October 2009 Archives

The Multicultural Minute #10: Balarama by Ted and Betsy Lewin


Books mentioned in this episode:
Balarama: A Royal Elephant by Ted and Betsy Lewin
An Elephant in the Backyard by Richard Sobol

The Multicultural Minute #9: Frankfurt Book Fair

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I just returned from Europe on Tuesday! My college roommate and I went to the Frankfurt Book Fair, and then turned it into a bit of a vacation. After Frankfurt, we traveled on to Bruge and Amsterdam, and had a whirlwind of a great time.

I was planning to post this video last week while I was there, really I was. But I was thwarted by my technology and couldn't edit it until today. So pretend that it's actually live and coming to you directly from Frankfurt.

The exhibit on the history of printing was part of China's country exhibit at the book fair "forum." The room was set up as a little museum, showroom, and press conference stage, all with the aim of showcasing Chinese publishing.
In Multicultrual Minute #4 a few weeks ago, I promised to do an episode on books for older readers featuring characters who were biracial. I am nothing if not true to my word, so here it is:

Books mentioned in this episode:

Black Mirror by Nancy Werlin
Middle grade thriller/mystery featuring a half-Japanese, half-Jewish girl.

Bobby Versus Girls (Accidentally) by Lisa Yee
Middle grade humor featuring a half-Chinese, half-white boy. (Race not a foreground theme.)

Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything Else In It by Sundee T. Frazier
Middle grade realistic fiction exploring racial themes around a boy who is half-black and half- white.

Half and Half by Lensey Namioka
Middle grade fiction about a girl's difficulties with choosing between her Chinese heritage and her Scottish heritage.

The House You Pass on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson
YA coming of age story exploring a half-black and half-white girl's experience with racism, homosexuality, and family.

Mexican White Boy by Matt de la Pena
YA novel featuring a half-Mexican, half-white boy who deals with many issues, including racial discrimination.

Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins
YA novel about a half-Indian, half-white girl who travels to India with her mother and discovers a lot about herself and racial perceptions.

Nothing But the Truth (and a Few White Lies) by Justina Chen Headley
YA novel about a half-Taiwanese, half-white girl who learns to celebrate her "hapa" status when she spends a summer at camp.

Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata
Middle grade novel about a single-parent family where all the sisters share their Japanese mother but each have a different father. While race is not the central issue, their truly multicultural family plays a large role in shaping their characters.

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
Middle grade humor/science fiction in which the main character is half-black and half-white. Race is not a central issue, though discrimination by an alien race is.


As part of their tribute to the Philippines and Filipino culture, Papertigers.org has published a review of Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella.

"To recreate this story, rich with cultural references, de la Paz pulled together local religious beliefs and practices and incorporated native flora, fauna, and names into the tale. The soft, colorful illustrations by Youshan Tang paint an evocative picture of indigenous life in the tropical islands. Abadeha:The Philippine Cinderella is a great story for opening the door to a heritage worth preserving."

Thanks, Papertigers!

The Multicultural Minute #7: Elizabeth Dulemba

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We have another special guest this week: Elizabeth O. Dulemba, author and illustrator extraordinaire. Her second bilingual book was just published this week, and well, I'll let her tell you about it. And about her experience with learning a new language for her books.

Books mentioned in this episode:
Soap, Soap, Soap/Jabon, Jabon, Jabon

Other books by Elizabeth Dulemba:
Paco and the Giant Chile Plant/Paco y la planta de chile gigante
Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese
The Prince's Diary

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Blog Contributors

Renee Ting is the President and Publisher of Shen's Books. She is the author of The Prince's Diary and the blog, Renee's Book of the Day.

Emily Jiang is a writer of children's and YA literature. She also blogs at TLeaf Readings.

Shen’s Books is a publisher of multicultural children’s literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.

Through books, we can share a world a stories, building greater understanding and tolerance within our increasingly diverse communities as well as throughout our continuously shrinking globe.


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