Last year I took part in Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016 and got to review a great book. This year, I have the privilege to take part in the 2017 version of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
This year taught me something important. Sometimes…. you just don’t like a book. Or in this case two.
I feel strongly in the cause MCBD is trying to promote. Children need to see themselves, their families and their cultures represented in the pages of books. And children from a different culture need to be exposed to the others.
Being Sonlight homeschoolers, different cultures is no new concept to us. Sonlight is a very culturally-minded and culturally diverse curriculum. This year we have learned about the Akebu people in Togo who need Bibles in their language, the way of the present day Maasai peoples of Tanzania, the struggles for people in rural Alaska and more.
So using all the books we’ve read that have made us more culturally aware, I have to measure the books we were sent for MCBD this year….
And they do not measure up.
The first in a new series about a boy named Trey Jones, is a book called I’m Trey Jones and I Know It!
The intent of the book is to show kids how to be confident in themselves and bolster their self-esteem by giving them a sense of self-worth. Which is a great message.
I wish I could say that the book gives that message. Instead, the boy comes off as sassy and disrespectful – speaking to his teacher in a way I would not want my son emulating and even embarrasses his teacher by calling her old because she forgot something. (Yes, it says in the words of the book that the teacher was embarrassed and the illustration shows her with a red face.) We discuss in great length at our house about the power of our words and how being embarrassed is not fun and things we don’t say to people that would cause them embarrassment intentionally.
The second book, I’m a Rapper and I Know It isn’t great either. Trey is “rapping” about his family which in and of itself is not bad. But the image is of him in baggy clothes, a sideways cap and gold chains. It’s stereotypical of “rap culture”. Something we do not promote in our home and frankly, I find quite tasteless. It saddens me that a book about an African-American boy would play right into that stereotype.
There are dozens of great books being reviewed for MCBD so please check out the Multicultural Children’s Book Day Website for more book reviews, as well as reading resources for parents and teachers and a downloadable Kindness Kit for kids.
And join us for the MCBD TWITTER PARTY: This fun Twitter Party happens on 1/27 from 9:00-10:00pmET. It’s a great chance to have diverse book discussions, chat with authors and publishers and WIN lots-o-books. We will be randomly giving away multicultural book bundles every 6 minutes! Register here and set aside an hour of a whole lot of fun.
Want more ways to win books? Pop over the to MCBD blog-there are many book giveaway happening until the end of the month as well.
I was sent both of these books by the author to review. It pains me to have to be honest about them.