Friday, January 27, 2017

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Happy Multicultural Children’s Book Day ๐ŸŽ‰
A day spent celebrating diversity in children’s books!  This amazing event is organized by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom.

‘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.  Mia and Valarie are on a mission to redress balance. Their focus 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 a new reading list for the winter and also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.’

This year I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to take part in Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a BOOK REVIEWER ๐Ÿ“š
When I heard they were looking for people to match with an author to review a children’s diversity book, I signed Preschool Readers immediately!  And lucky me, I was given two books to review!

“Content does matter, and we know that the more children read—especially about themselves—the better the odds are to close the achievement gap.”
Both The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website and the Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board are wonderful resources filled with booklists and reading ideas!  I highly recommend checking them out.

Now, time for my reviews!  Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy reading,
Lisa Vodola, Preschool Readers

Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup
Author: Pamela Mayer
Illustrator: Deborah Melmon
Publisher: KAR-BEN Publishing
Year: 2016
Grade Level: PreK-3
To Purchase: Visit your Judaica gift shop or bookstore, or at 800-4KARBEN or online at /

Two grandmas, two delicious recipes, and one Chinese Jewish granddaughter caught in the middle!

“Sophie loves playing dress-up with her Grandma Ellie, and she loves Bubbe’s Jewish chicken soup, made with kreplach.  She also loves painting with her Grandma Nancy, and Nai Nai’s Chinese chicken soup, with wonton.  But don’t tell Bubble and Nai Nai that their soups are the same!  In, Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup, Sophie solves the problem of which chicken soup is best, bringing her whole family together for a tasty surprise.  This multicultural story of a Jewish/Chinese child finding her place in her family is a perfect fit for today’s diverse Jewish community and the world at large.”

My Review/Thoughts
I read this book to my four-year-old niece.  The illustrations are perfect for her age group… colorful and large.  I felt my niece was immediately able to connect with the young girl as she seemed about her age and she too, has two wonderful grandmas she spends time with.

We read to learn, to gain knowledge.  And this story was filled with new concepts for me and my niece!  We read and enjoyed Googling the meaning of certain words, “Aunt Lisa, what’s a kreplach?”  Expanding vocabulary- check!

We made many text-to-self connections, “I like to cook with grammy too!” And “I like to paint with my Nona, just like Sophie!”

Each page has just the right amount of words which helps keep her attention.

Included in the back of the book are recipes for each of the grandma's soups which is a fun extension to the story!

In the end, Sophie realizes she has the best of both worlds being the granddaughter of two amazing, yet different, grandmas who can teach her different things.  And this makes for a wonderful topic of discussion for young children!

Rice & Rocks
Author: Sandra L. Richards
Illustrator: Megan Kayleigh Sullivan
Publisher :WISE Ink Creative Publishing
To Purchase: Visit or call 734.426.6248

“Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is service rice and beans.  Giovanni is embarrassed- he does not like ‘rice and rocks’and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird.  But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue.  She and Giovanni’s pet parrot, Jasper, take him on a magical journey across the globe, visiting places where people eat rice and rocks  This exciting story celebrates the varied traditions of every culture while also highlighting the delicious similarities that bring us all together.”

My Review/Thoughts
The illustrations are wonderful...detailed and large which is catching.

We were whisked off to different locations on a pet parrot and learned how Giovanni’s three friends have grown up enjoying their own version of ‘rice and rocks.’ A wonderful story for any child embarrassed of their families tradition!

The story was filled with a rich vocabulary!

Although it says the story is suitable for children between the ages of 5-9, I believe it might be more enjoyable for the higher end of that scale as a result of the length of the story and the vocabulary.

A wonderful activity to go along with this book would be to include the last book (Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup) and make a Venn diagram of the similarities and differences between both stories.

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