#kidlit Sugar in Milk for #ReadYourWorld


We just couldn’t contain our excitement for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 (see details below the review), so today we are featuring a lovely, timely picture book Sugar in Milk* by Thrity Umrigar and illustrated by Khoa Le.

Living with her uncle and aunt in a new country, a young immigrant girl is lonely. She joins her aunt in a walk through a local park. Knowing her niece misses her previous home and is struggling, the girl’s aunt tells her a story about another group of people who also had to move to a new place, but long ago. The story helps the girl accept her new circumstances.

In her story — a folktale from India — a group of refugees were forced from their home and traveled to a different country. They wanted to stay, but the local king didn’t want them. Because the two groups did not speak the same language, the king filled a glass with milk, his way of saying that the country was full up with people and no more would fit. The leader of the refugees had another idea.  He added a pinch of sugar to the glass of milk. He showed his people could become part of the greater whole. The king relented and welcomed the newcomers.

Having heard this tale long ago from a friend, I had thought it would make a wonderful children’s book. Thrity Umrigar and Khoa Le made it an award-winning reality:

An ALSC Notable Children’s Book of 2021
A Kirkus Best Books of 2020
A School Library Journal Best Books of 2020
Winner of the 2021 Ohioana Book Award

Sugar in Milk is a timeless story that will help children who are moving to a new place to adjust, regardless of the circumstances. It is also a makes a memorable case for acceptance in a clever way. Highly recommended!

Related Activity:

Make a sweet Indian drink to celebrate the book.

Sweet Lassi (Traditional)

  • 1 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup ice cubes
  • 3 to 5 teaspoons of sugar
  • A pinch of salt

Blend all the ingredients in a blender at high speed till frothy. Optional: add 2-3 Tbsp. fruit prior to blending. Pour into a glass and add a dollop of fresh yogurt on top (optional).

(*Amazon affiliate link)

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Running Press Kids (October 6, 2020)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0762495197
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0762495191

Disclosures: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you go to Amazon by clicking the linked title or book cover and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Proceeds will be used to help defray the costs of developing and maintaining this website. The book was provided by my local library.


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 (1/28/22) is in its 9th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those books into the hands of young readers and educators.

MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves. Read about our Mission & History HERE.

MCBD 2022 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!


PLATINUM: Language Lizard

GOLD: Barefoot Books, KidLitTV, Candlewick, Capstone, Abrams Books

SILVER: Pack-n-Go Girls, Charlotte Riggle, Kimberly Gordon Biddle

BRONZE: Carole P. Roman, Patrice McLaurin, Dyesha and Triesha McCants/McCants Squared, Redfin.com, Redfin Canada, Redfin Mortgage, Redfin/Title Forward, Create & Educate, Star Bright Books, Vivian Kirkfield, Dr. Eleanor Wint, Kind World Publishing, Snowflake Stories, Lisa Wee, SONGJU MA, Melissa Stoller, J.C. Kato and J.C.², Crystel Patterson, Audrey Press, Pragmaticmom, TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales

MCBD 2022 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Charlene Mosley (official MCBD2022 Poster Creator)
Illustrator Isabelle Roxas (Class Kit Poster Creator)

Alva Sachs, Brianna Carter, Ebony Zay Zay, Rita Bhandari, Gwen Jackson, Lois Petren/The 5 Enchanted Mermaids, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Josh Funk, Afsaneh Moradian, Eugenia Chu, Maritza Martínez Mejía, Diana Huang, Kathleen Burkinshaw, CultureGroove, Sandra Elaine Scott, Dorena Williamson, Veronica Appleton, Alejandra Domenzain, Lauren Muskovitz and Sandfish Publishing, Tonya Duncan Ellis, Kimberly Lee, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher, Nancy Tupper Ling, Winsome Hudson-Bingham, Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett, Sivan Hong, Michael Genhart, Debbie Dadey, Elizabeth Cureton, Stephanie Wildman, Maryann Jacob, Sherri Maret, Rochelle Melander, Dia Mixon, Kiyanda and Benjamin Young, Shereen Rahming, Linda Thornburg and Katherine Archer,  Rebecca Flansburg and BA Norrgard , Maxine Schur Natalie McDonald-Perkins

MCBD 2022 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2022 is Honored to be Supported by these Media Partners!

Check out MCBD’s Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day:

Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents

FREE Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Activism and Activists Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Empathy Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Kindness Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Physical and Developmental Challenges Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Poverty Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Raising Awareness on Systemic Racism in America Classroom Kit

Gallery of Our Free Posters

FREE Diversity Book for Classrooms Program

Join us on Friday, Jan 29, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party! Be sure and follow MCBD and Make A Way Media on Twitter!

This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.

We will be giving away an 8-Book Bundle every 5 minutes plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **

Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. See you all very soon on Twitter!

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

#Nonfiction Monday Who Is A Scientist by Laura Gehl

Want to encourage young readers to consider careers in STEM? Check this picture book collection of 14 mini-biographies, Who Is a Scientist?  by Laura Gehl.


The layout of the book was a lovely surprise. On the first page is a photograph of a woman in a bright red skirt doing what looks like a flamenco dance in the middle of a field. No lab coats in sight! Readers soon learn that the featured woman is Isha M. Renta López, a meteorologist who also loves to dance and play volleyball. The next page shows  her with a weather balloon and explains a bit about her job using short sentences and vocabulary appropriate for ages 4-9. Throughout the rest of the book, we find similar spreads with candid photographs of the featured person doing their hobby on the left and a professional one of them doing their job on the right.

The book features a diverse group of people, so young readers learn scientists can be any race or gender. Although they all call themselves “scientists”, a full range of STEM is represented, including a mathematician, engineers, and those in the computer technology field.

It also shows scientists have fun hobbies. The book helps youngsters relate to people in STEM fields and encourages them to give STEM a try.

As the last page says,

Who is a scientist?
One day…maybe you!

In the back is a QR code that links to a video of the scientists introducing themselves (see video below).

Who Is a Scientist? is perfect for children interested in learning more about STEM and scientists. Investigate a copy today!

Want to Learn More?

Visit Laura Gehl’s website to download a teaching guide.

Learn about the scientists featured in the book by watching this video:

For more children’s books about female scientists, check our growing list at Science Books for Kids.

Older children (middle grade) might enjoy books from the Scientists in the Field Series.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Millbrook Press ™ (October 5, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728441080
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728441085

Disclosure: The book was supplied for review purposes by Blue Slip Media. 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.

Summer 2021 PAL Showcase

This is such a lovely group. I was so honored to be part of the SCBWI Summer 2021 PAL Showcase in July.

My interview starts about 9:50, but if you are interested in finding out about some wonderful children’s book authors, I encourage you to watch the whole thing.

#Nonfiction Monday Secrets of the Sea

I love finding nonfiction picture book biographies about people I’ve never heard of before and Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist by Evan Griffith and illustrated by Joanie Stone is a perfect example.

The story reveals the life of a remarkable woman.

Jeanne Power was born in France, but moved to Sicily with her husband in 1818 when she was 23. Formerly a busy seamstress, she was likely not used to staying at home. To pass the time, she began to study the animals and plants of her new surroundings. The ocean intrigued her the most, but how could she observe what was going on in the water? Build one of the first glass-sided aquariums of course!

During her studies, Jeanne Power concentrated on the paper nautilus, which is a type of octopus. At the time, no one was sure whether the nautilus borrowed the delicate shells they carried from other creatures or whether they grew them. Jeanne Power figured out the answer. It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but she was able to publish her findings.

Matching the compelling story, Joanie Stone’s beautiful digital illustrations, from the bubbling water of the end papers to last pages of the text, reflect the vibrant blue palette of the ocean Jeanne Power loved so much. Gorgeous!

The back matter is extensive, including notes about “Jeanne’s Life and Legacy,” “The Paper Nautilus,” information about “Marine Biology and Conservation,” a “Note on Historical Research,” and a “Bibliography.”

Secrets of the Sea would be a great choice for a science unit on oceans or for Women’s History Month. Explore a copy today!

Related Activity Suggestions

See more information about the paper nautilus in this video (preview for appropriateness before showing to children).

For budding marine scientists, Monterey Bay Aquarium has a wide selection of lessons for learning at home.

For more children’s books about female scientists, check our growing list at Science Books for Kids.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 6 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Clarion Books (March 9, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0358244323
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0358244325

Disclosure: The book was provided by our local library. 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.