Celebrate Diversity with Cantata Learning

January 22, 2018

Contributed by Shannon McClintock Miller

There are several special days throughout the year that bring so much happiness and love to our libraries, classrooms, communities and homes. One of my favorites to kick off the new year is Multicultural Children’s Book Day, which is on January 27. 2018.  



The mission of Multicultural Children’s Book Day is to not only raise awareness for the kids’ books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these books into classrooms and libraries too.

This year, Multicultural Children’s Book Day happens to fall on the same week we celebrate another one of my favorites, LitWorld’s World Read Aloud Day, and I couldn’t be more excited!  



LitWorld shares, World Read Aloud Day brings together people all around the globe to read aloud together and share stories to advocate for literacy as a human right that belongs to all people.


These two events fit together perfectly in lifting up diversity in children’s books and globally connecting the voices of all children through the books and stories that we share with them.  


As I plan for my week of honoring these events through connecting and reading aloud with several libraries and classrooms around the world, I sit by my bookshelves surrounded by the beautiful new season of Cantata Learning titles and I think about how much I love how these stories and songs celebrate diversity in such a special way.  



Cantata Learning is ideal to use for Multicultural Children’s Book Day and World Read Aloud Day as they combine engaging stories, beautiful illustrations, and fun songs to captivate learners of all ages with such a wonderful variety of content featuring a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and sounds throughout the books.


One of the most important aspects of Cantata Learning is how they invite children into their books and open up conversations around different types of people. Every child feels represented and seen as they read and sing along.


I see this as I pull the newest set of Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme books from the shelf. This celebration of diversity shines through, especially in the Cinco De Mayo title.  



Children can read, listen and sing about this important Mexican-American holiday through the words and lyrics and the incredible illustrations by Geraldine Rodríguez. Geraldine is from Mexico and gives the illustrations an authentic representation. The food, music, singing, dancing, and people are brought to life through this story and song.  


As I was reading Cinco De Mayo, I loved finding a young girl with bright red hair. I can tell you that being that girl, the one with the bright red hair, was not always easy growing up. I would have loved to be represented in a book like this because it would have opened up a conversation for me and my classmates.  



Picture books are a great way for children to feel safe about asking questions such as, Why does she have red hair?, Why is his skin brown?, Why are my eyes brown and his are blue?, Why does that person use a wheelchair? What is that person’s facial expressions telling me? and so many more.



As I get ready to connect with friends in Texas, Iowa, Colorado, Hong Kong, and India for these two special days, these stories and songs will be part of them as I read and share voices from children throughout the world.  


By sharing these stories and their own with others around the world, we are giving our children future ready skills of embracing ways they want to change the world through their voices and authentic experiences. I can’t wait to see their faces, hear their thoughts, engage in conversation with them, and lift up their creativity throughout the week of January 27!



And as you get ready, please share what you are reading and singing, by using the hashtags #ReadYourWorld, #OwnVoice, #LoudLibraries, and #WorldReadAloudDay so we can add to our libraries and communities too.  


Spend Multicultural Children’s Book Day and World Read Aloud Day with Cantata Learning as we raise awareness for kids books that celebrate diversity!