This is my 3rd and final review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. If you haven’t read about Carole P. Roman’s books If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire and If You Were Me and Lived in Ancient China, don’t miss out on these amazing books and the fun crafts and activities you can do with them.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day is on January 27. It’s a celebration and encouragement of multicultural books for kids. It was created by Mia Wenjen of PragmaticMom and Valarie Budayr of Jump into a Book. These ladies are on a mission to make more diverse books available to our nation’s youth. It doesn’t get better than that.
If You Were Me and Lived in the American West would make a great addition to American history studies, but it also stands alone as a fun picture book that is filled with information about the American West, the Oregon Trail, and homesteading. My favorite part is its concentration on the Oregon Trail and what it would have been like to be part of a wagon train traveling from the midwest to Oregon.
This book walks your littles through what they would have worn, what supplies they would have to take, and what chores they might have done as they traveled the trail. After all that, it shows them how they might have built their house, what crops they would have planted, and what kind of town might have grown up near them as other settlers arrived in Oregon.
These books are award winners for a reason. Though we studied this part of history a couple years ago, my boys learned 1 0r 2 new things when they sat down to read this book with me. Learning new things is totally the point, right? Roman is thorough in her research and in the information she supplies for littles. I really can’t recommend these books enough.
Like the other books I’ve reviewed for Roman, this one provides lots of opportunities for activities. So let’s get to it.
I’ve made up a free printable for you that has a map of the Oregon Trail, a blank map for your littles to fill out, and 5 questions that relate to the map. This will help give them a better idea of just how far they would have had to travel with the wagon train.
This is the perfect time of year to start some seeds indoors for early spring planting. Your littles will love having the opportunity to put the seeds in soil, add a little water, and watch the seeds grow into seedlings and then full plants. And having fresh vegetables to eat later? Um, win! So get some potting soil and some seeds (maybe even the exact seeds the book talks about planting), and let your littles have a ball.
There are a couple free printables to do with gardening in my subscriber freebies, too. If you want your littles to really get involved, print out the Garden Planning Pages and My Plant Diary so they can keep track of their plants as they grow.
One of our favorite art projects is to pull a picture from a book and paint it ourselves. We did this for Story Time: Spoonbill Swamp and it turned out lovely, but I might like this sunset painting even more!
Sunset Silhouette Painting
What you need:
- Watercolors in brown, sienna, orange, ochre, yellow, blue, black, green, and white
- Watercolor paper
- Paintbrushes in a 2-3 different sizes
- The picture from the book
- The silhouette print-out that is part of the Wild West Printable
- Glue stick
What you do:
- Start out by dry brushing brown on the bottom of your paper with a medium brush for the ground. You don’t want to use too much water or you’ll lose the scrubby look.
- Next, paint a hill on the left side of the paper above the brown in sienna. Make sure to bring the color down and across the page, blending with the brown of the ground.
- Use orange to create your first mountainscape just above the sienna.
- Use ochre to create a second mountainscape above the orange, following the line of the first mountain with a single stripe of your medium brush.
- Yellow will make the bulk of the sunset. Create a straight line above the mountainscape then fill it in with yellow, making sure to blend.
- Start your clouds by blending a bit of sienna with white and dabbing the brush on the paper. Use the illustration from the book as guide.
- Once you’ve got some sienna clouds in place, mix a bit of blue and black together to create the stormy-looking grey clouds.
- Continue to add storm clouds with the blue/black mixture, using the illustration as a guide.
- Fill in your sky with blue and sienna/white clouds.
- Dab some white along the bottom edges of a few clouds to make it look like sun glow.
- By the time you’ve finished your sky, your ground paint should be dry. Use a small brush dipped in green to create vertical dry dab on the ground for grass.
- Here’s roughly what your painting should look like.
- While the painting is drying, print out the silhouettes from the Wild West Printable and cut them out.
- Using the illustration or our painting as a guide, glue your silhouettes onto your painting
Isn’t that just gorgeous? I love that with watercolors your littles can create their own interpretation of the picture while still following directions. It’s my favorite.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day Sponsors
Check out these amazing sponsors of MCBD.
Medallion level (gold, silver, bronze)- 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 Sponsors include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, 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
Be sure to check out MCBD’s Free Multicultural Books for Teachers
And Don’t miss Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents
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