Category Archives: Reviews

Let’s Celebrate Holi Art project and Book Review

As you all know we love books so when i got an opportunity to review this book ” Lets celebrate Holi! ”
I was very happy ,as it would be perfect for my 8 year old to learn more about the Festival and Hindu culture.

I remember the day we got this book in mail, my son came excited looking at the colorful cover , he said its beautiful & colorful just like the Holi Festival .This awesome book is written by Ajanta and Vivek and it tells us about the cultural elements of Holi as it is celebrated in India.


Going through the pages , I was sure it’s a fun story for kids but little did I know that it had lots of interesting facts about the festival.Some of the important elements covered in this book are :
The Story of Holi – The Brave Prahlad
The night before Holi – Holika Dahan
Holi – how to celebrate and meaning
Holi food – Gujia & Thandai
Holi around India – Holi King (Ahmedabad), Thabal Chongba (Manipur) and Hola Mohalla (Punjab)

Let’s celebrate Holi art project for kids and Book Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The book begins with story of Maya ,Neel and their pet squirrel, Chintu from Chicago who visit their cousin Ameya in India to celebrate Holi . We can easily relate to these central characters in the book , I see glimpses of myself playing holi with my siblings and friends.The language is simple and easy read for young kids to understand.

We tried a cool art project to go with book inspired by the beautiful illustrations in it.
Whenever we talk about Holi , the first thing that’s comes to our mind is playing with colors and that’s what we’ll be doing here.
Materials Needed:
Coffee Filters ( you can use Paper towel too)
Liquid Water colors
Ice Cube Tray
Pipette
Black sharpie or pen
Wax Paper
Tray
Instructions :

Pour liquid Watercolors in ice cube tray.
Set up everything like shown in the picture above .


Kids Trace outlines of characters from the book or draw their own characters using a marker.


This is how it looks after making images .Coffee filters are white just like holi clothes in the story .


Now they can use pipette to suck the water colors and squeeze out drop by drop.We used same pipette but if you have toddlers or preschoolers you can use one pippette per color.


Keep adding drops to cover the characters just like people in real Holi colors !

Let’s celebrate Holi is available on Amazon and is recommended for ages 3-7 .To know more about this book visit their website

What did my little one think ?

He absolutely loved and enjoyed the book especially the Prahlad story .
He said ” Mom , the illustrations are bright , colorful and eye popping and I like Q’s and A’s at the end of the book .Chintu the squirrel is my favorite character !
I have to mention this , he said the book based art we made using pipette to drop watercolors on story characters was totally fun like playing Holi with them .Love how Holi Festival is celebrated in various ways throughout India with same spirit and enthusiasm .

Have you ever played Holi ? Whether you’ve actually witnessed playing holi or just heard about it , this book will transport you to a colorful world !

( Disclaimer : As a Multicultural Kids Blogger , I was sent this book in return for my honest review . All thoughts and opinions are my own )

Colorful Paper Blanket Craft Inspired by Navajo Culture & #Readyourworld Book Review

I feel so honored to be associated with Multicultural Children’s Book Day for the second time as a Book Reviewer ! Today’s post includes a book review and Colorful Paper Blanket Craft Inspired by Navajo Culture we made after reading the book .
Disclosure : I received a complimentary copy of Lump Lump and the Blanket of dreams book for MCCBD 2017 in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.Thanks to Author Gwen Jackson for sending me this lovely book .

Lump Lump and the Blanket of Dreams by Gwen Jackson
This book is about a little bear named Lump Lump . He is looking for a blanket which he could sleep with and dream during his winter hibernation. Along with the help of his friends Blue bird , Fox, Robin ,Hawk and Mother Bear ,he gathers materials for Spider Woman to weave him a blanket of dreams. Spider woman is the one who taught the Navajos how to weave . Author Gwen Jackson wrote this beautiful story inspired by Navajo culture and folklore.
Generally , I prefer going through the whole book before giving it to my son but this book was picture perfect .The colorful illustrations by Lissa Calvert are fabulous .Just looking at two pages , I could sense a sweet story. It immediately went into the hands of my 8 year old son who is a crazy book lover . He thought the bears looked great and his favorite character is Lump Lump .We both love the gorgeous blanket on the cover page of the book . Infact , the design and patterns on the blanket look so attractive that it made us explore more about the Navajo Weavers and traditions. We got excited and also made a craft to go along with the book which I will be sharing in detail below. This book could be included in classroom lessons on “Navajo Indian Folklore ” and “Hibernation”.
Check Author website for other activities based on this book !
One Favorite funny part in the story is when Lump Lump munches on his honeycomb and sings
“The white light of the morning , the red light of evening , the falling rain , and the r-aa-iii-nnnnbow.”
Lump Lump .. the central character is a very kind hearted bear .Through the folk tale ,Kids learn Kindness , friendship and Hibernation in a sweet interesting manner.
Lump Lump and the Blanket of dreams book is perfect for grades 2-3 to read but the story is so beautiful that you can be read to any age group kids .

Colorful Paper Blanket Craft Inspired by Navajo Culture

Like I mentioned above ,this book inspired us to learn more about Navajo culture and Navajo Weaving.
The blankets are made with bright colors and have strong geometric patterns. Generally these blankets are made using yarn but we will be using Paper and washi tapes . We have a variety of fancy tape on hand which also have different patterns on them like the blanket shown in the book. A little imagination ,creativity and viola ! We made our own paper blanket of dreams.

Materials Needed:
Thin Cardboard sheet (like cereal box)
Fancy Tapes ( Washi tapes)
Tiny Pom pom garland/ ribbon
Scissors

How to make Colorful Paper Blanket Craft Inspired by Navajo Culture :

First , take a cardboard sheet and ask kids to decorate the cardstock piece with Washi Tape .
Let them cover the whole cardstock with washi tape alternating different pattern tapes to create a symmetry .


My 8 year old was able to do everything by himself but if you have younger kids like preschoolers ,they may need help. Also , a great fine motor skill activity for little ones learning to use scissors.
Now glue a Pom Poms garland to both the ends of the cardstock adding a statement .
Here is our finished Colorful Paper Blanket Craft Inspired by Navajo Culture that you can hang on the wall or use it like a centerpiece or mat on a side table or foyer table.

More about Multicultural Children’s Book Day
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kid’s 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.

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.

MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books.

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Delores Connors, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang.

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.

MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/our-programs/mccbd-2016-classroom-reading-challenge/
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i
Do connect with on social media and be sure and look for/use their official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Rotational Symmetry Art with 50+ STEAM KIDS projects

steam-kids-featured2

We feel very happy to be involved in the launch of new book “Steam Kids “ by a bunch of my fellow bloggers .
Before I talk more about the book, this summer, my son showed a lot of interest in science experiments. He would say” Mom, let’s try this!” Some experiments turned out really good but I must mention , We’ve failed miserably in few experiments but his curiosity and enthusiasm never failed.

steam-kids-projects-800x8001

When I heard about STEAM KIDS book, I knew he would love and learn from it as well .

I showed my 8 year old the book and said “you‘re going to be learning all about STEAM”. He was super excited looking at it. The book has many activities, close to 50+ Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Hands-On Projects for Kids. The activities are broken up into the area of inspiration: Build, Color, Play, Sense and Grow. The projects are aimed for kids ages 4-10 with easy instructions and colorful pictures.

Best thing about the book is most of the projects are using regular craft supplies or household supplies.

ROTATIONAL Symmetry project steam kids

We tried Rotational Symmetry Art from the book , a wonderful activity to teach kids concepts of Symmetry while rotating irregular shapes.

rotational-symmetry-art-for-kids

To know more about Rotational Symmetry Art with 50+ STEAM KIDS projects watch this amazing book trailer

The Book is available in print from Amazon as well as as an e-book PDF, this book has amazing projects your kids will love.
The e-book is on sale this week only for $9.99. Plus, if you buy the book this week, you get a bonus book for FREE:

steam-kids-halloween-collage1

Most important ..STEAM KIDS gives an opportunity to spend quality time with your kids . We had a great time and can’t wait to try other projects from the book and other STEAM Education resources below .
The authors of this book have put together some amazing FREE STEAM Education resources as well! Check them out:

52 STEAM Challenges for Kids
40 Household Items for STEAM Projects at Home
How to Get Started Doing STEAM
STEM vs. STEAM, Does the A Matter?
How to Teach STEAM
40+ Projects that Combine STEM with Art
Tips for Acquiring Inexpensive STEAM Materials
Adapting STEM and STEAM Activities for Different Children
3 Genius Tips for Raising out of the Box Thinkers

Lovely quote about the book..
“STEAM Kids is a book that will inspire children to:
question like a scientist
design like a technologist
build like an engineer
create like an artist
deduce like a mathematician
– and, most importantly –
play like a kid.”

Would love to hear your views on STEAM activities and Share your Favorite STEAM activities ?
DISCLAIMER: I was sent a free copy in return for a honest review .
50-steam-projects-that-inspire-kids1

Learning Math and Art using Pokemon Cards

First time, I asked him to show me his Pokemon folder ,
He said “Mom , I thought you didn’t like Pokemon . I said Hmm..yes…but I want to see and learn more about what my son likes and maybe one day I’ll like it too. ”
He opened his folder with excitement and began sharing all kind of stories about each card. So glad I had this conversation with him.
After a few weeks , I got the opportunity to review Pokemon Cards . We were beyond excited and thrilled to hear the news.
Pokemon cards
The delivery was quick through Amazon Prime and we received it within 2 days . The cards came in a plain , plastic bag , nothing fancy like store bought packaging .The Bundle of Pokémon cards from #GoldenGroundhogPKMNLots were in good condition and it included
100 Assorted Pokemon Card Lot with Random 6 Foil Cards! Includes 3 Custom Golden Groundhog Token Counters!
My son started collecting Pokémon trading cards few months back and has close to 80 cards . The 100 cards were impressive new addition to his collection.
I had few activities planned for him using these 100 cards . What better way to learn and enjoy the summer time.
Learning Math and Art using Pokemon Cards
Materials Needed :
Assortment of Pokémon Cards
1 0z Medicine Cup Dispenser
Ruler
Pencil
White Poster Paper
Sharpies
Instructions:
Firstly , We sorted them according to type to see how many of Pokémon cards of each type. Sorting the cards is a great activity to keep themselves busy for quite some time .Sorting Pokemon Cards by type
All you need to do is spread all the cards on a table and sort them into piles by their type.After dividing them into piles we had
Grass : 14
Water : 16
Lighting : 6
Colorless: 11
Metal :2
Darkness:3
Psychic: 13
Fire : 5
Fairy : 3
Dragon :5
Fighting :4
Trainers: 15
Drawing Pokemon Symbols Activity
We used a sheet of white paper to Draw the circles using medicine cup .
Draw Pokemon Type Symbols
In those circles we drew different symbols .
Draw and color Pokemon Symbols
To color the symbols we used Sharpies markers .Adding total Health points of each Pokemon card

Take one pile at a time to count and write down the number of cards next to the symbol where it belongs.
Note : As a added extension to the activity , We even calculated and wrote down the health points of each type card . All the activities weren’t done in one stretch. As my little one was showing so much interest , we worked our way ,each day for an hour for 3 days .
We had around 14 Duplicates but my son was totally happy with the variety of cards he got in the 100 pack . He plans to share the duplicates with his cousin sister and trade a few with his friends.
Learning Math and Art using Pokemon Cards
Lessons Learnt :
Turn your child’s interests into a game of learning without them realizing it !
Art skills : Drawing and Coloring symbols helps observation skills . Objects to sketch related to their hobbies or games are always more likely to interest the children.
Math Awareness & Skills : Working on counting and adding the number of cards in total helps in improving and mastering basic Math skills.
My son thoroughly enjoyed the sorting , drawing , coloring and counting activities. With Summer around , fun to see him sit and play for hours instead of watching tv .
Share your thoughts on where you buy your Pokémon trading cards or how you encourage your children in their hobbies ?
*Disclaimer: I received this product free or discounted for my honest review. All experiences and opinions are my own.
#GoldenGroundhogPKMNLots


LarabeeUK

Kiki and Jacques {Book Review} #ReadYourWorld

I am so excited to share information about Multicultural Children’s Book Day that is tomorrow, January 27th 2016.I feel fortunate to be one of the book reviewers for this wonderful event. Today’s post includes a book review and a art we made after reading the book .
I received a free copy of this book for MCCBD 2016 in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Kiki and Jacques Book Review MCCBD

Kiki and Jaques by Susan RossThe Book Summary
As the title suggests ,the story is about Jacques , Kiki and their Friendship .Jacques is a eleven year old boy going through lot of difficulties in life . Plus, he is under pressure from a senior to do something illegal and worries that he is not the only captain for school soccer team .Kiki is a Somali refugee , who has a scar on her face and wears a hijab . The arrival of Somali refugees in town brings lot of  twists and turns in the story .This middle grade chapter Book celebrates the power of friendship to overcome cultural differences .
Kiki and Jacques {Book Review}What we thought about the book :
To be honest , when I started reading the book ,I didn’t find it that interesting but after a few chapters ,I was thoroughly engaged with the beautiful story. This book reminded me of a terrific film ..yes a hero , heroine and a villian ..a realistic story, emotional characters showcasing love , friendship and family values. It even covers issues , youngsters struggle to deal with like bullying, drugs and peer pressures .The book is recommended for middle schoolers but my seven year was able to finish a couple chapters without any help .The book is so engaging, I bet ,he’ll finish reading all the chapters in few days.Thus ,We can say that the story is expressed in a simple language for all ages to understand.
Lessons Learnt from the story :
I simply love these two special moments in the story , one is where Jacques dares to go to the Police station to save someone innocent and other where he shares the truth behind robbery to his Dad. As a Parent , I feel these two scenes will inspire children to realize how important it is to share their thoughts , deeds and difficulties with parents.
Book Activity based on Kiki and Jacques
We drew two hands of different colors joined together, like a shake hand .. a symbol of friendship ! This art can be helpful to discuss one of the many topics in the book like the power of friendship irrespective of color, caste and religion .
Book Activity  on Kiki and Jacques
Last but not least ,My son wishes to donate the book to his elementary school but I need a green signal from his librarian or it goes to the middle school here. Either way ,I ‘ll be more than happy to donate this great book .

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016
Our Mission :The MCCBD team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.

The wonderful co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld

Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press * StoryQuest Books * Lil Libros

Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk * Candlewick Press * Bharat Babies

Silver: Lee and Low Books * Chronicle Books * Capstone Young Readers

Tuttle Publishing , NY Media Works , LLC/KidLit TV

Bronze: Pomelo Books * Author Jacqueline Woodson * Papa Lemon Books * Goosebottom Books * Author Gleeson Rebello * ShoutMouse Press * Author Mahvash Shahegh * China Institute.org * Live Oak Media

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Host and you can view them here.

Classroom Reading Challenge: Help spread the word on our Classroom Reading Challenge . This very special offering from MCCBD offers teachers and classrooms the chance to (very easily) earn a free hardcover multicultural children’s book for their classroom library. These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are pre-screened and approved by them as well.

What we could really use some help with is spreading the word to your teacher/librarian/classroom connections so we can get them involved in this program. There is no cost to teachers and classrooms and we’ve made the whole process as simple as possible. You can help by tweeting the below info:

Teachers! Earn a FREE #Multicultural Kids Book for Your Classroom! #teachers, #books #teacherlife

The Classroom Reading Challenge has begun! Teachers can earn a free diversity book here ! #teachers, #books

MCCBD now has its own Paper.li! A Paper.li is a free online newspaper that aggregates information on the topic of multicultural books for kids from all over the Internet. Please feel free subscribe and stay up-to-date with this topic.

Our Diversity Book Lists and Resources for Educators and Parents are now available. Spread the word!

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The Diwali Gift { Book Review }

Our Family loves reading books and personally Diwali is my favorite festival.When the authors sent me a copy of their award winning book The Diwali Gift to review , I was totally excited as there aren’t many books out there for Diwali festival .
Book -The Diwali Gift
The Diwali Gift { Book Review }

The story of 3 curious monkeys who discover little things that make Diwali so special. It all starts with the mystery package sent by grandma for Diwali .The curiosity of what’s in the package keeps a reader engaged till the end. I give kudos to Authors Shweta Chopra and Shuchi Mehta for covering the traditions like Lakshmi puja , Lighting lamps, bursting fireworks ,exchanging gifts and decorating the house with Rangoli in a simple , fun way . Not to forget the Book Illustrator Anna Koan who excelled in bringing these traditions to life .The illustrations are cute, accurate and colorful to grab a child’s attention . Wonderful usage of Indian motifs like bindi , Rangoli , Mithai( sweets) , Diyas , the clothing Lehenga and Saree , flower garlands.

The authors managed to capture the essence of Diwali festival while exhibiting the Indian culture in a unique form . This beautifully illustrated picture book is perfect if you are celebrating Diwali at preschool or elementary school. In addition to the book, their website 3 Curious Monkeys also includes a common core Diwali lesson plans and various printables to make Diwali a fun experience for children.
The only downside I felt is a Non-Indian , will not be familiar with terms like Dadima, Pooja , Lehenga and Readers will have to look at the end of the story to know their meanings.
The Diwali gift book Review

Favorite Character and Scence :
We like the fun , imaginative characters Suno , Dekho and Jano as monkeys that are prevalent in India . My 7 year old son enjoyed reading the book and his favorite scene is at the end where the three monkeys are happy celebrating Diwali . My 11 year old niece says her favorite part of the book was when they opened the gifts to find personalized coins and her favorite character is Suno as she loves singing and dancing too. I laughed and enjoyed the scene where grandma is using technology to explain grandkids …Completely relate to that ! I Thank the authors for sending us this wonderful book , my son thoroughly enjoyed it !

As Diwali is just a few days away , you can pick a copy for yourself or gift someone by clicking 3 curious monkeys website or on Amazon .

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book complimentary for review purpose. All opinions and thoughts expressed here are honest and my own.

Diwali books

Celebrating Diwali with Books