Finding books that reflect countries and religions that are different that you home language at times can be a challenge. Have you considered purchasing a picture book about another country or perhaps another religion for you child?
I remember on my first trip to India all I wanted to do was purchase a few story books to bring back to my students that were based in India or even a traditional Indian story. I search high and low through quite a few markets and never found then. I was so disappointed. Not only for me but for the publishers who weren’t willing to publish books that reflected an entire nation that I didn’t see in the books I was picking up an this was in the central markets of New Dehli one of the biggest cities in the world.
When I look at the book shelves in stores here it’s hard to also find books that reflect various cultures and I’m sure you are concerned about this for your own child’s too. It’s important that traditional books our children are asked to read at school reflect diversity in the illustrations and text to reflect the modern world.
This month we’re participating in Multicultural Children’s Book Day January 27th! TODAY! Wisdom Tales Press sent me a book to review for this special day that shared diversity. The book is called The Dreidel that Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah by awarding winning author Martha Seif Simpson illustrated by Durga Yael Bernahard.
In true holiday spirit this book shares with us what how important it is to find the true meaning of Hanukkah and I venture to say it reflects to other holiday spirits as well. As we hurry along in holiday expectations including a visit to a toy store it’s important to stop and reflect on the true spirit. This is a beautiful holiday story about the joy and happiness of Hanukkah through the eyes of a toy store owner and one special driedel.
I love the expressions on the toys faces as the toy shop owner reacts to two children who insisted on owning it only to discover it wouldn’t work for them. The vibrant colors on the dreidel make me want to try to spin it to see if I know the true spirit of Hanakkah which ones special boy at the end discovers.
The author includes an useful appendix that explains the meaning of Hanukkah as well as direction on how to play the dreidel game too. Perfect for families wanting to add diversity to their own book shelves and toy shelves too. Would be fun to host a playdate and provide all the guest to take home their own dreidel or even at a lesson at school. I found a few on amazon that seems reasonable below.
The Dreidel Game! Colored Plastic Dreidels, Medium, 25 Pack (Instructions Included)
We extended the book by creating our own watercolor dreidels that were inspired by the beautiful illustrations in the book and the featured coloring page below.
- Video of Sesame Street Playing Dreidel
- Dreidel song by the Imagination Station
- Dreidel Song by Shir Soul Singers (acappella group)
- Video of How to Play Dreidel & Tutorial
- Micky Mouse Dreidel Printable
- Pinterest Boards with Dreidel Ideas
- Shalom Sesame Shalom Sesame is a cross-platform media initiative developed to introduce American children to Jewish culture, Hebrew language and the diversity of Israel.
Click here for Additional Resources for the Book for Wisdom Tales
- Activity Guide
- Crossword Puzzle
- Coloring Sheet
- Video Book Trailer
Resources for Multicultural Books on The Educators’ Spin On It
- Books About India
- Books About Japan
- Books About Russia
- Books for Raising Global Kids
- Diverse Books in your Home
- Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature
- Finding Something Special About You in a Book
#ReadYourWorld Twitter Party
The 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! This Twitter Party is hosted by Co-Founders Mia Wenjen (@Pragmaticmom) and Valarie Budayr (@JumpIntoaBook1). You can review the Twitter Party Prizes on the MCCBD blog here.
The Mulitcultural Chidlren’s Book Day team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importants of divesrity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encoruage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along via book reviews, author visits, multicultural booklists and visit the huge mulitcultural book review link-up
Sponsors of Multicultural Children’s Book Day
Multicultural Children’s Book Day Mission
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.