Mia Wenjen, author of the popular Pragmatic Mom website, wants to help kids and families discover diverse and cultural kid-lit TODAY with Multicultural Children's Book Day.
She and Valarie Budayar are co-founders of this special day, and Scholastic is thrilled to be an official sponsor. Check out Mia's special guest post on the numerous ways you can celebrate Multicultural Children's Book Day.
First and foremost - grab a great book! In addition to Mia's thorough book list suggestions, here are some top book picks from Scholastic:
- Under the Same Sun by Sharon Robinson
- The Granddaughter Necklace by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
- The Case for Loving by Selina Alko, illustrated by Sean Qualls
- Elephant in the Dark by Mina Javaherbin
- Zen Socks by Jon J. Muth
- Emma is on the Air #1: Big News by Ida Siegal
- Moving Target series by Christina Diaz Gonzales
- Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood
- Unidentified Suburban Object by Mike Jung
- Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks, Gita Varadarajan
- The Hero Two Doors Down by Sharon Robinson
Four and half years ago, Valarie Budayr of Jump Into a Book and I started Multicultural Children's Book Day, an online holiday celebrated on January 27th to showcase diversity in children's books. Our motivation was three fold:
- 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. Our holiday is about bridging that knowledge gap. In addition to free resources to find that perfect diversity children's book, we also give FREE diversity children's books to teachers and parents.
Here are some ways you can celebrate this special day...
1.) Diversity Children's Book List Resource
This year we created a resource of book lists from 20 children's book bloggers and 2 children's book authors to help parents, caretakers, educators, librarians, KidLit lovers find the exact perfect diversity book they need.
Learn more about their giveaway here and how it benefits Classroom Book Program.
2.) FREE Classroom Kindness Kit
According to Scholastic Reading Club editorial directors, the biggest trends for kids' lit in 2017 is that Lessons on Kindness will be key! We developed a Classroom Kindness Kit for teachers to help them incorporate diversity books on kindness and kindness activities. Our kit also has Be a Hero Be Kind poster by Jarrett Krosoczka.
..And check out 2017 Multicultural Children's Book Day Poster by DEMI can be downloaded free here.
3.) Book Lists & Activities for Parents and Teachers
We also have an extensive resource of the very best diversity book lists and activities to help you find the book you are looking for.
It’s also broken out by country/geographic area:
- Our Diverse World: Africa
- Our Diverse World: Asia
- Our Diverse World: China
- Our Diverse World: Japan
- Our Diverse World: Korean culture
- Our Diverse World: India
- Our Diverse World: Armenia
- Our Diverse World: Australia
- Our Diverse World: Latin America
- Our Diverse World: Mexico
- Our Diverse World: Middle East
- Our Diverse World: Scandinavia
It’s also broken out by holiday and/or religion.
- Diverse Thanksgiving Books for Kids
- Diverse Christmas Books for Kids
- Islamic Books for Kids
- Jewish Books for Kids
- Hindu Books for Kids
- Buddhist Books for Kids
- Confucianism & Taoism Books for Kids
- Baha’i Books for Kids
- Day of the Dead Books for Kids
- Las Posadas Books for Kids
Seeing Yourself in Children’s Books
- Special Needs Books for Kids
- LGBTQ Book Lists for Kids of All Ages
- African American Books for Kids of All Ages
- American Indian Books for Kids of All Ages
- Asian American Books for Kids of All Ages
- Hispanic American Books for Kids of All Ages
Diversity Books By Genre
- Diverse Board Books
- Diverse Picture Books
- Diverse Easy Readers & Early Chapter Books
- Diverse Chapter Books
- Diverse Biography Picture Books
- Diverse Graphic Novels
- Diverse Fantasy and Science Fiction for Kids
- If You Like This: Read This Diversity Book for Kids
- Bilingual Books for Kids
4.) TWITTER PARTY - TONIGHT at 9 PM ET/PT
#ReadYourWorld Book Jam 2017. Multicultural Children's Book Day partnered with The Children's Book Council to present 24 diversity authors and illustrators who each present eight book reviews and host a book review of their book.
5.) BE INSPIRED WITH PINTEREST BOARDS
We also have a vibrant Multicultural Books for Kids board on Pinterest that is updated daily.
We hope you will join us January 27th for Multicultural Children's Book Day. We look forward to sharing the wonderful diversity children's book discoveries that we have made! Here's to celebrating diversity, literacy, and inclusion all year!
Mia Wenjen blogs on parenting, education and lots and lots of children's books at PragmaticMom. She co-founded Multicultural Children's Book Day, a nonprofit promoting diversity in children's books, and Aquent, a staffing company specialized in placing
temporary employees in marketing and creative industries. When she's not at her computer, she can be found boxing, walking her dog, or driving her kids. She lives in outside of Boston with her husband, three kids, and Golden Retriever. She is working on her first book, How to Coach Girls, co-authored with Alison Foley, Boston College's Women's Soccer Head Coach.
**Disclosure: Scholastic is an official sponsor of Multicultural Children's Book Day.**
Courtesy of Mia Wenjen/Pragmatic Mom