Multicultural Children’s Book Day Shines with Sparkalina

Have you heard the big news? It’s time for the second annual  Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature being held on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

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The co-creators of this event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book. They have done a wonderful job generating excitement and promoting the event.

Why multicultural books? They say:

Mission:

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.

“MCCBD team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. 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. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along…”

You may want to:

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After signing up to participate, I found out I would be receiving a brand new picture book from author Shana Bernabela to review. I feel so lucky.

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Sparkalina (Sparkalina Brights) (Volume 1) by Shana Bernabela and illustrated by Maythe Carpertino is a delightful little book with a big message:  It is okay to be different!

Sparklina Brights lives for glitter and sparkles. Her clothes are shiny, her pencils shimmer, even her breakfast bowl and spoon are sparkly. When Sparklina encounters the neighborhood bully, aptly named Tiger Rex, he puts down her look and says it is weird.  Sparkalina is deeply hurt, but her wise mother knows exactly how to help her appreciate her unique qualities.

Many readers are going to be able to relate to Sparkalina’s struggles with identity and self-esteem. In fact, in this interview author Shana Bernabela reveals she had similar issues when she was young. Sparkalina (Sparkalina Brights) (Volume 1) helps give victims of bullying some much-needed tools to feel more confident.

Activities to Accompany Sparkalina:

Wow, this book really begs to be accompanied by some sparkly crafts and activities to reinforce learning. Prepare to be bedazzled.

1. Dress up!

What better way to try on new identities and looks than a game of dress up?

Gather:

  • Scarves
  • Bright clothes
  • Wacky shoes
  • Costume jewelry
  • Hats
  • Tiaras

The fun outfits in the book are sure to be inspirations. Make it a party and have the “paparazzi” take a lot of pictures.

2. Design sparkly clothes

Gather:

  • Glitter glue (takes some time to dry)
  • Paper:  construction, poster, shiny wrapping paper, etc.
  • Glitter shakers
  • Glitter tape
  • Sparkly stickers, etc.
  • Scissors
  • Markers

Have the children draw and cut out clothes, either to stand alone or as outfits for paper dolls. Then decorate the outfits with all things sparkly.

spark-craft-1Let their imaginations run wild!

Extension:  The book mentions several items that could also be fun to decorate, such as:

  • Pencils
  • Plastic or paper bowls (for decorative purposes only)
  • Plastic spoons or forks (for decorative purposes only)

Series: Sparkalina Brights
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (December 31, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1505481937
ISBN-13: 978-1505481938

Disclosure: Book provided by the author 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.

 

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 Let’s not forget the Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature Sponsors.

2015 Sponsors include:

Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop, Gold SponsorsSatya House,  MulticulturalKids.com,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof, Silver Sponsors: Junior Library GuildCapstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books,  The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

CoHosts: The co-creaters have nine amazing Co-Hosts, as well. You can view them here.

Observing Multicultural Children’s Book Day with Lin Yi’s Lantern

Since I decided to make this a year of multicultural reading, it was thrilling to find out about Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature coming up on January 27, 2014.

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The co-creators of this event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. They have done a wonderful job generating excitement and promoting the event. The two women have gained the support of several groups interested in creating diversity in children’s literature, including the sponsors  Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books Chronicle Books, and Susan Daniel Fayad: Author of  My Grandfather’s Masbaha.

After agreeing to participate, I found out I would be receiving a picture book from Barefoot Books World Cultures collection to review (they have been publishing multicultural children’s books for over 20 years!) I couldn’t wait to find out which one. Imagine my pleasure when I found out it was about a Chinese boy getting ready for a festival. What a perfect accompaniment to the books about the Chinese New Year already featured this week! The book:

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Lin-Yis-Lantern

Lin Yi’s Lantern by Brenda Williams and illustrated by Benjamin Lacombe is a fictional picture book about a young Chinese boy who is helping his family get ready for the autumn Moon Festival.

The first thing you notice when you open the book is the delicate gouache illustrations by Benjamin Lacombe. If you have never seen his work, try his website which is currently featuring a book trailer for his mind-blowing Madame Butterfly (also available at YouTube.)

Although the art catches you eye, what draws you in is Brenda Williams’ soft, yet compelling text. The story starts with Lin Yi’s mother reciting a list of items Lin Yi needs to buy at the market for the Moon Festival. Lin Yi repeats the list several times as he tries to navigate the perils of the market. He has to chose between his duties and his desire to have a red rabbit lantern for the Moon Festival. Should he buy the lantern, even though it would mean not buying one of the items on his mother’s list? If he doesn’t, will the lantern be gone?

The back matter includes “The Legend of the Moon Fairy,” which ties in with the story, instructions for making a Chinese lantern out of paper (see below) and a discussion of “Market Life in China.” All are excellent ways to extend and add depth to the story.

Lin Yi’s Lantern is a beautiful book with an important message. It is one to relish again and again, and would be a lovely addition to any library.

Related Activities:

Barefoot Books has a free downloadable instructions for the activity to make a paper lantern on its Arts and Crafts Activity page for kids (scroll down)

Reading is Fundamental has several free downloadable educator and activity guides to accompany this book, as well.

Red Ted Art has more instructions for making paper lanterns and for attaching small ones to fairy lights.

Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Barefoot Books (September 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1846867932
ISBN-13: 978-1846867934

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Why should we read and promote multicultural books? The mission statement for the event explains:

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.

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And even more:

On January 27, 2014 Barefoot Books will be hosting a giveaway on their Facebook page.

Bloggers participating in Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature are shown below. Most will be posting this week and all the posts will be linked up to the book day site on Monday.

2GirlsLostInaBook · 365 Days of Motherhood · A Bilingual Baby · A Simple Life, Really? · Africa to America · After School Smarty Pants · All Done Monkey · Andi’s Kids Books · Anita Brown Bag  · Austin Gilkeson · Barbara Ann Mojica ·  Books My Kids Read · Bottom Shelf Books · Cats Eat Dogs · Chasing The Donkey · Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac · Children’s Books Heal · Church o Books · CitizenBeta · Crafty Moms Share · Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes · Early Words · Flowering Minds · Franticmommy · Gathering Books · GEO Librarian · Gladys Barbieri · Going in Circles · Growing Book by Book · iGame Mom · I’m Not The Nanny · InCulture Parent · Itsy Bitsy Mom ·Just Children’s Books– Kid World Citizen · Kristi’s Book Nook · Mama Lady Books · Mama Smiles · Mission Read · Mother Daughter Book Reviews · Mrs AOk · MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter · Ms. Yingling Reads · Multicultural Kids Blog · One Sweet World · Open Wide The World · P is for Preschooler · Rapenzel Dreams · School4Boys · Sharon the Librarian · Spanish Playground · Sprout’s Bookshelf · Squishable Baby · Stanley and Katrina · Teach Mama · The Art of Home Education · The Brain Lair · The Educators’ Spin On It · The Family-Ship Experience · The Yellow Door Paperie · This Kid Reviews Books  · Trishap’s Books · Unconventional Librarian · Vicki Arnold · We3Three · World for Learning