Bekki the Fairy – beautiful black fairy princess

A Fairy in the Family is my book about a black fairy princess who has somehow ended up, not in fairyland, but living with a total normal family. She is an urban fairy inspired by my neighbours in South London. I wanted to create a book with a black girl on the cover for girls to identify with.

a black fairy princess has done a magic spell on her cat
New updated cover shows Bekki and Fluffypuff

And my wish came true – The book has traveled the world and kids in London, ireland, America, Jamaica, South Africa, France. Grown ups call the book “a mirror”- girls says “she looks like me”

This is the new 2020 front cover of A Fairy in the Family – this book first came out in 2009 and the new cover shows Bekki looking the part of a black fairy princess.  

Fun and empowering colouring books with natural hair for black girls and boys

Fun and empowering colouring books with natural hair for black girls and boys

Here are a few of the colouring books  that I have come across recently that celebrate diversity and feature black characters.

Colouring books can be cheap and cheerful.  However if you want colouring pages with black kids or natural hair then you may have to pay a bit more.  The books I have chosen here are high quality products created by named authors and illustrators.  Some have special features like activity and journalling pages.   All are designed to be empowering.

Oh Boy! by Chiquanda Tilley

This 64 page book is full of boys getting into things like footballs, fireflies and fishing. Cute and cheerful drawings of little dudes will encourage small guys to get the crayons out.  Chiquanda also has a sweet book for girls.

The STEM Colouring and Activity Book by J.D. Wright

It was hard to pick a favourite from this author’s appealing selection of books but I went for the STEM book as it features a multicultural cast of cute girls who cry out to be coloured in.  There are also questions for the child to answer so a very endearing souvenir can be created.  JD Wright has free pages to download on her site showing black kids with cool hairstyles.

Dream Big!  More than a Princess Colouring book by Stephanie Tabashneck

My absolute favourite page in the set of images of girls with big dreams shows a woman strolling barefoot along a beach   She asserts that she wants to be  a mom and will foster, adopt or have her own kids. 

The drawings of multicultural young women doing valuable work   make this a fabulous career guidance book.  Is she can do it so can I!

Colour My Fro; A Natural Hair Coloring book for Big Hair Lovers of all Ages  by Crystal Swain Bates

I’ve blogged about this book before because I just love colouring it in.  Cheerful , gorgeous women with natural hair are shown in a range of activities.   The drawings by Janine Harrington are printed on one side of the paper only and cry out to be framed.  Crystal Swain Bates has many great books.

The Colorful Adventures of Cody & Jay: A Coloring and Activity Book by Crystal Swain Bates 

I was complaining about the shortage of books for boys and author Crystal Swain Bates drew my attention to this fun filled 40 pager.

Cody and Jay are two lads who  love to have fun.  The book has activity pages, drawings to complete and a positive celebratory attitude.  Spaceships and cars feature.

Swift Walker: World Geography Coloring Book: Coloring Books for Kids by Norma Andriani Eka Putri and Verlyn Tarlton

As I mentioned earlier I was complaining about books for boys in Instagram and Plum Street Press drew my attention to Swift Walker – a chirpy little characters who stars in many books for the 4-8 age group.  Swifts loves travel and adventure.  The drawings of Swift with his natural fro and just doing a little bit of work for representation.

 

Write On Girl : A Fun Guided journal for teen girls by Jillian D Bradfield

I have been watching this one on instagram for a while as the author jilleybeanbooks showed off pages and details of the project.   I don’t have a copy yet but I can see from the reviews that as well as having  drawings that girls will adore, the book deals with all the topics facing girls. 

What really caught my eye was the pretty pre-teen saying a prayer and having a chat with God.  I was impressed as a lot of books talk about empowerment without acknowledging spirituality.

The STEM Lovin Baby-Sitters by Avril O’Reilly

The characters from my book A Fairy in the Family Again have their own colouring book.  The book was developed in London.  It shows Jada-Kai, Keysha and Ruby as totally cool baby-sitters.  The idea is that the child colouring the book is learning from these kind-hearted big girls about what big kids love to do. Those things include science, baby-sitting and black hair.

African wax print pattern with cartoon of three schoolgirls
Get your crayons out

Girls will get to colour in pages with science, geckos, hairstyles, braids, unicorns, natural hair and even an African Princess Fancy Dress Party.

Little People BIG Dreams Colouring Book

15 Big Dreamers from a wonderful Multi-cultural series by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara – Vegara has turned her book production into an efficient factory of inspirational stories and loveable art. On ya go, Maria. You can ask a kid to imagine/draw themselves in this style- and ask them about their BIG dreams.

Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara has a coloring book!

Back Homehttp://www.avriloreilly.com/

The Elephant and the King for Multicultural Children’s Book day 2018

Today on my blog I am celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 by telling you about  a book called The Elephant and the King

Let me tell you the background to MCBD

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th 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.

Book cover showing drawing of two children surrounded by African wild animals
Front cover of The Elephant and the King by Sylvia Medina

My Book

I was given my book by our sponsor Green Kids Club. They create gorgeous colourful picture books to teach children about the planet, its ecosystems and the creatures who live here.    My book is one of a series where two children Maya and Victor drink water from The Green Spring and are granted the ability to talk to animals.

So, are you ready to pay attention?

I am going to:

-tell you what I think about the book

-tell you my idea for an activity to encourage reading 

-tell you about the Twitter party

-tell you where you can go to find more books about our fabulous planet.

My book review

Series:Green Kids Club

Age: 7 upwards

Source: Sylvia M Medina (author)

This colourful book is gentle in tone and charming in its illustrative style.  This means it is able to deliver a tough message without upsetting even a sensitive  child.  Victor and Maya are visiting Botswana and meeting their friend Maatla when Maya asks to see an elephant,

young girl with backpack close up
An innocent request

Maya’s desire to see an elephant worries her friend Maatla as he is aware that the elephants are under attack from  poachers.  The children learn that there are people who will kill an elephant to take the tusks.  Tusks are a unique substance for carving and they are valuable in Asia.  (Woolly mammoths had tusks too and you don’t see many of them about. )

An African boy points at an elephant and a poacher holding a tusk
Weeeell. maybe

Maatla takes the children to look for elephants and, inevitably, drama and excitement follow.  Maya and Victor have magic powers that allow them to help animals and those powers can be shared with.  Maatla is given the same gift and he is stupefied when he can suddenly hear animals speaking.  The ending is a happy one but pages of facts at the back of the book open children’s eyes to an unpleasant situation going on in the world right now.

If you read this book to your children you mighy tell them that public opinion persuaded the Chinese to ban the sale of ivory.  Young eco-warriors need messages of hope.  Despite the poachers’ activities, this book gives a strong sense of that Africa’s animals are precious and valued.  

This is the first and only book I have read from this series.  Animal lovers will find many more on Amazon.

My activity to encourage reading

Remember I said I had an activity?  OK, here is my book gift package idea.

The story about the baby elephant in danger got me thinking.  And when kids start thinking they want to play.  How about when  you go to Amazon to buy this book head on over to the page where they sell African animals.  It is called Schleich and they have all the animals from The Elephant and the King.

You can act out the exciting scenes where the baby elephant is in danger and the lion and the other animals get involved.

I want to be Maya. You can be a warthog.

The Twitter party?

Join in by typing #ReadYourWorld

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/

 

You want more great books – start with great publishers. 

Where? Here!  These guys have sponsored us because they care about Multicultural books enough to publish them.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal Bowe, Gokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo, Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and MFL Publishing Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham Author Natasha Yim

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.

Don’t forget the teachers

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

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