Have you considered getting a kids book subscription but weren’t sure which one to purchase? Read on for my honest review of Literati Kids, a premier book subscription service for kids – plus get a discount so you can try it for yourself!
Kids Book Subscription Review: Literati Kids
Disclosure: We received complimentary Literati Kids boxes for review purposes; however, our love for this service is totally genuine.
Subscription services are all the rage these days, and no wonder! Busy parents love the convenience of home delivery and knowing that experts have curated a quality experience for their kids.
Book subscription services get kids excited about reading by delivering carefully chosen books to your door – but which service to choose?
We recently had the opportunity to try out Literati Kids, one of the most well known monthly kids book boxes, and we were definitely impressed!
First of all, the presentation was beautiful. My kids loved receiving personalized packages! The original artwork from their boxes was immediately hung up in their rooms, and bookplates put in their new books. My son received a cool magnetic bookmark, while my daughter got a pen with invisible ink!
And then, of course, there were the books themselves! Each Literati Kids box contains 5 age appropriate books curated by experts and delivered straight to your door. I was impressed with the variety of books we received. Each box had a mix of fiction and non-fiction as well as different literary genres. Book prices are the same or less than what you’ll find on Amazon.
We loved every one of the books we received! But if for some reason you don’t, you can return them free of charge using the the pre-paid return shipping label.
Give the gift of reading with the Literati Kids book subscription! Kids will look forward to receiving their box every month, filled with fun books and goodies! And just click the link below to get a huge discount:
Diversify your bookshelf or school library with children’s books that not only have diverse characters but that are written by diverse authors! But you won’t want to read these Own Voices books for kids just because it’s the “right” thing to do. They are simply wonderful in their own right! Each has a special story to tell, told in a unique voice that children (and adults) need to hear. What are your favorite Own Voices children’s books? Let me know in the comments!
Own Voices Books for Kids
Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of the books below for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Enjoy these wonderful Own Voices books for kids!
Do you have a little cowgirl or cowboy in your life? Then you won’t want to miss C Is for Country, a fun new picture book from Lil Nas X. (Yes, that Lil Nas X! Now he writes picture books too!) Through this engaging ABC book, the international superstar gives children a glimpse of why he loves country life so much. After all, D is for Dirt, and V is for a Very Naughty Pony! But the pages are also inspire kids towards inclusion and self-love, such as E is for Everybody, since we “can all share the shine.”
I love having a cowboy book that focuses on a Black boy – especially one that loves to wear pink boots and lots of glitz! It also showcases the warmth of Black family life, with meals together around the table and bedtime cuddles. This is a book that shows that everyone belongs, no matter what the genre of story.
Many children have had the painful experience of hearing their names butchered by teachers and students. Frequently, this is connected to overall feelings of being “weird” or just not fitting in with their peers, a feeling amplified by differences of race and culture. The gorgeous new picture book Your Name Is a Song tackles this issue and teaches children to appreciate their unusual names. Because who wouldn’t love to have their names turned into a song?
While the main character is Black, the book includes names from many cultures. My daughter was delighted to see the name of her aunt in Costa Rica included! The mother in the story empowers her daughter, who in turn passes this new appreciation on to other children and even to her teacher. Most poignant of all for me was the inclusion of the name Trayvon, which the author notes was done in honor of Trayvon Martin. I highly recommend this beautiful book, which would be great to have in school libraries. Imagine how wonderful it would be for a teacher to read this on the first day of school!
One of my favorite things about blogging is that it has enabled me to meet so many incredible people from around the world (and some right around the corner!) I had the pleasure of meeting author Meera Sriram several years ago through Multicultural Kid Blogs. She is such a lovely person and does the most incredible work. Her latest accomplishment is A Gift for Amma: Market Day in India, a gorgeous children’s book based on her own childhood experiences going to the market in India.
The reader goes along with a little girl through the marketplace, as she tries to decide on a present for her Amma (mother). I love how the book highlights in text and pictures all the rich colors to be found there, from the yellow of tumeric to the white of the jasmine blooms. A Gift for Amma: Market Day in India (available in Spanish as Un regalo para Amma: Día de mercado en India) is a feast for all of the senses, as we smell the flowers, see the peacock feathers waving in the breeze, listen to the drum beats, jump to avoid the rickshaws, and drool over the stacks of sweets. Not only do you get to enjoy the beautiful illustrations from Mariona Cabassa, you can also see the author’s photos of the actual marketplace at the back of the book.
How do we raise kind kids? This is one of the big questions I wrestle with as a parent, so I’m always glad to find helpful resources! Peacebe is an adorable character that helps kids learn virtues like kindness and honesty. One of the latest in this series is The Adventures of Peacebe and the Heartwatch- Kids Can Make A Difference Too!, which teaches kids about being a good citizen! Author Leneen Faith is a mom and teacher with a Master’s in Elementary Education, so she knows how to create books and activities that really capture children’s imaginations and hearts. Peacebekids is not only a book series but also a website with fun activities for kids.
Stories are such a great way to connect children to their heritage and give them a sense of belonging in the world – one reason why it’s so wonderful for them to spend time with grandparents and community elders. So I was thrilled to learn of the beautiful new book Chasing Butterflies in the Sunlight, inspired by the author’s own childhood and her desire to share it with her children.
Chasing Butterflies in the Sunlight is set in the 1970s and describes the main character’s many childhood adventures in her home on a university campus in Nigeria as well as her travels to Niger, England, and Scotland. I love that the book emphasizes the importance of family plus how it breaks down stereotypes about Africa through its portrayal of a cosmopolitan, well-educated, and well-traveled Nigerian family.
What happens when a mother far from home wants to share the beauty of her homeland with her children? In the case of author Emily Joof, it means beautiful children’s books that we can all enjoy! Joof’s picture books share the beauty of The Gambia, as seen through the eyes of her Swedish-born children. In Mangoes & MonkeyBread: Fruity Fun with Ella & Louis, two children are visiting The Gambia. When the boy becomes homesick for the strawberries of Sweden, his older sister patiently shows him all the wonderful fruit to be found in The Gambia. This is so similar to what happens when my children visit their relatives in Costa Rica!
Exquisite is the perfect name for this gorgeous picture book biography of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize, which she did with her second book of poetry. What makes this win even more remarkable was not just who Brooks was but what she wrote about – that is, the people that lived in her working class African American neighborhood in Chicago. Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks is a great way to explore poetry with kids and encourage them to try writing it themselves. After all, Brooks started writing when she was very young, writing about dolls and sunsets!
Another new picture book is Spirit of the Cheetah: A Somali Tale, a coming of age story set in this eastern African country. Inspired by the stories she heard from her own father, co-author Khadra Mohammed has joined with Karen Lynn Williams to weave a powerful story about developing inner strength. Roblay thinks that winning a race will make him a man, but his grandfather teaches him to listen to the wisdom of nature to cultivate patience and call on the spirit of the river and the cheetah for which it was named. A beautiful story to help children think about what qualities they would like to develop, and to spark their interest in the cheetah, which is now an endangered species. Includes a section of fun facts about the cheetah.
Silverworld is a wonderful middle grade fantasy that draws on Arabic culture and legends. At the same time, the main character Sami is dealing with issues that any child can relate to – feeling out of place in a new home, worry over a sick family member, and frustration that no one takes you seriously because you’re “just” a kid. This is an amazing adventure story into a fantastical parallel world as well as an emotional journey as Sami learns to trust her own strength and abilities. I also love that it is such a loving portrait of a close knit Lebanese American family, drawn from the author’s own experiences.
Do you have an older kid that enjoys reading mysteries? Fantasy? Adventure stories? How about all three rolled into one?? Nujran and the Corpse in the Quadrangle is the second in the @prince_of_typgar series. The main character, Nujran, has just started at the prestigious University of Foalinaarc when a body is found in campus. This is only the first strange event that captures the reader’s interest in this fast-paced book, which also includes a prison break, romance, and a kidnapping. This YA thriller is a real page turner, plus fantasy fans will appreciate the incredible amount of detail that went into making this world come to life.
February 8, 2021Ayyam-i-HaComments Off on Ayyam-i-Ha Resources Page and Gift Guide Update!
Are your kids getting excited for Ayyám-i-Há? There are just a few weeks left! We had fun decorating the house over the weekend and hanging up our Ayyám-i-Há countdown calendar. And now you can find all of my Ayyam-i-Ha resources in one place, including crafts, activities, and gift ideas!
Ayyam-i-Ha Resources Page and Gift Guide Update
As a parent and children’s class teacher, I know how hard it can be to find ideas for fun ideas to celebrate Ayyám-i-Há with kids. That’s why I’ve made things easier by putting all of my Ayyám-i-Há crafts, activities, and gift ideas in one spot, on my new Ayyam-i-Ha resource page!
Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021, and I am proud once again to be a co-host! Keep reading to find more information on this annual event, plus links to tons of diverse children’s books. Reviewers, go to the end of this post to link up your books reviews!
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 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!
Join us on Friday, Jan 29, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter 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 an 8-Book Bundle every 5 minutes plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **
Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. See you all very soon on Twitter! Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.
Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021!
THANK YOU to our wonderful participants and supporters including Co-Hosts, Medallion and Author Levels Sponsors, book reviewers, book donators, and readers!
Link up your book reviews here and use this collection to discover new titles and authors for your home and classroom bookshelves. #ReadYourWorld
November 4, 2020parentingComments Off on Self-Care During Uncertain Times
2020 has been a difficult year for so many reasons – a global pandemic and economic displacement, raging wildfires, heightened racial tensions and a relentless stream of race-based killings, and now a prolonged election process with potential for more unrest. All these processes tend to disproportionately affect mothers, particularly those from disadvantaged communities. When we are constantly in crisis mode, it can be hard to figure out how to get through the day, much less think about how to care for ourselves. Here are some tips I have found helpful over the past months for self-care during uncertain times.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. I received complimentary products from Blue Nectar Ayurveda for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.
Self-Care During Uncertain Times
Check in with your network.
Check in with your loved ones and ask them to check on you. This can be a simple phone call or text, just to check in and let them know that you’re thinking of them. This is especially important this year, as we are all so physically isolated from each other during COVID. Create a chat group with your family or group of friends to make this even easier.
Have a plan.
This can be a tricky one because sometimes thinking about the worst case scenario can send you down a rabbit hole of worrying about what might happen, but it may also give you peace of mind to have a plan in place to keep yourself and your family safe. For example, here is a guide to getting ready for wildfire evacuations, while here is a plan for post-election safety for communities of color.
We all know the benefits of disconnecting from the news and social media periodically. But during a time of crisis, we may hesitate because we are worried that we will miss critical news, such as the progress of a wildfire, unrest in our area, or election results. Try setting up a Google alert to notify you whenever there is news related to a story that you’re watching, rather than you having to comb the news feed. You may also be able to download an app that will alert you when, for example, there is an evacuation order in your area. Or you may have an agreement with a friend that you will take turns unplugging, so that one person keeps an eye on the news and lets the other know anything urgent.
Close the extra tabs.
Literally and metaphorically, women tend to operate with an excessive amount of tabs open – whether on their laptops or in their brains. Try to be in the moment as much as possible. Having a plan in place (see above) can help, so you can focus on concrete action and less on speculation and worry.
Every day, do a little something that brings you joy. Whether it’s savoring your morning coffee or relaxing with a good book, those moments of joy are important for your mental well-being. Don’t skimp just because you don’t have much time. Sure, we all wish we could have a full spa day, but even a few minutes of “Mom time” can make a big difference!
Take care of your physical health.
Yes, I’m talking about all of those things that we know we should do but often don’t. Now is the time to make sure we are ticking all of those boxes: drink plenty of water, take your vitamins & medications, get some exercise, reconnect with nature, get a good night’s sleep.
I’ve recently started taking WEEM Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies. I’ve always known about the benefits of apple cider vinegar but couldn’t stomach the taste. But these gummies taste great! And it’s easy for me to remember to take with my multivitamin every morning. Plus, I love that it’s vegan, non-GMO, and made from 100% natural ingredients. They are made with real apples, beetroots, and pomegranates, so they are packed in with even more health benefits for you that can help you have a healthy heart, a clean digestive system, and maintain good cholesterol levels – all in one little gummy! I also love their Immune Boost Gummies. Your immune system is working hard, so why not give it a boost?
One tool I have discovered recently is to take time for myself every evening with my skin care routine. Not only can I feel good that I’m taking care of myself, but having an evening ritual has been shown to help you prepare mentally for a good night’s sleep.
Personally I am loving everything I’ve tried from the Blue Nectar line of Ayurvedic products. The Blue Nectar Kumkumadi Ayurvedic Radiance Glow Face Serum feels so luxurious on my skin, and the scent is so refreshing. Best of all, it’s all natural, with 26 herbs, like saffron, turmeric, and almond oil.
And now I’ve started using Blue Nectar Ayurvedic Anti Aging Face Cream Moisturer, which is designed for firm, radiant skin. This blend of 14 herbs (including aloe) helps keep skin healthy and hydrated. I love the feel of the cream and how soft my skin feels now. All of Blue Nectar’s products are based on the principles of Ayurveda, supporting the body’s own abilities to rejuvenate itself and fight off signs of ageing.
Like so many of you, our family is thinking more and more about the impact we make on our planet. While there are many great resources to teach children about conservation, nothing beats hands on experience! I’ve always wanted to compost, so this year we finally did the research and got started! Here is a look at what you need, plus tips from other composting families!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Composting: Tips to Get Started
What to Buy
If you have a big enough space in your backyard, there is no need to purchase a bin; however, if you have a smaller yard, as we do, or simply don’t want to use your yard space for a compost pile, there are great options for composting bins you can purchase!
After a lot of research, we purchased a FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter. It is perfect for us because it doesn’t take up much room and is super easy to use. The kids love helping turn the bin!
The guide put out by our city recommends the Compost Bin by GEOBIN. It is easy to set up and very economical.
An easy way to collect your kitchen scraps before taking them out to compost is an indoor bin like the Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel Compost Bin for Kitchen Countertop. It is small enough to sit on the kitchen counter and comes with a lid and charcoal filter so you don’t have to worry about a smell! Just to be clear, this isn’t actually for composting, just to collect the scraps until you can take them outdoors.
What does multicultural parenting look like in our family? Today I’m honored to bring you my recent interview on Talking Louis, part of their series of interviews called My Mixed Life. Read on for more details!
What does being a “world citizen” mean to me? How does being in an intercultural marriage influence how we are raising our children? Find out answers to these questions and more on this interview on multicultural parenting:
Looking for a simple, well-organized planner that you can customize to your needs? Tired of writing in all the Bahá’í holy days and Feast days into your planner? Want help planning family service projects and holiday celebrations? The Coral and Pearls Planner for Baha’i Parents is for you!
The Coral & Pearls Planner for Baha’i Parents was born out of my own need to have a planner customized for the needs of Bahá’í parenting, such as inclusion of Bahá’í holidays and space for reflection. In this 42 page planner, you will find pages monthly and weekly calendars, as well as pages to plan service projects and Holy Day celebrations.
This digital planner can be downloaded to your computer and printed as needed. Here’s what you will find:
Monthly Pages (includes Bahá’í holidays and Feast days)
If you are a homeschooler, don’t miss our Homeschool Supplement! As a homeschooler myself, I was searching for a planner that would fit my needs as a Bahá’í parent. While many of my needs & interests are common to other Bahá’í parents (and included in the main Coral and Pearls Planner), I also knew that there were other concerns specific to homeschoolers. In this digital Homeschool Supplement, you will find templates for fleshing out your family’s daily and weekly routines, organizing curricula and resources, as well as (of course!) lesson plan templates.
I also know how diverse homeschoolers are! There are so many ways of organizing a homeschool; therefore, I have included several different lesson plan templates, also recognizing that some of you may not use lesson plans at all!
The Homeschool Supplement is designed for you to print as needed. This way you can print only the pages that fit your homeschool. Inside you will find:
Want to teach your children about racial justice but not sure where to begin? Looking for tools to incorporate discussions of race into your classroom? Luckily there are so many great resources available these days. You can find me today over at Multicultural Kid Blogs, sharing the best resources we have found from our bloggers and across the internet for teaching kids about racial justice. You’ll find everything from lesson plans to children’s books, plus much more:
The pre-adolescent years are a time of great change, which often brings confusion but also growth. Kids have to deal with bullying, friendship, family issues, and discovering their own unique voices. For many, sports can be a fun way to sort through these issues while also exploring their own interests. Below are wonderful new middle grade books about sports that teach life lessons that kids this age often face.
Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of the books below for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Middle Grade Books About Sports and Life Lessons
Ollie dreams of being a pro wrestler one day, so he can win back the golden championship belt his mom lost to a cheating opponent years before. But it’s not until he is given a disgusting, old piece of gum that belonged to a former wrestling champion that this scrawny boy sees any hope that his dream might actually come true. Slamdown Town is the story of what happens when a kid is suddenly able to transform into the body of a pro wrestler. Ollie thinks it’s a dream come true – a chance to win back the championship belt, get enough publicity to save the local arena, and maybe even get revenge on his bullying older brother.
Yet as Ollie’s attention becomes more and more absorbed by his secret identity as a wrestler, it has grave consequences for his already lackluster grades and for his relationship with his best friend Tamiko. In the end, Ollie has to decide what is most important to him and what he’s willing to sacrifice to get it.
Slamdown Town is a super fun read, even for someone like me who isn’t a big fan of pro wrestling. It’s obvious that the authors are huge fans, and their (and Ollie’s) enthusiasm is infectious. Also, the dialogue is hilarious! I especially love Tamiko, Ollie’s best friend and a girl gamer who keeps Ollie on his toes. (And by the way, I love that Ollie and Tamiko are besties without any hint of romance). Plus the descriptions of his older brother and his attempts to be cool are particularly funny. A fun book that explores life lessons in a very unusual way.
When Jack starts fifth grade, he hopes that the bullying from the year before will stop, but instead it starts again with increased fervor. To make matters worse, he is afraid to tell his best friends and his parents, because he doesn’t want to look like a coward. Jack tries every solution he can think of to avoid the bullies, but they always find a way to make his life miserable. Meanwhile, his shame at not being able to handle the problem himself only increases.
Buddies, Bullies, and Baseball from TCK Publishing explores the all too common theme of bullying. What makes this latest book from Phyllis J. Perry different is that it not only gives Jack’s perspective as a bullied kid, it also helps him see how easy it is to be unfriendly people that are different. When Jack is assigned to help a new student from Germany, Jack struggles to be patient with Hans’ lack of English and frequent misunderstandings. Yet eventually he learns to appreciate Hans, in part through their common love of baseball.
When his bullies steal Jack’s prized baseball mitt, Jack knows they’ve gone too far and comes up with a plan to stop the bullying once and for all – but only after enlisting the help of his parents, friends, and teacher. A great book about friendship, courage, and knowing when to ask for help.
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