I am so excited to be one of the bloggers and book reviewers for the upcoming Multicultural Children's Book Day #ReadYourWorld on Jan. 27th! This week I will be reviewing and sharing several incredible multicultural books from participating publisher Lee & Low. (Please click on the image above or scroll down to the bottom of the post for more information about Multicultural Children's Book Day, including sponsors and hosts.)
Review: Twenty-Two Cents
Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank (published in 2014 Lee & Low) is written by Paula Yoo and illustrated by Jamel Akib. It was recognized as a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Notable Book for a Global Society by the International Reading Association.
Twenty-Two Cents is a picture book biography of Muhammad Yunus, the Noble Peace Prize winner and founder of the Village Bank (eventually Grameen Bank). The book begins with his childhood and includes background information about the political and economic situations of the time.
I really appreciate how both the words and illustrations help communicate the message of the book. In the two-page spread above, the familiar outfits of the Boy Scout uniforms contrasts strongly with the conditions of the slums depicted below.
As the story progresses, the book does a good job of explaining the basics of predatory lending and the difficulties of getting a loan for such small amounts of money. Even children with only a beginning math background will be able to understand the situation that these women faced. This helps makes the need and the importance of the Grameen Bank easier to understand and celebrate.
This is a great book for introducing kids to the work of Muhammad Yunus. It is also an inspirational message of how one person can improve the world around him/her. Readers of this book will be encouraged to start asking their own hard questions and perhaps find their own solutions to current and future problems.
- Download the Teacher's Guide for the book, which includes extensive background information, vocabulary, and standards-linked discussion questions and topics.
- Visit author Paula Yoo's web site here and illustrator Jamel Akib's web site here for more information about this book and others.
Activity: Learn More about Helping OthersThere have been many picture book biographies published recently that feature individuals who have made a big impact in their community and mobilized the resources of others. There have also been several fictionalized stories that feature different organizations working to improve the lives of people and children around the world.
Read one or more of the books below and think or talk about some of the following questions. How do these stories compare and contrast to that of Muhammad Yunus? What decisions did these individuals make in their lives that helped them become leaders? How could you become a leader and help change lives too?
Wangari Maathai won the Noble Peace Prize in 2004 for her work planting trees in Kenya. These four picture book biographies detail her life's work. Wangari's Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter is probably the most basic of the four and a great resource for younger children. Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola goes a little more in-depth about her actions and some of the difficulties she faced. Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli pairs Wangari's life story with powerful collage illustrations by Kadir Nelson. Seeds of Change is a little less about her background and more about the difference that she made but really drives home her powerful message of action and change. Wangari Maatha: the woman who planted millions of trees by Franck Prévot and illustrated by Aurélia Fronty was just published this month.
Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier and illustrated by Lori Lonstorter is a fictionalized story of the impact that one goat makes on the life of a young girl in Africa. The afterword in the book links this story to the efforts of Heifer International. One Hen: how one small loan made a big difference by Katie Smith Milway and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes tells the story of a young boy named Kojo who buys one small hen and turns it into a thriving business. This story is inspired by the life of Kwabena Darko.
About Multicultural Children's Book DayOur mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.
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, co-founders Mia (Pragmatic Mom) and Valarie (Jump into a Book) 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.
In their words: "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 the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky, and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media."
You can get involved! MCCBD is partnering with First Book to offer a Virtual Book Drive that will help donate multicultural children’s books through their channels during the week of the event. Help get diversity books into the hands of kids who most need them! The Virtual Book Drive is LIVE and can be found HERE.
Finally, a huge thank you to all the sponsors of this wonderful event: 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.
There are also nine co-hosts: Africa to America, All Done Monkey, The Educators’ Spin on It, Growing Book by Book, InCultural Parent, Kid World Citizen, Mama Smiles, Multicultural Kid Blogs, and Sprout’s Bookshelf along with the two founders: Mia (Pragmatic Mom) and Valarie (Jump into a Book).
MCCBD is collaborating with Children’s Book Council to highlight wonderful diversity books and authors on an ongoing basis all year. Thank you all for your contributions and support!