I’m thrilled to be able to join the Multicultural Children’s Book Day this year.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day was started in January 2014 by two amazing women, Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom.

According to their website:

“[their mission] is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these
types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book
Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that. This event has also proven to be an excellent way to compile a list of diverse children’s book titles and reviews for parents,
grandparents, educators and librarians to use all year long.” {Click HERE to learn more about their successful stories.}

I love reading, and I would enjoy reading more books about different culture, races, and backgrounds. I also want my children to learn about and gain awareness of the wonderful people and cultures around the world as well. For example, as an Asian, I would love to read more books how other Asians view the world and live in other countries. I am so glad that the Multicultural Children’s Book Day will help all of us learn more about people from around the world, so I hope we will all participate in this celebration and continue to support their organization.


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* Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Multicultural Children’s Book Day. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

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I have a chance to review Megumi’s First Trip to Kyoto written by Alexandra Parsons and illustrated by Beatrice Paverean.


<Click HERE to get your own> 


About this Book

As Megumi travels on the train with her grandfather from Sabae to Kyoto, they plan to count the sights of their trip. This multicultural book offers an introduction to Japanese words and culture as Meg’s imagination embraces the experience unfolding before her. The double-page illustrations allow the reader to count the items and people Meg will visit with her grandfather. This book also features Fun Facts, a map, and a pronunciation guide. Come and take a tour of Kyoto! (Description from Amazon.com)


My Experiences with this Book

This book was perfect for my family. Even though my half Japanese-American husband knows way more Cantonese than Japanese, he loves his Japanese heritage. His love of the food, the people, the unique culture, and the places have influenced me to love this culture as well. In addition, I went to Tokyo for the first time last month, and that truly opened my eyes to the beauty of the Japanese culture. I know my kids won’t able to learn any Japanese language from us, but I still want them to love this culture and to be proud of who they are.

When I read this book to my young children for the first time, they showed interested in all of the beautiful pictures in the book. They loved the main character, Megumi, who has black hair like them. They also related to some of Megumi’s story because they ride the trains and metros in Hong Kong all the time, so they understood how crowded and crazy the trains can be.

When they reached the pages about counting unique items from Japan, they were even more excited because they recognized the Chinese characters the Japanese use for counting. Of course, we tried to pronounce the numbers in Japanese.  It was a great teaching moment for my children to know that Chinese characters can be pronounced differently in other languages. Some cultures are similar to China and some cultures are totally different, so I think that was an eye-opening experience for them.

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It’s not always easy to teach children about different parts of the world that they have never been to or seen. Since it is not possible for everyone to travel the whole world, I think reading about other people’s experiences and the stories from those countries is one of the best ways to introduce the world to our children. When our kids start to learn about how other people live, eat, and play, they have the opportunity to understand more about these cultures and people that will help them develop a love for those people and cultures. Isn’t it what we hope for our children?


My Opinions of this Book

  1. Useful Pronunciation Guides: I love the pronunciation guides from this book. Almost all pages include footnotes for the Japanese words that include a pronunciation guide and English translation. I found these very useful and easy to use when I was reading to my children. I didn’t have any trouble teaching my kids the Japanese pronunciation or explaining the meaning of the words.
  2. Simple Counting: Readers can learn the basic counting from 1-10 with the main character, Megumi. Alexandra, the author, picked out ten unique items from Japan and put them into the book along with the story. For each item she counts, there are a couple sentences that give more details and information about those items, so we were able to learn about it as well. It’s a perfect book for little kids, and if you are interested in introducing Japan to your children, that’s even better.


I would like to thank Alexandra and the MCBD for sending me a review copy. It was a great experience for me and my children. Thank you!

Alexandra Parsons is a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar, and this book incorporates various aspects of the Japanese culture that she witnessed and participated in during her visit in 2005.  She is an English teacher and Learning Specialist at a private school and lives with her family and two dogs in Florida. You can contact her at megumikyoto10@gmail.com.

You Might Be Interested

  1. Multicultural Children’s Book Day Offical Website
  2. To purchase Megumi’s First Trip to Kyoto
  3. To join the MCBD Facebook Group
  4. Grab your FREE MCBD ebook from Amazon.com {January 26th-January 30th}

Current Sponsors: For the MCBD 2017 event, we have been very blessed to already have some amazing Sponsors in place. Our very first Platinum Sponsor, Scholastic, has signed on and we are beyond thrilled to have their support. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle and Chronicle Books.

I’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 work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

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

– Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay

– Twitter https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDay



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