Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature!

I am participating in Multicultural Children’s Book Day, which takes place on January 27th!

MCCBDI am a kid who loves to learn about different cultures and countries. I am trying to learn different languages too. I guess I try to find books like these so I never really thought about there not being that many out there. That’s why when I had a chance to participate in Multicultural Children’s Book Day, I signed up! The event is co-hosted by Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press.

Here is the mission of the day –

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, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.

I have been highlighting some great multicultural books this week, but I was sent two AWESOME books from Barefoot Books to specially review for MCCBD. Barefoot Books has a bunch of great multicultural books in their catalog, make sure to check them out. PLUS Barefoot books is hosting a giveaway on the 27th. Please like them on Facebook by clicking HERE and on the 27th see how to enter to win!

Now onto the reviews!

odysseusThe Adventures of Odysseus

127 pages – ages 8+

Retold by Daniel Morden and Hugh Lupton

Illustrated by Christina Balit

Published by Barefoot Books August 1, 2010

The Greek king of Ithaca, Odysseus, was called upon to fight against Troy in the Trojan War. After the war, Odysseus and his soldiers sailed for Ithaca. But, when they moor at a strange island, and blind the giant cyclops Polyphemus, Odysseus shouts his name during bloating to the monster about who blinded it. The cyclops curses Odysseus and his crew. Polyphemus’ father, the god of the sea, Poseidon, then makes it extremely trying for Odysseus and his crew. Most of the crew die. Will Odysseus and his men every see home again?

This is a great re-telling of the Odyssey by the blind poet, Homer. I love how this abridged version of the Odyssey is pretty simple, but very informative and perfect for the age it is written for.  In this book, kids learn more about the Ancient Greek culture through the fabulous illustrations and the enlightening text. The illustrations are awesome –


Isn’t that gorgeous?

They have a collage-y look, don’t they? I think this is a great re-telling of the Odyssey and kids will earn a lot from it!

Now onto my second book (Barefoot Books actually set this one to me as a birthday present, but I think it goes really well with MCCBD too so I am also reviewing it! 😀 ) –

littleleapforward_pb_wLittle Leap Forward – A Boy in Beijing

By Guo Yue and Clare Farrow

Illustrated by Helen Cann

128 pages – ages 10+

Published by Barefoot Books March 1, 2011

Little Leap Forward is a young boy living in Early Communist China. He and his friends have a pretty happy life. They fly homemade paper kites and play by the nearby river. They seem like they have a life that any kid would have. That is, until soldiers come and change everything! The soldiers want to get rid of “Old China” by burning and wrecking anything that reminds people of the way they used to live and to prepare for “New China”.

This is a great nonfiction autobiography that was written by Little Leap Forward himself! I learned a lot about China in this time period. Little Leap Forward (in the book) is a nice young boy who cares about nature and what is going on around him. I think I would enjoy meeting him.  The illustrations are beautiful and well-done. They help me see the story better. Here, look at this –


Is that not magnificent? I love how they have a warm-ish feeling to them. There is an afterward in the book about what happened to the author after the story ends. It really added to the completeness of the story. I totally enjoyed learning about China during this time period. I haven’t read any other stories set in this time period.

I give both of these books 5 out of 5 bookworms! fivebooks

A special shout-out to the awesome sponsors for this event –  Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & LowBooks, Chronicle Books, and Susan Daniel Fayad, author of My Grandfather’sMasbaha.

A SUPER BIG SHOUT-OUT to the co-creators of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature event Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press.

PLUS!! One of the day’s sponsors Wisdom Tales Press is giving away a complete set of their books for MCCBD! Click HERE to go THERE and see how to enter!

PLUS!!! I got a 2 hour school delay today because it is so cold WOO! Okay that really doesn’t have anything to do with MCCBD but I am happy about it! 🙂

Please visit the other participating blog post for this important celebration. You can find a list of the posts/bloggers right below!

2GirlsLostInaBook · 365 Days of Motherhood · A Bilingual Baby · A Simple Life, Really? · Africa to America · After School Smarty Pants · All Done Monkey · Andi’s Kids Books · Anita Brown Bag  · Austin Gilkeson · Barbara Ann Mojica ·  Books My Kids Read · Bottom Shelf Books · Cats Eat Dogs · Chasing The Donkey · Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac · Children’s Books Heal · Church o Books · CitizenBeta · Crafty Moms Share · Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes · Early Words · Flowering Minds · Franticmommy · Gathering Books · GEO Librarian · Gladys Barbieri · Going in Circles · Growing Book by Book · iGame Mom · I’m Not The Nanny · InCulture Parent · Itsy Bitsy Mom ·Just Children’s Books– Kid World Citizen · Kristi’s Book Nook · Mama Lady Books · Mama Smiles · Mission Read · Mother Daughter Book Reviews · Mrs AOk · MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter · Ms. Yingling Reads · Multicultural Kids Blog · One Sweet World · Open Wide The World · P is for Preschooler · Rapenzel Dreams · School4Boys · Sharon the Librarian · Spanish Playground · Sprout’s Bookshelf · Squishable Baby · Stanley and Katrina · Teach Mama · The Art of Home Education · The Brain Lair · The Educators’ Spin On It · The Family-Ship Experience · The Yellow Door Paperie · This Kid Reviews Books  · Trishap’s Books · Unconventional Librarian · Vicki Arnold · We3Three · World for Learning · Wrapped in Foil 

Categories: Comics / Graphic Novels, Good Books

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57 replies

  1. Great reviews Erik. Nice leadership too.

  2. I enjoy learning about other cultures, too. I especially like the look of the one by Little Leap Forward. But you know, I sort of wish we had an American Unity Day as well.

    • I really love learning about other cultures. There are some that I don’t see as many books about.
      I’m on it! National History Day competition is June 15-19 – celebrating everything American – all people. 🙂 Looks cool – maybe I’ll enter – definitely blog about it! Now – sadly, I must go to school 🙁

      • National History Day sounds awesome! Where do you learn about all these holidays?

      • Well, I have a site favorited and it has unknown holidays (today is Chocolate Cake Day and Bubble Wrap Appreciation day 🙂 ). Plus, I have a great Mom who is awesome and finds these things. (think of me/my blog as the baseball team, and Mom as the scout, manager, coach, and the back-up pitcher. 😀 )

  3. Beautiful books! And that’s really neat–Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

  4. Wonderful book choices and reviews. I also enjoy learning about different cultures. I enjoyed the book titled Nowhere Girl by an author of the last name of Paqeutte and Flying the Dragon by an author with the last name of Lorenzi. Both great reads.

  5. Love your post featuring Multicultural Children’s Book Day on your blog. Enjoyed the books you reviewed, especially A Little Leap Forward. Excellent multicultural books to share. I signed up to feature a book too.

  6. We’re so happy you enjoyed both of the books! We think you’re doing a fantastic job educating peers and adults alike about children’s lit, way to go Erik!

  7. Thanks so much for joining us Erik! We are so thrilled to have you!!

  8. Glad you are celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Great choice from Barefoot Books.

  9. Excellent review! Barefoot Books are fantastic, aren’t they? I love that they make The Odyssey more accessible to young people. This way, it’s not so intimidating. I would love to read this book! Little Leap Forward looks beautiful.

    And SCORE on the 2 hour delay! That is awesome!

    • 🙂 Thank you for stopping by Ms. Nelson! I thought The Adventures of Odysseus was written very well so kids can enjoy it. The art work in Little Leap forward is beautiful and the story is also excellent!
      I have my fingers crossed for another 2 hour delay tomorrow! 😉

  10. That’s awesome that you are officially taking part, Erik. I hope I at least remember to find an appropriate book that week for PPBF. Great choices!

  11. Only 2 hours? You guys must be really used to snow. Most of the schools here closed for the day. 🙂 I love that publishers send you books on your birthday. They simply throw books at your now, don’t they. 😉

    Seriously though, both books look lovely. Beautiful artistry. Thanks for sharing with us all! Yet another fab review.
    ~Cool Mom

  12. Very nice job. When you commit to a specific day to post I had no idea you post all week as a warm up. You are the King of Multicultural Children’s Book Day! You should put links to all of these books at the bottom of the book you review on the 27th. 🙂

  13. I’m not familiar with Barefoot Books. I like the sound of that though. And both of these books are quite lovely. Thanks for reviewing them!

  14. Thanks for letting us know about Multicultural Children’s Book Day. What a great idea.Both of these books look awesome. Greta reviews as always.

  15. Wonderful books, Erik! So glad you are participating in this great event…and for giving me a heads-up about it…I know I must have gotten notification before…but I guess it slipped by me.:)

  16. Wonderful reviews! I really love Barefoot Books and am definitely encouraged to seek out the Odysseus book. Another job very well done.

  17. I’ll have to take a look at the Odysseus book. I also like the Geraldine McCaughrean book about him– the whole series of four is great.

  18. Thank you so much for joining us for Multicultural Children’s Book Day Erik! We really appreciate it! You have such a wonderful blog and I love getting a 6th grade boy perspective. I have a 6th grade daughter. I also liked Little Leap Forward which gave a good sense of the Cultural Revolution in China without being to graphic as lots of bad stuff happened during that time (my father immigrated from China but before the Communist Revolution). I also loved Odysseus (and anything Greek mythology!!). Thank you again!!!

  19. Great job! My kids really enjoy stories about the Greek Gods so we will check out this version of Odysseus based on your positive recommendation. I’ve been a part of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day review team as well and I am very happy to find so many new books to share with our friends.

    I also noticed your banner for Harleysville Books. Please do me a favor and tell Shelly that Susan Williams said hi!

  20. Having studied Chinese politics – and lived in Mainland China – I’m fascinated about the book Little Leap Forward. Will have to get it. The Multicultural Children’s Book Day is a fantastic event.

  21. Excellent reviews! My 7 year old read the first book and enjoyed it. As someone who grew up in a Communist country (Soviet Union), I am very interested in the second book.

  22. The Adventures of Oddyseus would have been a great title for our Goddesses/Spirit-Stars reading theme.


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