Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 — #ReadYourWorld

  • Published on January 31, 2020

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020

Today, 31 January is the 7th Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

Multicultural Children's Book Day blogger button

I am delighted to support the day by reviewing two books I was gifted to review for the event.

The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree

The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree by Angeliki Stamatopoulou-Pederson with illustrations by Tety Swlou.

The story begins with Angelia and Jacob on their first day of school in Ms Zoe’s classroom. During their get-to-know-you activities, Angelia notices something behind Jacob’s ears. At recess, she asks Jacob about them as they sit beneath the palm tree. Jacob explains that they are hearing aids to help him hear better, just as glasses help people see better. Jacob explains how he hears and describes ways in which Angelia can help him hear and understand. Angelia, in turns, explains to other children that Jacob is smart, he just hears and talks differently. As children grow to understand how they can help Jacob join in their games, their circle of friendship grows.

Why I like this book: The author explains in a very child-friendly way concepts and terminology associated with being deaf and requiring aids for hearing. The author provides teachers and children with strategies they can use to understand the effect of hearing loss and what they can do to assist others who have loss of hearing. Tety Swlou’s colourful illustrations give an additional positive vibe to the story.  The book clearly and empathetically shows that “Mainstream schooling for strong kids with weak hearing requires information, acceptance, and support from young and old.” (from the book’s introduction)

Concepts and terminology explained within the story include:

  • hearing aids
  • lip reading
  • sign language
  • deaf
  • audiologist
  • cochlear implant
  • cochlea
  • speech pathologist
  • hearing assistant dog
About Angeliki Stamatopoulou-Pederson

Angeliki Stamatopoulou-Pederson was born and raised in Greece. She studied nursing and worked in this field. Since 1972 she has been living in the United States with her family. She is a past member of the board of directors at the Connecticut Chapter of AG Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Over the past twenty-five years, she has attended many training seminars for parents and professionals in the field of deafness. She has also been trained by the Parent-Child Education Program (PCEP) at the American School for the Deaf (ASD) in Hartford, Connecticut.

About Tety Swlou

Tety Swlou was born in Athens, Greece. She studied law and piano, but neither [sic] what she likes best is to illustrate children’s books. She has illustrated over one hundred educational and literary books, and she has worked with beloved, well-known authors and leading publishers in her native country.


Ribbon's Traveling Castle

Ribbon’s Traveling Castle by Elizabeth Godley with illustrations by Paige M. Leyh.

Ribbon’s Traveling Castle is the story of a girl called Ribbon who has a yellow ribbon in her hair. One day her father, who didn’t have time to play and was scared of the changing world, hitched their castle to a truck to take her somewhere happier. On their travels, Ribbon meets a cast of different characters, all of whom are frightened of the changing world., and she invites them into her castle. When they are all assembled, they ask her what they should do. “Play!” she suggests, but they don’t know how. Ribbon brings them a large cardboard box with the word ‘Fun’ written on the side. When Ribbon brings her father inside, the castle is magically transformed into a house of joy and  he realises that being with her is his happiness and he finds time to play.

Why I like this book: I like Ribbon’s advice to those who are frightened of change: “Change isn’t so scary when you realize it means you can begin again. Thinking about the changes of yesterday can stop your fun today.” In the end, Ribbon shows her father that being in the present moment with those you love is more important now than looking for happiness someplace else. Ribbon is warm, open-hearted and shows the importance of tolerance and acceptance.

About Elizabeth Godley

This is Elizabeth Godley’s first children’s book. Elizabeth is a writer and actress living in Los Angeles. The bulk of her work and training is in classical theatre & Shakespeare, balanced with clown, voice over, TV & Film experience.

She grew up on a farm in Louisiana and graduated from LSU. A world traveller, always up for an adventure, Elizabeth is a joyous observer of the beautiful, a collector of tiny things, a caretaker, mentor, fairy, clown, friend, and kid magnet. Seriously, she cannot go into a park without at least 3 kids around her wanting to join in the fun. Her favourite children’s authors are J.M. Barrie and A.A. Milne.

About Paige M. Leyh

Paige M. Leyh is a graphic designer and hand lettering artist with her company, HUEcreative. She is a big fan of joy and finding ways to create more of it. If you have ideas, feel free to share.

MultiCulturalChildrensBookDay 2020 poster

About Multicultural Children’s Book Day

(The following information is supplied by Multicultural Children’s Book Day.)

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.

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 Books,  TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry 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 Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

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 HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children's Book Day Classroom kit

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Multicultural Children's Book Day Twitter Party

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Other multicultural resources from readilearn

A review of I am Farmer for Multicultural Book Day

Read last year’s review of I am Farmer by Baptiste and Miranda Paul with illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon here.

Multicultural picture books - a selection from my bookshelf

Download a free list of multicultural books from my bookshelf here.

Family traditions and celebrations

The collection of resources in Family Traditions and Celebrations helps find out information about children’s cultural backgrounds and helps foster inclusion, understanding and tolerance.

Getting to know you surveys

The Getting to know you surveys are another great way of helping children learn more about each other. I’m sure Ms Zoe, Angelia and Jacob’s teacher would approve of these resources along with so many more that develop friendship skills and the establishment of a supportive classroom environment.

readilearn teaching resources for the first three years of school

Remember to check out the complete readilearn collection of

over 390 teaching resources for the first three years of school
Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.
Let readilearn lighten your workload.


Browse resources now

If you haven’t already, follow @readilearn on Twitter and readilearnteachingresources on Instagram and like the readilearnteachingresources Facebook page.

I appreciate your feedback and comments. Please share your thoughts below.

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    What an overwhelmingly supportive group for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day event, Norah. Thank you for the reviews of two important books. We had students with hearing problems. When seated in the back rows, students couldn’t hear but were afraid to ask questions. Only when hearing tests were done and found out the problems, teachers seated them in the front rows, students could hear better and improved their abilities to do their work.

    Thank you for your support, Miriam. It’s difficult for teachers to cater for differences if they don’t know they exist. It is good to hear of positive responses that help students.

    Exactly, Norah. California is known as a melting pot. When I travel to some part of the US or the world, I could tell the difference. Some teachers may not have the multicultural experiences. Your resources are great.

    These books both sound really lovely, Norah. There were a number of children with hearing aids at my younger son’s previous remedial school. I did like that he learned to appreciate children will a variety of different challenges. He seems to be determined to stay friends with his old gang which is also nice.

    They are both lovely books, Robbie. And I’m so pleased, and not surprised, to hear that you are bringing your sons up to be caring, compassionate and empathetic people. No wonder their friends want to keep their friendship strong.

    Dear Norah Colvin, I am deeply thankful for your wonderful review of my book and for promoting awareness for children with hearing loss. Greetings and love from Seattle to Australia and you .

    Thank you for popping in to read and comment, Angeliki. It was a pleasure to read and review your delightful book. I hope it finds its way into many hands and hearts and helps to spread understanding and empathy. Best wishes to you in Seattle.

    Thanks so much for taking time to review not one but TWO diverse picture books on behalf of Multicultural Children’s Book Day! We so appreciate your support of our holiday!

    It is my pleasure. I’m delighted to participate in such a worthwhile project. Thank you for the initiative that benefits so many.

    looks like a couple of great books; and timely, for me at least.we were on a tour yesterday, and part of the drive was just miles and miles of palm trees – it was quite a beautiful view.

    I love that it’s multi-cultural children’s books. Another wonderful idea for children to learn to live harmoniously in diversity. 🙂 x

    It is a wonderful initiative, isn’t it, Debby. I’m so pleased to be a part of it. 🙂

    You have two very interesting books to review for MCBD! We always need more books for children with hearing impairments — they are hard to find. My daughter began wearing hearing aids at age 4 — the teasing was difficult. This is such a positive book.

    And, I enjoyed Ribbon’s Traveling castle, also sounds like a fun way to introduce kids to change. I love how she helps her father live in the present moment — after all, that’s all we have! And, I enjoyed your resources for MCBD.

    There are interesting books, Patricia, and both very different. Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree would have been perfect for your daughter to share with her classmates each year. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It serves a very worthwhile purpose.
    Ribbon’s story is also lovely. I’m sure there will be many to enjoy it.
    Thank you for your lovely comment.

    Thank you, Charli. I’m so pleased to be able to join in and help promote the multicultural books.

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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