I am excited to take part in this year’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day! The MCCBD team have asked me to include a ton of great information in this blog post (including info about a book drive with First Book) so (deep breath) here goes.
Book Review: She Doesn’t Want the Worms
As part of this book day, I received a free multicultural picture book directly from the author to review.
She Doesn’t Want the Worms
by Karl Beckstrand, illustrated by David Hollenbach
She Doesn’t Want the Worms is a bilingual picture book about a girl who is offered a bunch of creepy, crawly insects and for some reason she refuses to eat them! The text is in both English and Spanish, and the book also includes a pronunciation guide.
Preschooler Monkey really enjoyed this book. She loved counting the critters and talking about how yucky they were. (Toddler Monkey listened, but I don’t think she was quite ready for this one.)
For me, the highlight of this book was the incredible, fascinatingly grotesque collage illustrations that are at once intense and playful. These images are just so unique, I couldn’t stop looking at them. Really, it almost felt like an art book.
The text, however, didn’t quite match up to the quality of the illustrations. I think the story was meant to be a mystery in the vein of the classic children’s book The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, but instead, the story just felt incomplete rather than mysterious, leaving a fun-to-read, but somewhat clumsy rhyming poem. (And in Spanish it does not seem to rhyme or flow as well as it does in English, but bear in mind that I am not fluent in Spanish.)
She Doesn’t Want the Worms Activity
There is so much you can do with this book–but to me the most natural thing to do is to go outside and find some bugs.
If you live in a warmer part of the world, all you need is a shovel or even just a plastic cup to use as a shovel. Go outside, dig into the dirt with your shovel, and see what you can see! If it’s a nice day, you can spend quite a bit of time out there, and maybe even take a crayon and paper to draw your findings (hint: worms are pretty easy to draw even for toddlers…). What words would you use to describe the bugs you found?
Unfortunately, here in Boston it is currently winter and most days, it is wicked cold and usually not ideal weather for bug hunting (I can usually find at least one inside my house though…). You might want to check out a local science museum. For example, the Museum of Science in Boston has a ton of bugs to look at and even an indoor butterfly exhibit. If this is a little too far or too expensive for you, an alternative suggestion is to choose one bug from the story and simply talk about it. What color is it? How many legs does it have? Do a little research and find out how many varieties the bug comes in and how they are different. Which one is your favorite? Have you read other books about the book you chose? Can you sculpt it out of play dough?
More about Multicultural Children’s Book Day
Multicultural Children’s Book Day was created by Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press.
Their Mission: Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.
More info from them: “MCCBD team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.”
MCCBD’s 2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop, Gold Sponsors: Satya House, MulticulturalKids.com, Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof, Silver Sponsors: Junior Library Guild, Capstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books, The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing, Rainbow Books, Author FeliciaCapers, Chronicle Books Muslim Writers Publishing, East West Discovery Press.
Virtual Book Drive with First Book
MCCBD is also partnering with First Book to offer a Virtual Book Drive that will help donate multicultural children’s books through their channels during the week of the event. The Virtual Book Drive is LIVE and can be found HERE.
Children’s Book Council
MCCBD is collaborating with the Children’s Book Council to highlight wonderful diversity books and authors on an ongoing basis all year.
The following list is a select group of bloggers who will assist in extending the reach and spreading the word of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
Africa to America
All Done Monkey
The Educators’ Spin on It
Growing Book by Book
Kid World Citizen
Multicultural Kid Blogs
Phew! I hope that’s everything! If I’ve forgotten something, I may update this page occasionally. As a grand finale I’m going to include their little graphic with information on how you can participate too: