Growing up I always dreamed of traveling around the world and living in Europe. Seeing so many different places and people, listening to different languages and tasting delicious foods from around the world seemed like the perfect adventure.
But it wasn’t until I was 20 years old and I left Colombia to study abroad that I realized how important my own culture was and how difficult being an immigrant could be.
I have been lucky. I have never had any big problems in any of the countries I have studied or lived in.
However, I do know the feeling of being treated differently for having black hair and dark eyes. I’ve seen people rolling their eyes when they hear my accent. I know how irritating it can be to pass through the immigration line in the airport when you are from a third world country.
Over the years, I have learned to value my culture and to appreciate diversity. I have been lucky to enjoy learning about different traditions from colleagues and friends from around the world.
Now that I’m married to a German and raising two girls of mixed ethnicities, I find it more important than ever to teach them as much as I can about multiculturalism.
That’s why I am thrilled to be taking part in the multicultural children’s book day. I received two books to review, and today I want to share with you my honest thoughts about them.
Orange Moon and the Grandmother Tree
Orange Moon and the Grandmother Tree by Marghanita Hughes is a wonderful book, which both children and adults can equally enjoy. This beautifully narrated book takes the reader on a journey that connects with nature.
This book is a must-have if your child has suffered a loss of a loved one. It highlights in the most amazing way how the people (or even pets) we love live forever in our hearts and how we can connect with them through nature.
I read the book with my 3-year-old who lost one of her bunnies last year. That same night, when my husband was getting her to sleep, she told him that her bunny was still living in her heart. Hearing her say that in such a calm way melted our hearts.
One of the things I really liked about this book is that it has several pages of activity ideas to do with your children after reading the book. I have never seen this in a book before. We have already tried one of the activities, and I have to say we loved it.
The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid
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It was a complete coincidence that I got a book about a Colombian legend to review. I was excited to receive The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid by Janet Balletta.
This book tells the story of two Colombian siblings who are celebrating Holy Week in the typical Colombian way. The siblings go meet and play with friends close to a river where legend says a girl who disobeyed her parents turned into a mermaid.
Before the siblings leave for the river, the mom cautions them to leave before dawn. Otherwise, the mermaid will kidnap them.
This book reminded me of my childhood in Colombia. Although I never heard this particular legend growing up, I have heard several different versions of it. Parents used tales like these to keep children away from danger in Colombia many years ago.
Generation after generation have told these stories which in turn became myths and legends. If you want to read a classic tale from Colombia then this book is definitely for you.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.
2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs
BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal Bowe, Gokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press
2018 Author Sponsors
Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo, Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and MFL Publishing Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham Author Natasha Yim
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.
Share Your Reviews for Multicultural Children’s Book Day!
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