Multicultural Books for Your 1st through 3rd Graders -- Multicultural Children's Book Day Review

Disclosure: Capstone Publishing gave me copies of these books free of charge for this review in return for an honest review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I get to share with you some fun multicultural books from a silver sponsor of Multicultural Children's Book Day. These group of nine books are a mix of picture books and easy reader chapter books. We will start with the amazing picture books. The first book is appropriate for January since it is about a girl who cannot wait to meet the POTUS when she goes to work with her mother at the White House. It is When Penny Met POTUS by Rachel Ruiz and illustrated by Melissa Manwill.
 Now Penny has heard of POTUS, but she does not really know who or what POTUS is. While her mother is distracted with work Penny adventures out asking questions to find POTUS on her own. Will she find POTUS and will POTUS meet her expectations? Now what makes this book a multicultural book is that POTUS (which stands for President of the United States) is a woman. Of course the shock for Penny is that POTUS is a human. It is a fun book with a bit of a lesson about the President and White House.
Next is a fun (and a bit silly) book called Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library written by Julie Gassman and illustrated by Andy Elkerton. This book is a rhyming book that goes through things that could happen if you brought a live dragon into the library. With issues like breaking chairs, lack of space, and of course setting fire to the books this fun book has children and librarians of different races and abilities. Of course in this book just about everyone has a dragon at home. It is a fun book that reminds kids the importance of reading and the fun of going to the library. 
Our last picture book is For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story written by Rebecca Langston-George and illustrated by Janna Bock. This book takes you to Pakistan and gives you a glimpse into Malala's and her family's lives. This book gave me more information about Malala and her actual life than any of the other books I have read to Hazel about her. I really enjoyed this one and find this book so eye opening. The book follows Malala through her younger years to the present with everything that happened to her. It is such an amazing story and it is brought to the level of a younger child. Although we have read several books about Malala her story has not stuck with Hazel, but I think this one will. It is memorable and easy to really understand what was happening. We did have some discussion about what was happening in Pakistan and why, but she really did understand it more.

 Our first chapter book is Katie Woo and Friends by Fran Manushkin. This book has four stories in it about Katie Woo and her friends, Pedro and JoJo. As you can see on the cover the friends are a diverse group. Many of the stories have lessons in it. In the first Katie is a bit selfish and acting spoiled until her friends do not want to play with her. There is a story about losing your first tooth and being jealous of the friends who lose them first. Then there is one about losing her pet dog. The final story is about a camping trip. At the end of the book there are a few activities (a craft and a recipe) to go with the stories. This is a fun book for beginning readers to begin chapter books. This book is a book in a series of Katie Woo books.

The second book is Pedro First Grade Hero by Fran Manushkin. Now Pedro is the same Pedro from the Katie Woo book. And yes Katie is in this book as well. There are four stories in this book too. From a bug project, soccer game, mystery club and class president the stories range with lots of adventures and lessons. At the end of this book there are some jokes that are perfect for the lower grade students. This book is perfect for an introduction to chapter books. This book is also a book in a series.

Our next book is also a part of a series. It is Sofia Martinez My Vida Loca by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Kim Smith. This book has three stories with multiple chapters in them. It also intertwines Spanish words through out it. The end of the book has a Spanish glossary. The stories again help teach some lessons as well. It is a fun story and perfect for the younger chapter readers.

Our next chapter book is Ellie Ultra: An Extra-Ordinary Girl by Gina Bellisario. Ellie is very excited to start school in the third grade. Her parents homeschooled her for the first few years since she is a super hero and needed to learn skills she would need to fight super villains. However being a superhero makes it hard to fit in with the other third graders. Ellie strives to be more ordinary and less super until the blob aliens attack the classroom and start ruining her friends favorite things. This book has various races in the kids and of course a black superhero. Hazel enjoyed this book a lot when I read it to her.

Our next book is from the Dear Molly, Dear Olive series. It is Molly Meets Trouble (Whose Real Name is Jenna) written by Megan Atwood and illustrated by Lucy Fleming. Molly and Olive are pen pals and best friends. They share their ideas, troubles and celebrations with each other in letters and email. Molly lives in New York City and Olive lives on a farm in Iowa. The book goes back and forth telling what is happening to one of the girls in each chapter. Molly is having trouble with the new girl, Jenna. Olive is struggling to find friends on her new gymnastics team. Both girls try to help each other find their courage to deal with the issues and get past their own fears to solve their own problems. It is a wonderful tale about friends who have never met each other but can still support each other from afar. Hazel loved this book as well!!

Our final book for tonight is my favorite of the chapter books. It is from the Museum Mysteries series and is The Case of the Missing Museum Archives by Steve Brezenoff. In this series there are four diverse friends whose parents work at four different museums in Capital City. 
The four friends tend to find mysteries to solve together. In this book the mystery is to help Amal's father keep his job. When a exclusive archive goes missing from the Air and Space Museum, Amal's father gets blamed. The kids gather to solve this mystery and help save Dr. Farah's job. Each kid bring his or her own strengths in the search. It is a fun tale and I always love a mystery. Hazel has not read this one yet, but I know she is going to enjoy it. The back of this book has a glossary, discussion questions, writing prompts and air and space information. It is perfect for using in a classroom or homeschool. I know I want to check out the rest of series. This book is written for the older of the readers in this grouping but is still in the easy reading chapter books. 

We have really enjoyed these nine books and hope you will check them out!!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s 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. 
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

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 work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember:
MCBD site:
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: