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