January 26, 2015

Bijoy and the Big River

January 27th is Multicultural Children's Book Day and to celebrate I am reviewing Bijoy and the Big River. Learn about the daily lives through a young boy's journey through the Brahmaputri River, also known as the Burha Luit or "Big River" in his Indian village of Assam.

Bijoy loves living near the water because it has many facets, one of which is the xihu, (pronounced hihu). Xihu is an endangered Gangetic river dolphin that lives and swims sideways in the Big River, and one of the native animals that Bijoy has come face to face with. Other animals native to India in the book are silkworms and their unique cocoons, elephants, and the endangered one-horned rhino. Learn also about materials from trees native to India, including bamboo and cane, that are used to build houses in Bijoy's village of Assam. 

Bijoy and the Big River is a great book to read to your child who is interested in India, has family in India, or children who simply like learning about different countries. Not only does it tell of native animals and plants, it explores native foods and festivals.

Reading Bijoy and the Big River is a great way to introduce your child to another culture! Take it one step further and introduce your child to the food of India by going to and Indian restaurant or making a home-cooked meal of mustard greens and bamboo shoots, both foods that are native to India. However you choose to celebrate the day, make sure that you make it fun!

Bijoy and the Big River
Written by: Meera Sriram and Praba Ram

About Multicultural Children's Book Day2015  (MCCBD)

Creators: Co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.

Mission: To raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries. 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.

“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.

2015 Sponsors: Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop

Co-hosts: Find a list of co-hosts on the Multicultural Children's Book Day website here.

Virtual Book Drive w/ First Book: 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. We want to help get diversity books into the hands of kids who most need it and now we have a way to do it! The Virtual Book Drive is LIVE and can be found HERE.

Special Contributor: Children’s Book Council: MCCBD is collaborating with Children’s Book Council to highlight wonderful diversity books and authors on an ongoing basis all year.

January 3, 2015

How I Learn: A Kid's Guide to Learning Disability

I like school, but sometimes I get confused. 
That's because I learn in a different way. 
But guess what? That's OK.

It's the New Year, and a great time for new learning! With that in mind, I'm reviewing How I Learn: A Kid's Guide to Learning Disability.to keep in line with Book Buzz 4 Kid's mission to support books that discuss issues of diversity, to include cultural, religious, racial, and disabled/special needs communities.

Children with a disability or special need, such as Autism or Dyslexia, often feel embarrassed or ostracized for being different. How I Learn is a wonderful picture book that teaches children that it's OK to be different and learn differently from others.

The story addresses how some kids are good at reading, but not math, while other children who are good at sports, may not be good at drawing or reading. How I Learn encourages children to ask questions when they don't understand, or to use computers for help with a learning disability. The book also encourages children to also ask for their parents help.

What I love most about the book is that in addition to telling children throughout the book that it's okay to learn differently, it also encourages parent-child reading time, and demonstrates how learning things like math can be made fun when taught to count using measuring in the kitchen at home. After all, parent support is the most important thing in cultivating confidence in a child with special needs. How I Learn demonstrates this well and is a great read for any child trying to cope with being different.

How I Learn: A Kid's Guide to Learning Disability
Author: Brenda S. Miles, PhD, & Colleen A. Patterson, MA
Illustrated by Jane Heinrichs