Thursday, 28 January 2021

Celebrating Multicultural Children's Book Day With Flying Colors

I am really looking forward to this year's MCBD celebration. We all need something to celebrate after a long hard year of the pandemic. 2021 is a new beginning and I feel the positive energy is a must these days. Language Lizard's bilingual series is a delight to read. In English and Chinese, idioms using colors are introduced and explained. It's simple and friendly to young children. Mostly importantly, it makes reading in two languages FUN. The illustrations are also multicultural with a variety of ethnicity represented. This is certainly a great educational resource to have around the house or in school. 

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!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Prgamaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s (

Platinum Sponsors: Language Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages, Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media

Gold Sponsors: Barefoot Books, Candlewick Press, CapstoneHoopoe Books,  KidLitTV, Peachtree Publishing Company Inc.

Silver Sponsors: Charlotte Riggle, Connecticut Association of School Librarians, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Pack-N-Go Girls

Bronze Sponsors: Agatha Rodi and AMELIE is IMPRESSED!, Barnes Brothers Books, Create and Educate Solutions, LLC, Dreambuilt Books, Dyesha and Triesha McCants/McCants Squared, Redfin Real Estate, Snowflake Stories, Star Bright Books, TimTimTom Bilingual Personalized Books, Author Vivian Kirkfield, Wisdom Tales Press, My Well Read Child 

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Poster Artist: Nat Iwata

Authors: Author Afsaneh Moradian, Author Alva Sachs & Three Wishes Publishing Company, Author Angeliki Stamatopoulou-Pedersen, Author Anna Olswanger, Author Casey Bell , Author Claudine Norden, Author Debbie Dadey, Author Diana Huang & IntrepidsAuthor Eugenia Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Green Kids Club,  Author Gwen Jackson, Author Janet Balletta, Author Josh Funk, Author Julia Inserro, Karter Johnson & Popcorn and Books, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, Author Keila Dawson, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Author Mia Wenjen, Michael Genhart, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Natalie Murray, Natalie McDonald-Perkins, Author Natasha Yim, Author Phe Lang and Me On The Page Publishing, Sandra Elaine Scott, Author Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay FletcherTales of the Five Enchanted Mermaids, Author Theresa Mackiewicz, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Author Toshia Stelivan, Valerie Williams-Sanchez & The Cocoa Kids Collection Books©, Author Vanessa Womack, MBA, Author Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series

MCBD 2021 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2021 is Honored to be Supported by these Media Partners!

Check out MCBD's Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents

Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Activism and Activists Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Empathy Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Kindness Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Physical and Developmental Challenges Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Poverty Kit

Gallery of Our Free Posters

FREE Diversity Book for Classrooms Program

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Friday, 31 January 2020

Celebrating Multicultural Children's Book Day: TimTimTom invites children into their own stories

Once again, I'm celebrating with many parents and teachers on the Multicultural Children's Book Day - January 31, 2020. There are more authors and more books this year. I signed up as a reviewer and learned about some wonderful bilingual books from TimTimTom.

We all know a good story draws the readers in, as if they were right there in the actions.  TimTimTom's story books do just that. I went on to, chose a story on swimming with the Dolphin (who wouldn't want to swim with a Dolphin!), type my daughter's name and viola I got a customized book called "Chantal and the Dolphin". What's even more exciting for me and my daughter when we read the story is that the book is in bilingual format. The readers can choose two languages they want printed on the book. It is so simple yet powerful. Multicultural books not only need to tell stories that reflect our culturally diverse world, but also promote multilingual literacy. It is so heartwarming to see TimTimTom create such a product line. A big thumb's up from me!

The story, written by Saskia Reusens and illustrated by Katrien Van Schuylenbergh, is a delight to read. The colorful illustration sparks children's imagination and the adventure takes us through the joy of learning how to swim. Every page, Chantal's name appears either in the narration or the dialogue with the Dolphin and other sea creatures. I can see Chantal's intense interest in her own story and the big smile on her face.

As a bilingual author, one of my pet peeves is the quality of the translations. I often see great stories being ruined by bad translations. I am not sure whether TimTimTom's original stories were created in English then translated into all other languages. I must say the Chinese writing was of very good quality and that's why I can't tell what's the original and what's the translation. I can only speak about the Chinese writing but I think TimTimTom has taken the same care for other languages. It really is a quality product and one that should be embraced by all of us who care so much about multicultural and multilingual reading.

Please go online and order one. There are stories about soccer and dance, too. You, and more importantly your kids, would love it.

About Multicultural Children's Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th 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. Seven 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.

MCBD 2020 is honored to have the following 

Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings,
Platinum Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls,
Gold Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS: A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,
Silver Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,
Bronze Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers Books, TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books, Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

Author Sponsor Link Cloud
Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Lauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series Green Kids Club, Inc.

 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.
Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day
TWITTER PARTY! Register here! Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Multicultural Children's Book Day

A few months ago, I answered a call to participate in the Multicultural Children's Book Day. I did not hesitate. The book review just came out on Bicultural Mama's Blog. It is so encouraging to see and be connected to a community of authors, readers and parents who care about and promote multicultural living. For me, bilingual books are the true reflection of our lives. For my family, we are embracing, but at times struggling, to maintain an environment for multiple languages. My children have access to French instruction at school so they are fluently bilingual in English and French. Their Chinese lessons are now reduced to tutorial sessions. I still order books online, and from my work travel, I bring back publications from China once in a while. The stories that interest my daughters, and most importantly, resonnate with their life experiences are still rare to find. I am hopeful that Multicultural Chidren's Book Day will change that. After all, there are a lot of families like mine - we live in the intersection of cultures. It makes sense to celebrate that.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Two years after Four Seasons are published

It's been two years since Fun in Four Seasons are published. Since then, the books were selected for Victoria Public Library's Emerging Authors' Collection. I have sold out my first print run and released the second print edition. A few reader reviews are also shared online. Here is one example from Amazon by Cindy Xin.

  • This is a book infused with animated colours and spirited images. A rare collaboration between mother and daughters, the book embodies labour, fun and love. Reading the book, I can imagine being a child again splashing the spring rain puddles, digging my toes in the summer sandy beach, wading through the autumn leaves in my woolen stockings, and making a fresh set of footprints in the morning snow before building my snowman. What is it about those feet, the children’s feet on the cover pages of the Four Seasons? They just make you lift the pages, walk you through the joy of their worlds, and take you in as part of it, all accompanied by the music of the simple and lyrical language. I trust both parents and children will enjoy reading the book, together or alone, in all four seasons. It is simply a pleasure.
Recently, I met a young reader in person in Edmonton. Six years old Andre has his set of Fun in Four Seasons with him for home reading and on trips. According to his parents, the books are worn out because he reads them a lot. I asked him which season is his favorite, he replied "Spring, because I like to jump in puddles too". That warms my heart. Nothing is more rewarding than hearing a reader's positive feedback! 

Two years also saw some big changes in my life. I changed my job and moved to Kingston Ontario. This past 6 to 8 months have been hectic, settling into a new community, finding new direction for my career and parenting my teenage daughters. Looking back at the stories I created with them when they were little and the Chinese learning we shared, it is such a precious memory. It is a cliche when we say kids grow up so fast, but it is very true. We are still conducting Chinese lessons at home. I plan on writing and publishing more stories.  To order the books, please email me at iningtracychao at gmail dot com. OR visit The best way to find it is searching by my name "Ining Tracy Chao". 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

四季叢書上市了 Four Seasons Books Are Available in Print

It took two years... well, three years if you count the very initial writing of the spring poem, to producing the print version of the Four Seasons series. I re-learned photography, re-worked the texts with editors, and re-arranged the layouts with the help of a talented graphic designer. Lots of technical details throughout the production process. The Chinese saying "好事多磨 (hao shi duo mou)" is very true as good things do and should take long. Now I have something to show my ideal of bilingual stories as a reflection of our living at the intersection of Chinese and Canadian cultures. You can email me (iningtracychao at gmail dot com) to purchase the books or just to let me know what you think about the books. I love hearing from the readers - young and old!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

如果花会说话 If Flowers Could Speak

Have you ever wondered if you put your ears close to flowers, I mean really close, what would you hear? Living on the West Coast of Canada, we are blessed with lots of colourful and fragrant flowers. I am also grateful that I can visit a heritage garden site at work everyday. Without it, I wouldn't be able to produce this story... you should see the sad state of my home garden. Well, I spend my time between my design work, and writing these stories. No time for pulling weeds and tending my own garden. So I use my lunch breaks at work to stroll through the heritage garden. From season to season, it's a feast for the eyes, and ears if you listen carefully.

Chinese with English Subtitles

Chinese with pinying

This is the debut recording of Emilyn playing violin. She started early this year and made really good progress. Emilyn also typed all the text and Pinyin this time. One thing she really likes to do is to proofread my work. So when the movie was done, I asked her to proofread it. She picked out two mistakes in Pinyin and was mighty proud of that. Movie Maker has been a great tool for my story projects but with this flower story, I was a bit frustrated by the limitation of the software and want to use more editing functions. I guess I have out-grown the tool. Progress on my part. I remember learning and using Adobe Premier back in the days when I did media production work. I might have to think about the next step in terms of building my skills. That includes my writing skills. I'm already creating the next set of stories. They are sketches by Emilyn and scribbles by me on paper for now. 12 animals from the Chinese zodiac with a twist. I think we completed six animals. Another six to go. And at the same time Emilyn and I have brainstormed ideas for the next QiQi story. I don't think photography will suit these new works. Another ambitious art project on the horizon and I'll see if I can get Chantal to help this time. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

奇奇的祕密任務 The Secret Mission of QiQi

Watch the video.

QiQi is a squirrel. "Hao Qi" means being curious in Chinese. So we name the squirrel QiQi.

It has been almost two years since our encounter with a squirrel trapped in a chimney. That was the summer when we travelled to Kimberley and stayed at our friend Erica's cottage. A squirrel fell into the chimney in the kitchen and screeched, in pain I thought at the time, the whole night. My imagination ran wild: an injured bird, a hurt squirrel, bloody feather and mangled fur?  Erica had to call in her neighbour to help. We were happy that we freed a very scared but healthy squirrel after several hours of dismantling the kitchen fan under the chimney. The kids had a frenzy trying to chase the squirrel out of the house. It was all for a good laugh at the end and Erica said: why don't you write about it. Here I am: two years later, I finally finished the project. And I owe Erica a big THANKS!

As always, the writing part is easy. I wrote the story shortly after the trip. The art work and the video production always take a long time. We had a "draft" hand-made story book before I asked Emilyn to re-do all the illustrations. That proved to be a challenge for an 8 years old to keep a consistent design and style. She had to learn how to draw a squirrel from different angles with different actions. She settled on a grey squirrel, the same kind that frequent our backyard, and researched the habitat and food habit of this creature. Quite a process and an accomplishement for Emilyn. The voice recording  also took a while as the story lines are longer and more complex linguistically. Fortunately, days of recording got Chantal, the 4 years old, interested in the production and she sang the opening song with all the enthusiasm she had. Perfect sound effect I was looking for.

This is the spring break week so I am very pleased that this story is finally on the blog for all the kids to enjoy. I am still busy with the upcoming publication of my first series of story books. Camera in hand, the kids and I are in search of flowers in the woods or gardens. Every time we run into a squirrel, we say "hey look, QiQi is busy with his secret mission".