Opening the Road -- Multicultural Children's Book Day Review #readyourworld


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is here!! I finally get to begin sharing all the wonderful books I get to review for Multicultural Children's Book Day! The official day with the link party to share all the reviews is January 29th, next Friday! Between now and then I get to share eight books with you (and then I donate them to Hazel's school or our public library). The books I got this year have a wide range from history, travel to fantasy and more. I thought with it being Martin Luther King Day I would start by sharing a book about a Black man. The book is Opening the Road: Victor Hugo Green and His Green Book by Keila V. Dawson and illustrated by Alleanna Harris. This book is being released on January 26, 2021 but you can pre-order it today. It is a perfect book for Black History Month (February)!

As a white person I had never heard of Victor Hugo Green or his Green Book. Have you? I searched it on Amazon and discovered you can get the old copies of it. But first let me tell you what it is and about this fun book sharing Victor Hugo Green's achievement. Victor realized how hard it was for Black people to travel. Many of the rest stops, hotels, and restaurants on the road were White Only. He thought there had to be a way to share where the Black-owned businesses and businesses that welcomed Coloreds were. He began in his own area in New York. He was a mailman and asked the people on his route about places they had been to eat, stay, etc. He got the idea from a Jewish paper he saw that listed the Jewish businesses. After his first edition people asked him to expand his area and eventually he made one for the entire country by asking fellow Black mailmen to talk to the people on their routes. Some Black people even opened their homes for people to stay a night and started their own bed and breakfasts of sorts. The book was very popular and made it possible for Black people to travel more by car without having to sleep in the car or have a bucket for a bathroom. 

I love how this book is written. The story is told in a clear way that makes it easy to understand the need for Victor's book and the reader can see why it was so popular. As I read this book my first thought was I wish there was a modern version of this book with Black-owned businesses. I know I have wanted to support more of them. 

I also love the illustrations. They take you back to the time period with the clothes, hair styles, cars, etc. I love the picture above with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong carrying the book. It was truly a different time and the pictures share it. At the back of the book Keila shares more about Victor and his book and then there is a timeline of Victor and his book's lives. It is done of course as a road. Keila shares that there were other Black travel books but none were as successful as Victor's Green Book. This book adds a bit to any history lesson and cultural lesson on the time period of segregation and Jim Crow laws. It is written for ages 4 to 8 and is perfect for classroom libraries as well as all libraries to have this piece of history available. I hope you will check it out.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th 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. Eight 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. Read about our Mission & History HERE.

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Prgamaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s ( Platinum Sponsors: Language Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages, Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media Gold Sponsors: Barefoot Books, Candlewick Press, Capstone, Hoopoe Books, KidLitTV, Peachtree Publishing Company Inc. Silver Sponsors: Charlotte Riggle, Connecticut Association of School Librarians, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Pack-N-Go Girls Bronze Sponsors: Agatha Rodi and AMELIE is IMPRESSED!, Barnes Brothers Books, Create and Educate Solutions, LLC, Dreambuilt Books, Dyesha and Triesha McCants/McCants Squared, Redfin Real Estate, Snowflake Stories, Star Bright Books, TimTimTom Bilingual Personalized Books, Author Vivian Kirkfield, Wisdom Tales Press,  

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Poster Artist: Nat Iwata Authors: Author Afsaneh Moradian, Author Alva Sachs & Three Wishes Publishing Company, Author Angeliki Stamatopoulou-Pedersen, Author Anna Olswanger, Author Casey Bell , Author Claudine Norden, Author Debbie Dadey, Author Diana Huang & Intrepids, Author Eugenia Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Green Kids Club, Author Gwen Jackson, Author Janet Balletta, Author Josh Funk, Author Julia Inserro, Karter Johnson & Popcorn and Books, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, Author Keila Dawson, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Author Mia Wenjen, Michael Genhart, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Natalie Murray, Natalie McDonald-Perkins, Author Natasha Yim, Author Phe Lang and Me On The Page Publishing, Sandra Elaine Scott, Author Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher, Tales of the Five Enchanted Mermaids, Author Theresa Mackiewicz, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Author Toshia Stelivan, Valerie Williams-Sanchez & The Cocoa Kids Collection Books©, Author Vanessa Womack, MBA, Author Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series

MCBD 2021 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2021 is Honored to be Supported by these Media Partners!

Check out MCBD's Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit FREE Teacher Classroom Activism and Activists Kit FREE Teacher Classroom Empathy Kit FREE Teacher Classroom Kindness Kit FREE Teacher Classroom Physical and Developmental Challenges Kit FREE Teacher Classroom Poverty Kit Gallery of Our Free Posters FREE Diversity Book for Classrooms Program

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Join us on Friday, Jan 29, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children's Book Day Twitter Party! This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas. We will be giving away an 8-Book Bundle every 5 minutes plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. ** Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. See you all very soon on Twitter! Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.