Monday, January 20, 2014

Multicultural Children's Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children's Literature

Multicultural Children’s Book Day
January 27, 2014
Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.
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.

The Family-Ship Experience is happy to join the MCBD movement and sharing our love and hope to see more diversity in children's book literature in our homes, schools and public/private libraries. We are excited to join bloggers from all over the web to support this cause as we read, review and share books that reflect under-represented cultures, heritages and histories. We would like to extend a heart-felt "Thank You" to Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom 
for spear heading this wonderful national event. Another thank you goes out to the sponsors of
MCBD:  Wisdom Tales Books, Lee and Low, Chronicle Books and Author, Susan Fayad.

My Review

Title: My Grandfather's Masbaha

Author: Susan Fayad

Illustrator: Avery Liell-Kok

Publisher: Author House, Oct 1 2013

Topic: Gratitude, Respectful, Thankfulness, Culture and Traditions

Age: 5-9

It was a summer day in Lebanon. Adam was visiting his grandparents (jidoo and sitoo) in their hometown of Bakeefa.

Adam doesn't know how lucky he is until his Grandad teaches him how to count his blessings. One summer day at his grandparents’ home in Lebanon, Adam gets upset after his friends leave after a play date. His grandfather helps him to count his blessings.

Prayer Bead Around the World: The Multicultural History of Prayer Beads
Museum of Anthropology: Prayer Beads, A Cultural Experience
Arts and Crafts: Make a Masbaha or Prayer Bead. A simple instruction list can be found here.

What I Like About the Book:
This was a sweet story with a universal theme and appeal. Parents and their children will recognize the emotional outburst of Adam when he announces "he has nothing," when he finds himself alone after his friends leave for the day. There is also the theme of gratitude and counting our blessings that is shared by most if not all cultures, races and religions. Adam's grandfather shows all the love, patience and compassion a grandfather can give when he shows -not tells- Adam he has a lot to be grateful for. I think this is very important in passing on values to children. It is easy to tell a child s/he is being ungrateful, however, the child does not learn respect, gratitude, patience or compassion or even learn how to be grateful. But when you allow children to recognize and experience for him/herself the things they have to be grateful, then they keep that skill with them as they grow up and face bigger challenges in life. While I did enjoy the story, I was not impressed with the illustrations of the book. They were okay but very flat.


Unknown said...

What a great review of the book. I love all the resources! You really did write a thorough review.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Hummingbird (20SecondsWithMC) said...

"It is easy to tell a child s/he is being ungrateful..." Very well said! Excellent review.

Mia said...

Thank you so much for joining us for Multicultural Children's Book Day! I also like that the theme of the book is gratefulness.

Peaceful Reader said...

The idea of gratitude sounds like a great conversation starter with my elementary kids. It's a bummer the illustrations don't live up to the story yet it will make a wonderful addition to my school library.