The Barefoot Book of Children is a bright and vibrant look at diversity and similarities of children around the world. This book balances questioning and reflecting with informational snippets supported by careful and detailed illustrations. Thanks to Barefoot Books (@BarefootBooks)I was sent a copy of The Barefoot Book of Children on behalf of authors Tessa Strickland and Kate DePalma (@kate_depalma) as a part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day to review and share with my students.
At first read through (and every time thereafter), The Barefoot Book of Children was the perfect fit for my class. With only 10% of children’s books published in the United States containing diverse content, this book was 100% my class. My current class of students are from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds speaking over 10 different languages at home. When reading each page, my students could either see themselves or hear of classmates that made connections to the illustrations and descriptions from around the world. The questions asked throughout the book helped promote think time and reflection beyond their immediate self, helping them better understand their neighbours and classmates.
The Barefoot Book of Children also fits PERFECTLY with the Ontario Social Studies and History curriculum for grades 1 & 2. In grade 1, students are inquiring about their roles, responsibilities and relationships and how they change over time connecting well with the portion of the book that describes how children may have different roles and responsibilities to help their family or community. My students were wide-eyed learning that children their age in other parts of the world were responsible for perhaps earning pocket money or doing jobs to help their family. Grade 2s dive into the cultural traditions and celebrations of their own ancestry and those within their community. Understanding the significance of traditional food, dress, celebrations, language are all focuses that students share with one another. Students are immersed in “identify[ing] and locat[ing] various physical features and selected communities around the world, and describe some aspects of people’s ways of life in those communities”. The Barefoot Book of Children provided a fantastic jumping off point as well as a return to reference throughout our units of study.
As mentioned in the beginning, the balance between questioning and reflecting was ideal for primary aged students to understand themselves and others in the world around them. This book offered my students a chance to share, learn and connect with their own culture as well as the other cultures within our classroom and beyond. My students greatly benefitted from reading this book as well as studying the images to help understand children from around the world.
I would highly recommend The Barefoot Book of Children to any early primary teacher, especially those in the province of Ontario because it provides immense discussion and thought towards the Social Studies and History curriculum.
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, 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 Tiscareño-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: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i
A snippet about me...
I'm a grade 1/2 teacher; wife; mama to #TeamA & #TeamO; runner; chocolate lover and always wanting to learn.