#ReadYourWorld Hello, Mandarin Duck! @CapstonePub

For our Multicultural Children’s Book Day series, today we are featuring the imaginative picture book, Hello, Mandarin Duck!* by Bao Phi and illustrated by Dion MBD. (For more MCBD events, see also our review of The Big Day  and the links below).

About the Book

On the way to the park for the May Day parade, twins Hue and Hoa spot a colorful duck they had never seen before. It seems lost, so they decide to help it get to the pond. Along the way, many of their friends from the neighborhood stop to say hello in different languages and offer suggestions for how to help the new duck. Things get complicated when the duck gets caught up in the parade, plus the children hear a police siren, which sends them running. Will the little duck ever reach the safety of the pond?

We always appreciate back matter in a children’s book. In the “Author’s Note”, Bao Phi explains more about his experiences in the Minnesota neighborhood that inspired the story. The “Languages in Duck’s Neighborhood” section provides a guide to help readers pronounce the many words in different languages used in the text.

Fun fact:  Illustrator Dion MBD’s full name is Dionisius Mehaga Bangun Djayasaputra.


The voice of Hello,  Mandarin Duck is not at all like the quiet, reflective tone of Bao Phi’s  Caldicott Honor book, A Different Pond. The children are boisterous, with a lot of activity, sights and sounds going on. You can help young readers stay focused by directing them to look for the duck in each illustration.

The book offers an introduction to a number of languages not often seen in picture books. More subtly, it is also has a positive message about being welcoming to people from other places, and how communities can work together to solve a problem.

Hello,  Mandarin Duck is a delightful picture book. Educators will find it useful to introduce inclusiveness. It is also a great book to pull out when someone new moves into a class or group to encourage children to be welcoming and helpful.

Related Activities:

  1. Explore one or more of the languages featured in the book.
  • Vietnamese
  • Dakota
  • Somali
  • Cambodian
  • Hmong
  • Anishinaabe
  • Russian
  • Tamil
  • Hebrew
  • Arabic
  • Swedish
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Thai
  • Lao
  • Korean
  • Karen

There are many programs, apps and resources online for learning more about languages. For example, see DuoLingo, Endless Spanish, or Mindsnacks to name a few (I’m not affiliated with any of these programs).


2. Mandarin ducks.

Public domain image of male and female mandarin ducks from Wikimedia.

Male Mandarin ducks are prized for their brightly colored feathers during the breeding season. The females are more subdued in color. They are originally from eastern Asia, but have been domesticated and escaped birds have established in parts of Great Britain, Ireland, and a few places in the U.S.

Activity:  How do ducks keep dry in the water?

Duck feathers are very smooth, plus they add a layer of oil onto their feathers to keep the water out. The oil comes from a special gland. They rub the oil around with their bill during preening.

1. You can show how oil floats on the top of water by putting some water into a clear glass and adding a layer of vegetable oil. Adding a bit of blue food coloring to the water makes the difference even more obvious.

2. You can also show how oil resists water with a resist painting.


  • Paper
  • Oil pastels (preferred) or crayons
  • Watercolor paints and a paintbrush
  • Watercolor or heavy paper
  • Salt

Draw the outline of a mandarin duck using the oil pastels. You can use different colors. Fill in as much or as little as you like. You can also have your duck float on a pond or show a scene from the book. Then use the watercolors to fill in and around the duck as shown for the leaves in the video below. Watch how the water flows off the areas covered with oil pastels. Add the salt to the outside to create an interesting effect.

Hope you have fun.

Raising Lifelong Learners also has a duck feather experiment.


Reading age: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: Capstone Editions (January 1, 2021)
ISBN-10: 1684462568
ISBN-13: 978-1684462568

Disclosure:  I was gifted an electronic copy of Hello, Mandarin Duck! for review purposes by Capstone, who is a MCBD Gold Sponsor. 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.


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th 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 book into the hands of young readers and educators.
Eight years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Prgamaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s (Audreypress.com)

Platinum Sponsors: Language Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages, Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media

Gold Sponsors: Barefoot Books, Candlewick Press, Capstone, Hoopoe Books, KidLitTV, Peachtree Publishing Company Inc.

Silver Sponsors: Charlotte Riggle, Connecticut Association of School Librarians, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Pack-N-Go Girls

Bronze Sponsors: Agatha Rodi and AMELIE is IMPRESSED!, Barnes Brothers Books, Create and Educate Solutions, LLC, Dreambuilt Books, Dyesha and Triesha McCants/McCants Squared, Redfin Real Estate, Snowflake Stories, Star Bright Books, TimTimTom Bilingual Personalized Books, Author Vivian Kirkfield, Wisdom Tales Press, My Well Read Child

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Poster Artist: Nat Iwata

Authors: Author Afsaneh Moradian, Author Alva Sachs & Three Wishes Publishing Company, Author Angeliki Stamatopoulou-Pedersen, Author Anna Olswanger, Author Casey Bell , Author Claudine Norden, Author Debbie Dadey, Author Diana Huang & Intrepids, Author Eugenia Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Green Kids Club, Author Gwen Jackson, Author Janet Balletta, Author Josh Funk, Author Julia Inserro, Karter Johnson & Popcorn and Books, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, Author Keila Dawson, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Author Mia Wenjen, Michael Genhart, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Natalie Murray, Natalie McDonald-Perkins, Author Natasha Yim, Author Phe Lang and Me On The Page Publishing, Sandra Elaine Scott, Author Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher, Tales of the Five Enchanted Mermaids, Author Theresa Mackiewicz, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Author Toshia Stelivan, Valerie Williams-Sanchez & The Cocoa Kids Collection Books©, Author Vanessa Womack, MBA, Author Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series

MCBD 2021 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2021 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:

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Join us on Friday, Jan 29, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party!
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.