Happy International Children’s Book Day!  To celebrate children’s books today I have 5 multicultural books to introduce to you.



Title:  Here I AM
Author:  Patti Kim
Illustrator: Sonia Sanchez
Publisher:  Picture Window Books, a Capstone Imprint.
Year: 2014
Recommended Ages: 4 and up

Here I am is a wordless picture book depicting the journey of a young boy from his homeland to a new country.  It begins with the boy on an airplane longingly looking out the window seeing everything that is familiar slowly fade away. Then he arrives in a new airport where nothing on the signs make sense anymore.  He must move into a new city, new neighbourhood, new house, new bedroom and attend a new school.  Through the meaningful and gorgeous watercolours of the illustrator we follow the boy as he learns to navigate his new world.  Sometimes with loneliness, anger and frustration but then also with hope, happiness, and a willingness to try new adventures.  Having worked in a homework club years ago in a welcome centre for immigrants this book would have become a staple of mine to engage the students in conversation.  I think this book could be used across age levels and can relate to anyone who might be starting something new or different.


A page excerpt from Here I Am by Patti Kim
Title:  Monsoon Afternoon
Author:  Kashmira Sheth
Illustrator:  Yoshiko Jaeggi
Publisher:  Peachtree Publishers
Date:  2008
Recommended Ages:  3-9


A beautiful illustrated picture book done in watercolours depicting daily life of a young Indian boy who spends the afternoon with his grandfather sharing stories that connect generations.  What a delight to follow the boy and his grandfather making paper boats and sailing them, walking around exploring their environment discovering ants and peacocks and swinging in the banyan trees.  Not only does this book give the reader a glimpse of life in India, it also a sweet and enduring tribute to grandparents and their importance in our children’s lives.


A page excerpt from Monsoon Afternoon by Kashmira Sheth
Title: Ana’s Day / El Dia de Ana
Author: Eileen Wasow
Illustrator:  Eduardo Bautista
Publisher:  FriesenPress
Date:  2014
Recommended Ages: 3-8

Ana’s Day is a story of a 4 year old Mexican girl accompanying her mother on all the daily errands around town.  This story also gives the reader at a glimpse of daily life in Mexico, I especially like the part where they go to the mill to bring their buckets of corn to be crushed into nixtamal dough which then will be used to make tortillas.  This is an excellent book for a bilingual classroom or at home as each page contains both English and Spanish.  At the back of the book is also a Spanish glossary of words divided into verbs, nouns and adjectives.  Of special interest is how the author used photographs of the traditional colourful clay sculptures made by the artisans of the Ocumicho in the state of Michoacan, Mexico to bring us on Ana’s errands with her mom.

A page excerpt from Ana’s Day by Eileen Wasow

Title: Sofia Martinez:  My Family Adventure
Author:  Jacqueline Jules
Illustrator:  Kim Smith
Publisher:  Picture Window Books, a Capstone Imprint
Date:  February 2015
Recommended Ages: 5-8

Sofia Martinez is a 7 year old girl, the youngest in her family and she loves to stand out and make each day count.  My four year old daughter, even though can not read yet, loves this book.  The illustrations are very colourful and Sofia appeals to her.  I can’t wait till she can read this book.  There are 4 small chapters in this book which make it an easy transition to a chapter book for early readers. This book also has spanish words through out and there is a spanish glossary at the back of the book.

Title:  Juneteenth for Mazie
Author:  Floyd Cooper
Publisher:  capstone young readers
Date:  Available February 2015
Recommended Ages:  6-9

June 19, 2015 will be the 150th Anniversary of the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of African-American citizens in the United States.  Mazie sits with her dad as her dad tells her the story of hope and hard work of her ancestors and why they celebrate Juneteenth every year.  A beautiful tribute to celebrate an important part of American history.

Disclosure:  I won all of these books from the Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party.  A review was not expected.  I only review or post about books that I enjoy, I think my readers may enjoy, or that my children enjoy.

Sofia Martinez and Juneteenth for Mazie were both uncorrected proofs so I have only shown their covers but they are available now as of February 2015.

I would like to thank Mia Wenjen of Pragmatic Mom and Valerie Budayr of Jump into a Book who organized and hosted Multicultural Children’s Book Day and held the twitter party where I won these fabulous books.  Check out more of  Multicultural Children’s Book Day Blog where you will find hundreds of multicultural books and activities.   As well here is my post from Multicultural Children’s Book Day: The Year of the Sheep and Preschool Activity.

Happy International Children’s Book Day and Cheers,