Archive for Multi-cultural

black is brown is tan

  • Author / Illustrator: Arnold Adoff / Emily Arnold McCully
  • Poetry
  • Age Range/Level Recommendation:  3 – 8 yrs.

Summary: Poem about an interracial home. Shows what most see as normal parent child interaction.

Themes/Tags: Love, family


  1. Why do you think the author chose this title?
  2. How is your family like the one here in the poem? Different?
  3. How does your Mom or Dad react when you do not do as they ask?

Extension Activities:

  1. Color mixing – black and white, brown and white, black, brown and white
  2. Family chart on hair color, eye color, favorite color, favorite food…….
  3. Make a family house. Large paper house, glue on pictures showing family doing things. Great do at home and bring in to share activity.

Comment: I am not a big poem person, but I love this poem and why it was written. Lastest version is updated with watercolor illustrations and contemporary setting.

Good book to read if you do not have a diverse student group as if offers a chance to see differences in homes/families. Great book if you do have a mixed racial student, as they will love reading about a family like their own.

Personal / PB

Suggested reading:

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

Bein’ with You This Way by W. Nikola-Lisa

Published in: Multi-cultural, Poetry on March 4, 2012 at5:08 pm Comments (0)
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Just Plain Fancy

  • Author / Illustrator: Patricia Polacco
  • Realism
  • Age Range/Level Recommendation:  4 – 9 yrs.

Summary:  Naomi, a young Amish girl, longs to have something fancy in her life. One day as she and her sister are searching the field for eggs, they stumble upon a peculiar-looking one. The girls slip the egg into hen house and when it hatches, they name the “chick” Fancy. As Fancy grows, Naomi is frightened that the Amish community will shun the beautiful bird. During the frolic, Fancy escapes from the henhouse, and runs toward the elders…
“At that moment, pleased with all the attention, Fancy ruffles his feathers and did for the guests what he had done for the girls in the henhouse the day before. Those who weren’t speechless were stunned!”

Themes/Tags: appreciate what God has provided, life miracles, cultural differences


  1. How is the life shown here of the Amish girls different from yours?
  2. What kind of eggs would we find if we walked around where we live?
  3. Do we have anything like a “frolic”?

Extension Activities:

  1. Research more on Amish culture and differences.
  2. Compare life cycles of different fowl – chickens, peacocks, ducks
  3. Make Peacock feathers
  4. Make a peacock with feathers spread from handprint

Comment: This book can be a little long with a young group. I have found it works well if we read a little, stop and discuss. I like using for prediction.

Personal / PB

Suggested reading:

Meet the Peacock by Suzanne Buckingham

The Ugly Duckling – any version


My First Kwanzaa Book

  • Author / Illustrator: Deborah Chocolate / Cal Massey
  • Informational
  • Age Range/Level Recommendation: 4 – 9 yrs.

Summary: When you celebrate Kwanzaa the last week of December is a time to dress up in African clothes and gather together with relatives from all over the country to celebrate our heritage.

Themes/Tags: African culture, celebrations, family, heritage


  1. Why was Kwanzaa started?
  2. Why do you think candles are lite as part of Kwanzaa?

Extension Activities:

Make a simple kinara from rectangles, from a egg cartoon or toilet paper tubes.

Make a pasta necklace from the 3 colors of Kwanzaa

Comment: This book has good information that a teacher and simplify for even younger children.

Personal / PB

Suggested reading:

Published in: Informational, Multi-cultural on January 1, 2012 at4:23 pm Comments (0)
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Bein’ With You This Way

  • Author / Illustrator: W. Nikola-Lisa / Michael Bryant
  • Multi-cultural, Poetry
  • Grade Range/Level Recommendation: young reader (4-8 yrs.)

Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club Selection
Best Books Winner Child Magazine
Reading Magic Award Winner Parenting Magazine

Summary: On sunny day, an African American girl visits the park playground and meets up with her friends. As they play, they discover their physical differences — straight hair, curly hair; brown eyes, blue eyes; light skin, dark skin. At the same time they realize they are all really the same and isn’t it wonderful to all be together.

Themes: Individuality, Cultural diversity, Neighbors, Similarities and Differences


  1. What is one way that you are different from your best friend?
  2. What would it be like if we were all exactly the same? Why?
  3. Why do you think the author wrote this as a rap?

Extension Activities:

  1. draw a self portrait
  2. chart similarities and differences of individuals in the class or group
  3. take a photo of each child and then with sites such as BeFunky change out an characteristic or two.

Comment: Playground rap or repetitive verse. Watercolor illustration are happy and show lots of motion/movement.

Personal / PB

Suggested reading:

Published in: Multi-cultural, Poetry on September 9, 2011 at2:17 pm Comments (0)
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