Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 Diverse Picture Book Reviews

diverse book reviews

Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) is quickly approaching and I couldn´t be more excited.

This annual on and offline event celebrates diversity in children’s literature and works to get those types of books into homes, classrooms, and libraries. This year, I was lucky enough to be able to review some titles from Capstone Publishing and Make A Way Media.

BUT FIRST, I have to mention the extremely fun MCBD Twitter Party that will happen on January 29 (the official celebration day) from 9:00 p.m.-10:00 pm ET.

The Twitter party brings together members of the Kid Lit community, parents, and educators who are all committed to greater representation in children´s books. At the Twitter party, we spend a fast-paced hour answering questions and thinking about different aspects of representation in children’s literature. It’s wonderful to connect with others and build relationships during the MCBD party and throughout the year in the Facebook group.

Oh, and they give away a bundle of diverse children’s books every five minutes! Go HERE for the scoop.

As an author of books that challenge mainstream ideas about gender and identity, I love how MCBD spends the year celebrating multicultural books. I enjoy reading how others react to the Jamie books, and I love having the opportunity to read books and write my own reviews.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 Diverse Picture Book Reviews

With my child seated beside me, we read and discussed the titles. Here’s what we thought:

Sadiq and the Bridge Builders by Siman Nuurali (Capstone Publishing):

This is a wonderful story that weaves in Somali culture and vocabulary into Sadiq’s quest to find engineering solutions to flooding. The writing style and playful illustrations are a sure way for independent readers to want to have a shared experience with Sadiq and his friends by creating their own models and design solutions. 

Hello, Mandarin Duck! by Bao Phi and Dion Mbd (Capstone Publishing):

This is an overall perfect picture book for our time. A group of children follows a duck around during a community festival and various children greet the duck in their native languages. This book reflects the diversity of our communities that are full of a variety of languages, food, and cultures that enrich existing traditions. The United States has never been a homogenous society and Hello, Mandarin Duck shows that this is cause for celebration and for welcoming new neighbors who have recently from other lands. 

Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper (Capstone Publishing):

This is a great way to introduce African American history to very young readers. The illustrations in this book are really special in how they depict Mazie’s relationship to her father as well as the struggles and triumphs of African Americans for more than one hundred and fifty years (the first Juneteenth was one hundred and fifty-five years ago). I wouldn’t use this as the only text to teach this history as the book provides a broad overview of the history and gives the idea that everything is fine today rather than allude to current struggles and triumphs in the continued fight for equality and justice.

Kayla: A Modern Day Princess by DeeDee Cummings (Make A Way Media): This picture book has playful, bold illustrations that will catch a child’s eye. This book is the first in a series that sends a clear message that young girls, especially African American girls, must dream big and that, with preparation, planning, and hard work, their dreams can come true. (To be released in April 2021)

A huge thank you to Capstone and MAWM for providing me with PDFs to review for this event. Opinions expressed are purely my own.

diverse book reviews


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, My Well Read Child

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.

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