds. Chang’e, his wife, courageously protects the potion from a thief and is transformed into the Lady in the Moon. This is a tale of sweethearts, mooncakes, and how the Mid-Autumn Festival came to be.
“I love that I’ve been able to share a little piece of myself and my heritage through this book. I hope that young readers will be able to see themselves and their families in the book, regardless of their background. And I hope that I can continue to share my passion for writing stories that are a reflection of the people who may read them.” Christina
Read Christina’s story of her writing journey on the MCBD Blog HERE.
Julie K. Rubini is a children’s book author, co-founder of Claire’s Day and literacy advocate. Julie writes primarily nonfiction for middle grade and high school readers and her popular non-fiction book, Her work, Virginia Hamilton: America’s Storyteller, is listed in the Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books 2018, Outstanding Merit, and was a finalist for an Ohioana Award. This book is available in ebook form and is best for ages 10-17 (MG/YA).
Her next book, titled Eye to Eye: Sports Journalist Christine Brennan, is one of the Biographies for Young Readers published by Ohio University Press. It will be released April 2019.
Julie is also the author of Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter, and Hidden Ohio.
Julie and her husband Brad established Claire’s Day, a children’s book festival in honor of their daughter. This celebration of Claire’s love for reading has grown to a multiple date celebration, impacting over 20,000 children and family members. A highlight of the festival is the C.A.R.E. Awards, given to children selected as the most improved readers in their schools.
Julie is the recipient of the Toledo Area Jefferson Award (2015), the YWCA Milestones Award (2016) and the University of Toledo Outstanding Alumna Award (2015).
Paula Chase, co-founder of The Brown Bookshelf, is an inclusion Jedi whose books center growing up while Black. Chase has a special heart for friendship stories and both her MG and YA are character-driven novels focused on the trials and joys of teen friendships. She’s a firm believer that nurturing the next generation requires literary inclusion so that all children feel seen in books.
Paula’s chapter book, So Done, is the story of teens, Phillips and Tai Johnson, who have been inseparable since they were toddlers. When they are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and the dance auditions for a new talented-and-gifted program. So Done is for ages 9-13 and is available in ebook form. Learn more about So Done on Paula’s website or on Twitter.