For Every Little Thing: MCBD Book Review

Happy Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) 2023! Use the #ReadYourWorld hashtag today and every day to find books that give more children opportunities to see people and characters like themselves and give everyone opportunities to see the rich and true diversity of people in our world.

This year I am grateful to Nancy Tupper Ling for sending me a review copy of For Every Little Thing: Poems and Prayers to Celebrate the Day. This picture-book format collection of poems, selected by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling and illustrated by Helen Cann, is a Junior Library Guild selection.

For Every Little Thing cover image

For Every Little Thing is filled with evoking details of life— “tiny shells,” “the soft purr of a sleeping kitten,” “noodly soup,” ”the playful sounds of day.” And through those details, the collection speaks of larger themes: wonder, gratitude, connection, family, spirit. Its verses use of the word “God,” but the collection is not strongly tied to any particular spiritual practice.

illustration that accompanies “Hearts in My Pocket,”
For Every Little Thing, p. 53

The styles of poetry and the poets themselves further depict our varied and wondrous world. The authors of the poems range from people who lived long ago, like Emily Dickinson and Helen Keller, to modern poets, including an eight-year poet, and spiritual leaders like Amma and Rabbi Rami Shapiro. The poems are short and long, rhyming and not-rhyming, structured and free verse. They are filled with moments that make the reader (or at least this one) pause in awe or contemplation and feel the relaxation and opening that comes with that.

“Tonight…” poem and illustration (half spread),
For Every Little Thing, p. 78

Helen Cann’s artwork is both rich with details and leaves plenty of white space. This works perfectly with the poetry to provide space to focus and notice the big feelings that small details can bring. The diverse aspect of this book depicted in the images is more through visible race than through clothing and customs.

“Simple Graces” poem and illustration (full spread),
For Every Little Thing, pp. 43–44

For Every Little Thing is the kind of book that has fed my lifelong love of picture books. It feels solid in my hands. Every spread has visual and verbal delights. It is fun both to open at random and to read in order and experience its structure. The poems are organized around themes such as “Morning,” “Love and Kindness,” “Family and Friends,” “Nightfall,” and “Dreams.”

Nightfall section opening,
For Every Little Thing, p. 59

The “Nightfall” and “Dreams” sections could be used by families to choose poems or prayers for bedtime rituals. The entire book is a plentiful resource for youth spiritual educators.

I was struck as I spent time with the book and read its introduction that its aim is very similar to that of My Amazing Day, the board book I wrote in partnership with photographer Lori A. Cheung and designer Elizabeth Iwamiya. Both center on noticing the wonder in everyday things and becoming conscious of that wonder through language, which leads to gratitude. Though My Amazing Day is secular, much more brief, and for a younger audience. For Every Little Thing strikes me as a perfect book for older children in families who love My Amazing Day and for whom the word “God” is part of their spirituality.

Wishing you many wonder-full discoveries on MCBD and always!


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2023 (1/26/22) is celebrating its 10th 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 books into the hands of young readers and educators.

Ten 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. Read about our Mission & History HERE.

MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Pragmaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s (

🏅 Super Platinum Sponsor: Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media

🏅 Platinum Sponsors: Language Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages 

🏅 Gold Sponsors: Interlink Books, Publisher Spotlight 

🏅 Silver Sponsors: Cardinal Rule Press,  Lee & Low, Barefoot Books, Kimberly Gordon Biddle

🏅 Bronze Sponsors: Vivian Kirkfield, Patrice McLaurin , Quarto Group, Carole P. Roman, Star Bright Books,, Redfin Canada, Bay Equity Home Loans,, Title Forward

Poster Artist:  Lisa Wee

Classroom Kit Poster: Led Bradshaw

MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Authors: Sivan Hong, Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett, Josh Funk , Stephanie M. Wildman, Gwen Jackson, Diana Huang, Afsaneh Moradian, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Eugenia Chu, Jacqueline Jules, Alejandra Domenzain, Gaia Cornwall, Ruth Spiro, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Tonya Duncan Ellis, Kiyanda and Benjamin Young/Twin Powers Books, Kimberly Lee , Tameka Fryer Brown, Talia Aikens-Nuñez, Marcia Argueta Mickelson, Kerry O’Malley Cerra, Jennie Liu, Heather Murphy Capps, Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John Coy, Irene Latham and Charles Waters, Maritza M Mejia, Lois Petren, J.C. Kato and J.C.², CultureGroove, Lindsey Rowe Parker, Red Comet Press, Shifa Saltagi Safadi, Nancy Tupper Ling, Deborah Acio, Asha Hagood, Priya Kumari, Chris Singleton, Padma Venkatraman, Teresa Robeson, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Martha Seif Simpson, Rochelle Melander, Alva Sachs, Moni Ritchie Hadley, Gea Meijering, Frances Díaz Evans, Michael Genhart, Angela H. Dale, Courtney Kelly, Queenbe Monyei, Jamia Wilson, Charnaie Gordon, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Debbie Zapata, Jacquetta Nammar Feldman, Natasha Yim, Tracy T. Agnelli, Kitty Feld, Anna Maria DiDio, Ko Kim, Shachi Kaushik 

MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by theseMedia Partners!

Check out MCBD’s Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

📌 FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

📌 Register for the MCBD Read Your World Virtual Party

Join us on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 9 pm EST for the 10th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Read Your World Virtual Party!

This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.

We will be giving away a 10-Book Bundle during the virtual party plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **

Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, and connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. We look forward to seeing you all on January 26, 2023, at our virtual party!

This entry was posted in book review, Multicultural Children's Book Day, others' poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to For Every Little Thing: MCBD Book Review

  1. Yael Golton says:

    I enjoyed your impressions of “Every Little Thing”

  2. I loved the way you reviewed this beautiful book of poems. Your imagery alone makes one want to read it. Comparing the details of daily life to larger themes. I also thought about how all life is connected. This sounds like a gem. Thank you for sharing!

  3. What an excellent review that makes me want this book on my shelf!

  4. What a beautiful review of For Every Little Thing: Poems and Prayers to Celebrate the Day by Nancy Tupper Ling! We are so grateful for your contribution to MCBD.

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