Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Green Kids Club: The Elephant and the King


To participate in Multicultural Children's Book Day, our family recently received The Elephant and the King from Green Kids Club, written by Sylvia M. Medina and illustrated by Joy Eagle. The dynamic duo have written and illustrated many books for Green Kids Club. We have never read any books by Green Kids Club before, but we are glad we discovered them. The Elephant and the King features young Green Kid members Maya, Victor, and Maatia. Green Kid members possess the ability to talk with animals because they drank water from a magic spring. The story follows Maya and Victor who are visiting Botswana, Africa and the local Maatia shows the two around. Maya wanted to see elephants during her visit, but Maatia warned her that it might not be possible to see them due to the poachers. The three encounter a baby elephant searching for her mother who has been captured by poachers. Maatia drinks the magic spring water and becomes a Green Kid just like Maya and Victor. The three members, along with the help of other animals, help save the mother elephant from poachers.

I wasn't sure about the book at first. I usually pre-screen books before I read them to my children. I have a highly sensitive child so I wasn't sure if the book would upset her if she found out people kill elephants for their tusks. We read it, and both my children loved the book. They asked if there were other Green Kids Club books, and I told them there were so it looks like we will be buying some. The book was written in a very gentle way about the illegal poaching of elephants. My children learned some interesting things about elephants, and they were particularly amused by the fact that elephants help fertilize plants by excreting seeds that they have eaten in fertilized dung piles. After reading the book, my youngest grabbed the book and drew a picture of an elephant and labeled the parts of the elephant she knew. I love a book when it teaches my children something new.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
BRONZE: Barefoot BooksCarole P. RomanCharlesbridge PublishingDr. Crystal BoweGokul! WorldGreen Kids ClubGwen JacksonJacqueline WoodsonJuan J. GuerraLanguage LizardLee & Low BooksRhymeTime StorybooksSanya Whittaker GraggTimTimTom BooksWaterBrook & MultnomahWisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors
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.
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Monday, January 15, 2018

An Immigrant's Story: A Review Of A Different Pond


I recently received A Different Pond by Bao Phi and illustrated by Thi Bui from Capstone Young Readers for Multicultural Children's Book Day, and it was such a captivating read. It is such a powerful and gripping story about a fishing trip a father and his son takes early one morning. The fishing trip seems to be a routine for the two, but this time they have to fish earlier than usual because the father is now working a second job in the morning. When our narrator asks his father why they have to continue fishing for food when he has two jobs now. His father replies, "Everything in America costs a lot of money," and the son can feel all the callouses on his father's hand as they hold hands to get to the pond.

It is a heart wrenching story to read about the struggles the family faces. You get a glimpse of the sacrifices the parents go through in the story. To have to work multiple jobs and to have to wake up in the wee hours to fish your own food because you are too poor to buy food is very sad. Unfortunately, it is all too common of a scenario for poor immigrant families. In the book, you meet other fishermen who likely having to fish for food, and they are also minorities. Phi's eloquent writing and story-telling and Bui's evocative illustrations had me in tears when I read the story. I have never cried reading other children's picture books before, and I have read many picture books since my daughter was first born 8 years ago. Like Phi and Bui, I am a child of a poor refugee family who fled Vietnam due to the war. Needless to say, this picture book really resonated with me. My family and I grew up poor. Both my parents made many sacrifices so my siblings and I can have a better life than they had growing up.

This is by far my favorite picture book of the year! I intend to purchase this book for our friends and family members. It is a phenomenal book to share and read in hopes to open a dialogue with our children about family, sacrifice, poverty, immigration, and war.  After reading the story, my daughter asked if we could go fishing. It's not something we have tried as a family. She said she didn't want to eat or hurt the fish though so we will do a catch and release. Fortunately for my daughter, she doesn't understand what it means to be poor or hungry. My parents' sacrifices have paved the way for a better future for me and my children.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors
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.
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Wonder Woman Warbringer Review


This is my first time reading a Leigh Bardugo's book. For the first book, I'm glad it's Wonder Woman: Warbringer. I absolutely love Wonder Woman! She is definitely my favorite female superhero. Actually, she might be my favorite superhero/heroine of all time. The book is no disappointment. It is full of excitement, humor, action, romance, and an array of characters. I enjoyed the book and the storyline about how Diana risks her life to save a young girl, Alia, who enters Themyscira. There is a rule in Themyscira that no humans are allowed on the island. Diana's compassion and her sense of justice causes her to save Alia and thus gets exiled from Themyscira. Both Alia and Diana's journey begins when they both end up in New York, hometown of Alia. Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a wonderful and exciting book for any Wonder Woman or superhero fan. I highly recommend it!

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I'm Ready For My Side Hustle


Chris Guillbeau's latest book, Side Hustle: From Idea To Income In 27 Days couldn't come at a better time. I have been extremely interested in the idea of a side hustle for a while, but I didn't know where or how to start. The book breaks down a plan on what you should be doing week to week so by Day 27, you should have launched your side hustle. At first, I thought I should just find a side hustle that I can do, but Guillbeau suggests that you find a high-potential side hustle. A high potential side hustle is not just another part-time job. It should be one that you can grow and possibly build into a business and replace your full-time job. He gives you some ideas on what kind of side hustles you can start. There are 3 broad categories of side hustles: one where you sell a product, one where you can offer a service, and one where you act as the middleman. I haven't read any of Guillbeau's other books so the information he gives in Side Hustle are all new to me. As a newbie, this book was very easy to read and understand, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in building their side hustle.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Review of The New Rules of Work



The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook For Navigating Your Career written by the duo Alexandra Cavoulacos an Kathryn Minshew is a pretty standard read when it comes to career self help books. There really wasn't anything new that I haven't read from other career self help books. The New Rules of Work does a good job in going into detail about how to start a job search, network, interview in the our modern day. The book is more tailored for today's modern job search/interview so I think it would be a great book for new graduates who are starting off their career or for someone who's been a seasoned employee and is starting a new job search again.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Food52: Ice Cream & Friends



Food52's Ice Cream & Friends is dedicated to providing an array of ice cream and frozen treat recipes. When I received the book, I devoured the cookbook. As I poured through each and every recipe and it's lovely photographs (I ended up looking it over multiple times), I couldn't wait to try some of the recipes.

This ice cream cookbook doesn't have recipes for the typical flavors you would buy at a supermarket like strawberry, cookies and cream, coffee, so if you are looking for that, this isn't the book for you. This cookbook offers 60 recipes of very unusual and exotic ice cream flavors, such as Lemongrass Chile Ginger, Peanut Butter Curry, S'mores, Saltine Cracker-Brownie Sandwich, Black Pepper Feta, Burnt Toast, and many more. I have to admit, I was very afraid of trying many of the recipes because they sounded so unusual. So for my first recipe, I opted for a safer recipe: Mango Lassicles. I love mango lassi so I figured I would love a mango lassi in popsicle form. It was delicious and very easy to make! I also made the Homemade Sprinkles recipe. While store-bought sprinkles are so convenient and cheap, being able to make my own sprinkles for the children seem healthier.

I love this cookbook! I love having a cookbook just dedicated to ice cream. One of these days, I will muster up the courage to try out the Peanut Butter Curry Ice Cream recipe.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Crazy Upbringing: A Review on Crazy Is My Super Power by AJ Mendez Brooks


AJ Mendez Brooks' current memoir, Crazy Is My Super Power, was a fascinating read. Despite growing up dirt poor with irresponsible and dysfunctional parents, Brooks turned her life around. I don't watch WWE or know anything about wrestling, but I found Brooks' determination, self-awareness, and scrappiness very refreshing and compelling. I loved how Brooks' dream was to be superhero, and she found a way to make that happen in her own way. Her writing is very real. She didn't sugarcoat anything nor did she shy away from all the embarrassing and ugly parts of her childhood. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and especially to young girls and women.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.