When Aidan Became a Brother– A Book Review for #MCBD2020

When Aidan Became a Brother– A Book Review for #MCBD2020

I was lucky enough to be gifted Kyle Lukoff’s picture book When Aidan Became a Brother for this event, a beautifully told story about a family who is about to add a new member to their family.

When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl, which means his room and his clothes looked like he was a girl. However, Aidan was eventually able to articulate to his parents that he was a different kind of boy, and his parents helped him to make that adjustment.

So when his mom gets pregnant again, the whole family takes very careful steps to make sure everything from the nursery to the name are gender neutral, and this is a task that soon-to-be big brother Aidan takes very seriously. He wants to make sure the child feels welcomed to be whoever they want to be, and the story ends with the arrival of the beautiful baby.

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The illustrations of this book, done by Kaylani Juanita, are beautiful and little things like the mom and Aidan going to bed with their hair scarves on will make many readers feel seen.

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My kids and I both really enjoyed reading this book. I loved how the story was explicitly laid out, but was still done in a way that was enjoyable for its intended audience. I also appreciated the beauty of the multicultural environment this family lived in. Again, little things like that can be so important for readers.

Thanks Kyle, Kaylani, and Lee and Low Books for gifting the world with this book!

Bonus info: When Aidan Became a Brother won the Stonewall Award this month, which is awarded to books that exhibit, “exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience”. Congratulations!

 

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.  

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

 

Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings, 

Platinum

Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls

Gold

Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,

Silver

 Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,

Bronze

Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers BooksTimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

 

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveLauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

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.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

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

 

Our #BedtimeRead Favorites of 2019

Our #BedtimeRead Favorites of 2019

My kids and I have read a lot of books during 2019, so I thought I would highlight some of our favorites. Most of them are picture books, because we still love a good story. However, we read a couple of chapter books we enjoyed this year too. These are in no particular order, and they are not all books that were released in 2019, they are just books we enjoyed this year.

screenshot_20190619-231722_google6782167213844116503.jpgThe Last-Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles was one of the chapter books that we read this year. Now this one was a title that was released this year, and is an energetic science fiction story about two boys who go on an adventure right before they have to go back to school.  Although it is a chapter book, there are a few pictures throughout the book, which really add to the craziness of the eccentric characters that are in this storyline. This was one that I blogged about earlier this year, so you can read our feelings about it in more detail here. This was definitely one that when we finished it, all 3 of us were wondering/hoping if there’s going to be a sequel!

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We are pretty big animal fans in our house, so if we’re reading non-fiction at bedtime, animals are usually the topic of that book. We love books by Jess Keating as well, so this was definitely a top one for us. We learn new things about animals, some animals which we never knew existed! Even though this is a picture book, there’s a lot of information in it, so we stretch a book like this out for a few days, maybe even a week.

I was at a meeting with other educators when I learned about a series of books featuring 20190918_2003267157701794092831027.jpgdifferent utensils by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  There’s one titled Spoon and in February 2020 there will be one released titled Straw, but the one we’re putting on the list this year is called Chopsticks. This cute story is about a pair of chopsticks that are basically attached at the hip, but an unfortunate event causes them to be separated. This is great book for kids who need help finding their individual strengths as opposed to their group/pair identity. I wrote about this book earlier in 2019 here.

 

download-2In our house we tend to lean ourselves toward series, or books by the same author. If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen falls into that category, thanks to his other books we’ve enjoyed, If I Built a Car and If I Built a House. As an educator, this one spoke to my heart too, because the main character was creating such an awesome place for learning!

 

Hair Love by Matthew Cherry was definitely one of my top picks of the year, probably20190529_2101385361337492258340228.jpg even the decade, but I love that my kids really enjoyed it too. This picture book’s beautiful illustrations, done by Vashti Harrison, add to the adorable story of a dad trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair. This book also has been made into a short film, and although the story line differs, the message is still the same! I also wrote about my obsession with this book here.

 

 

download-3Chapter Two is Missing! by Josh Lieb was one of the funniest books we read in 2019, and we read some funny books. Don’t be fooled by the missing chapter, this is still a picture book that can be read in one sitting, especially since there’s a whole missing chapter. 😉 As the readers we were able to figure out where that chapter may have gone, but it was entertaining watching the characters in the book try to figure it out.

 

We read quite a few more books this year, and these are by no means the only ones that are our favorites, but I don’t have enough time to list all of those, nor do you have that much time to read all of them. But if you are looking for some #bedtimereads for 2020, this may be a place to start!

Keep #RaisingReaders!

Dandy by Ame Dyckman

Dandy by Ame Dyckman

I realize that it’s winter and there is probably snow on the ground where you are, but my kids and I recently read a book about Spring that you’ll want to share with your kids for sure, even if you wait til the sun comes out.

Dandy, written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Charles Santoso is an adorable picture book that made me and my kids laugh out loud. In this book, the neighborhood is full of impeccable lawns, which means the emergence of a weed, even if it is a dandelion, is a problem. When one dad goes to snip that weed, his daughter Sweetie shows up–ready to protect her new dandelion friend, Charlotte.

No matter when or how he tries, Dad cannot get rid of Dandy, even with the pressure from the other dads in the neighborhood.

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This book doesn’t have a ton of text, but the text it does have, combined with the awesome illustrations made for a giggling #bedtimeread for me and my crew, even though there are definitely no dandelions out our window right now.

Keep #RaisingReaders!

The Nighttime Adventures of Calvin and Ollie–An Illustrate Your Own Adventure Book Review

The Nighttime Adventures of Calvin and Ollie–An Illustrate Your Own Adventure Book Review

OMG–do you know kids who would love to draw their own illustrations in their favorite book? Or kids who you have to make sure they’re not using their crayons to write in their books? AKA, unbeknownst to you, the Very Hungry Caterpillar has now been colored black? If you have kids that fit into either scenario, then this may be the perfect book for them.

The Nighttime Adventures of Calvin and Ollie–An Illustrate Your Own Adventure by Krista Franks Brock is exactly what you think it is, a story that your readers would be able to illustrate themselves. This tale is about a young boy, Calvin, and his friend Ollie, a stuffed owl who has just come to life, and their nighttime trip into the forest when Calvin doesn’t want to go to sleep.

Franks Brock does a good job of easing the reader into drawing their own illustrations. The first few pages you’ll see outlines of the owl and outlines of Calvin, which will guide a hesitant illustrator into their drawings, because they will mostly be coloring. Eventually though, your reader will be able to use their imagination to make Calvin and Ollie look exactly like they want them to.

*Side note: I recommend reading it through at least once before starting the illustrations. Knowing the story will make the illustrating that much easier. Also, depending on the age of your child, they may be able to do the illustrating independently once they are familiar with the plot. (#momwin!)

Because I already struggle with letting go of my kids’ books, I already know that this is definitely one of those books that I will be keeping. Can you imagine how much joy they will get out of rereading this book in 10 years, maybe even in 5? I can just imagine the future giggles at their juvenile illustrations.

So, if you’ve got future book illustrators or artists in your household, The Nighttime Adventures of Calvin and Ollie–An Illustrate Your Own Adventure by Krista Franks Brock could be a great way to combine their skills with a love of reading!

I was given an advanced copy of the book in exchange for a review, but you can purchase this book from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1098554345?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

 

Keep #RaisingReaders!

Read more reviews about Calvin and Ollie here:

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Book Reviews–Spoon and Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Book Reviews–Spoon and Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Even as an adult, I love everything I’ve read by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, like not that I just love them for kids, but I love them myself.  I feel like I should have a Rosenthal shelf in my house. You can see my excitement about one of her last books, Dear Girl, here. Recently, thanks to a conversation with a colleague, I was introduced to two of her earlier books, Spoon and Chopsticks, which I think are great books for bedtime reads.

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Even though my colleague recommended Spoon to me, we read Chopsticks first, because Spoon was checked out of the library. Chopsticks is a great picture book all about the transition from only being able to function with a partner, to figuring out how to do things independently. It’s a great lesson for twins, siblings, or kids who have that one friend that they can’t do anything without. The message of the book is NOT that you can’t have a solid dependable partner, but more that you can be successful both alone and with a friend.

After what seemed like forever, we got to pick up Spoon from the library. Now in this book, our main character, Spoon, has basically decided that he’s jealous of his other friends. The knife gets cut things, the fork gets to eat all kinds of things that spoon doesn’t, and of course, you can’t beat the chopsticks, there’s two of them that get to hang out with each other all the time.  However, as we adults know, perception is everything. So as the story continues, we learn how the other utensils also wish they could do the things spoon can, such as eating ice cream. After we finished reading Spoon, I immediately asked my kids what the message of the story was, and they were instantly able to tell me, “be happy with what you have” and “be careful what you wish for”, which thrilled me.

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So, if you are looking for some cute, engaging, funny, and well illustrated books that will also teach lessons, these books (and really any other book by Amy Rosenthal) are the way to go!

*I recently found out that there’s one more book in this series coming out in February 2020–Straw! I’m so excited to see what we learn from that character.