Multicultural Children’s Book Day Review – Building Bridges with Bilingual Books and Multicultural Resources

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.  

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

I was gifted a copy of this book to review for multicultural children’s book day: Building Bridges with Bilingual Books and Multicultural Resources: A Practical Manual of Lesson Plans, Literacy Games, and Fun Activities from Around the World to Celebrate Diversity in the Classroom and at Home, by Anneke Vanmarcke Forzani, with Dr. Heather Leaman, Edmond Gubbins, and Ellen O’Regan.

I am not a teacher or homeschooler, but I am married to an immigrant, and I am the parent of biracial and bilingual children. I found this book to be an insightful and needed educational resource. It begins by talking about the increasing diversity in American schools, and the challenges and discrimination minority students often face. For example, it talks about how some educators may devalue a child’s dual language abilities, rather than viewing them as an asset. Other educators may fail to reach out to immigrant parents and engage them in their child’s educational experience, often due to communication difficulties.

This book provides teachers with resources to help them create an inclusive learning environment that accepts differences and celebrates diversity. There’s a whole section on multicultural lesson plans, with fun themes including folktales and holidays. The lesson plans utilize multicultural picture books highlighting various cultures, and they include games, discussion ideas, activities, and tips for accommodations/differentiation.

There is also a section with activities and games that teachers and parents can use to support multiculturalism. One of the activity suggestions I liked was to have a teacher read a book out loud at school in the school language, and have the parents read the same book at home in their home language. There are also fun games from around the world, multicultural crafts, and international recipes you can try at school or at home.

All in all, I thought this was a great resource for teachers and parents with some excellent information and resources to promote multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusion.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings, 


Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls


Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,


 Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,


Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers BooksTimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

Author Sponsor Link CloudJerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveLauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie


3 thoughts on “Multicultural Children’s Book Day Review – Building Bridges with Bilingual Books and Multicultural Resources

  1. I just watched a TED talk yesterday about the need for teachers to be more knowledgeable about multiculturalism, especially pertaining to those in their classrooms. It sounds like this is a great place to start! Thanks for the resource (we parents need to know this stuff too)!

    Liked by 1 person

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