Learning to Get Along: Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 Review

Multicultural Children's Book Day

For Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018, Michael, age 9, received “Squishy Taylor and the Bonus Sisters” from Capstone Publishing. He immediately ripped open the box, read Squishy Taylor, and declared he wanted to go to the bookstore to get the rest in the series.

In Squishy Taylor, the main character, Squishy, who has dark skin, has just begun living with her two lighter-skinned stepsisters (aka bonus sisters). The kids, like many in stepfamilies, aren’t happy with the living situation at first. However, soon enough they begin working together to solve a mystery, and suddenly they’re getting along.
Multicultural Children's Book Day
For us, this first Squishy Taylor book was a metaphor for learning to get over differences by engaging in activities together. It was about learning to get along. We loved the cover art and the writing; we found the book to be very engaging. The stepfamily issues ring true and we like the term “bonus” sisters. Indeed, Squishy discovers that her stepsisters are a bonus in her life.

Certain characters and events stood out to Michael, and he tells you about them in this video. He provide some details of his own to flesh out the character of the dog:

After completing the first book, Michael soon got his hands on a few more, at which point he gave the series a 100-million-star rating. Learn more about why here:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ 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.

MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. View our 2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/2106-sponsors/mcbd2018-medallion-level-sponsors/
View our 2018 MCBD Author Sponsors here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/2106-sponsors/2018-author-sponsors/

Multicultural Children's Book Day
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 Review

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 works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/about/co-hosts/
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

“The Barefoot Book of Children” Takes Kids on World Journey

Multicultural Children's Book Day
Barefoot Book of Children
The Barefoot Book of Children

By Lisa Cohn

As participants in MultiCultural Children’s Book Day 2017, we were thrilled to receive the book, “The Barefoot Book of Children,” written by Tessa Strickland and Kate DePalma, illustrated by David Dean and published by Barefoot Books.

This gorgeously illustrated picture book takes kids on a detailed and fascinating journey, introducing readers to cultures from all over the world and celebrating people’s differences. For example, readers learn about how people live in houses, farmhouses and stilt homes in Mongolia, Scotland and Malaysia.
Readers learn about all the different forms families can take and are reassured that, no matter what the form, they’re all families.

The “Barefoot Book of Children” also gives readers a fascinating peek into the hobbies enjoyed by different cultures, among them writing (Angola), building dens (England), and caving (Saudia Arabia). The journey introduces us to how people play around the world. Reading this book, we learned about how kids in Afghanistan engage in kite fights, how children in Thailand teach each other Cat’s Cradle, and how skipping rope in Jamaica teaches kids cooperation, rhythm and singing, while ensuring they get some exercise.

And how do people take baths around the world? This is a topic we’d never thought about before–until reading this book! We learned that “While many of us bathe alone or with siblings at home, a trip to the hot springs in countries like Japan to bathe with others can be a sociable experience or even a tourist attraction.”

Throughout “The Barefoot Book of Children,” the authors and illustrator point out and embrace differences in cultures. For example, in discussing food, the authors write, “At a table, on a rug, with your fingers, with a piece of bread–there are lots of different ways to enjoy a meal. What tastes good to you might taste strange to someone else.”

Reading this book, we took an eye-opening journey around the world that spurred our interest in someday traveling to these countries to meet all these different kids and learn more about how they play, eat, dress and bathe!

The “Barefoot Book of Children” is unusual because of the way it teaches kids about other cultures. Census data shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, but only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content.

We were happy to take part in the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday; the MCBD Team is on a mission to change the fact that not enough books teach kids about diversity.

Multicultural Children's Book Day
Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our 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.

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.

Again, thanks to the MCBD team for including us in this important mission!

Reader Leaders, Age 8, Appear on Live TV to Discuss Author Interviews, Reviews

Reader leaders
Reader leaders
8-Yr-Old Reader Leaders Appear on Live TV

Two Roving Reader Leaders, age 8, appeared yesterday on Portland Today, a live TV show, to discuss their author interviews and book reviews.

Michael, chief of the Roving Reader Leaders, and Oliver, one of our kidlit lovers, appeared with teddy bears and books in hand, and answered questions from the hosts.

Watch their interview here:
Roving Reader Leaders Interviewed on Live TV: Portland Today

Four Reader Leaders interview author Troy Cummings via Skype, Delighted!

Author Interview via Skype

Four of our Roving Reader Leaders, age 8-11, demonstrated their love of the Notebook of Doom series in a Skype interview with author Troy Cummings.

The boys told Cummings when his next book was due to be released and surprised him with questions that showed just how much they know and love his series.

Watch their interview here:

Last year, Michael, chief of the Roving Reader Leaders, interviewed Scooby-Doo author Laurie Sutton.
Watch his interview here:

Stay tuned for more author interviews by our Reader Leaders!

Learn more about the boys’ interview and Troy Cummings here:

Kidlit Lover, Age 8, Stays up ’til 1 am Enjoying “Teddy Mars” Book

KidLit Lover, Age 8, Reviews Teddy Mars

KidLit Lover Michael, age 8, chief of the Roving Reader Leaders, stayed up ’til 1 am finishing “Teddy Mars Book #1: Almost a World Record Breaker” by Molly B. Burnham. In this video review, conducted on a rope swing, Michael explains why he insisted on staying up ’til 1 and why he loves the book series. He describes his favorite characters and gives Molly B. Burnham a few tips.

Watch his review here:


In the Teddy Mars series, Burnham relates the adventures of Teddy Mars, a boy in a big family who wants to break a world record. A key character is Jake, the destructor, Teddy Mars’s brother.

Michael promises to review Book 2, which he recently finished.

Who are the Roving Reader Leaders? They’re kid book lovers who do video reviews of kidlit in all sorts of places–including on rope swings, as Michael does in this review. They’ve also reviewed books in a taxi, a gym, a library, a book store, and on a few playgrounds.

Want to follow the Roving Reader Leaders’ book reviews and author interviews? Subscribe to their KidLit News here: KidLit News

Follow the Roving Reader Leaders on facebook here:https://www.facebook.com/RovingReaderLeaders/
Follow them on twitter here: @bashandlucy_

Michael began doing book reviews at age 5 and appeared on the Today Show for his love of books and his video reviews. Watch him on the Today Show here: http://www.today.com/video/today/53985936

Questions? Email us at BashAndLucy@gmail.com

Roving Kidlit Reviewer, Age 8, Reviews this Series on a Ranch in Hawaii!

Michael, age 8, our roving Kidlit reviewer, reviews “Show and Tell” from Abby Klein’s “Double Trouble” series while visiting a ranch in Hawaii.

He makes a request of author Abby Klein, and gives the bad news about this series.

Watch Michael’s review here:

Why do our Roving Reader Leaders review children’s books in parks, bookstores, libraries, and on playgrounds and at ranches? First of all, because it’s fun. Second, when we’re out and about, kids often ask what we’re doing–and we can spread our enthusiasm for children’s books. Michael and friends have reviewed books in a number of states, including Montana, Connecticut, Oregon and New York. They’ve reviewed books on city streets, in taxis, and in ski lodges.

Want to follow the Roving Reader Leaders while they’re out and about reviewing books–and also interviewing authors? Follow our KidLit Newsletter here: http://www.rovingreaderleaders.com/kidlit-newsletter/

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTAxMMmHyWWi_BftaLiFOCA

Email us with comments and suggestions at RovingReaderLeaders@gmail.com!

Which KidLit Books are Our Reader Leaders Excited About?

Kids' Dog Book Reviewers
KidLit Books
Some of Our KidLit Books Reviewers

Which KidLit Books are our Roving Reader Leaders excited about this summer?

Levko, age 8, and Lukyan, age 10, are visiting Switzerland for two months. They just got library cards and checked out some of the books in the “Wimpy Kid” series plus “Bad Kitty for President.”

Kerrigan, age 8, is reading the “Dragon Keepers” series and says the best book in that series is “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Wesley, age 10, is reading “Stick Dog Tries to Take the Donuts,” and his sister, Margot, age 8, just finished “Kiki:My Stylish Life.”

Michael, age 8, is reading the “Squish” and “Babymouse” graphic novels, plus the “Teddy Mars” and the “Galaxy Zack” series. He just finished a few of the books in the “Eeerie Elementary” series and is eagerly waiting for more “Rider Woofson” books to be published.

KidLit Review: Baby Mouse
KidLit Review: Baby Mouse

Our Recent Video Reviews

In case you missed it, our Roving Reader Leaders have done video reviews of some of the books above. Here they are:

Infinity-Star Book Reviews by Kids Age 6-13—Plus a Thank You

In our most recent review, Michael, age 8, reviews the detective dog series “Rider Woofson.” In the first of the two videos about this series, he provides an overview of the series and its characters. In the second video, he gives the first two books an infinity-star rating!

We were thrilled when Rider Woofson’s illustrator, Ben Whitehouse, sent us this thank-you illustration:

kidlit review
Thank you from illustrator Ben Whitehouse

Here’s Michael’s overview of “Rider Woofson:”

And here’s his infinity-star rating of “Rider Woofson:”

This summer, a few of our Reader Leaders are enthralled with the “Babymouse” series and can’t stop reading these graphic novels. Delilah gives you her review here:

We also recently reviewed “The Notebook of Doom” series. In this video, our chief KidLit reviewer makes a few requests of author Troy Cummings—including “Write more books!”

In response to Michael’s request, Mr. Cummings promised to write more books. He also made another promise…We’ll keep you posted about that one in future newsletters.

The Roving Reader Leaders also do KidLit author interviews, and are lining up some exciting ones. If you haven’t seen our interview with author Laurie Sutton, you might want to check it out on our YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTAxMMmHyWWi_BftaLiFOCA

You can get updates from us like this one by subscribing to our newsletter here: http://www.rovingreaderleaders.com/kidlit-newsletter/

KidLit Reviewer, Age 7, Explains Why Captain Underpants is So Funny!

KidLit Reviewer

In this video book review, KidLit reviewer, Michael, age 7, explains–and accidentally demonstrates–why the potty humor in “Captain Underpants” is so funny.

During this kids’ book review, Michael, suffering from a mild stomach upset, accidentally toots. Watch the whole video to see how hard he laughs and what he says next! He also demonstrates wedgie power.

Watch the video here:

The two main characters, Harold and George, he says, are very creative and funny. They’re not trying to be mean. They’re just trying to “take a comeback to the teacher,” who is mean. “All the teachers in Captain Underpants are mean,” he explained after he did this book review. “Except in book Five, Ms. Ribble is no longer mean. She is turned into someone like George and Harold who does inappropriate things. I like her a lot!” says our KidLit reviewer.

Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey, has been banned by many schools because of the potty humor. In fact, it was THE most banned book series in 2012, according to Business Insider.

If you watch this video, you’ll understand why kids love Captain Underpants. In fact, many parents say that the humor in these books inspired their kids to read.

As for Michael and the other boy members of the Roving Reader Leaders, their rating of Captain Underpants is an overwhelming thumbs up. They love the potty humor. But that’s not all. Michael says that he thinks the characters are creative in an inspiring way. In other words, they challenge authority–but they’re not really mean.

If a series makes kids laugh, inspires them to read, and teaches them to be creative, think for themselves and challenge authority, why exactly should it be banned?

If you don’t like Captain Underpants and would like to see schools ban it, we’d love to hear from you!

If your kids were inspired to read by Captain Underpants, we’d love to hear from you. And stay tuned, we’ve got another review of this controversial KidLit series coming up–by four young males members of the Roving Reader Leaders.  Email us at RovingReaderLeaders@gmail.com if you’d like to comment, have kids join our club, or are interested in doing some online “KidLit Chats” with Michael and friends!




Meet Our Newest KidLit Lovers and Reader Leaders!

Our Newest Reader Leaders and KidLit Lovers
Our Newest KidLit Lovers
Our Newest KidLit Lovers, Reader Leaders







Meet our newest KidLit lovers and Roving Reader Leaders!

Ahmed, a curious and charismatic unschooled 7-year-old, loves being read to, and enjoys chapter books like Dragon Slayer’s Academy, A to Z Mysteries, and The Magic Tree House series.

When not plotting to save the world or engrossed in a super-hero duel with his younger brother, Rahim, Ahmed can be found dreaming about his future empire, Bath Castle, where he creates hand-made fizzie bath bombs and aromatherapy soaking salts. He also loves playing with friends, soccer, climbing trees, pokemon, ninjago and building legos.

Ahmed helped review this new Christmas book, “The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish,”

Deborah Diesen, author of this book, sent us a tweet saying the kids had made her “very merry” by doing this review. She told the kids to keep reading! We love connecting with authors and often interview them.

Featured in this review is Keiragan, age 8, is a huge book lover and reader. Along with “The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish,” her favorite holiday books include “The Mitten,”
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Bear Stays Up for Christmas” and “Llama Llama Jingle Bells.”

Our Newest Reader Leaders and KidLit Lovers
Our Newest Reader Leaders

Also new to the kidlit lovers team at Roving Reader Leaders are a sister-brother team, Margot, age 7, and Wesley, age 10. You can see them in the photo above to the right, reviewing books, along with our chief, Michael. Like Ahmed, they are homeschooled.

Margot loves dogs–especially pugs! She and Wesley recently reviewed a “Buddy Files” book for us, which we’ll be sharing soon. They were also interviewed for this nice piece in the Beaverton Valley Times:

For Roving Reader Leaders, It’s All About Loving Books

We love how the author of this article begins the piece. Very funny!

In addition to being featured in the Beaverton Valley Times, Roving Reader Leaders was also featured by Fox-12 Oregon. This nice piece gives details about how our club was founded:

Boy Shares Passion for Reading By Creating Book Club

If you’re a parent or teacher who’s interested in having your kidlit lovers join our club, be sure to email us at RovingReaderLeaders@gmail.com! You can also sign up for our club here:
Join the Roving Reader Leaders club!

Our aim is to get kids actively engaged in reading, discussion and analysis in fun ways!

A Reader Leader Licks a KidLit Book to See if it’s in Good Taste!

Loving KidLit
Loving KidLit
Roving Reader Leaders do Book Review for Reporter

One of our reader leaders licked a KidLit book to see if it was in good taste while being interviewed by a local reporter–from the Beaverton Valley Times.

The interview (and book review) took place in one of our favorite libraries–the Beaverton City Library.

We love how the reporter begins the story–by comparing Michael, age 7, to a famous book reviewer from the New York Times.

“It’s unlikely anyone will mistake Michael Cohn for famed New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani.

By way of example, the uber-literary Kakutani likely never licked a book before to find out whether it’s in good taste.

But Michael, age “7 and about a half,” goofily does just that as he discussed “The Hungry Book Club,” part of the “Nate the Great” series.

The Portland boy is a co-founder and one of the youngest members of the Roving Reader Leaders book club, children and teens who meet — often in Beaverton — to discuss and review children’s literature. Many of their reviews are filmed in places such as the Beaverton City Library and Beaverton Town Square shopping center, and then edited and posted on YouTube; they also interview authors via Skype.”

Read the article here: http://pamplinmedia.com/bvt/15-news/282033-158235-for-roving-reader-leaders-its-all-about-loving-books

Loving KidLit
Reader Leaders Discuss Loving KidLit

During the interview, we gave a demonstration of how we do our book reviews–often with an iPhone in a public place like a library, bookstore, park, gymnasium or museum.

That’s why we call our reader leaders “roving;” they do their reviews in places where kids can be found. The idea is to share their love of reading in ways that are contagious. During our reviews, kids sometimes jump in and offer their commentary.

Stay tuned for the reviews we conducted during this interview. And next time you see our Roving Reader Leaders out in public, they’ll be wearing their new badges, which just arrived in the mail. So did the stickers that we give authors whose books get a “Thumbs up!” from our team!

Be sure to follow our reviews on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RovingReaderLeaders