Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom have teamed up to create today’s national event and first-ever Multicultural Children’s Book Day! It’s a day to celebrate diversity in children’s books.
Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.
Since our mission at Geek Club Books is about accepting our uniqueness and celebrating those who are different, I wanted to acknowledge and support Valarie’s and Mia’s ambitious goal. This event is being sponsored by Chronicle Books, Lee & Low Books, Author Susan Fayad, and Wisdom Tales. Over 60 bloggers were sent multicultural children’s books to spotlight today and if you ‘jump’ over to Jump Into a Book you’ll discover links to their reviews.
Now we’re a techie, geeky group here so I thought I’d download and review a multicultural children’s storybook app. PlaneTree Family Productions was founded by Shoham D., a mother of two boys. Her goal is to “introduce children to exciting worlds of diverse cultures, while stimulating their imaginations, natural curiosities, and encourage empathy for one another.”
PlaneTree’s first storybook app, The Amazing Train, is a delightful adventure of four children who learn about, discover and take a ride on an ordinary train on the outside but on the inside is fit for a king…An Amazing train…a palace that travels on rails.
The story is set in Udaipur, a city in the middle of a dessert in India. We learn about brother and sister, Rajeev and Lalita, and their family life in Udaipur. When they join their friends, Tushar and Deepika, they’re off on a grand adventure in search of The Amazing Train. There are many wonderful animations that help to carry the story, including the scenery passing by when you look out the train’s window.
But more than just an entertaining tale, there are opportunities to touch and learn cultural references and new words. There’s even a recipe to make a dessert featured in the story.
The illustrations and animations are colorful and enchanting. They were created by Rakesh Nanda, an award winning animation film maker, comic book artist and illustrator, who works mostly from the city of Mumbia in India.
If you and your children want to experience the sights, sounds and beauty of the Indian culture, The Amazing Train, is a must-have for your app library.
**Geek Club Books and PlaneTree Family Productions are members of the Book App Alliance, a great resource for high-quality storybook apps.