Shout for Multicultural Children’s Book Day #Read Your World!

Image of the 2024 artwork for Multicultural Children's Book Day.  Children with different skin tones are shown reading all around the poster.

Are you ready to read your world? One of my absolute favorite days of the year is occurring on Thursday, January 25th. That’s right, Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2024 is here! This event, no movement, is one of the most special times of the year for me. A day that spotlights books from a diverse pool of authors, featuring diverse characters, is closer to my heart than words can express. The diverse children’s books that I was selected to review were gifted to me by either the author, Kim C. Lee, or the publishing company, Cardinal Rule Press.

If you have been interacting with me for some time, you know that I am an advocate of culturally responsive teaching. I even created a course- many years ago- to teach and support other educators in using this same approach in the their teaching style and classroom environment. So, Multicultural Children’s Book Day and its magnification of diverse children’s literature, is a joyous celebration! What a glorious way to honor the beautiful and multifaceted children and cultures of our world! Diverse children’s books are so inspiring and much needed.

Let’s Review the First Book!

Representation matters! What a feeling to open a book and see a face that looks like yours staring back at you. How life-changing this can be, and how especially magnificient it must feel to the youngest among us. This is how I know many sweet, little African American boys will feel when they open the diverse children’s book, The Night Owl Goes to Space by Kim C. Lee. I loved this book! LOVED IT! The cover illustration of the beautiful Black boy with chestnut colored skin and with the Disney character-sized eyes captured my attention, and then stole my heart.

An image of a photograph showing the book The Night Owl Goes to Space. There is a large grey stuffed toy elephant that is leaning against a white cinder block wall.  The book is perched atop the stuffed elephant.
Even Ellie loves this story. It’s Ellie approved!

It’s a story about a little boy that dreams of a staircase that climbs up to the heavens. As he takes each step and ventures higher and higher, he’s able to look down and see his world from a different perspective. This is his community and the places that he sees every day. Only now, the perspective has changed as he hovers above. Then, he makes his way to the solar system.

Ms. Lee provides a mini lesson on outer space and shares elements of the night’s sky. There are scientific space terms, space facts, and definitions for some of the terms that were used. Perhaps the most noteworthy feature is the presence of Pluto in the planet line up! LOL. Am I the only person that still pouts over the demotion of Pluto as a planet? I kept thinking of how much I wished I had this book last month when I was teaching the Sun, Moon, and Stars unit. I could not have taught an entire unit from the story. However, it would have been a fun kickoff to our studies! This diverse children’s book is out of this world!

Let’s Talk Illustrations!

We know that the illustrations can elevate a story into the stratosphere! They can also give one pause or motivate us to put the book right back on the shelf. This story is cute, fun, and encourages children to dream and daydream, but it’s the illustrations of this diverse children’s book that grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let go! The main character of this diverse children’s book…. he is beautiful. Really, he sells the story for me. He has large eyes, full lips, and a head full of curly hair. I love the rich colors and the level of details that are in the pictures. Illustrator, Vera Sysolina’s artistry is stellar within this text! Kim C. Lee was blessed to have been matched with Ms. Sysolina.

Photograph of 7 young children sitting on a brightly colored carpet looking at illustrations from the diverse children's book The Night Owl Goes to Space.  The post is for Multicultural Children's Book Day
They oohed and awed over the illustrations. : )

I hope that you will run to your favorite book seller and purchase a copy of this diverse children’s book for yourself. You can also order a copy directly from Ms. Lee also has other books and free printable available on her website. I genuinely believe that your students will enjoy the story, and adding this book to your class library will increase the opportunities that your students have with seeing a more vast representation of other races, ethnicities, and cultures. That is really what MCCBD is all about! Expanding our viewpoint, widening our perspectives, challenging stereotypes, teaching us that we can dream, and opening windows and doors to allow those experiences to flow through. #ReadYourWorld!

Let’s Review Book No. 2!

The cover image for a diverse children's book called Buddy the Bucket Filler.  An African American boy wearing blue jeans and a blue and shite shirt is reaching up to pull cherries off of a tree.  The blog post is of Multicultural Children's Book Day 2024.

I am so glad that you are here to explore the second diverse children’s book that I had the pleasure of reviewing. The books are not presented in any particular order, so please know that I just happened to share my opinion about the story that is featured above first. Now, let’s talk about Buddy the Bucket Filler: Daily Choices for Happiness. This book was also gifted to me, as a Book Reviewer. I did not receive a hard copy, but was granted access to a PDF version with watermarks across the pages.

When I signed up to be a reviewer, I did state that I would accept a PDF copy when asked. Honestly, I was trying to be as helpful as I could and save time for the author. However, I know me, and I should have known better. I am a feel the book-in-my-hands, smell the pages, and turn the pages with my own two hands kind of book lover. So, right off the bat, I was not as connected to the book. Plus, having the copyright/(very) visible watermark across every page did take away from the experience. Yes, I did this to myself.

Let’s Talk About the Story

The story of this diverse children’s book is about a little boy named, Buddy, who travels out of town to a farm to spend a week with his Great Uncle Frank. While on the farm, Buddy helps Great Uncle Frank with the farm chores and also visits the town barbecue with him. While spending time with Uncle Frank, Buddy has opportunities to fill others’ buckets and to teach Uncle Frank about what it means to be a bucket filler. The illustrations by Julia Seal, are bright, colorful, and enjoyable to look at. I think that children will enjoy viewing the illustrations.

The story itself, well….. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the story, overall. For starters, I was not sure how to read the characters. Buddy is Black, or African American, his father has the same features as he does, but looks like he might be bi- or multi-racial, and Great Uncle Frank appears to be White (with different features and straighter hair). Of course, this is reflective of many families today, but there is no background “explanation” or insight shared on the dynamics of this family makeup.

With dad and Buddy having similar features, I don’t believe that he is adopted. Uncle Frank could have been a very dear family friend that Buddy grew up calling “uncle”- maybe (insert “shrugging Emoji” here). Or, Great Uncle Frank could be dad’s uncle. I don’t know. The story does not provide this information one way or another. As well, a picture of mom is never shown and there are no happen-stance family photos around that we might gauge some insight from. Actually, there is no mention of a mom, or even a sighting of her in the background of an illustration. Not prominently featuring a mother is an interesting twist since mom is usually a staple and prominent character. Although, having a “guy’s only” book is nice, too.

Such a Valuable Lesson

Sharing ways that you can be a bucket filler is a very good concept to teach children. Kindness goes such a long way and can have the most amazing impacts on someone’s quality of life and self-esteem. From this basis, I see the value in stories like this one. The book does provide questions that a teacher or parent/guardian/caregiver could read before, during, and after reading the text.

These questions could be very helpful with preparing the reader for the content. They can also beneficial to an educator that is sharing the book with their students. I thought that this story was good. Again, I liked the idea of teaching kindness and sharing the moral of being able to reap the personal benefit of feeling good when you help others. However, the story itself was not interesting to me. Or, I could say that it did not grab me and draw me in.

My Reflections

The best way to explain it might be that the story felt “jumbled”. There were too many things happening in this one story. You had the visit to Uncle Frank’s farm, helping on the farm, the town barbecue and helping a neighbor in need, filling buckets all week, and then being generous and mindful of others at the diner at the end. It felt almost as though the author tried to build a story around, or just for, creating a reason to fill someone’s bucket. The story simply felt… forced. Yes, these are the words that I was in search of!

Due to the illustrations, the story is cute. It might be a sweet and simple book to share at the beginning of the year or as an introduction to a unit on kindness. I would share the story with my students if I was in need of a story to share during my read aloud time. However, I wouldn’t feel compelled to rush out and purchase it for my class library.

A Few Additional Thoughts

I think that the event at the end of the story would have made a great jumpstart for the entire story. Buddy and dad could have been out to dinner and seen someone that needed assistance with their meal. Dad could have paid for the lady’s meal and explained all the reasons why he did so. From there, Buddy could have explored other ways that he could fill someone’s bucket. Those are just my thoughts on this book. I applaud anyone that dares to dream and perseveres in achieving their goals. So, kudos to co-authors, Maria Dismondy and Carol McCloud for fulfilling their dream.

Many Thanks!

A Book Reviewer badge that reads "Book Reviewer" in blue letters.  There is a white circle that is outlined with orange and has stars and wheat going around the circle.  There is a diverse children's book with stars coming from out of the book for Multicultural Children's Book Day 2024.

Here is my official badge. I am a proud, and very grateful, Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2024 Book Reviewer. Thank you to authors, Kim C. Lee and Carol McCloud & Maria Dismondy, for sharing your talents with me and allowing me to share my honest review. Thank you to MCCBD for gracing me with this experience and opportunity. I am grateful for your desire and determination to share books that paint our literary world with grand colors and textures! As well, thank you for allowing space for my thoughts and opinions on children’s literature.

Below you will find all of the information regarding Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2024; its founders, sponsors, donors, contributors, and other very pertinent information.

If you are looking for a few other books that I reviewed for a past MCCBD, you can look here.

Before you go, remember to #ReadYourWorld!

You can find links to the other diverse children’s books that were reviewed via the Link at the bottom of the page. Please scroll down to access more book reviews on books that you may want to add to your home or school library!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2024 (1/25/24) is in its 11th year! Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen founded this non-profit children’s literacy initiative; they are two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural diverse books and authors on the market while also working to get those books into the hands of young readers and educators.

Read Your World’s mission is to raise awareness of the need to include kids’ books celebrating diversity in homes and school bookshelves. Read about our Mission and history HERE.

Read Your World celebrates Multicultural Children’s Book Day and is honored to be Supported by these Medallion and Ruby Sponsors!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Pragmaticmom) and Valarie Budayr (

🏅 Our Super Platinum Sponsor: Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media

🏅 The Platinum Sponsors: Publisher Spotlight, Language Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages, Lerner Publishing Group, Children’s Book Council

🏅 Gold Sponsors:  Barefoot Books, Astra Books for Young Readers

🏅 Silver Sponsors: Red Comet Press, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Lee and Low Books, Cardinal Rule Press

🏅 Bronze Sponsors: CK Malone, Tonya Duncan Ellis, Anita Crawford Clark, Star Bright Books, Blue Dot Kids Press, Brunella Costagliola, Red Fin, Fabled Films 

Ruby Sponsor: Crayola 

Poster Artist:  Rebecca Burgess 

Classroom Kit Poster: Barefoot Books 

MCBD 2024 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Authors: Gwen Jackson, Josh Funk, Eugenia Chu, Sivan Hong, Marta Magellan, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Angela H. Dale, Maritza M Mejia, Authors J.C. Kato and J.C.², Charnaie Gordon,  Alva Sachs, Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett, Lisa Chong, Diana Huang, Martha Seif Simpson, DARIA (WORLD MUSIC WITH DARIA) Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou, Gea Meijering, Stephanie M. Wildman, Tracey Kyle, Afsaneh Moradian, Kim C. Lee, Rochelle Melander, Beth Ruffin, Shifa Saltagi Safadi, Alina Chau, Michael Genhart, Sally J. Pla, Ajuan Mance, Kimberly Marcus, Lindsey Rowe Parker

MCBD 2024 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by our Partner Organizations! 

Check out MCBD’s Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

📌 FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

📌 Register for the MCBD Read Your World Virtual Party

Join us on Thursday, January 25, 2024, at 9 pm EST celebrating more than 10 years of  Multicultural Children’s Book Day Read Your World Virtual Party! Register here

This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.

We will be giving away a 10-Book Bundle during the virtual party plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **

Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, and connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. We look forward to seeing you all on January 25, 2024, at our virtual party!

See More Diverse Books Here:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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Hi, I'm Tania!

I help creative and time-conscious teachers plan student-centered lessons that interest and motivate student learning so that lesson planning takes less time and is actually enjoyable! 

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