While we celebrate multicultural books every day around here, we love Multicultural Children's Book Day because it takes special care to highlight not only multicultural books, but the authors that write them. For its eighth year, we were so happy to be gifted with Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by Deedee Cummings and illustrated by Charlene Mosley.
Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess combines a touching story with vivid watercolor illustrations to introduce us to Kayla, a young girl with big dreams. This is the first book in a five-part middle grade series that was actually inspired by the author's own daughter and her journey to becoming a Broadway actress. In her debut book we learn that Kayla's mother works long hours and doesn't always have much time to spend with Kayla. But they cherish the special moments they do get to spend together, like when her mother gets home from work and Kayla stays up late to greet her. On this particular night, Kayla's mother has some news for her! Throughout the story, Kayla's mother makes sure to tell her that she loves her and to always remember to love herself despite what others may have to say. Kayla falls asleep dreaming of how one day the world will be her stage.
What I really loved about this book is that the story highlights a working mother, and not just a working mother, but one that is excelling at her job. I don't often see that in stories featuring Black families, so it was quite refreshing. This story is born from a real-life mother and daughter relationship, so the tenderness in how the mother talks about her hopes and dreams for her daughter really comes through. The guilt mixed with motivation is a feeling that many working parents can relate to. For that reason, Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess is a really great tool for families to use in dealing with the situation in which one or both parents work long hours.
The underlying theme of the book is to follow one's dreams and keep persevering. Kayla's mother is following her dreams and it pays off in a promotion. This encourages Kayla to have her own big dreams and develop a plan to achieve them. Since this is the first of a five-part series, I can't wait to see how Kayla puts that plan into action and grace the stage in a Broadway play.
I highly recommend this book. Not only are the illustrations gorgeous, the story is one that many families can relate to. Black girls and little girls every where deserve to see that they can have families and be able to work without being miserable in their lives. Boys need to read these types of books as well. Hashtag girl power is great, but we need to be raising boys that can respect that girl power. Be looking for the Kayla series (ages 4 to 8) to hits shelves around spring and summer of 2021!
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th 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.
Eight 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. Read about our Mission & History HERE.
MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!
Bronze Sponsors: Agatha Rodi and AMELIE is IMPRESSED!, Barnes Brothers Books, Create and Educate Solutions, LLC, Dreambuilt Books, Dyesha and Triesha McCants/McCants Squared, Redfin Real Estate, Snowflake Stories, Star Bright Books, TimTimTom Bilingual Personalized Books, Author Vivian Kirkfield, Wisdom Tales Press, My Well Read Child
MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!
Poster Artist: Nat Iwata
Authors: Author Afsaneh Moradian, Author Alva Sachs & Three Wishes Publishing Company, Author Angeliki Stamatopoulou-Pedersen, Author Anna Olswanger, Author Casey Bell , Author Claudine Norden, Author Debbie Dadey, Author Diana Huang & Intrepids, Author Eugenia Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Green Kids Club, Author Gwen Jackson, Author Janet Balletta, Author Josh Funk, Author Julia Inserro, Karter Johnson & Popcorn and Books, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, Author Keila Dawson, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Author Mia Wenjen, Michael Genhart, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Natalie Murray, Natalie McDonald-Perkins, Author Natasha Yim, Author Phe Lang and Me On The Page Publishing, Sandra Elaine Scott, Author Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher, Tales of the Five Enchanted Mermaids, Author Theresa Mackiewicz, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Author Toshia Stelivan, Valerie Williams-Sanchez & The Cocoa Kids Collection Books©, Author Vanessa Womack, MBA, Author Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series
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