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.
Fellow bloggers Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom are on a mission to change that! They not only want to raise awareness for kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but also to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. January 27, 2014 has been designated Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
On Monday, 67 bloggers will be highlighting children’s books that celebrate diversity. This will be a great reading list for the winter and a wonderful way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers and libraries. For more information please check out the Multicultural Children’s Book Day website by clicking this link!
I am joining in the fun with a book review of….
The Girl with a Brave Heart, a Tale from Tehran
by Rita Jahanforuz
illustrated by Vali Mintzi
Thank you to Barefoot Books for generously donating a copy of this book for me to review. When I opened the envelope I was immediately entranced. The book is stunning. Bright, vivid and bold illustrations drew me in and made me eager to read the story. And it is a beautiful story. Aimed at ages 4-10 this picture book tells the tale of Shiraz, a kind Cinderella-esque figure who lives with her step mother and step sister, Monir, in Tehran. The true beauty of the book is that Shiraz could be a girl anywhere and from any culture.
Forced to clean for her step-family Shiraz is not afraid of hard work. She is honest and brave but above all she is kind. When a ball of wool drops off of her balcony into her neighbor’s garden, Shiraz’s true adventure begins. Though she is scared Shiraz knocks on the neighbor’s door to retrieve the wool and is greeted by an elderly woman. “‘This lady has kind eyes,’ Shiraz said to herself, ‘She looks scary, but I expect she has just forgotten how to look after herself properly.'” The woman promises to return the ball of wool if Shiraz will help her, and Shiraz accepts the challenge eagerly. Because she has kindness in her own heart Shiraz is able to see the kindness in her neighbor’s heart and her good deeds are rewarded.
Step-sister Monir attempts to reap a similar reward, but her heart is not brave or kind. Her fate is equally rewarded to her great disappointment.
This book celebrates cultural diversity beautifully, but even more importantly, it celebrates human kindness and compassion. The Girl with a Brave Heart celebrates hard work and seeing the goodness in others regardless of what they look like, virtues that are often lacking in books for young girls. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will happily donate this copy to my local library so others can share the wonderful message.
For more information on this book, including a book club guide, story-themed crafts and a variety of other family activities, please visit www.barefootbooks.com/kids.
AND, Barefoot Books is hosting a giveaway on their Facebook page today, Monday, Jan. 27 (9 a.m ET). Visit www.facebook.com/barefootbooks for more information!
Looking more wonderful books?
Please check out these blogs – all are celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day with reviews of books celebrating diversity!
2GirlsLostInaBook · 365 Days of Motherhood · A Bilingual Baby · A Simple Life, Really? · Africa to America · After School Smarty Pants · All Done Monkey · Andi’s Kids Books · Anita Brown Bag · Austin Gilkeson · Barbara Ann Mojica · Books My Kids Read · Bottom Shelf Books · Cats Eat Dogs · Chasing The Donkey · Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac · Children’s Books Heal · Church o Books · CitizenBeta · Crafty Moms Share · Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes · Early Words · Flowering Minds · Franticmommy · Gathering Books · GEO Librarian · Gladys Barbieri · Going in Circles · Growing Book by Book · iGame Mom · I’m Not The Nanny · InCulture Parent · Itsy Bitsy Mom ·Just Children’s Books– Kid World Citizen · Kristi’s Book Nook · Mama Lady Books · Mama Smiles · Mission Read · Mother Daughter Book Reviews · Mrs AOk · MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter · Ms. Yingling Reads · Multicultural Kids Blog · One Sweet World · Open Wide The World · P is for Preschooler · Rapenzel Dreams · School4Boys · Sharon the Librarian · Spanish Playground · Sprout’s Bookshelf · Squishable Baby · Stanley and Katrina · Teach Mama · The Art of Home Education · The Brain Lair · The Educators’ Spin On It · The Family-Ship Experience · The Yellow Door Paperie · This Kid Reviews Books · Trishap’s Books · Unconventional Librarian · Vicki Arnold · We3Three · World for Learning · Wrapped in Foil
Thank you to MCCBD Sponsors:
FULL DISCLOSURE: Barefoot Books provided a copy of The Girl with a Brave Heart to review. All opinions expressed are my own.