Thursday, January 26th is Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) and I am honored to be an official book reviewer once again. I was gifted the book, Sumo Joe, written by Mia Wenjen and illustrated by Nat Iwata. This book was published in 2019 by Lee and Low Books, Inc, which happens to be “the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in the U.S.” Definitely take advantage of the hyperlink to their site and browse the titles!
Sumo Joe is Mia Wenjen’s debut picture book, but that does not mean she was new to the world of children’s literature at the time of publication. In fact, Mia is one of the founders of MCBD and is also a prolific blogger. Please go check out her Pragmatic Mom site, where you can find all sorts of great information, including diverse book lists with reviews, information about her other published and forthcoming works, and amazing educational resources.
Sumo Joe is a sweet story about two siblings who practice different Japanese sports–sumo wrestling and aikido. Through rhyming text and beautiful illustrations, young readers learn about sumo (there is a fun glossary in the back) in a really fun and accessible way. Joe, the older brother, is having a blast sumo wrestling with his friends when his little sister, Jo, returns from her Aikido practice and wants to join in on the fun. Joe’s friends aren’t crazy about the idea, but big brother finds a way for everyone to play: a face-off!
As the little sister in my family (I have 4 older siblings), this story resonated with me. I was always the pesky sister wanting to tag along with my brothers and their friends. And now, with three children of my own, I see my youngest daughter interacting and “playing” with her big brothers and their friends. Luckily, they are sweet like Sumo Joe and make space for her to join in.
If you haven’t done so already, go to Pragmatic Mom. Mia Wenjen has already provided educational resources to accompany her book, including a FREE Virtual Author Visit and some really adorable Sumo crafts. You can also visit illustrator, Nat Iwata’s site here.
Information about MCBD 2023
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2023 (1/26/23) is in its 10th 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 books into the hands of young readers and educators.
Ten 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 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!
FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Pragmaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s (Audreypress.com)
🏅 Super Platinum Sponsor: Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media
🏅 Platinum Sponsors: Language Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages
🏅 Gold Sponsors: Interlink Books, Publisher Spotlight
🏅 Silver Sponsors: Cardinal Rule Press, Lee & Low, Barefoot Books, Kimberly Gordon Biddle
🏅 Bronze Sponsors: Vivian Kirkfield, Patrice McLaurin , Quarto Group, Carole P. Roman, Star Bright Books, Redfin.com, Redfin Canada, Bay Equity Home Loans, Rent.com, Title Forward
Poster Artist: Lisa Wee
Classroom Kit Poster: Led Bradshaw
MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!
Authors: Sivan Hong, Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett, Josh Funk , Stephanie M. Wildman, Gwen Jackson, Diana Huang, Afsaneh Moradian, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Eugenia Chu, Jacqueline Jules, Alejandra Domenzain, Gaia Cornwall, Ruth Spiro, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Tonya Duncan Ellis, Kiyanda and Benjamin Young/Twin Powers Books, Kimberly Lee , Tameka Fryer Brown, Talia Aikens-Nuñez, Marcia Argueta Mickelson, Kerry O’Malley Cerra, Jennie Liu, Heather Murphy Capps, Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John Coy, Irene Latham and Charles Waters, Maritza M Mejia, Lois Petren, J.C. Kato and J.C.², CultureGroove, Lindsey Rowe Parker, Red Comet Press, Shifa Saltagi Safadi, Nancy Tupper Ling, Deborah Acio, Asha Hagood, Priya Kumari, Chris Singleton, Padma Venkatraman, Teresa Robeson, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Martha Seif Simpson, Rochelle Melander, Alva Sachs, Moni Ritchie Hadley, Gea Meijering, Frances Díaz Evans, Michael Genhart, Angela H. Dale, Courtney Kelly, Queenbe Monyei, Jamia Wilson, Charnaie Gordon, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Debbie Zapata, Jacquetta Nammar Feldman, Natasha Yim, Tracy T. Agnelli, Kitty Feld, Anna Maria DiDio, Ko Kim, Shachi Kaushik
MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!
MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by these Media Partners!
Check out MCBD’s Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!
📌 FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day
- MCBD 2023 Poster
- Mental Health Support for Stressful Times Classroom Kit
- Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents
- Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit
- FREE Teacher Classroom Activism and Activists Kit
- FREE Teacher Classroom Empathy Kit
- FREE Teacher Classroom Kindness Kit
- FREE Teacher Classroom Physical and Developmental Challenges Kit
- FREE Teacher Classroom Poverty Kit
- Gallery of Our Free Posters
- FREE Diversity Book for Classrooms Program
📌 Register for the MCBD Read Your World Virtual Party
Join us on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 9 pm EST for the 10th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Read Your World Virtual Party!
This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.
We will be giving away a 10-Book Bundle during the virtual party plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **
Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, and connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. We look forward to seeing you all on January 26, 2023, at our virtual party!