Friday, January 27, 2017

My Dragon Likes to Read!

I believe in everything until it is disapproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real the here and now?- John Lennon

Book: Dragons Are Real
Author: Valarie Budayr
Illustrator: Michael Welply

When I was little, I had an impeccable imagination. Yes, I said impeccable because it saved me from boredom and it taught me a lot about myself.  I would pretend to be anything and anyone at anytime or place.  Children need more time for imagination and creative thinking. Children enhance their creative abilities when they are encouraged to use their imagination.   A creative child is able to increase their positive thinking and their positive self-image. When I started reading Dragons Are Real, the memories of my unique childhood came back to my mind.

In Dragons Are Real Valarie Budayr does a great job of transferring the magical world into the hands of young readers. She shows that dragons love to read, ice cream, riddles, and dancing. The magical world becomes even better with the great illustrations by Michael Welply.  He takes readers on an adventure through his colorful images.  My favorite illustration is the reading dragon surrounded by all the books. I love the details of the books on the floor and in the bookshelves, there is even a little mouse sitting down on the floor reading.   Dragons Are Real did not only change the perception of dragons for children, they changed my perception of dragons. I realized that dragons do not have to be fiery, dangerous, and scary creatures. Dragons can be naturally amazing friends.

Activity: Journal Entry About Dragons
Topic: If I Had A Dragon For A Day........
 After reading Dragons Are Real, give children this topic and encourage them to think outside the box.  Do not exclude the younger children, some people think that only older kids can do entries in journals.  Younger children can do entries by drawing pictures of dragons and they also can have a chance to explain their drawings to the class or group.

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

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Delores Connors, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O'Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela TiscareƱo-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

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:

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Words of Hope

"Out of a Mountain of Despair, a Stone of Hope.."-Martin Luther King Jr. 

One of my favorite children's book about the life of Martin Luther King Jr. is called Martin's BIG Words, The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier.  In the author's note, Rappaport discusses how King was determined to use "big words" as a young child. During this time, big words made Martin feel good.  He has always been known for his speeches, sermons, and articles. His speeches are and will always captivate people and give them hope during rough times.  Many people have dissected his historical speeches and published books about his dialogues and his discussions. I have heard song lyrics that have been written in honor of King's statements and his creativeness.

From Martin Luther King, Jr.
A Picture Story
During his speaking engagements, King would stand and deliver to many people, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C, he spoke to a crowd of 250,000.   People believed in his rhetoric and his purpose to provide everyone equal rights. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in big words and he believed in big actions, his words made him a smart man, but his actions made him a great man!

Last Summer, I visited Washington, D.C., I was able to stand before the MLK Memorial. I was in awe of King's sculpture, but I was more intrigued by the 450-foot-long wall inscribed with 14 quotations from the famous orator's speeches, sermons, and writings. Those words are not only inscribed on that wall they will forever be inscribed in our books, homes, and our hearts.  Down below I have listed some books about Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and his fight for Human Rights.
(This post may contain affiliated links)