New titles available – recently published!


We love these great new books, all published in the last month or so.

Islandborn (and its Spanish version, Lola) by Junot Diaz has been generating a lot of buzz.  It’s a terrific book about family stories and one’s own sense of self.

We are enthralled by the gorgeous illustrations in You’re Safe With Me – a book to take the scare away from a thunderstorm, under the protective wing of Mama Elephant.

For Audrey With Love is a very sweet and simple story of the lifelong friendship between Audrey Hepburn and Hubert Givenchy, and their parallel rise to fame.

The Field tells the story of an impromptu soccer game in Haiti using few words but bright, active pictures – and sprinkles in expressions from Haitian Creole.

Last but not least is an eccentric but absolutely charming book from one of Europe’s top illustrators.  Everything rhyming with Smon Smon feels a little weird at first, but it’s easy to imagine children really getting into it.

Click on each book to read more – and enjoy!

Africa! for Black History Month

These wonderful books about people, history, events, and cultures in different African countries are organized into groups – by topic and by age.  Please enjoy browsing – and just click to order!

Graphic novels are so popular these days, and here are some that focus on African history – from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

Middle-grade and older kids will find plenty to engage them in reading about the lives of their young peers in Africa – both fiction and nonfiction.  Some are stories of exciting achievements, others describe surviving and overcoming great challenges. The stories here are set in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Malawi, Sudan, and Kenya.

For young people who are into science fiction, we highly recommend the “Afrofuturist” books of Nnedi Okorafor – incredibly creative and inventive.

And finally – last but not least – books to introduce younger children to the people and cultures of Africa.   Whether you’re looking for traditional folktales, lively counting books, sweet bedtime books, or a bouncy rhyming book for the little ones, you will find plenty to choose from here!

Ready for the Olympics? Read Korea!




If your family, like ours, will be glued to the TV during this year’s Winter Olympics, why not explore host-nation Korea through some wonderful books?

Where’s Halmoni? is a wacky, funny graphic novel for kids age 6-9.  A modern-day sister and brother go looking for their grandmother (Halmoni) in the house, and somehow find themselves in a strange land filled with creatures from Korean mythology.  Fortunately the little brother has plenty of snacks in his school backpack, to placate even the most intimidating goblin!

Bee-Bim Bop! is a terrific, bouncy rhyming book for children as young as 2 or 3, from acclaimed middle-grade novelist Linda Sue Park.  Follow along as Mama makes a classic Korean comfort-food dish (and try the recipe at the back.)

Other titles from Linda Sue Park include the award-winning A Single Shard, The Kite Fighters, and When My Name Was Keoko.  All are historical novels, the first two set long ago and the last one about the 20th century Japanese occupation of Korea.

The other titles are self-explanatory — an introduction to the Korean alphabet and vocabulary, plus, a wonderful collection of traditional Korean folktales!

What could be a better time to brush up on this fascinating country, it’s people, history, language and culture?

Best Read-Aloud Books: Age 4-7

Inspired by World Read Aloud Day (February 1), we’ve come up with this selection of great books to read aloud to kids who love a good story — or who are fans of poetic language or lively  sound effects — or both!

Only you know how long your child will sit still for a story.  Some of these are great for 4-5 years old, some for 7 or 8.  We like these first nine books, below, for their drollness, their breeziness, their focus on kid protagonists, and / or the way they lend themselves to a dramatic telling.



Meanwhile, The Pot That Juan Built, winner of several awards, takes its inspiration from the nursery rhyme house that Jack built — but the richness of language, with one fabulous adjective piling on top of another, goes far beyond.

“This is the tool that’s made out of bone / That rubbed the pot until it shone

And glittered and glowed and glistened and glimmered / And gleamed and beamed and sparkled and shimmered

To show off the paints all black and red / Spread with the brush of hair from his head

The colored the pot for all to admire / Before it was baked in the cow manure fire

The crackling flames so sizzling hot / That flickered and flared and fired the pot,

The beautiful pot that Jack built.”

And for great sound effects, try either of these two books, both set in the Caribbean:


All the Way to Havana  (“Some of this island’s old cars purr like kittens, but ours is so tired that she just chatters like a busy chicken – cara cara, cara cara, cluck, cluck, cluck…  Today Cara Cara sounds like a tiny baby chick. Pio pio, pio pio, pfffft.”)


The Drummer of John John  (“On street corners, musicians practiced for the parade of bands. Chac-chac players shook gourds full of seeds – shoush-shap, shukka-shac, shoush-shap shukka-shac.”)

Last but definitely not least, Drum Dream Girl – our our all-time bestseller – is just lovely and poetic.  Let yourself luxuriate in the sound of author Margarita Engle’s language…

“On an island of music/ in a city of drumbeats / the drum dream girl / dreamed

Of pounding tall conga drums /  tapping small bongo drums / and boom boom booming / with long, loud sticks / on big, round, silvery / moon-bright timbales

Best Read-Aloud Books: Age 1-3

Some of our very favorite books for reading aloud to young kids.  Focus on bouncy rhymes, sound effects – short and simple!

There are many wonderful visual books for this age, where parent and child can “read the pictures” together.  But we’ve chosen these books in particular for the listening fun they provide.



Milky Way: A Boy, the New Moon, and India

Milky Way is an absolutely delightful new book for young readers from Yali publishers, written by Mamta Nainy and illustrated by Siddhartha Tripathi.

Set in rural northern India, in a village nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Milky Way is the story of the little boy Tashi.

Tashi loves to look out his window at night – to “listen to the distant sounds of the gongs from the Gonpa (Buddhist temple), gaze at the mountains covered in velvety darkness, or mimic the purring of a house cat that sat outside…” Soon he starts to feel a special friendship with the full moon. He tells the moon his thoughts, and the moon gives him back its “special smile – eyes closed and no teeth showing.”

Of course, soon the moon starts looking thinner than usual, and Tashi starts to worry! The story describes Tashi’s feelings as the moon becomes a sliver, his discovery one evening that his grandmother Momo-ley is drinking a special glass of milk to celebrate “New Moon Night,” and his plan to revive the moon by leaving offerings of milk on his bedroom windowsill.

And of course the moon does come back, and Tashi is happy again (and meanwhile the house cat has enjoyed a wonderful extra treat for a few days!)

Within this outline, author Mamta Nainy fills in with wonderful details – the noodle-soup and dumplings Tashi’s mother (Amma-ley) prepares for him, the woven wrap his grandmother wears, the bus that brings villagers home from work at night, the school where Tashi plays with his friends Chodin and Stanzin.

Siddhartha Tripathi’s illustrations add to the detail – I love his moon’s cheerful but inscrutable face that goes through all its seasons with a wide smile (no teeth showing). Tripathi’s alternating cool blue tones and warm reds and yellows add liveliness to the story, while at the same time conveying peace and stability even as Tashi himself is beset temporarily by worries about his friend the moon.

One of the many delights of this book is that it works on so many levels.

For starters, it is a sweet and simple story for young children about the worries and fears that a child’s active imagination can generate, but are then resolved. Tashi’s mother and grandmother are part of a loving, supportive background, but not the main focus. Milky Way will resonate with any child who is observant, who likes to look at the world around her and wants to make logical sense out of all the little details.

At the same time, Milky Way is a fabulous springboard to further exploration of many topics:

– why the moon waxes and wanes, and other details about the solar system;

– what it’s like to grow up in another country, and in India specifically – and even regional differences within India;

– the concept of foreign languages (starting with the little glossary of terms in the back of Milky Way);

– what Buddhism is, and how the religion is practiced publicly and at home;

– how the cycles of the moon feature in many cultures and religions, including Judaism and Islam (good follow-on books for kids 5-9 are “New Month New Moon” from Kar-Ben Books and “The White Nights of Ramadan” from Boyds Mills Press.)

Yali Books is an independent publisher with a focus on South Asian cultures, and Milky Way’s author and illustrator both live and work in India. Their work is a beautifully authentic sharing of their own lives, their own childhood experiences. And Milky Way is a lovely way to bring some of that sharing into your own child’s life. I highly recommend it for everyone!


This book is reviewed as part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day

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

HONORARY: Children’s Book CouncilJunior Library Guild

PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD:Audrey PressCandlewick PressLoving Lion BooksSecond Story PressStar Bright BooksWorldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone PublishingAuthor Charlotte RiggleChild’s Play USAKidLit TVPack-n-Go GirlsPlum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot BooksCarole P. RomanCharlesbridge PublishingDr. Crystal BoweGokul! WorldGreen Kids ClubGwen JacksonJacqueline WoodsonJuan J. GuerraLanguage LizardLee & Low BooksRhymeTime StorybooksSanya Whittaker GraggTimTimTom BooksWaterBrook & MultnomahWisdom Tales Press


2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet BallettaAuthor Susan BernardoAuthor Carmen Bernier-GrandAuthor Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2LaunchBollywood Groove BooksAuthor Anne BroylesAuthor Kathleen BurkinshawAuthor Eugenia ChuAuthor Lesa Cline-RansomeAuthor Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 PublishingDesi BabiesAuthor Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek PressAuthor Judy Dodge CummingsAuthor D.G. DriverAuthor Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl PublishingDebbi Michiko FlorenceAuthor Josh FunkAuthor Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie GlennGlobe Smart KidsAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleAuthor Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet OdditiesAuthor Kizzie JonesAuthor Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.comAuthor Karen Leggett AbourayaAuthor Sylvia LiuAuthor Sherri MaretAuthor Melissa Martin Ph.D.Author Lesli MitchellPinky Mukhi and We Are OneAuthor Miranda PaulAuthor Carlotta PennReal Dads ReadGreg RansomAuthor Sandra L. RichardsRealMVPKids Author Andrea ScottAlva Sachs and Three Wishes PublishingShelly Bean the Sports QueenAuthor Sarah StevensonAuthor Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa TakaokaAuthor Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing Author Andrea Y. WangAuthor 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!

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.



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New Books for 2018


It’s a brand new year and we have some great new books to flag for you — a few published late in 2017, and a few hot off the presses since January 1.

There’s something for everyone, from age 1 to 12 – so please browse through.  Then click on the image to read more and/or to purchase.  Thanks for your interest!



For the littlest book-lovers, here’s a delightful board book about how people say “I Love You” in all kinds of languages around the world.  (With great pronunciation cues so we parents can act like we know what we’re doing!)   Age 1 – 3

Kids will love Eric Walters’ new, gorgeously illustrated book of proverbs from countries across the African continent.  Your young philosophers will enjoy delving into the meaning of sayings such as “No one tests the depth of the water with both feet” – or the interestingly subtle “There’s always a winner, even in a monkey’s beauty contest.”  Age 3-7

Another new book for young children is “Welcome To Country: A Traditional Aborginal Ceremony.”  The authors note that “Aboriginal communities across Australia have boundaries that are defined by mountain ranges and waterways.  To cross these boundaries… each community has its own way of welcoming to Country.”   You will love the colorful, impressionistic pictures in this lyrical description of the how ancestors and nature play a role in the welcoming rituals.  Age 4-7

“The Best Tailor in Pinbauê” is a charming story from Brazil about a boy and his uncle, whose talent at making beautiful clothes risks is being eclipsed by mass-produced imports.  Edinho, the nephew, comes up with an ingenious idea to enlist the community to save his Uncle Flores’s business.     Age 5-9

Fans of “The Breadwinner,” Deborah Ellis’s award-winning trilogy of middle-grade novels set in Afgahnistan, will welcome this new graphic novel version adapted from the 2017 feature film.  It’s an exciting story pulled from contemporary headlines, in which 11 year old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy to support her family during the Taliban’s rule.   Age 8-12

Books for a Merry Global Christmas!

Did your family, like ours, have a great little stash of Christmas books?  Books that emerged with the tree ornaments once a year and were as evocative of the season as any aroma of fir tree or gingerbread?

As you build your family’s own collection of Christmas books, or think about gift books for extended family and friends, here are some great choices that open a window for children onto how the holiday is celebrated around the world:


Hot off the presses this year is a wonderful round-the-world snapshot of how Santa (or Father Christmas, or the Elf deputy, depending on where you are) manages to get into the houses to drop off the presents – and what he likes for a sustaining snack.   Complete with recipes!

Quite a few reference-y books exist on how Christmas is celebrated in different countries, but a fun standout is this photo-story from Nigeria.  I love the cover, which reminds me of how the kids in Cote d’Ivoire all put on their fancy sunglasses for special occasions, when I lived there back in the 1980’s.

Christmas fables and legends are always a treat.  Here’s a lively cross-section — from The Third Gift (with its gorgeous illustrations and surprise ending), through traditional stories from Mexico and Italy, to a lovely pair of Tomten tales from Scandinavia.

Now we come to four beautiful books that are all about what Christmas can look like.  The Christmas Wish and Reindeer Wish are lovely photo-fantasies set in the arctic north, and Rachel Isadora’s 12 Days of Christmas clothes the familiar Christmas carol in festive West African beauty.  And Walk This World at Christmastime is a lovely pop-up advent calendar, doubling as a book of cityscapes showing how Christmas is celebrated in a global cross-section of countries.   Too late for Advent this year, but a great early gift for Christmas 2018!

Last but most definitely not least, here is a re-telling of the Christmas story that is as moving as you will ever find.

Every Man Heart Lay Down is the Nativity story transcribed almost 100 years ago from a spoken-song version told by the storytellers of Liberia.  (Author Lorenz Graham is a remarkable figure himself- I’m so glad his books are being reprinted!)

Maps, Atlases, and Travel Encyclopedias: Great Holiday Gifts for the Whole Family!

Kids love stories, but they also love maps and atlases – especially ones with beautiful photos and fun, fascinating facts.   Not to mention games, recipes, and puzzles!

Here are some fantastic gift ideas for this holiday season – something for everyone!


First up are books of maps, starting with a wonderful Pop-Up Atlas for younger kids.  Another favorite is “Maps,” a lovely pictogram atlas that is one of our best sellers.  The City Atlas takes a similar approach, and is notable for including almost all the European capitals (as well as a cross-section from other continents.)   Finally, Lonely Planet Kids offers a combination of Atlas and Encyclopedia that few can resist!

Not every global atlas has to have maps — some are rich with photographs, fun facts, even recipes, puzzles and games.    Lonely Planet Kids “Adventures Around the Globe” is a great paperback to take on a long plane trip or car ride – lots of activities.  And their hardcover “Travel Book” is a gorgeous photo-encyclopedia that includes a profile of every single country in the world!   Meanwhile, the lively “Rhyming Romp from Australia to Zimbabwe” is packed with fun activities that everyone from home-schooling parents to scout leaders to teachers will want to share with kids.

Last but not least, these two fabulous books from Doring Kindersley (DK) present the lives of children living all around the world today, and similar imaginings of children throughout history.   Beautiful, lively, and full of the kinds of facts that kids really enjoy.  We highly recommend them both!

Happy Hanukkah!

Here’s a fun selection of Hanukkah stories that are set in other countries, or feature cross-cultural celebrations.

Why not mark the festivities this year with some family time for global reading?  Lots of good books to choose from!


Holiday Gift Book Ideas!

The season of giving is upon us, and it’s time to find beautiful books for all the children in our lives.   We’d like to share with you some of our favorite titles at Where In The World, hoping to inspire your gift choices!

Some of these books have won awards or appeared on year-end top-ten lists, but many of them we recommend simply because we’ve seen how much our customers love them (both the young readers and the discerning purchasers!)

First up are some of the most adorable board books for babies:

Amy Wilson Sanger’s vibrantly colorful series will delight the whole foodie family!

Ancient Egypt is full of shapes, especially the pyramid triangles!  (Check out the rest of the Tiny Traveler series for early learning in counting and colors.)

And the best baby faces ever can be found in Star Bright Publishers’ “My Face Book” series – bilingual masterpieces in English plus 10 unusual languages.




For toddlers and pre-schoolers, here are some of our favorites:

We’re Sailing Down the Nile and Bee-bim Bop! entertain with bouncy, rhyming text that children will love to memorize and repeat.

And the detailed pictures in Hush!, a bedtime story set in rural Thailand, are a delight to “read.”




By age 5, 6 or 7, a child may be learning to read on her own, but using very simple texts with limited vocabulary and often less-than-scintillating content.

So keep building and expanding your child’s vocabulary, comprehension skills, and general knowledge (an often undervalued quality in today’s educational theory!) by reading aloud, introducing more complex stories and some interesting nonfiction.

Here are some recommendations for ages 5-8.   First up is a trio with girl protagonists, then a set with boys in the lead.

If you (or your child) thinks he is too old for picture books, try re-branding them “coffee table books for kids.”  They are certainly beautiful enough!


Finally you’ve arrived at chapter books.  Some avid young readers will be devouring them on their own, but they’re also great for read-aloud bedtime stories, “to be continued” from one evening to the next.

The Turtle of Oman is a poetic love-letter to the country a young boy must leave for a year (while his parents pursue Ph.D.s  in the U.S.), told as the narrative of his travels and adventures with his beloved grandfather to all their favorite natural sites.

And how can anyone not love a book titled “The Grand Plan to Fix Everything” – especially if it’s set in India and Takoma Park, MD?  This first volume in Uma Krishnaswami’s two-book series is guaranteed to keep everyone laughing.

Or try the Sherlock Hong series, set in 19th century Singapore – each book is a relatively bite-sized, stand-alone mystery for enterprising young sleuths to solve.



A Powerful Story For Our Time


“Fred Korematsu Speaks Up”

Reviewed for Multiculltural Children’s Book Day 2017


Fred Korematsu was a young Japanese American who defied President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 order that sent citizens and legal immigrants of Japanese origin to internment camps. Jailed and convicted as a result, Fred offered his case to human rights attorneys who appealed all the way to the Supreme Court … and lost. When new documents surfaced 40 years later, Fred agreed for Korematsu v. United States to be reopened, and this time he won, establishing new legal barriers against mass internment in America – against “putting people behind barbed wire just because they looked like the enemy.”

“Fred Korematsu Speaks Up” is an absolute gem of a book, and is as relevant now as at any moment in U.S. history. This book, by authors Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi and illustrator Yutaka Houlette, published by Heyday, deserves a starring place in every library and school classroom.  Kids will be drawn into the human story of its quiet young protagonist, and will discover there a wealth of information about very big topics of human rights, immigration, discrimination, and civic responsibility.

Nothing could be more timely!

“Fred Korematsu Speaks Up” is really two books, skillfully interwoven but each with its own distinctive voice and look. One is Fred’s own powerful and moving story, and the other is a fantastic reference book in which every young reader will discover fascinating and thought-provoking background information.

First there is the story of Fred’s life as the son of hardworking immigrant parents, told simply but beautifully in an extended prose poem, and illustrated in a soft and somber graphic-novel style.

Here’s a passage that gently and skillfully conveys both the society’s hurtful rejection of immigrant culture but also Fred’s own embrace of a new American identity.

Born in 1919, Fred comes third.
His parents name him Toyosaburo.

His first-grade teacher
can’t get her tongue around
the Japanese sounds.

How would you like to be called Fred?
she asks.

He takes to this new name, and it sticks.

A later set of verses, one of my favorites, powerfully describes Fred’s personal rebellion against the President’s order sending Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans into internment camps:

Fred changes his name to Clyde Sarah
and says he is Spanish Hawaiian.
He is able to hide in front of everyone
because people can’t always tell
someone is Japanese American.

He feels strangely free –
living on his own, dating Ida,
riding on buses, going to the movies.

But this feeling shatters
when he looks at newspapers.
Headlines scream: Jap this and Jap that.
He will not buy those ugly words.

Fred is eventually found out and convicted of breaking the law, and his high-profile appeal, controversial within the Japanese American community, ultimately loses in a 6-3 Supreme Court ruling. Angry but resigned, Fred settles down to a quiet, hardworking life. Years later, his daughter learns about Korematsu v. United States in school, and is shocked to discover that this is her father.

…Karen asks him about the case.

He tells her that it happened long ago.
The United States Supreme Court ruled against him,
but he believes he did the right thing.

Karen can see that he has
a hard time telling her
even this little bit.

The lines run long and stately when Fred talks about the official court decision and his principles, while the short halting phrases at the end convey deeply buried hurt.  Things are not simple, the poetic narrative tells us again and again, but we cannot run away.

Every reader will cheer for Fred when he agrees to take his case back to court in 1983, and wins. We are filled with pride when he is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.

Fred’s story is powerful all by itself, but also packed into this wonderful book is a fascinating and highly accessible reference for young people, with text supplemented by photographs, primary documents and a continuous timeline. A very different graphic-novel style, vivid and punchy, highlights these sections.

It’s clear that the authors and illustrator wanted to make this book accessible to a broad age span, and they have succeeded – I would recommend it for kids 9-15.

For upper-elementary children just beginning to think about these big issues, “Fred Korematsu Speaks Up” steers them with gentle speech-bubble questions: “Why do you think discrimination happens?” and “If you failed at something, have you ever taken a big risk to try again?”

And among the many excellent reference tools in this book are the bright red sidebars with clear but simple definitions of key terms, from “citizen,” “court,” and “judge,” to “barracks,” “government misconduct,” and “terrorist.”

But for older kids there is also a wealth of detailed background information, for example on laws that prohibited first-generation immigrants from Japan and China from ever becoming naturalized citizens – and threatened worse. Reading this book, I learned for the first time about Wong Kim Ark, whose eventual victory in an 1898 Supreme Court case confirmed the Constitutional right to citizenship of everyone born in this country.

Parents and teachers will particularly like the way “Fred Korematsu Speaks Up” touches in passing on a whole range of issues that have affected many Americans, not just Fred: laws against interracial marriage that did not disappear until 1967; the economic impact of felony conviction; the use of false information to justify government policies; lack of legal protection for migrant and immigrant farmworkers; and the power of learning the immigration stories of our own families.

This book is guaranteed to prompt discussion in any number of important directions, but its essence is clear: “Sometimes people treat one another badly. Sometimes rules and laws are unfair. It can take one brave person, or a group of people acting together, to speak up and make a difference.”

There is so much more to be said about this extraordinary, must-read book, but you will have to buy a copy or borrow it from you local library to see for yourself. Please run, don’t walk, to do so!


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is 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 on the ongoing need to include kid’s 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 are on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsors include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawMaria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela 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 work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.


MCBD Links to remember:

MCBD site:

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents:

Choosing books for your child


Children are very individualistic and often quite picky about what books they like, and that’s only become more true in our digital age, when entertainments such as video games, tablet puzzles, and on-demand TV also constantly beckon.

So parents are understandably hesitant about choosing books their child will like. I see this clearly among most of the customers who visit our book booth: when it comes to baby gifts, people select and buy board books fairly freely, but once a child’s personality develops they become less sure about which picture book that child will like — and with older kids they will never even contemplate buying a chapter book or novel for their tween or teen, unless that young reader is right there and able to pick one out.

Another thing that parents often say is, “my six-year-old is already learning to read; do you have chapter books that help young kids read by themselves?”   Which tends to flummox me, since many of our very best titles are picture books aimed at children who are 7, 8, or 9 years old!  I hate to think of all these fabulous books going to waste because kids past a certain age aren’t “supposed” to read picture books any more.

There’s one piece of advice that works well for both sets of parents — the uncertain ones, and the ones eager to launch their kids into independent reading. And that advice is:  Keep reading to your children!! Don’t stop!!

This approach solves quite a few problems in one fell swoop:

1.  If you yourself love the book, you’ll  love reading it, and your children (by which I also mean grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and possibly assorted small neighbors…) will appreciate your enthusiasm, and be drawn into the experience.   So you don’t have to worry so much about what they will like, just go with what floats your own boat!

Here are some of my own very favorite read-aloud books, including a rollicking sing-along tale (Abiyoyo), a quiet but fun bedtime story (Hush!), a lovely book to read to middle-elementary kids about traveling far from a beloved homeland (The Turtle of Oman), and one of the most dramatic and poetic memoirs ever, perfect for teens (The Wind, Sand, and Stars)

2.  Expecting a beginning reader to read alone all the time, or to read only chapter books, can be discouraging and counter-productive.  As soon as your child learns to read well enough to follow simple recipes, you don’t send him off to cook his own dinner every night, do you?  In the same way, just because a child can technically read chapter books doesn’t mean she no longer should enjoy picture books, or being read to.

If you’re new to reading-aloud, or want to brush up on your skills, a good book to start with is Handa’s Surprise (Read and Share series). It’a a charming, inexpensive paperback book that combines counting, basic big-print words, and adorable pictures.  The best part is the introductory section on “how to read to a child.”  Step by step, with variations.  (I think everyone should own a copy of Handa’s Surprise just for these operating instructions – but the Read and Share series also has a separate parents handbook you can order, with much more information about reading to children and encouraging literacy and reading fluency!)

3.  Reason three to read aloud (my favorite!):  There is a whole genre of beautifully-illustrated picture books that I like to think of as “coffee table books for kids.”  Often, neither the text nor the ideas in such books are simple, and the pictures are every bit as compelling as the words.  Adults have their picture books (aka coffee-table books), so why shouldn’t children and teens enjoy them too?  What a treat it is to pore over a beautiful, content-rich picture book together with your child.

There are many, many such “coffee-table books for kids” in the globally-focused collection that is our specialty.   A great example: the sumptuous books by Demi, an award-winning author/illustrator of more than 300 titles including biographies of Jesus, Buddha, and Rumi, as well as folktales such as The Empty Pot and One Grain of Rice.

We hope that we’ve given you some new ideas for reading with your kids, and that you’re full of enthusiasm once more! Please send us your own read-aloud favorites, and we’ll be happy to add them to this page.