Read Your World

The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah and Kelly DiPucchio

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Back of Book:
Lily and Salma are best friends. They like doing all the same things, and they always eat lunch together. Lily eats peanut butter and Salma eats hummus-but what’s that between friends? It turns out, a lot. Before they know it, a food fight breaks out. Can Lily and Salma put aside their differences? Or will a sandwich come between them?
My Review:
This picture book is the balance of friendship and diversity I read this book every year to my students around Multicultural Literature Day. The story follows Lily and Salma as they become friends and do all kinds of activities together. When they realize that they have different lunches it causes the two friends to realize to break out into a nasty food fight. I love the way the conflict is resolved in this story. It shows readers the importance of having empathy with one another. The illustrations are soft and show the beauty of friendship. There is a note in the back of the book from the author. She shares her experience of trying peanut butter and jelly for the first time. She shares her hope that this book will promote acceptance and understanding among different cultures. This is a beautiful story to share in my classroom.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Read Your World

Smelling Sunshine By Constance Anderson

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Back of Book:
All around the world in cities, towns and villages large and small clothes are washed. They are hung to dry in the breeze and sunshine and children everywhere revel in the fun of helping with the laundry. Smelling Sunshine captures some of the special moments of this day-to-day chore a wonderful, heart-warming time shared between parent and child and an experience young readers will relate to
My Review:
I was thrilled to be chosen to review this book for the Multiracial Literature Day 2018. This day was organized by some amazing people who believe that every culture should be in children’s books. I was sent Smelling Sunshine by Star Bright Books Publishing.
I love the beauty and simplicity of this story. It follows several children from several different countries as they all preform the chore of washing clothes. I loved that the text is filled with strong descriptive words that allow a reader to feel like they are there with the children. The illustrations in this book are stunning and filled with vivid colors. I found myself wishing I could visit each place in the story. This is a beautiful picture book that is diverse and shows all races and cultures. I highly recommend this book.
Ages 4 and up
32 Pages

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Read Your World

Mystery of the Ballerina Ghost: Austria 1 (Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures by Janelle Diller

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Back of Book:
Welcome to Austria!
Nine-year-old Brooke Mason has lived all her life on a ranch in the Colorado Rockies. Now she’s headed to Austria with her mom. Brooke can’t wait! They even get to stay in Schloss Mueller, an ancient Austrian castle. Even better? There’s a girl Brooke’s age to play with! Eva, the girl who lives in Schloss Mueller is thrilled to meet Brooke. Unfortunately, the castle’s ghost isn’t quite so happy.
My Review:
I was thrilled to be chosen to review this book for the Multiracial Literature Day 2018. This day was organized by some amazing people who believe that every culture should be in children’s books. I was sent Mystery of the Ballerina Ghost: Austria by the author.
This is a perfect book for young readers who want to learn more about different countries and cultures. I learned several new things about the country of Austria while I was reading. This is the first in a series that follows Brooke and her new friend Eva. The mystery in this story is perfect for beginning readers. This series reminds me a bit of the Boxcar Children series. The illustrations are well drawn bring the details of the story to life. At the end of the book there is a section of facts about the country of Austria. I loved the recipe and the German words that readers could learn. Overall, I will be highly recommending this book to readers.
Ages 6 and up
104 Pages

To See more of the Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures Click Here

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Fairy Tales, Read Your World

La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya

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Back of Book:
The Princess and the Pea gets a fresh twist in this charming bilingual retelling.
El príncipe knows this girl is the one for him, but, as usual, his mother doesn’t agree.
The queen has a secret test in mind to see if this girl is really a princesa.
But the prince might just have a sneaky plan, too . . .
Readers will be enchanted by this Latino twist on the classic story, and captivated by the vibrant art inspired by the culture of Peru.
My Review:
This is a fantastic twist to the well known and loved fairy tale. The Spanish words sprinkled within the text are a perfect amount to teach children select Spanish terms. The English text is in a rhyming pattern that makes the story fun and engaging. There is a note in the back of the book from the illustrator that tells readers about the beauty of the artwork. The illustrations are inspired by the villagers of Huilloc and are simply breathtaking. The twist at the end of the story is unique and makes the story different then other fairy tales.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Body/ Health, Read Your World

Princess Hair by Sharee Miller

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Back of Book:

 

Celebrate different hair shapes, textures, and styles in this self-affirming picture book! From dreadlocks to blowouts to braids, Princess Hair shines a spotlight on the beauty and diversity of black hair, showing young readers that every kind of hair is princess hair.

 

My Review:

 

I may possibly have done a happy dance when I spotted this book at my Barns and Noble. I think this story is unique and discusses the importance of hair esteem.  Each page discusses a different type of hair that African American girls may have. The text in written in a rhyming pattern which is easy for young readers to decode. The illustrations are lovely. and depict girls with several different hair styles. I think this book is a perfect addition to any diverse library.  Sharee Miller did a wonderful job of making sure that all hair types were included. I believe this is one of the best books of 2017.

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History, Read Your World

Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom by Tim Tingle

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Back of Book:
Dramatic, quiet, and warming, this is a story of friendship across cultures in 1800s Mississippi. While searching for blackberries, Martha Tom, a young Choctaw, breaks her village’s rules against crossing the Bok Chitto. She meets and becomes friends with the slaves on the plantation on the other side of the river, and later helps a family escape across it to freedom when they hear that the mother is to be sold.
My Review:
Before reading this book, I wasn’t aware that there were Native American Tribes that helped slaves cross into freedom. I was completely immersed in this story from page one. It is a beautiful tale of an unusual friendship that would save a family. Martha Tom shows true courage as she helps her friends cross the river to their freedom. Tim Tingle is a gifted storyteller. He brought this story to readers in a way that they could understand and appreciate. The text is rich in history and tradition. The story of two cultures working together is woven into a tale that allows readers to see the importance of looking beyond race and color. The illustrator painted each scene using colors that matched the mood of the text. There is a note in the back of the book that discusses the Choctaw people then and now. This is a fantastic story to add to any diverse book list.
Ages 7 and up
40 Pages

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Biography, Read Your World

The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist By Margarita Engle

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Back of Book:
Louis loves to watch birds. He takes care of injured birds and studies how they look and how they move. His father wants him to become an engineer, but Louis dreams of being a bird artist. To achieve this dream, he must practice, practice, practice. He learns from the art of John James Audubon. But as Louis grows up, he begins to draw and paint living, flying birds in their natural habitats.
Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874–1927) is now known as the father of modern bird art. He traveled with many scientific expeditions all over the world. His best-known works—paintings for habitat exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in New York—are still beloved by visitors today. His art helped to encourage wildlife conservation, inspiring people to celebrate and protect the world of wings.
My Review:
This is a fantastic nonfiction picture book. Readers follow the life of Louis Agassiz Fuertes. Each page of this text is written as a poem. The unique aspect of this book is that it is written in a first-person narrative. This book is well researched and captures readers attention. There is a great historical note in the back that tells readers more about the great artist. The illustrations are stunning and allow readers to see the beauty of the birds that Louis was so in love with. This book is meant for older audiences and is a great addition to any diverse picture book list. I recommend this book for all libraries and classrooms.
Ages 7 and up
40 Pages

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Read Your World

Why Am I Me? by Paige Britt

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Back of Book:

 

Presented as a thoughtful, poetic exchange between two characters — who don’t realize they are thinking and asking the very same questions — this beautiful celebration of our humanity and diversity invites readers of all ages to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we.

 

My Review:

 

Scholastic has managed to publish one of the most beautiful diverse picture books of the year.  It is a profound truth in a simple and easy to read format. Why am I me? Each page of this story shows the subtle differences that make a person unique.  The story follows a boy and a girl as they realize that everyone around them are unique and different.  The story is not text heavy, but rich in symbolism. This is an excellent story to teach cultural differences in a positive light. The illustrations make this book. They are detailed and truly stunning. This is the kind of story that should be in every school and library.  It is a book that opens up conversations to culture, race, and identity.  This is a beautiful addition to any diverse reading list.

 

Ages 5 and up

 

40 Pages

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Read Your World, Uncategorized

Jabari Jumps By Gaia Cornwall

jabari Jumps

Back of Book:
Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.
My Review:
This is the type of story that makes a reader cheer along with Jabari as he jumps off the diving board. This book does a beautiful job of showing children what bravery look likes. The story begins with Jabari being slightly scared to jump. As the story progresses, Jabari gets more and more courage. The story is a great read to introduce growth mindset to children. Jabari also shows readers that sometimes a challenge can end in a surprise. I love that the entire family is involved in watching Jabari jump. This is a great addition to any diverse booklist. I am looking forward to sharing it with my students.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Read Your World

Malala’s Magic Pencil By Malala Yousafzai

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Back of book:

 

As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.

 

My Review:

 

I have always been a huge fan of Malala. I think she is an incredibly brave and strong young woman.  Her inspiration to the world is told in this beautifully written story.  It follows the journey of Malala as she grows up loving to learn. She soon realizes that not everyone is willing to let women have access to education. The story briefly discusses the war zone of Pakistan and the men who tried to silence Malala for good.  This story is incredibly moving and allows readers to see how one young girl, made a difference to the world. I thought the illustrations were well drawn. They depict the war and danger, without being to overpowering. I would say this book is better suited for slightly older readers who can fully understand the impact that Malala had. An excellent book to add to any diverse book collection.

 

Ages 7 and up

 

42 Pages

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