So happy to be part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Thank you to author Valarie Budayr and Audrey Press for supplying a review copy.
Dragons are Real
Written by Valarie Budayr
Illustrated by Michael Welply
Audrey Press, 2016
Dragons Are For Real is not a typical “multicultural” book. While the book shows diverse children in the illustrations, it doesn’t overtly deal with race or culture or ethnicity. What it does offer is an interesting way to approach stereotypes. With dragons, you can sneak up on the topic, discuss freely and innocently, without heads turning and fingers pointing. Seeing how preconceived notions of dragons may differ from “reality” easily transfers to how our preconceived notions of a person, based on color, religion, ethnicity, age, gender, or a dozen other labels we like to use to categorize, can hinder us from knowing what the person is really like. Just as the dragons in the story connect to kids, they might find that once they get to know someone who appears different, that they too have a lot in common.
The book itself is visually interesting. Michael Welply’s lively illustrations are playful, colorful, and invite exploration. The use of color and varied fonts in graphic design with text makes the words on the page very engaging.
Parent/Teacher Activity: Stereotypes
PRE-READING: Generate a list of characteristics of dragons. Where did you get these ideas?
WHILE READING: Connect to self. As you learn more about dragons, make personal connections.
POST-READING: What surprised you about dragons? How would a person find out what dragons like to do? Can you tell by looking at them? How were the dragons like you?
WRITING: Which dragon would you like to meet? Why?
We can make assumptions based on what we’ve been told or what we see, but the only way to really know a dragon, or person, is to talk to them. Get to know them. Be a friend. In class, or next time you meet a new person, talk to them. Ask them what they like to do. Share what you like to do. Maybe you’ll make a new friend!
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in 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 of the ongoing need to include kids’ 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 is 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 Sponsors include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Delores Connors, 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 works 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 forHomeschoolers, 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