Multicultural Children’s Book Day is January 27, 2018. I’m excited to share my review of a riveting picture book called, The Cloud Artist. I have been provided a copy of this book to review by the author. However, as always all thoughts and opinions are my own. More details on Multicultural Children’s Book Day and upcoming events are listed below! #Readyourworld
“Oh, no sir, “Leona said. “There is not enough money in all the world to make me return. Cloud art is meant to be shared not sold.”
Book: The Cloud Artist
Author: Sherri Maret
Illustrations: Merisha Sequoia Clark
Published by: The RoadRunner Press
Beautifully and meaningfully written in both Choctaw and English, The Cloud Artist immediately draws the reader into its pages. The colorful illustrations in this picture book are filled with real-life imagery and emotion. This bilingual and multicultural story is not only a Choctaw tale by a Choctaw author and illustrator. On the contrary, this book makes the reader think about how you use your “gifts/talents in life” and what they are worth?
From the start of the book you are whisked away into a unique story that a grandmother has passed on to her granddaughter. One that begins with a husband, named William, and his wife, Alice longing to have a child to share their love with. Instantly, you sense the suffering they have endured for years when a child did not come.
Yet after Alice sought a sense of stillness in the moonlight, and spoke her desire (faith) into the night a daughter arrived some months later. A daughter, named Leona with a gift to do cloud art. Cloud art is the ability to manipulate clouds for artistry. It is a form of art that had been known by the Choctaw Indian people but had not been seen for generations.
Now Leona’s gift was so great that she was sought out by a carnival to perform her cloud art. Excited and with her parents permission, a young Leona accepts a silver dollar from a gentleman from the carnival as payment. After an exuberant first day painting cloud art Leona is eager for her second day. That is until the demands by the crowd for her cloud art become to overwhelming that she decides that her gift was not intended to be sold. Hence Leona walks away from the possibility to earn greater fame and monetary gain because she realizes that her gift is meant to be shared and enjoyed.
The Cloud Artist is a powerful story which makes you think about the “true value” of a gift/talent. And it also communicates to young readers that money can not buy everything. This bilingual, multicultural, and multi-generational book is a purposeful “must-read.” It makes an excellent addition to any school or family book shelf.
***Furthermore, and on a personal note this story resonated with me. In speaking my grandparents about my ancestry as a child, I found out that I’m not only of African descent but Native American Indian descent (Cree and Cherokee) etc. It is awesome to read books that celebrate culture isn’t it?!
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MORE ABOUT MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY 2018 AND UPCOMING EVENTS
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ 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.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.
2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs
BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal Bowe, Gokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press
2018 Author Sponsors
Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo, Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and MFL Publishing Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham Author Natasha Yim
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.
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.