Multicultural Children’s Book Day – the annual event to celebrate and encourage the publication of multicultural books for children – is coming on January 27, and we at Multicultural Kid Blogs are thrilled to be a co-host this year! (And also tickled that 7 of the 8 other co-hosts are MKB members!)
I recently had the pleasure of chatting (via email) with the amazing founders of Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Valarie Budayr of Audrey Press and Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen of Pragmatic Mom. I am in awe of the mammoth event they have organized, and how it continues to grow and evolve from year to year. Read on to discover their inspiration for starting Multicultural Children’s Book Day, and what you can expect to see this year – and in the future!
1. Why did you feel it necessary to start Multicultural Children’s Book Day?
Mia: Valarie and I come from multicultural backgrounds ourselves and we noticed how difficult it was to find books reflecting diversity. After reading articles by Jason Low (Lee and Low Books) about how the diversity books published hasn’t increased to reflect population, Valarie came to me with the idea to start a holiday to put a spotlight on these types of books in order to get them into the hands of kids.
2. How has Multicultural Children’s Book Day evolved since it began? Where would you like to see it go in the future?
This event keeps getting bigger and bigger! Here are some specific differences:
Four major sponsors
70 established bloggers reviewing books.
MCCBD information was disbursed via Mia and Valarie’s sites only.
Upcoming 2015 Event
– A brand new, stand-alone website that will be homebase for book reviews from noted bloggers all over the world, giveaways and book-related activities for young readers of all ages.
– The MCCBD team will also be partnering with First Book to create a Virtual Book Drive for the event, and with The Children’s Book Council to offer readers quality resources along with fun and informative author visits.
– Multicultural Children’s Book Day is now a non-profit!
– Over 100 established bloggers standing by and ready to review multicultural children’s books.
– Nine powerhouse CoHosts that will help use their sites, readerships and reach to pass the word about MCCBD:
MCCBD’s 2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop; Gold Sponsors: Satya House, MulticulturalKids.com, Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof; Silver Sponsors: Junior Library Guild, Capstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books, The Omnibus Publishing; Bronze Sponsors: Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing, Rainbow Books, Author Felicia Capers, Chronicle Books, Muslim Writers Publishing, East West Discovery Press.
We also have a great line-up of Author Sponsors and we are excited to be able to showcase their multicultural books on our Author Blogroll Page!
3. Why is championing multicultural children’s books important to you personally?
Our 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. When we learned that 37% of the United States population is of multi-cultural or diverse nature but only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, we are on a mission to change all of that.
4. What is one lesson that you would like to pass on to educators and parents? To publishers and book sellers?
Along with having more multicultural and diverse books published something that both Mia and I come often come across is the need for resources.
As parents who do a lot of after-schooling with our kids, we are thinking a lot about what resources parents and teachers need to find diversity books and to make them come alive through extension activities. We plan to create resources to tie diversity books into Common Core Curriculum across science, social studies and ELA (for free!).
We are currently making expanded Classroom Kits with recommended books and extension activities across a wide range of cultures to make it easy for teachers to incorporate diversity books into their Common Core curriculum
One of the great perks of celebrating Multicultural Books is that we have a recommended diversity book lists sliced and diced by age, genre and Common Core curriculum.
5. What happens on Multicultural Children’s Book Day?
You can view what Multicultural Children’s Book Day is all about HERE. We have a some wonderful Sponsors that are publishers/authors who are willing to donate multicultural children’s books to bloggers in exchange for a review on their blog.
THEN, on the day of the event (1/27/15) everyone links up their blog post on the Multicultural Children’s Book Day website to create a big, ginormous resource for parents, teachers and librarians to use.
Here’s some extra info:
Multicultural Children’s Book Day now has its own Paper.li! A Paper.li is a free online newspaper that aggregates information on the topic of multicultural books for kids from all over the Internet. Please feel free to subscribe and stay up-to-date with this topic. Please watch for our hashtag: #ReadYourWorld and you can connect with us via Twitter and Facebook!by
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This is awesome, Leanna, thanks for sharing! I didn’t know about this, and how admirable and inspirational to see the growth of this group (now even a non-profit!). Fantastic!
Thanks, Nina! It is a wonderful initiative!