Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom have teamed up to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event.
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.
I try to check out a wide variety of books when we go to the library. I am also participating in the Dive Into Diversity reading challenge. These are the titles my children and I picked out this week:
- Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema ~ illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillion
- The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington ~ illustrated by Shelley Jackson
- Peek! A Thai Hide-and-Seek by Minfong Ho ~ illustrated by Holly Meade
- Me I Am! by Jack Prelutsky ~ illustrated by Christine Davenier
The Sandwich Swap by Kelly DiPucchio ~ illustrated by Tricia Tusa
The Sandwich Swap is a story about two friends. Lily eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for lunch. Salma eats a hummus and pita sandwich every day for lunch. Lily has never tasted hummus, and Salma has never tried peanut butter. Lily thinks Salma’s sandwich looks yucky. Salma thinks Lily’s sandwich looks gross. One day, they share their disgust about each other’s sandwiches. Their hurt feelings turn mad and they both say things they don’t mean. A food fight breaks out in the lunch room and all the kids start calling each other names.
The next day, Lily and Salma decide to swap sandwiches. Mmmm! Yummy!
At the end of the book, Salma and Lily meet with the principal to suggest a special event for the school. This spread folds out to reveal a long table with children sharing dishes from all over the world.
The Sandwich Swap celebrates difference and encourages children to learn about cultures through a topic everyone relates to: food. This is a great picture book to pair with a fun family activity. Invite your children to help prepare a meal from a different part of the world.
My son, Mason, is a blue belt in taekwondo. Although he learns a lot in taekwondo, they don’t teach much about South Korea. Mason learned Grand Master’s favorite food is kimchi, and he thinks Grand Master is pretty cool so we will make kimchi for our first dish. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish of fermented vegetables.
The Sandwich Swap inspired us to learn more about South Korea. First, we looked at a map.
“Wow, South Korea is so far away,” Mason said.
I am excited to incorporate activities for more multicultural children’s books in my February post for Dive Into Diversity. To learn about participating in Multicultural Children’s book Day click here. There will be a Twitter party tonight at 9 pm EST. Follow #ReadYourWorld to learn about other wonderful multicultural children’s books.