Multicultural Children’s Book Day is here (1/25)! And I am just thrilled to be reviewing a couple books for this day. I was gifted “Mama, Mama Do You Know What I Like,” by the author Justine Villanueva and the story is just beautiful. This beautiful bilingual book captures the relationship of a small boy and his mother, carrying many Filipino culture references, and reminding me how much representation really does matter.
This bilingual story starts off simply, with little Charlie out for a picnic with his mom and little brother. He starts saying “Mama, mama, do you know what I like?” And of course the mama indulges him by asking what he likes. We see the sweet answers of a young boy, everything from digging in dirt, to reading stories, and eating rice with sinigang. It is simple, and sweet. A snapshot of childhood and motherhood. Children can relate to the young boy. Parents reading can also relate to seeing the world through their child’s eyes: an adventure.
What I Love
The illustrations are just phenomenal, and really capture the imagination of the young reader. They truly bring the story to life. I also love the overall simplicity of the story. It is simply a young boy sharing his likes with his mother, chatting away. And the way the mom replies is so genuine, and she writes down everything he says. In the same way, don’t all of us treasure up these tender moments with our little ones. This quirky, blissful stage of childhood, knowing they are only little once.
Finally, I absolutely love the references to Filipino culture. Justine really does such a phenomenal job of weaving the culture into the story so we can really see life of a modern boy growing up with Filipeno Heritage.
This wonderful book truly shows the beauty of why representation matters. I love that a Filipino-American child could read this book and she themselves. That when they are reading, some of the items that are referenced would make complete sense to them, because it is apart of their story. We need more children’s literature like this.
I also love this story for my own children, because it gives them a glimpse of a child who has a different heritage than their own, but they can relate. They see Charlie who loves to watch the dump truck, and they can say “me too. I like to watch the dump truck too.” However when they hear the Filipino culture context, and see the Filipino language on the page, it creates a teachable moment. It inspires an opportunity to listen to a perspective other than their own, and learn about another culture. Key skills for culturally competent adults.
I highly recommend this book for any family. It had become a quick favorite in our home, and I know your children will love it too.
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!
Medallion Level Sponsors
Super Platinum: Make A Way Media
GOLD: 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, LLC
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.
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 @McChildsBookDay 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 ( a prize every 5 minutes!). GO HERE for more details.
FREE RESOURCES From MCBD
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.