Another year has flown by and its time to celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th, 2017.  Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by the co-creators are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press.  Their mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Multicultural Children's Book Day

This is my third year reviewing and I absolutely love sharing my love for books with all of you.  The first year I reviewed Year of the Sheep and have an accompanying preschool alphabet activity. Last year I reviewed the book series, If you were Me and Lived in… Greece and have an accompanying quick recipe to make with your kids.

This is a pretty big post so you will have to bare with me.  Lots of information to tell you about.  So after the review don’t forget to read on to learn more about the FREE KINDNESS CLASSROOM KIT FOR EDUCATORS & HOMESCHOOLERS, all the DIVERSITY BOOK LISTS & ACTIVITIES FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS, how a classroom teacher can sign up for a FREE BOOKand read all about the sponsors to Multicultural Children’s Book Day as well.

*Disclosure: I received email copies and/or a hard copy of these books in order to facilitate the reviews for Multicultural Children’s Book Day from author Janelle Diller.


Now on to this year’s fabulous series from author Janelle Diller.  It is from her series Pack-n-Go Girls Books  which is an engaging and fun way for girls aged 6-9 who love to play and travel to explore different countries around the world.  It is a fictional early chapter book series that has educational topics woven through out the stories to help little travellers learn about the culture, food, language and history of the people and country.

The series that I reviewed will take us to Austria with the Mystery of the Ballerina Ghost, Mystery of the Secret Room and Mystery at the Christmas Market.  In this series of books young girls will learn and discover Austria through the friendship formed by the main characters  9 year old Brooke Mason (from Colorado) and Eva Mueller (Austrian). I received a copy of the 3rd book, Mystery at the Christmas Market but below I also have a quick review of the first 2 books in the series.  I would recommend reading them all as the friendship and the adventures grow with the girls throughout each book.

Mystery of the Christmas Market- Usually Brooke visits her Austrian friend, Eva, in the summer but in this book Brooke and the rest of her family will spend Christmas in Austria.  The mystery begins right away when the 2 girls notice strangers taking pictures of Eva’s house and then they overhear these same strangers talking about kidnapping them.   The adventure is on!  We are whisked through the Austrian alps skiing and taken for a lovely stroll through an Austrian Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market) where we learn of many Austrian Christmas traditions and customs while the girls evade their potential kidnappers and try to solve the mystery behind them.  The Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures through Austria are the perfect blend of adventure, mysteries, friendship and learning.

This type of book is a great way to examine the similarities and differences between how Austrians celebrate Christmas and compare it with our own.  In order to organize writing thoughts a quick and simple activity is to use a graphic organizer such as a Venn Diagram.  As your students or child reads through the book simply have them write down Christmas traditions and customs discussed in the book as related to Austria then have them write down some of their own Christmas traditions.  In the middle is where they write down those items that are similar.

Click here for free PDF printable Venn Diagram Activity to accompany the book.

Mystery of the Ballerina Ghost – we are first introduced to Brooke Mason a nine year old girl from Colorado who is travelling with her mom to Austria where she will be helping a man organize his collection of American paintings.  The learning begins right away as Brooke makes the mistake as many kids might between Austria and Australia and her mom explains the difference while on the long flight over.  Her friends ask her to take lots of pictures of kangaroos.  No kangaroos but she will be staying in a castle.  Early on her mom also explains why Austrians speak German and not Austrian which is also a bit confusing.  Brooke will learn a lot more about Austria and its food, history and customs through the friend she makes while staying at the castle.  Eva Mueller is the granddaughter to the man who is having his art collection organized and she is overjoyed that another girl her same age is staying with her in the castle. Immediately the mystery of a ballerina ghost emerges to entertain the reader.  Who is this ghost and what exactly does it want?  Through her stay at the castle Brooke will discover more then just the motives behind the ghost, she also learns all about living and growing up in Austria.

Mystery of the Secret Room is book #2 in the Series.

In this adventure Brook and Eva discover a secret room in the castle and a locket.  Is it another ghost story or is there another explanation?  The girls begin to unlock more mysteries about Eva’s family and also the mystery of the new boy hired to help with the horses and gardens.   He seems to be interested in the locket and secret room too, but why?  Through out the story the reader learns more German phrases, about the city of Salzburg, the Austrian ballet, more authentic Austrian foods, Mozart and the famous Lipizzaner horses and the girls are taken on a Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg.  That would be on my list on my next visit to Austria.  This book has just the right amount of mystery to entertain the reader and plenty to learn about Austria itself.




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 holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli.

Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin,  Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty,  Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

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 work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember:
MCBD site:
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents:

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with is on social media and be sure and look for/use their official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.



Bonnie Dani

Educator, Writer, Blogger, Mom

Contact Me: [email protected]