The Importance of Multicultural Books for Children
Have you ever noticed that very few children’s books show diversity?
January 27 was designated as MCCBD by Pragmatic Mom and Jump Into a Book because 37% of the U.S. population consists of people of color, but only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. This much needed national event’s goal is to change that. Children deserve to read books that reflect the diverse world around them. “Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book,” the founders explain.
Bloggers (like me!) are reviewing books this week by amazing authors who are increasing the saturation of books that depict diversity. By discovering and sharing multicultural books for children, we can raise awareness for these books and get them into libraries and classrooms. I will be donating my copy of Enough of Frankie Already! to a family member who is an administrator and teacher at an urban school district in New York.
We met the author last week in her guest post–make sure to check it out if you haven’t already. What initially intrigued me about this book was that author Felicia Capers is an experienced child advocate. She worked for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and serves on an anti-bullying advisory board for a school district in New Jersey. She expertly weaves a story for K-3 children about seven-year-old Amir and his friends who are tormented by Frankie the bully–but what happens when they find out Frankie is being bullied too?
The illustrations, reminiscent of a graphic novel, add a level of authenticity that children will relate to. The messages in the book provide a constructive, holistic way for children and adults to look at handling bullying in way that treats the issue on a large scale.
Ways to Celebrate MCCBD!
The perfect way to celebrate multicultural children’s book day is to support the distribution of these books to schools and libraries.This week, there is a virtual book drive through First Book where donations will be used to supply multicultural books for children in need.
Another great way to celebrate is to visit a bookstore or library and read a multicultural children’s book with your favorite kid. You can even make the characters of your favorite multicultural children’s book to act out the story! The above paper dolls were made using paper punches.
Giveaway: Win it!
If you want to read this book for yourself, you can win your own copy signed by both the author and the illustrator! This would be the perfect book for any child in a school environment. For an entry to win, comment below on one of the following questions. For an extra entry, join the conversation on Facebook.
1. Why do you think multicultural children’s books are important?
2. Who you would give this book to and why?
3. How do you think we can address the issue of bullying in schools?
Two winners will be contacted on February 7, 2015. Books can only be shipped to winners with a U.S. address. Winners will have 48 hours to respond, after which we will select another winner.
Thanks for supporting this great cause!
This event has nine cohosts and the following 2015 sponsors. Platinum sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop. Gold Sponsors: Satya House, MulticulturalKids.com, Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof. Silver Sponsors: Junior Library Guild, Capstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books, The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze sponsors: Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing, Rainbow Books, Author Felicia Capers, Chronicle Books, Muslim Writers Publishing, East West Discovery Press.