Today is Multicultural Children's Book Day, and I'm celebrating by writing reviews for some amazing diverse chapter books. Before I dive into my reviews, here is a little bit more information about What Multicultural Children's Book Day is and how it came to be.
Founded in 2021 by Valarie Budayr from Audrey Press Books and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom, Multicultural Children's Book Day grew out of their own frustrations with the lack of diverse books for their own families. As a result, they decided to team up to create an event that would help raise awareness around children's books that celebrate diversity but also get these books into classrooms and libraries around the world. This event is now known as Multicultural Children's Book Day (MCBD) and is celebrated every year on the last Friday in January. Multicultural Children's Book Day (MCBD) is an online and offline celebration of thousands of supporters, educators, parents, caregivers, book reviewers, and quality authors and publishers who team up to spotlight diversity in children through YA literature. Over the course of its eight year run, the MCBD non-profit has donated over 8,000 books to kids and the initiative has expanded offline to classrooms programs, celebrations and global connections.
I'm excited to participate this year by reviewing THE ABC's OF RACING: MY FIRST GUIDE TO FORMULA 1 RACING, written by Andy Amendola, illustrated by Wei Ren and DAZZLING TRAVIS, written by Hannah Carmona Dias, illustrated by Brenda Figueroa, published by Cardinal Rule Press. BIG Thanks to Andy and Cardinal Rule press for gifting me the two books in celebration of MCBD!
The ABC’s of Racing is a fresh spin on an alphabet book. As someone who is no expert in F1 racing, Amendola’s text breaks down the basics of Formula 1 racing in a way that is easy to understand and digest while Ren’s illustrations capture the vibrancy and excitement of the sport through bold graphic style illustrations and bright/vibrant imagery. The story features diverse characters, bits of Spanish, and a range of different elements of the sport. The story is both fun and informative. A fun fact I learned was that the Grand Prix always falls on a Sunday. I can’t wait for the next book in the Red Racer series to learn more!
Dazzling Travis is a delightful read about loving who you are and offers ways for children to cope and react when getting picked on by peers. Carmona Dias's relatable, rhyming text makes the topic easily digestible and accessible to children while Figueroa’s expressive illustrations bring to life the emotions of the text. I enjoyed and appreciated the discussion questions at the beginning the text, and back matter highlighting others who felt different yet went on to shine, including the authors own inspiration for the story who was a former theater student of hers. The story makes for a great resource both at home and in the classroom.
Thanks again to the authors and publisher for gifting me these wonderful books to review and helping me diversify my own bookshelf. Thank you to all the organizers involved in Multicultural Children's Book Day for helping us raise awareness around the importance of diverse books in our homes and schools and helping to get these wonderful books into the hands of children around the world. Cheers!
For more MCBD fun, follow along on social media at #ReadYourWorld!!
BONUS! Check out this MCBD Diversity Book List & Activities for Teachers and Parents!
Hi! I'm Amanda!
Amanda Davis is a teacher, artist, writer, and innovator who uses her words and pictures to light up the world with kindness. When she’s not busy creating, you can find her sipping tea, petting dogs, and exploring the natural wonders of The Bay State with her family and her rescue pup, Cora.
Amanda is represented by Jennifer Unter of The Unter Agency.
Amanda's newest release, MOONLIGHT MEMORIES, illustrated by Michelle Jing Chan, (WorthyKids, 6/13/2023) is now available for preorder!
Who Am I?
Amanda Davis is a teacher, artist, writer, and innovator who uses her words and pictures to light up the world with kindness. Amanda is the author of the award-winning picture book, 30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 Flag, Moonlight Memories (summer, 2023) and a yet to be announced forthcoming title. She also has poetry and illustrations featured in The Writers’ Loft Anthology: Friends & Anemones: Ocean Poems for Children. Amanda has over ten years of experience as a classroom teacher and was selected as Massachusetts Secondary Art Educator of the Year. When she’s not busy creating, you can find her sipping tea, petting dogs, and exploring the natural wonders of The Bay State with her family and her rescue pup, Cora. You can learn more about Amanda at www.amandadavisart.com and on Twitter @amandadavisart and Instagram @amandadavis_art.