book review and preschool alphabet activity


This is my first year with Multicultural Children’s Book Day and I will be reviewing The Year of the Sheep by Oliver Chin and illustrated by Alina Chau.  Please continue to read the post after the review for an activity to accompany the book and information on the mission behind Multicultural Children’s Book Day, its founders, sponsors and much more.

*I was given a complimentary PDF copy of this book to facilitate this review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day from the publisher Immedium.  The opinions are my own.

Title:  The Year of the Sheep: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac
Author: Oliver Chin
Illustrator:  Alina Chau
Publisher:  Immedium
Published: January 1, 2015
Pages: 36 pages
Recommended Ages:  3-8

My Thoughts:

The Year of the Sheep is the tenth book in a planned series by Oliver Chin.  The Year of the Sheep is the newest release in time for February 19th, 2015 which begins the year of the sheep. The story tells a tale of Sydney the Sheep who along with her pal, Zhi, the shepherd’s daughter, come together in a time of adversity to cooperate with all the animals to solve a problem that affects them all.  Children learn about jobs and why they must be done, that sometimes there is safety in numbers, how to work together to solve problems, and also how to use your own unique personality and character to help your community.  This is a heart warming, charming tale where children will learn about the personality of those who are born in the year of the sheep.  The illustrations are enchanting, gorgeous watercolours by Alina Chau and add to the enjoyment, and I’m sure the endearment of this book.  As my daughter said about Sydney ‘she is just so cutie, and pretty, and I love her.’  Sydney will capture the hearts of many.  


The Year of the Sheep
In order to do this activity, please go to the Immedium Site where they have free colouring pages which can accompany each of their books.  That is where I got this colouring page of Sydney the Sheep.  I printed it out at home and enlarged it on my printer in order to make my Alphabet Activity.  Please, go to their site and get the free printables there.  I do not have them here.
Print free colouring page out at home
All you will need for supplies are glue, cotton balls and crayons.  I first wrote the letters of the alphabet on Sydney where I wanted my daughter to glue the cotton balls to make Sydney fluffy like a sheep.

Then I would say a letter and she would have to find it and glue her cotton ball down on it.


After she was done finding all the letters, she filled in any gaps with extra pieces of cotton balls.  Then she coloured the legs, arms, ears, and face of Sydney.

I think the end result is super cute and we had an afternoon activity that was easy to set up, worked on letter recognition, and it was easy clean up.  This could also be adapted to use with sight words or numbers as well.  

I hope you enjoyed my post for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.  If you are interested in this book, you can find purchasing information on the Immedium Site.  Please continue to read on for more information about Multicultural Children’s Book Day  There are many other books and activities to see so make sure to visit the website and/or co-hosts sites.  

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.

“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.”


Multicultural Children’s Book Day and our official hashtag is #ReadYourWorld. 
The Co-Founders
Valarie Budayr:
On any given day, you may hear as many as six different languages spoken in my home.
I am Valarie Budayr, a children’s book author & publisher, reading & play advocate and reading activist who is committed to diversity in children’s books.My life and household has been diverse and multicultural for as long as I can remember. As the daughter of parents who emigrated from Sweden, I have been immersed in Nordic culture since childhood. As a child I attended German/English schools and as an adult I continued learning even more languages for a grand total of six (English, Swedish, French, Arabic, German, Japanese, plus working knowledge in a few others.)
I am also a wife to a Lebanese/Muslim man and am raising Lebanese-American children post 9/11. I may look like an All-American girl, but my multicultural roots run deep and I have been committed to raising my children as global citizens since the day they were born.  As a family we speak Arabic, French, and English in our home and travel often to give our children exposure to people and various cultures on the globe.
Literacy has played a huge roll in my family. We are a family of avid book readers, however it has been very difficult to find books that have characters who are like my children, global citizens with a diverse and varied background.
I am passionate about making kid’s books come alive on my website Jump into a Book, where we creating moments for adults and children to share together while bringing the books they’re reading to life. I am the author of The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden, The Ultimate Guide To Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and most recently A Year in The Secret Garden. You can connect with me at and
Mia Wenjen
Because my children are 1/4 Japanese-American, 1/4 Chinese-American and 1/2 Korean American, I personally sought out books for my kids where they could see themselves; something that I didn’t have growing up despite being a bookworm who read every single biography and fiction chapter book in my Southern California elementary school library.
I’m Mia Wenjen and I blog at PragmaticMom. I love children’s books.  Blogging on KidLit for the past five years made me realize that there simply isn’t enough representation of kids of color in children’s literature. And, of the books that do exist, they don’t get the exposure they need and deserve.
I made it my mission two years ago to dedicate my blogging efforts to promote children’s authors of color, and, in proclaiming my personal goal, found may other people who agree. Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book was one of those people. She proposed creating a day to celebrate multicultural books for kids one day over Skype and thus Multicultural Children’s Book Day was born.
With each year, Valarie and I want to find ways to get multicultural books into the hands of underserved kids who most need them. We are delighted that you are here to help us celebrate! Thank you!


Check out the Book Giveaway by Wisdom Tales Press:
Platinum Sponsor Wisdom Tales Press is hosting a book giveaway on their website that anyone can enter. Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. Here’s a tweet: Book #giveaway at Wisdom Tales Press! Winner will receive 6 Wisdom Tales Books of their choice. #ReadYourWorld

First Book
We’re 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. We want to help get diversity books into the hands of kids who most need it and now we have a way to do it! The Virtual Book Drive is LIVE and can be found HERE.
Children’s Book Council:
MCCBD is collaborating with Children’s Book Council to highlight wonderful diversity books and authors on an ongoing basis all year.


Join the Twitter Party:

We are hosting a Twitter party! Join us for Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party on Jan 27th 9:00pm EST. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages. Use this info to share with your readers and to tweet it out!

Subscribe to MCCBD

MCCBD now has it’s own! A is a free online newspaper that aggregates information on the topic of multicultural books for kids from all over the Internet. Please feel free subscribe and stay up-to-date with this topic.



This post is also linked up at these link hops:

The Jenny Evolution
The Deliberate Mom
Kid Lit Blog Hop