Multicultural Children’s Book Day is ALIVE and thriving today, January 27th!
I was thrilled to take part in this amazing phenomena of enjoying and promoting diversity in literature, especially children’s literature. Not only was I impressed with Drummer Girl’s ability to connect with readers and win literary awards back to back to back – but the books I read and reviewed as a Multicultural Book Day Reviewer were inspiring and so telling of the intense power children’s literature has on creating positive cultural change.
Carole P. Roman is a Social Studies teacher turned children’s book author with an interesting series of books. With this series, readers are delightfully taken into her vantage point as an educator of humanities and culture and swept away onto a platform that can resonate with young readers. With each book, the gap between an unknown place and people becomes narrower until a relationship develops with the young protagonists.
As a person that comes from a diverse background and writer myself, I admit to being weary. Were these series of books going to be a flat attempt at looking into different cultures? How would they speak to me and my children who could relate authentically to another language, a separate set of customs, and draw light on a demographic that’s categorized as foreign?
Once I put down my hater-ade and reminded myself my social studies teachers were my absolutely favorite while I was in elementary school, I was pleasantly surprised.
The If You Were Me and Lived In… series crossed the globe and handled everyday topics from different cultures in a smooth fashion. I especially enjoyed If You Were Me and Lived in Mars due to its imaginative lens into a world outside anyone’s reality.
Rocket-Bye was perfect in it’s rhythmic exploration of something adventurous toddlers could fall asleep to at bedtime. The language is easy for early readers as they find their way through the story and build their own foundation as readers.
Oh Susannah, It’s in the Bag will prompt a converastion with grade school children on how to handle stress and overwhelming feelings . With such a big life lesson straining between the pages, the explosion was comfortably wrapped into the calm closure and support of the Susannah’s parents arms.
A wide thank you to the 5th year of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day festivities found in the blogosphere and social media platforms. I’ll enjoy browsing more books to add to our personal library and reading lists.
(Drummer Girl Picture Credit: Thanks Mamanushka!)