Every year I am thrilled to participate in reviewing book(s) as a part of Multicultural Children's Book Day and this year is no different. I wait with excitement each December to hear which book will be sent my way and then to see what my students at school think of the book.
This year I was able to read and review Jaden Toussaint, The Greatest by Marti Dumas. I have to start by saying I LOVED the format! It is not written and illustrated in your typical beginner chapter book set up, so students were super engaged looking at the images, and the flow of text. We were so hooked that we read it in one sitting in the classroom and my students are dying to get the rest of the books in the series.
The book starts with introducing each character with one line descriptions of their personalities. This helped a lot of my students preview and set up for themselves who each character was and how they were to perceive them.
Jaden (or JT, as he is referred to in the book) is a typical 21st century child who loves to use his sister's tablet. Together with his Sissy (sister) they make videos that Jasden tries to convince his parents to post to TubeTube ( ;) ) because he has great aspirations to become an overnight viral sensation. When their parents reject their demands of posting the video online, JT rethinks how he is going to become the sensation. At this point, my a few students made instant connections with JT, because they too have aspirations to become online sensations when they grow up.
Back at school, JT and his classmates learn of the Arts Celebration that the whole school will be participating in and he immediately thinks of how he can become the online sensation by having his class perform and then post the video online. With his classmates on board, they discover Winston does not want to be involved and they set out to figure out why. The classmates observe Winston's actions and "symptoms" to why he does not want to perform and head to the library to research a diagnosis. The students come up with a diagnosis of stage fright and immediately out to try and help Winston overcome his stage fright.
When reading with my students, some could really relate to the fear of performing in front of others. We talked about how they feel, strategies that help them overcome the fear and suggestions that they could give to JT and Winston.
Overall, this book was perfect for my grade 2 (7 & 8 year olds) because it was so relatable. We have gone so far as to make suggestions to our school librarian to look into getting the remaining books in the series so that we can continue reading about JT.
Funny enough, my students did not remark about the multicultural diversity in the students within the class depicted in the book. I think because it was an immediate reflection of how our own class is made up of and how it always has been for them. This is something I am very proud and happy about because it did not take away from the story itself and the students could immediately relate.
I would definitely recommend this book (and series for that matter) to any teacher or parent looking for books that depict typical children in today's world of technology and social fears. The easy to read language was perfect for my students who are still learning English, yet challenging enough for some students to independently read on their own and still understand what they were reading. I can't wait to get the remaining books in the series to continue following JT!
I would like to thank Plum Street Press for sponsoring Multicultural Children's Book Day and providing a copy of Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest by Marti Dumas to review.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th 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 homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN
Medallion Level Sponsors
Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org.Super Platinum: Make A Way MediaGOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTV, Lerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press,SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls,BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board
Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini,Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar,One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page,L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett,Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka,Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell,Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Lori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLCWe’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.
Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts
A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms,Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.
FREE RESOURCES From MCBD
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/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.
A snippet about me...
I'm a grade 2 teacher; wife; mama to #TeamA & #TeamO; runner; chocolate lover and always wanting to learn.