I have been given an amazing opportunity to be a part of Multicultural Children's Book Day for the 3rd year in a row and was sent a copy of I Can Be by Felicia Lee.
I Can Be is like looking in the window of my grade 1 classroom in Ottawa, Canada because it is a direct reflection of the students and the diversity we embrace. When I first got the book, I brought it to school and left it on my work table and my students wanted to immediately read it!
In reading I Can Be, my students could immediately identify jobs that they were familiar with and if their parents are in any of those professional domains. They could also relate to the characters in the book because they looked like all the friends in our class!!!! My students started to call the different characters by the different names in our class...this was a whole new level of excitement for the class!
Throughout the book we stopped to talk about the different professions that we could be and if we find them or identify with the job within our immediate community or if we have experienced other professions. Students loved to share their connections to traditional professions such as teacher, doctor, soldier and police officer, but were also able to share experiences in encountering pilots or airline attendants, stylists, or dentists.
We revisited I Can Be as a part of our community helpers theme in Social Studies as well as in our Family Traditions and History theme. Identifying themselves within a picture book impacted our discussion extremely positively. I heard "That teacher is just like E!", "The lady on my airplane from my country to Canada dressed just like her!", "My dad is a soldier and I want to be one too!", all which allowed students to relate and connect to the story. We followed up our reading with talking about what we wanted to be when we grew up and that we have to continue to work hard to get there. We also talked about traditional roles that we see on a regular basis within our community and others that we didn't know what was called or that we don't see on a regular basis. Students were amazed that they could be an author, artist, dancer, florist, or meteorologist!
As a teacher in a very multicultural and diverse school, I loved this book. My students could see themselves in the story and the language used was simple enough that they could try to read it on their own. The message of working hard, behaving properly and you can be whatever you want was a message that I have been trying to in-still in my students each and every day. To have it said by someone else (other than their teacher!) has resonated with some students. I hear them reminding each other that they have to work hard so that they can be something BIG when they are bigger!
I would highly recommend I Can Be for early primary. Connecting it to the social studies curriculum and community helpers, roles and responsibilities is a direct link. I Can Be would also be a great book to have in a classroom library with the simple and clear language and story for beginning readers to read independently.
I look forward to watching of new books by Felicia and adding other diverse books to my classroom library.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th 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 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.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. 2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild
PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs
GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies
SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press
BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal Bowe, Gokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press
2018 Author Sponsors
Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina
Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo, Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and MFL Publishing Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham Author Natasha Yim
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 works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
A snippet about me...
I'm a grade 1/2 teacher; wife; mama to #TeamA & #TeamO; runner; chocolate lover and always wanting to learn.