Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Multicultural Children's Book Day - Rafa The Refugee Book Review #ReadYourWorld

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I am really proud to be part of the Multicultural Children's Book Day event again this year. As part of the blogging team our family received a fantastic book from Terri Hoops to review. Our review is below along with a fun project idea, but first let me tell you more about this event, the sponsors and the cohosts.

What is Multicultural Children's Book Day?
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.

"The MCCBD team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media."

The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors:

MCCBD's Cohosts Include:

Classroom Reading Challenge:
This very special offering from MCCBD which offers teachers and classrooms the chance to (very easily) earn a free hardcover multicultural children's book for their classroom library. These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are pre-screened and approved by them as well.

So teachers/librarians/classrooms click here to find out how. There is no cost to teachers and classrooms and the process is super simple.

A Moms Review:
If you watch the news then you are well aware of the influx of refugees coming into the United States. And whether you agree with the situation or not it is something that our children need to be educated on so they learn to be accepting of others from different races, religions, cultures and countries. Our family is always learning about different cultures which is one reason I love participating in the Multicultural Children's Book Day.

"Rafa the Refugee” is a soft cover picture book about a young girl whose family flees Iraq and escapes to the United States. The book follows her journey to United States, adoption of a new culture and realization that her heritage, language and culture are part of who she is. As Rafa settles into her new home she soon discovers that she needs both languages and cultures to grow and succeed. 

This inspirational children’s book celebrates culture, heritage and language. It shows kids that it is okay to be different and that one should always take pride in one’s own culture.

We enjoyed what the book was trying to convey, but personally I would have liked more in depth information regarding Rafa's language and culture. For example there is some Arabic writing throughout the book and a translation of the phrases would have been a great addition. And I wasn't overly impressed with the writing style or illustrations, in comparison to other cultural books we own or have read. But the kids did enjoy it and we will be passing it along to a library so others can enjoy it.

About the Author
Terrie Hoops is a passionate educator working in second language acquisition. Terrie develops K12 curriculums for modern languages and ESOL programs serving migrant and refugee populations. She has a bachelor's degree in anthropology and a master's degree in administration and leadership from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Study in curriculum, assessment and instruction from the University of Maine at Orono. Terrie is originally from Montreal, Quebec, and is fluent in English, Spanish and French. She lives in Bradenton, Fl with her husband Dave.

Fun Project Idea:
As I was searching for a fun activity that would compliment "Rafa the Refugee" I found a great blog by a fellow homeschooler. She is Muslim and has some great hands on projects for kids. Check out her blog for information on creating Arabic Letter Mosaics.

Image from Muslim Homeschool Blog

Links to Follow:
-Multicultural Children's Book Day Facebook
-Multicultural Children's Book Day Twitter
-Multicultural Children's Book Day Pinterest

Where to Buy:
You can purchase Rafa and the Refugee on Amazon for $19.99.

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