My Grandfather’s Masbaha

My Grandfather's Masbaha - Chasing the Donkey

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

My Grandfather’s Masbaha

Books play a big role in our family, I read to our Baby Donkey each night before bed, and often throughout the day he will bring books to me and say ‘this’ and be very persistent for me to read them – even if I am in the kitchen sink doing dishes. So when I had the chance to join the Multicultural Children’s Book Day in the form of reviewing a book and help spread the word of the great event. I jumped at the chance. 

Why multicultural books?

I’ve always been blessed with knowing about multiculturalism. After all, Australia is a multi-cultural society and I grew up with people from various ethnic backgrounds. Then, when I moved countries, multiculturalism was something new again. Having to take a look at my new country and it’s culture, and how we fit in.

I was surprised to learn that the most recent US census data showed that 37% of the US population consists of people of color, yet only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. So it was no real surprise when I thought back to my childhood and was unable to recall any books about other cultures. Then after a look through all of the childrens books gifted to my son, none have any multicultural element.

Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, two people (Mia and Valarie) are on a mission to change those statistics. 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.

My Grandfather's Masbaha - Chasing the Donkey

My Grandfather’s Masbaha

Thanks to the author of this book,  Susan Fayad. She wrote this as a tribute to her father to honor him in the eyes of her children. Susan wrote the book to highlight Lebanese culture while emphasizing a universal theme of appreciation and counting your blessings.

When I started reading, I had zero idea about what to expect. I first thought about what blessings they meant, or what religious themes  the book would cover. It also got me thinking about what kinds of things would someone in Lebanon be feeling blessed about. Would they be the same as me? I got excited as these are exactly the types of themes that I feel are important for raising world citizens, and ones I’d like my son to think about.

Life is more than just your own house, country and it’s a very important factor for me in raising him to be a World Citizen. He is a too young to understand the book and its themes now, but it’s not too far away.

My Grandfather's Masbaha - Chasing the Donkey

My Grandfather’s Masbaha book cover


From front cover to the last page, I loved this book. Such a sweet and honest story.

The young boy in the book, Adam, gets mad after his friends leave. He acts like most children do, huffing and puffing. That is until his grandfather helps him realize all that he has to be thankful for, by using a string of beads known as the masbaha.

The best part of the book from my perspective, is that the book can resonate with anyone and everyone as there is no religious message. Just a simple message of gratitude, and that sometimes  you need to look around you and remind yourself what you have, and not what you dont.

Take part

If you would like to know more, or get involved  reach out to the Multicultural Children’s Book Day organisers.  In addition the co-creators are Mia from Pragmatic Mom & Valarie at Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press, so you should also take a peek at the great work they do.

Hvala {Thanks}

A huge thanks must be said to the sponsors for this educational event  Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books Chronicle Books, and Susan Daniel Fayad. Hvala iz Hrvatske {Thanks from Croatia}

Have you read any great multicultural childrens books? I’d love hear any suggestions you have.

You can find a bunch of other book reviews over here…

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 



    Leave a Reply

  1. Leanna Alldonemonkey says

    Sounds like a really sweet story! I love books like this that open the world to our kids but in a way that also focuses on the universals that anyone can relate to. Thanks for sharing at the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop!

  2. says

    This is a great book to know about. I love Lebanon and one of my closest friends – who’s very special to my children – is from there. I’m discovering so many fantastic books thanks to the Multicultural Children’s Book Day event.

  3. Valarie says

    Hvala for celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day with us. I just love this book. Thanks for a great post. Happy Reading.

  4. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says

    This sounds like a great book. I really enjoy stories based on real life. I love the cover! 🙂

  5. says

    Brilliant post – thanks for sharing what looks like a fab book x x

  6. Stanley & Katrina says

    Fantastic Post! It is funny, when we moved, recently, one of the things we noticed was the diversity in our new area. Something that was fairly non-existent at our last residence. It is something that I love about living here. Any book with the gratitude message is a win for me. Thank you for sharing!

    Cool Mom/Christine M
    for the Stanley & Katrina Gang

  7. Farrah says

    Aw, what a sweet book! And I we have so many books in this house- I know some are multicultural. One I highly recommend is ‘Sleep In Peace’ which is a wonderful bedtime story- and the pictures (really very beautiful) show children all over the world and where they sleep. So kinda multicultural 🙂

  8. Kate Williams says

    This is such a great idea 🙂 it’s really made me think about how many of my sons books are just about white British kids.

  9. Oana Chirila says

    Lovely to teach them from when they are young about cultural differences (or similarities, most likely). In this way, they will accept diversity in reality much easier.

  10. Orli, Just Breathe says

    It is so important to teach children about multi culture societies. It is one of the reason we wanted to raise the boys in London, and more than that in the middle of the city. The book sounds like a good idea.

  11. Amanda Boyarshinov says

    Delightful post! It sounds like a wonderful book. We are on a quest to see out more Russian books in English for our household and coming up shorthanded. There is a need for more cultures to be represented in our children’s literature!

  12. [email protected] says

    What a wonderful initiative! A friend recently gave my children a book about how all families are different – some with two mums/dads, some with adopted children, some living with other families etc etc. I was really proud when my son chose it to take into pre-school as his favourite book.

  13. says

    This sounds like a wonderful book! I think it will resonate a lot with my own “huffing and puffing” 5 yr. old son! Must get it! 🙂 Great post, and thank you!

  14. mummyoftwo says

    Books are so important aren’t they. I am lucky my two love them. This book sounds really interesting definitely one to look out for

  15. Anna says

    Ooh, this all sounds great! I like the look of that book and it would be an ideal one for my kids, and love the idea of multicultural book day in general 🙂

  16. VaiChin says

    Our local library had bilingual books in Polish, Arabic and Hindi. In the children’s section. Very heartening to see.

  17. Globalmouse says

    What a lovely idea. We always try to include books in our reading that tell us something about the world and I’m always on the look out for more so thank you, this sounds gorgeous!

  18. JoBryan says

    I love books taking on different lives and cultures, so interesting for an adult reader. For children it teaches great acceptance of others and opens more fascinating lives for them.

  19. bloggingastrid says

    I think I’d love this book too. It’s great to read about other cultuures and the universal themes are important.