Guest post from Katy Festinger
I read Green Pants by Kenneth Kraegel. A nice simple story with the expected moral teaching. Illustrations also simple. I have not read childrens’ books for a few years, and I find myself still enamored by the classics, like Winnie the Pooh, Angus, Nothing at All. And so on. I realize these new books are trying to teach about equality, honesty and personal integrity, but I find myself wishing they left rather more up to the reader.
Jameson only ever wears green pants. When he wears green pants, he can do anything. But if he wants to be in his cousin’s wedding, he’s going to have to wear a tuxedo, and that means black pants. It’s an impossible decision: Jameson would love nothing more than to be in his cousin’s wedding, but how can he not wear green pants? Will Jameson turn down this big honor, or will he find a way to make everyone happy, including himself? In this pitch-perfect ode to individualism, acclaimed author-illustrator Kenneth Kraegel creates a character readers of all ages can root for — whatever color pants they wear.-Amazon
About Bronze and Sunflower, by Cao Wenxuan. While this book might be riveting for Chinese children, or other people raised in a more intellectual climate, I don’t think American children (even good readers, young adults) will be able to get past the slow start.
A classic, heartwarming tale set to the backdrop of the Chinese cultural revolution, with the timeless feels of Eva Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea. A beautifully written, timeless tale by bestselling Chinese author Cao Wenxuan, winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award. When Sunflower, a young city girl, moves to the countryside, she grows to love the reed marsh lands – the endlessly flowing river, the friendly buffalo with their strong backs and shiny round heads, the sky that stretches on and on in its vastness. However, the days are long, and the little girl is lonely. Then she meets Bronze, who, unable to speak, is ostracized by the other village boys. Soon the pair are inseparable, and when Bronze’s family agree to take Sunflower in, it seems that fate has brought him the sister he has always longed for. But life in Damaidi is hard, and Bronze’s family can barely afford to feed themselves. Will the city girl be able to stay in this place where she has finally found happiness?-Amazon
The values “taught” by the book are very real, and experienced by the reader in a logical and poetic format. The friendship and development of morals and ethics are explored in depth. I think the child who might be interested in this book would be unusual in this country. Perhaps one who is interested in other cultures, other peoples. History maybe. As in a child who read A Single Pebble, a child’s book about The Silk Road. Or A Single Pebble, John Hersey’s story of a journey up the Yangtze River.
Overall, both books that I read for Multicultural Children’s Book Day was good. I look forward to discovering new books to read as this event continues.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth 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.
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 holiday, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change all of that.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books
Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Delores Connors, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang
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.
MCBD Links to remember:
MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.
Katy is a semi retired Family Nurse Practitioner. “I love to read, and began reading to my children when they were still in utero. Later we would have piles of kids (4-5) on the couch to read to. We graduated to chapter books and it was definitely a family activity. One of my kids was writing before she could read which is unusual. I believe in reading aloud to others and highly recommend reading The Education of Little Tree and A Day on Beetle Rock as great read-aloud books to start with! And you don’t have to limit reading aloud to just children. Adults love it too. Witness all the books on tape!! ps: I also love ending sentences with prepositions!!”
Thanks for your review Katy!
**some of these links are affiliate links. Katy was not compensated for this review and was gifted both copies from MCBD.