Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Catkwondo takes aim!

Catkwondo, by Lisl H. Detlefsen/Illustrated by Erin Hunting, (Sept. 2020, Capstone), $17.95, ISBN: 9781684461004

Ages 4-7

Kitten wants to break a board in her taekwondo class, but she’s got a lot to learn! Her sensei, Master Ca,t teaches her to prepare her body and mind, and makes it look so easy! As Kitten struggles to learn and master her forms, Master Cat is there with encouragement and advice. Kitten practices her forms while reminding herself of the five tenets of taekwondo: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. Her classmates all help her as she keeps her eye on the prize: breaking that board! Adorable digital illustrations and short sentences make this a sweet story about teamwork and working toward a goal. A list of Korean terms used in taekwondo adds new words to readers’ vocabulary.

Kitten’s moments of frustration and her joy at success will resonate with readers, and images of classmates with advanced belts working to help Kitten improve nicely promote the value of working together. Master Cat is wizened and cheerful, and his little charges all have cartoony, expressive faces that will attract younger readers. Read alongside SumoKitty, by David Biedrzycki, a different martial arts story with a zen outlook… and cats.

 

 

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

#readyourworld with Sumo Joe this Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

This year, I’m so excited to be shining a spotlight on Pragmatic Mom Mia Wenjen‘s book, Sumo Joe, illustrated by Nat Iwata. I was gifted this book to review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day by the author, and am thrilled to talk about this fun, gorgeous book.

Sumo Joe, by Mia Wenjen/Illustrated by Nat Iwata,
(June 2019, Lee and Low), $18.95, ISBN: 9781620148020
Ages 3-7

A girl named Jo and her older brother, Joe, share breakfast together before she heads out and he welcomes students into his home dojo, where he teaches two boys the art of sumo. When Jo returns home and wants to join in, the boys push back against having a girl in their sumo space, but she puts her aikido skills up against Sumo Joe and his students!

Sumo Joe has all the best things about a good picture book: a fun, positive story, engaging text that introduces readers to new words (bolded for emphasis) and beautifully illustrated spreads to assist with context, and rhyming verse that just begs for read-alouds. Sumo Joe is a sweet older brother, as evidenced by Jo’s relationship with him and his attention to his students; Jo is a spunky young lady who wants to be in the room where it’s happening – in this case, “it” being sumo lessons”. Pastel illustrations make this a happy read that just wraps you up in good feelings. An author’s note and illustrated glossary on sumo and aikido make this a perfect book to have on your shelves. Publisher Lee and Low has a free, downloadable teacher’s guide on their website.

Thank you again to Mia Wenjen for sending me a copy of Sumo Joe, and to MCBD for inviting me to be part of another year of celebrating diverse books!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

 

Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings,

Platinum

Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls,

Gold

Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,

Silver

Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,

Bronze

Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers Books,  TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

 

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveLauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

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, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

 

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

 

 

Posted in Fiction, Fiction, Humor, Middle Grade, Middle School, Tween Reads

Kick Foot Academy is back in session: Joey and Johnny, the Ninjas: Epic Fail

epic failJoey and Johnny, The Ninjas: Epic Fail, by Kevin Serwacki/Illustrated by Chris Pallace, (Apr. 2016, Balzer+Bray), $12.99, ISBN: 9780062299352

Recommended for ages 8-12

Things are finally getting back to what passes for normal at the Kick Foot ninja academy: Joey and Johnny’s shoddy reconstruction of the school is saved by a dragon attack (of sorts), leading to a proper rebuilding, and classes are back underway. Joey and Johnny learn, however, that their friend and fellow student, Peoni, is planning a secret tea ceremony – one of the most dangerous things a ninja can attend, let alone plan – to appease the spirits of ninjas who didn’t survive previous tea ceremonies. Joey and Johnny have found their new mission: help Peoni assemble a flawless ceremony while keeping it a secret from the headmaster – the only survivor of a tea party in recent memory – who has forbidden so much as a mention of the event.

This is the second book in The Ninjas series; the first, Joey & Johnny, The Ninjas: Get Mooned, hit stores last year. The series is great for readers who love a frenetically-paced, humorous story. There’s a lot of storytelling thrown in here: pirates vs. ninjas; sentient forests; a fellow student on his own quest, and the determined messenger bird who keeps following him; and a tea ceremony. There are a lot of subplots to keep in the air, but younger readers who like action-packed stories with lots of laughs will gravitate to this series.  Black and white drawings throughout will keep them interested.

The best part of the book for me was the actual tea ceremony: who doesn’t love a tea ceremony, with ghosts, that’s begging to break out in chaos?

A good additional purchase for summer reading, especially; display this with your Big Nate, Bad Kitty, and Timmy Failure books.