Happy Multicultural Children’s Book Day!—the day when we celebrate and highlight books that reflect our diverse world. Check the end of this review for more about Multicultural Children’s Book Day including free resources for educators.
This year I was thrilled to be selected to review God’s Dream, written by one of my heroes, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, along with his writing partner Douglas Carlton Abrams, and illustrated by LeUyen Pham, who sent me a beautiful hardcover copy of the book. Thank you so much, LeUyen!
The picture book is as gorgeous as is fitting for a book with such a title. The illustrations—in graphite, watercolor, ink, and digital color—use a warm, colorful palette to show expressive children of diverse races and religions. Young children will nestle into this cozy world and be engaged by the dynamic details in the illustrations.
The language is poetic. It depicts a deity who wishes for people to share, care, and forgive. For some families these might be new ideas that need a little explanation, but, because they are described simply through relatable situations and partnered well with the illustrations, the book will resonate for most children and adults. This is a book that families can enjoy again and again, discovering different details and insights on different days.
My admiration for Archbishop Tutu stems from his impactful manifestation of his beliefs about the importance of forgiveness through his work leading South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (Here he describes that work in his own words: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/truth_and_reconciliation.) I love that in God’s Dream he and Mr. Abrams address forgiveness in a way young children can understand: “Dear Child of God, it does happen that we get angry and hurt one another. Soon we start to feel sad and so very alone. . . . But when we say we’re sorry and forgive one another, we wipe away our tears and God’s tears, too.”
I recommend this book to all families, whether your belief in the Great Spirit aligns with Archbishop Tutu’s or not. I hope you will read it many times—sometimes just letting the beauty of the words and illustrations wash over you, and sometimes discussing such things as:
What does it mean to be a Child of God?
Why do you think God wants people to be caring?
Why do you think God wants people to forgive?
What else do you think God dreams about?
What else do you dream about for yourself?
What else do you dream about for others?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th 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 homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board
Medallion Level Sponsors
Super Platinum: Make A Way Media
BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board
Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Claudia Schwam, Lori DeMonia, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC
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, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media!
MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.
We will be giving away Book Bundles every 5 minutes!
Twitter Party Details:
When: Friday, January 25th
Time: 9 pm to 10 pm EST
Where: On Twitter! Follow McChildsBookDay to participate
Sponsored By: Make A Way Media
FREE RESOURCES From MCBD
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: https://wp.me/P5tVud-1H
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.