#Nonfiction Monday Young, Gifted and Black

Let’s explore some more of the fantastic nonfiction children’s books that were nominated for 2018 Cybils awards.

Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson and illustrated by Andrea Pippinsis is a middle grade title that celebrates the lives of visionaries who also happen to be people of color.

Author Jamia Wilson has gathered the stories of 52 amazing people and condensed them into must-read single page summaries. Readers will learn about astronauts, athletes, entertainers, mathematicians, poets, and a president.

Although Wilson celebrates each person’s triumphs, she also doesn’t shy away from each person’s struggles. For example, both Stevie Wonder and Sidney Poitier were born prematurely, which caused Stevie Wonder to lose his sight. Madame C. J. Walker lost her parents when she was seven. When children read how others overcame challenges to become successful, hopefully they will be inspired to keep trying and dream big for themselves, too.

Andrea Pippinsis’s illustrations are so vibrant. They capture the energy and vitality of these strong personalities with bold lines and shapes that suggest movement.

The back matter includes a “Hall of Fame” with a photograph (or illustration if predated cameras) of each person in a colorful frame. It is mesmerizing. I found myself returning to it again and again.

Young, Gifted and Black is a perfect choice for both Black and Women’s History Months. Pick up a copy and inspire a child today.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions (February 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1786031582
ISBN-13: 978-1786031587

Disclosure: The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

Haiku About Children’s Book for #nahaiwrimo

For STEM Friday, Anastasia shared The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris.

The inspiration for the book is a sad one. In 2007 someone noticed that the newest edition of Oxford Junior Dictionary no longer contained around forty words about natural things, including common words like acorn and dandelion. Author Macfarlane chose to right this slight by celebrating each and every one to these “lost” words.

To honor his efforts to promote nature and words, and inspired by NaHaiWriMo, a haiku:

word acorn dropped
from children’s dictionary
oak trees grow no more

Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Anansi International; First Edition edition (October 2, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1487005385
ISBN-13: 978-1487005382

STEM Friday #Kidlit One Iguana, Two Iguanas: A Story of Accident, Natural Selection, and Evolution

Prolific and award-winning children’s book author Sneed B. Collard III is not afraid to tackle tough STEM topics, such as fire ecology (Fire Birds) and climate change (Hopping Ahead of Climate Change). Now he’s taken on evolution with his new middle grade book One Iguana, Two Iguanas: A Story of Accident, Natural Selection, and Evolution, which is a Junior Library Guild selection and earned a starred Kirkus Review.

You may have heard about the Darwin’s finches that live on the Galápagos islands, but did you know that there are two related, but very different species of iguana found there? One of the species lives on land and eats the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. The other species is the only iguana in the world that can swim in the ocean. It is the marine iguana, shown in this video grazing on algae underwater.


Genetic testing have shown that the two species are related. Collard introduces the reader to a puzzle how the two such divergent lifestyles may have come about and how they ended up on an island chain 900 miles from their nearest relatives. He also discusses the geology and history of the islands, and how that impacts the iguanas and the other creatures that live there.

Although this is a middle grade book by text level and content, it is illustrated with many large color photographs. Many of the photographs were taken by the author, who is also a photographer. Others were taken by his friend Jack Grove.

As the author states in the back matter, “considering how important evolution is to the history of the earth, it’s surprising how few books for young people have been written about it.” One Iguana, Two Iguanas: A Story of Accident, Natural Selection, and Evolution steps in to fill the gap. This book is a must have for budding scientists and anyone interested in nature. Scoop up a copy today!

Related Activity Suggestions:

This book would be great to accompany lessons on lizards, as well as evolution. See our Growing with Science post with information and activities inspired by Sneed Collard III’s All About Lizards book.

National Geographic Kids has a Galápagos islands page.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers; 1 edition (December 4, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0884486494
ISBN-13: 978-0884486497

Photograph of marine iguanas from publicdomainpictures.net



Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher for review. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.Opens in a new window Note: this is a new link as of 1/2019.

#ReadYourWorld Celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day with Real MVP Kids Books

The excitement is palpable because it is Multicultural Children’s Book Day today! Please read all about how Multicultural Children’s Book Day came about and all the fun events today below.

To add to the excitement, the organizers paired me with the awesome Real MVP Kids® Books this year.

This is a series that educators and caregivers will love. Each book features 16 actual children from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds in a variety of situations. In the Celebrate! board book series there are titles about themes as varied as bedtime, holidays, and Grandmas and Grandpas.

Let’s take a look at two board books in this series that have a perfect message for Multicultural Children’s Book Day:

Celebrate! The Way I’m Made by Sophia Day, Megan Johnson, and illustrated by Stephanie Strouse reveals how each person is an individual, with their own special traits, weaknesses, and strengths.

The text explains all the ways children look differently and act differently, and each two-page spread repeats the self-esteem promoting message:

“I am good the way I’m made.”

Each board book in the Celebrate! series has a “Helpful Teaching Tips” section, which explains the concepts behind the text and offers concrete ways to use them. For example, for this book they suggest children should be exposed to five positive messages or interactions for every negative one. It also gives hints about how to talk about the differences children of that age are beginning to notice.

Age Range: 2 – 6 years
Publisher: Real MVP Kids; Brdbk edition (January 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1641367806
ISBN-13: 978-1641367806

Celebrate! Our Differences by Sophia Day, Megan Johnson, and illustrated by Stephanie Strouse helps children to respect the uniqueness of others, and pairs nicely with the title above.

“It’s okay to look, but please don’t point or stare.
Let’s celebrate or differences instead of being scared.

In the “Helpful Teaching Tips” section educators and caregivers learn how to carefully choose their words, and to gently correct children to show them how their words might be unintentionally hurtful.

What I particularly enjoyed about this title was the explanation that yellow flowers are a symbol of friendship and the fact that the artist has included yellow flowers in every spread for young readers to find.

The Celebrate! board books help readers learn about and respect themselves and others. As their titles say, it is all to Inspire Character®.

Age Range: 2 – 6 years
Publisher: Real MVP Kids; First edition (May 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 168418245X
ISBN-13: 978-1684182459

For older children, Real MVP Kids® has a series to help children understand feelings with titles such as Sarah Sizes up the Insecure Ant, Miriam Lassoes the Worry Whirlwind, Lucas Tames the Anger Dragon, and Yong Breaks Out of the Boredom Box. These titles have a learn and discuss section for children to read on their own as well as a special section with information and ideas for educators.

Hope you enjoy Multicultural Children’s Book Day in your own special way!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN

Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book CouncilThe Junior Library GuildTheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat BabiesCandlewick PressChickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcitoKidLitTV,  Lerner Publishing GroupPlum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone PublishingCarole P. RomanAuthor Charlotte RiggleHuda EssaThe Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge PublishingJudy Dodge CummingsAuthor Gwen JacksonKitaab WorldLanguage Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ LanguagesLee & Low BooksMiranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, RedfinAuthor Gayle H. Swift,  T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s DaughterTimTimTom BooksLin ThomasSleeping Bear Press/Dow PhumirukVivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie FlettMehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet BallettaAuthor Kathleen BurkinshawAuthor Josh FunkChitra SoundarOne Globe Kids – Friendship StoriesSociosights Press and Almost a MinyanKaren LeggettAuthor Eugenia ChuCultureGroove BooksPhelicia Lang and Me On The PageL.L. WaltersAuthor Sarah StevensonAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleHayley BarrettSonia PanigrahAuthor Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing DreidelsAuthor Susan BernardoMilind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu KidTara WilliamsVeronica AppletonAuthor Crystal BoweDr. Claudia MayAuthor/Illustrator Aram KimAuthor Sandra L. RichardsErin DealeyAuthor Sanya Whittaker GraggAuthor Elsa TakaokaEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoAnita BadhwarAuthor Sylvia LiuFeyi Fay AdventuresAuthor Ann MorrisAuthor Jacqueline JulesCeCe & Roxy BooksSandra Neil Wallace and Rich WallaceLEUYEN PHAMPadma VenkatramanPatricia Newman and Lightswitch LearningShoumi SenValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci SorellShereen RahmingBlythe StanfelChristina MatulaJulie RubiniPaula ChaseErin TwamleyAfsaneh MoradianLori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls RevolutionSoulful SydneyQueen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty ArabAgatha Rodi BooksAll Done MonkeyBarefoot MommyBiracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms ShareColours of UsDiscovering the World Through My Son’s EyesDescendant of Poseidon ReadsEducators Spin on it Growing Book by BookHere Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin LeeJump Into a BookImagination Soup,Jenny Ward’s ClassKid World CitizenKristi’s Book NookThe LogonautsMama SmilesMiss Panda ChineseMulticultural Kid BlogsRaising Race Conscious ChildrenShoumi SenSpanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.


Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

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