As the calendar prepares to flip to a new month, and MCBD2020 is a little over 60 days away, all of us at this non-profit continue to be amazed by the love, passion, and dedication of everyone who has supported us for the last 7 years.
It’s our 7th year, and the next MCBD is in 2020…there has to be some divine message in there somewhere!
And as we plan and implement Lucky #7, approaches, the 4 main elements that drive this non-profit forward is Literacy, Empathy, Discovery, and Action.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day‘s 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.
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 is on a mission to change all of that.
Here’s some information from the CCBC about diversity in kidlit. In their analysis of picture books published in 2017:
- 340 had significant African or African American content/characters.
- 100 of these were by Black authors and/or illustrators. (29.41% #OwnVoices)
- 72 had significant American Indian/First Nations content/characters.
- 38 of these were by American Indian/First Nations authors and/or illustrators. (52.78% #OwnVoices)
- 310 had significant Asian/Pacific or Asian/Pacific American content/characters.
- 122 of these were by authors and/or illustrators of Asian/Pacific heritage. (39.35% #OwnVoices)
- 216 had significant Latinx content/characters.
- 73 of these were by Latinx authors and/or illustrators. (33.8% #OwnVoices)
These are the facts that drive us forward. If we drill it down to FOUR main things Multicultural Children’s Book Day strives for, it comes down to Literacy, Empathy, Discovery, and Action.
- Literacy: We believe that if children can see themselves in books, particularly at that crucial period of time when they are learning to read independently, they will be more motivated to read.
- Empathy: On the opposite note, children are the most open to new ideas. Kids need to learn about others who are not like them and books provide that window into different experiences and minority points of view.
- Discovery: The biggest hurdle for teachers and parents, we found, is finding those great multicultural and diverse books and sharing the less-know (yet amazing) those titles.
- Action: We are committed to doing more than creating conversations that showcase books, literacy, reading, and creating visibility of for multicultural books and authors…we are also taking action. Our holiday is about bridging that knowledge gap by creating and offering free resources to find that perfect diversity children’s book, we also give FREE diverse children’s books to teachers and parents, and building a literacy initiative that is active 365 days a year.
Having access to books, specifically books that allow young readers to “see themselves” in the pages, is still a work-in-progress. Though the publishing industry has made huge strides in the right direction (publishing more diverse books and diverse authors), there is still a long way to go. We created this online/offline yearly celebration to raise awareness for the need
SUMMARY OF MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY EVENT
FIRST, a unique opportunity to shine the spotlight on diverse/multicultural books, authors and publishers.
SECOND, a giant online book reviewing event —
Book appreciators, readers, parents, teachers, librarians, and caregivers have the opportunity to explore lots of children’s and YA books with diversity content via online marketing that provides robust visibility for authors and publishers, book reviews, classroom kits, classroom book bundles, contests, giveaways, book lists, activity suggestions, and links.
THIRD, a giant networking event —
An ongoing mission to connect organizers, sponsors, co-hosts, bloggers, and others interested in expanding awareness of, and promotion of multicultural children’s books via our Twitter Party and very active MCBD Facebook Group.
FOURTH, an offline classroom, library or gathering place celebration —
A chance for students, educators, and parents to celebrate diversity and multicultural books in the months leading up to, and during, the Multicultural Children’s Book Day celebration that is held on the last Friday in January.
FIFTH, a year-long literacy-based initiative-
And together, all facets work tirelessly to provide books to classrooms, organizations and under-served kids all year long.
Now more than ever…
Now more than ever, a message of hope, compassion, empathy, and understanding is needed.
Now more than ever, children need to see themselves reflected in the pages of the books they read. Readers of all ages need to be able to “read their world” to both see themselves, and those are who different, whether by culture, religion, sexual orientation, special needs or ethnicity.
Now more than ever, we need to come together as a nation of beautifully diverse people.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day is proud to offer an initiative and holiday that encourages discovery, hope, acceptance, and exploration through the pages of diverse children’s literature.
As our 7th Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday approaches on January 31, 2020, we are thrilled to have you as part of our amazing community of supporters! With enthusiasm, optimism, and hope, we are preparing for MCBD2020 and hope you will, again, join our celebration of diversity through children’s books.
Imagine children without a single book to call their own.
Imagine no one reading to a child.
Imagine parents unable to read to a child
Reality is today childhood literacy is in crisis.
Reality is that three out of four, fourth graders, fail to read at grade level.
Reality by reinforcing a child’s sense of self-worth, confidence, and exposing them to stories about children who look like them, share similar families, encourages them to develop the love of reading.
(excerpt from Alva Sachs, President of Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California. Read the article in its entirety here.)
MCBD is all about creating and identifying free divers book resources for parents, teachers, caregivers, and librarians. In 2017, we created our own published ebook that is packed with multicultural booklists from 20 children’s book bloggers and 2 children’s book authors in an effort to create a more definitive and easy-to-access guide. This ebook also works as a fundraiser for our FREE DIVERSE BOOKS FOR CLASSROOMS initiative. Every time an ebook is sold, the money is used to purchase a book to donate to a classroom in need. Check out our Read Your World: A Guide to Multicultural Children’s Books for Parents and Educators, on Amazon.
One hundred percent of proceeds go to fund our Classroom Book Program where we gift free diversity children’s books to teachers for their classroom libraries.
To date, MCBD has donated over 8,000 diverse children and Ya books to deserving readers, organizations, and schools via our free resources and fundraising.
- Classroom Kindness Kit
- Classroom Empathy Kit
- Classroom Poverty Kit
- Classroom Physical and Developmental Challenges Kit 2020: Understand and Celebrate our Differences
- Read Your World: A Guide to Multicultural Children’s Books for Parents and Educators eBook Fundraiser
- #ReadYourWorld Book Jam 2018 (presenting 24 diversity authors and illustrators with book giveaways)
- #ReadYourWorld Twitter Party (hundreds of diversity children’s book given away during the one hour Twitter Party)
- Support our Mission! (a fundraising effort that markets diversity books on behalf of authors)
- Diversity Book Lists Resource (hundreds of the best lists)
- Big Giant Linky (reviews of diversity books from our event!)
During the months and weeks leading up to the online celebration, readers, parents, grandparents, teachers, caregivers, and librarians are encouraged to follow along via book reviews, author visits, event details, children’s book giveaways and more on the MCBD website. They are also encouraged to have their own reading and discussion time in the classroom or at home. Participants and supporters can also stay in the loop with the festivities via the event’s hashtag #ReadYourWorld on Twitter and other social media.
With the support of hundreds of book reviewers, dozens of sponsors, classrooms and other non-profit agencies like the Junior Library Guild and the Children’s Book Council, the MCBD team hopes to be able to continue to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature.
How Authors and Publishers can get Involved in MCBD
As you know, our online event/holiday takes the last Friday of every January so this year it will fall on 1/31/20 and this will be our SEVENTH Multicultural Children’s Book Day celebration! We would love to have you participate in our upcoming event and here are a few ways you can do so:
- Donate Books: For our next online event, we will have hundreds of book reviewers signed up to review diverse children’s books on their blogs or on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Authors and publishers have the option of offering copies of their multicultural children’s books to our reviewers to review and write a social media review about. There are no guarantees that we will be able to match your book to a reviewer(s), but if this interests you, let me know. We will provide you with names and addresses and you mail your book directly to the reviewer.
Go here to sign up as a book donator and send a copy diverse book to the below address. The book you send will then be donated to a classroom.
PO BOX 2814, Baxter MN 56425
**NOTE: We do not limit book reviewers to just bloggers. There are many book-lovers and educators who have vibrant social media channels we have opened up review options to include social media to give those who are not bloggers a chance to share books with their followers.
- Multiple options for Sponsorship: Sponsorship is not only a great way to support this event; it is an excellent way to get your name (and your books) in front of thousands of readers. All of our Sponsors get a name mention within the hundreds of reviews that get posted from December through to the end of January and also on the sites of our 20+ CoHosts sites. First consideration for matching books to reviewers always goes to our paid Sponsors first as well. Go here to learn more: https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/sponsorship/sponsorship-info/
- Connect with us on social media and share, share, share! Our official hashtag is #ReadYourWorld
– Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay
– Twitter https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDay
-Reminder: The hashtag for this event is #ReadYourWorld
- Review Books for Us: BOOK REVIEWERS, WE.Need. YOU.
If you love diverse books for kids and have a social media platform to share a review on, we want to give you a FREE diversity book to review!
AND…you don’t have to be a blogger to review multicultural children’s books for our MCBD2020 (1/31/20) online event. You just need to have a love of diversity in children’s literature and be willing to share on your social media platforms such as Facebook (Pages only-no Facebook profiles), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube. We encourage honest Amazon reviews of assigned books whenever possible as well.
(Signup deadline is 12/15/19)
- Join our private Facebook Group: This group has grown and evolved into something very special. Feel free to join and connect with like-minded folks!