Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

 The Pied Piper of Hamelin! 

Now an interactive e-book app.


Stacking Books and The Candlestick Company is proud to announce our first children’s INTERACTIVE e-book app !


Find The Pied Piper App by Stacking Books on your favorite App Store Now!

The Pied Piper of Hamelin App Store LInk The Pied Piper of Hamelin App Google Play Store Link

Teachers With Apps Says: (Full Review here:

You can almost feel the history of the story as your fingers dance along the page.“ 


The Pied Piper by Stacking Books is truly an original telling of the classic tale and one that will be in my permanent rotation.

With original art work by Andrea Dailey, the Pied Piper app is fun, engaging and interactive. Andrea’s drawings gives a new life to the story. Built in layers, Andrea weaves her magic through character and landscape art. The parchment paper background, mellow yellow and browns lend to the charm of the story and accurately captures the period of the story.Now, you can find the legend re-told in a refreshing format. The Pied Piper app ( launched on iOS and Android is now available worldwide on tablets.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin or the story of the Piper, the rat-catcher, is a legend told for generations. In early 16th century, the story took a full narrative form. It was then told and re-told by the German writer Johann Wolfgang bon Goethe, the Brothers Grimm and later, by Robert Browning.Written in verse and with some amazing full spread illustrations! 

Mark Kueffner lends beautiful background music to capture the mood of the tale. Appropriately placed sound effects will delight the children as they discover the many interactive elements on the pages. Can you mimic the Piper’s music on our Play the Pipe game!

A beautiful production, complete with original art and music, The Pied Piper App ( is a wonderful collection for your tablet reading experience.

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If an Elephant went to School

If an Elephant went to School
by Ellen Fischer (Author), Laura Wood (Illustrator)

Unique animal behaviors!

Have you ever wondered.. If an ELEPHANT went to school, what would she learn?

If an Elephant Went to School Classroom

 Would she learn to read and write like you do? NO! He would probably learn to use her trunk in different ways!

If an Elephant went to School collage

What if an OWL wen to school? What would he learn in class? Counting from one to hundred?

If an Elephant went to School Owl

This is another super sweet, quirky, silly but FUN installment from Ellen Fischer’s series of books. After her first “If an Armadillo went to a Restaurant” , we were looking forward to another “If a __” book and this one DOES NOT disappoint!

Laura Woods lovely illustrations of the various young animals learning survival skills that are so different than ours. We love that “If an Elephant went to School” is similarly illustrated and feels like a true companion book to her earlier “If an Armadillo went to a Restaurant”.

If an Elephant went to School is best suited for beginning readers and can be used in lessons for Cause and Effect. It also makes for a perfect read aloud for younger audiences. Each page follows a pattern where the author asks the reader what if an animal went to school, what would he/she learn? You will find animals such as the zebra, a frog, a honey bee and even a SKUNK!

With gentle pacing and simple language, little readers will be thrilled to learn how different animals require different skills for survival.

A great companion picture book non-fiction for libraries, classrooms and home reading.

Find it here: Library, Amazon

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!

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Kid Lit Blog Hop

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Welcome to the 62nd Kid Lit Blog Hop where we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children’s books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists. So, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors!

This week, we are excited to be including a Facebook Party to be held in conjunction with the Kid Lit Blog Hop. These linky parties are designed to give you the opportunity to connect with and grow your network of fellow kid lit bloggers, authors, and parents through your various social media platforms.

Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!


Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read*

1. We ask that you kindly follow your hosts. You can follow us any way you choose (Email, GFC, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest, etc.), but we’ve added our preferences below. If you could just give us a quick “follow” or “like” that would be much appreciated! Make sure to leave us a message if you are following us (i.e., on Twitter or Facebook or on our websites) and we will be sure to follow you back. Thanks!


Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Julie Grasso, Author/ Blogger

Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blogger

Reshama @ Stacking Books

Stacie @ BeachBoundBooks

Mia @ Pragmatic Mom

Best 4 Future: Bringing Up Baby Bilingual

Naila @ Reading Authors

The Logonauts

A Book Long Enough

Tiffiny, Spark and Pook

 2. Link up any Kid Lit related post. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.

* Don’t link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*

* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *

* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*

* Feel free to link more than one post.*

3. Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you!

4. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you’re linking up. If you’d prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links!

5. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!

Interested in co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop? If you’ve joined us before, you are welcome to join us again! Please email renee @ motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com and put Co-Hosting Blog Hop in the subject line.

Happy Hopping!

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by Mara Rockliff (Author), Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator)

How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled all of France

 “Mesmerized” is a story about Ben Franklin as he sets out to travel to France to recruit “help” for struggling revolutionaries. In France, he discovers many interesting scientific discoveries and amazing experiments. But one particular phenomenon has caught his attention.

People in France are talking about one Dr. Franz Mesmer who has discovered an amazing “Force”. A force that only Dr Mesmer can use to cure any ailment! People have been flocking to his residence for a cure by dozens.

Mesmerized Ben investigates

But not everyone is thrilled by this miraculous force. Doctors who practice traditional medicine are furious. Their patients won’t take their medicine any more. All they want is to go to Dr. Franz and be charmed by his magical wand that seems to cure all their ailments! Indeed, it seems as if Dr Mesmer has uncovered a force that is not like electricity or a gas or hot air inside a balloon.

So what was it then? asked the doctors. They presented their dilemma to the king of France. Finally, the king decided to call the one person who could figure out this whole mystery… Ben Franklin!

I love how this story is presented and the layout of the pages. The authors choose to highlight the principles of the scientific method: Observe, hypothesize, test and supporting evidence. Through the means of this incident of scientific mystery, the author engages the young reader through these principles. The layout of the pages and art work pop out and clarifies how Ben Franklin carries out his investigation and clears out the mystery for everyone.

Mesmerized the Scientific method

At the end there is a short write up with more information about the incident of Dr Mesmer and the discovery of hypnosis and Placebo effects.

A great real story to read about Ben Frankiln, about scientific method and a mystery to be solved.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Daredevil Duck

Daredevil Duck
by Charlie Alder (Author, Illustrator)

A tale about being brave!

 Daredevil Duck has as super-duper cape, an extra strong helmet and x-ray goggles! He is the bravest duck in the whole wide world…

Well.. kind of..

Daredevil duck WANTS to be brave.. he is always dreaming of being brave.. but he isn’t exactly “brave” L As a matter of fact, he is afraid of a lot of things. Like dark things or fluttery things or things that are too wet!

And sometimes the other ducks say mean things to him and tease him.

Then one day something unexpected happens. At first this scares Daredevil duck very much. But slowly and surely, Daredevil duck finds a way to go past his apprehensions. Daredevil duck takes the plunge and realizes he feels happy and very accomplished indeed Smile

Daredevil duck tries hard

Maybe being brave is not that difficult after all! 

Charlie Alder’s Daredevil Duck is a lovely picture book for all the little kids who feel overwhelmed or fearful of new adventures out there. Whether its conquering the monkey bars or sliding down an extra high slide, kids will relate to feeling bold and being joyful in small achievements.

What we loved about this picture book is the creative “lift the flap” feature which leads to discovering the various hilarious situations that the Daredevil duck finds himself in. Charlie Adler illustrates the book in charming bright colorful spreads to keep little readers and listeners engaged. We loved the silly worried expressions of the duck and the free flowing text that leads the eye to Daredevil’s mis-adventures.

If you have a little one who sometimes needs motivation to take on challenges, then this is a perfect book to add to your collection.

This blog post is part of a Blog Tour. Do visit the following links to read more about Daredevil Duck!

5/4 Wife Hat, Mom Hat

5/5 Geo Librarian

5/6 In The Pages

5/7 Stacking Books

5/9 Bea’s Book Nook

5/10 ReaderKidz

5/11 Coffee for the Brain

5/12 The Picture Book Review

5/13 Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

5/14 Mom Read It

5/15 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books

5/16 Cheryl Rainfield

5/17 Unleashing Readers

 FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the above books from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Go, Pea, Go!

Go, Pea, Go!
by Joe Moshier , Chris Sonnenburg (Author/Illustrator)

Eyes on the goal!

Pea Junior is on a mission and an important one too. A mission where he needs all his focus and concentration. Pea Junior must keep his faith and have a can do attitude. His mission is to get to his potty .. Go, Pea Go!

But Pea Junior is not alone in this mission. He has his friends and family encouraging him along the way. He is tempted to stop and boogie with the backyard cats along the way.. He is tempted to stop and play with his friends at the pool. But Pea Junior is super charged and will not loose sight of greeting to his ultimate destination! Go, Pea, Go!

This is super sweet rhyming book on potty training for little ones. The story begins with Pea Junior suddenly realizing that he needs to “go”. The “race” to the potty begins. And although there are distractions along the way, Pea Junior stays on track.

Go Pea Go wont stop

Adorable and fun the illustrations are super cute with little Pea Junior and his friends colored brightly just right for little kids to look at. The bold shouts of “Go, Pea, Go!” which ends every verse add a nice fun rhythm to the narrative.

What we really liked about the book is that it comes with a nice race chart with stickers to keep score during potty training. And for those inclined towards a little bathroom singing, there is a nice little catchy tune that will keep the little ones on the potty long enough to accomplish their goal!Laughing

Go Pea Go chart

So grab this book if you are looking for potty inspiration!

This review is part of a blog tour:

4/22 A Girl and a Boy

4/23 Stacking Books

4/24 Geo Librarian

4/25 Art, Books, Coffee

4/27 Coffee for the Brain

4/28 Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

4/29 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books

4/30 Booktalking #kidlit

5/1 Unleashing Readers


A Rafflecopter Giveaway

This contest will run from 4/22 to 5/4 @ 12 AM EST. We will give away ONE prize pack that includes a pea plush, pea beach ball, pea tote bag, pea hair clips, stickers, and a copy of the book. THREE people will win a pack including a pea beach ball, pea postcards, stickers, and a copy of the book. FIVE runners up will receive a copy of the book and stickers. Winners will be contacted by email and must notify us within 48 hours of the notification email with address and acceptance. Please note that winners can be from the US only.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!

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Lost for Words

Lost for Words
by Natalie Russell (Author, Illustrator)

Writer’s Block!

Tapir has a brand new notebook and some nice pencils. He stares at the first blank page wondering what he should write! He stares and stares but nothing comes to mind. His page looks empty and he has no idea what to write!

Lost for words Not know

Tapir’s friend, Giraffe has some pretty good ideas about writing. In fact, Giraffe was writing an excellent poem about a tree. Giraffe sure had a way with words!

Tapir’s other friend Hippo is writing too.. Hippo is sitting in his nice muddy pool, making up a lovely rescue story with Hippo as the hero!

And then there is the lovely Flamingo. Flamingo is quite good with songs. This one poem that she currently writing about is how the sun shines brightly in the sky!

“I MUST be doing something wrong!” thought Tapir too himself. He felt quite lost for words Frown So he decides to find a nice quite spot, on the top of the hill, from where he could see a beautiful view and all his friends in it.. Maybe now he will find some ideas! Smile

Lost for words thinking

“Lost for Words” has a wonderful message. When Tapir finds himself comparing his abilities with the others, he suddenly feels quite incapable. But when he finds that nice quite corner to be alone and find confidence in what he can do.. he finds out that he could be quite unique too.. just like his friends!  I also love the three writing techniques that the author presented. Children will find inspiration in different techniques in which to express themselves.

The bright and colorful screen-print style illustrations in “Lost for Words” are very child-like and likable. The double spread art work with sunny skies, blue and green landscape will make this a fun to read book for kids.

“Lost for Words” may not be unique in its theme, but is very unique in the way the theme is presented. The surprise ending will leave a smile on every readers face Smile

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Mini Myths

Mini Myths
by Joan Holub (Author), Leslie Patricelli (Illustrator)

Make a Wish, Midas!

Little Midas loves the color yellow. Its his most favorite color of all. His favorite blanky is yellow. His favorite food the banana is yellow. His clothes are all yellow (yes, even his underpants! Smile) When mom asks him to get dressed one day, holding out a nice pair of blue jeans and matching blue and white shirt, Midas won’t wear that! He wants his favorite yellow clothes instead!

Mini Myths Midas Inside1

But his most favorite toy, little Dinoboo, is green! What can Midas do about that?

Brush your hair, Medusa!

Medusa is a naughty little girl. She likes to jump up and down on her bed. She likes to show off her somersaults. But she DOESN’T like to brush her hair! She did rather brush her little toy mermaid’s hair.. but not hers!

Mini Myths Medusa  Inside1

Uh Oh! Its the door bell ringing and grand ma is here! And Medusa STILL hasn’t had her hair brushed! Smile

“Make a wish, Midas” and “Brush your hair, Medusa” are the second installment in the Joan Holub and Leslie Patricelli’s Mini Myths series. Like the first two books, “Be Patient, Pandora” and ” Play nice, Hercules”, this set of books are loosely based on two mythical characters, King Midas and Medusa. An author’s back note gives us a brief background on the actual mythological story surrounding the characters.

As with the earlier books, Joan Holub’s simple short words and sentences are perfect for a toddler read aloud story. Leslie Patricelli well known for her colorful toddler books “Yummy, Yuck” is a natural fit for the Mini Myth set.

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the above books from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


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If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant

If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant
by Ellen Fischer (Author), Laura Wood (Illustrator)

What DO animals eat?? Surprised

A silly, super sweet non-fiction, “If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant” will answer this question. The picture book non-fiction gives you a peek into what different animals would order if they were to go to a restaurant.

Will they order a pizza or a sandwich? No!!

If an Armadillo went to a restaurant Giraffe

If an Armadillo went to a restaurant Ostrich

How about spaghetti with meatballs? No! No!! Smile

If an Armadillo went to a restaurant Armadillo

An Armadillo would probably prefer a plate of ants and worms (with a few beetles thrown in of course!) Wouldn’t that be delectable?? (GROSS!!)

Suited for 3+ year olds, this adorable book follows a pattern, introducing a new animal on alternate pages and asking the reader what food would best suit the palate of that animal. Find animals such as sea turtles, snake, butterflies, kangaroos and many more. We loved discovering the different types of food and playing a “guessing” game for each animal. And the “reveal” would leave the kiddo with lots of “eeeeww” and “yuuuuck” and similar sounding words!  The book ends with a question around what would the reader order if he/she went to a restaurant with a small kids menu… yum!

Gentle pacing, simple language and silly answers will keep the young readers engaged. Laura Wood’s cute kid-friendly art is colorful and eye catching. Her quirky animal renderings, pictures of various animal food on plates and adorable expressions on their faces are instantly lovable.

A great picture book non-fiction for libraries, classrooms and home reading.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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5 Graphic Novels we Loved!

5 Graphic Novels we Loved!

1. Fairy Tale Comics edited by Chris Duffy

Fairy Tale Comics page
This is a collection of 17 of your favorite fairy tales. And along with your well known favorites like “Snow White” and “Goldilocks”, there are some unique finds too, like “The Prince and the Tortoise: from 1001 nights and “The Boy who drew cats”. What is unique about this collection is that each tale has been illustrated by 17 different artists who put their own unique “signature” on the tales. It is a delight to re-read your favorite and new tales in such a diversity of art in one single book. From Raina Telgemeier’s straight bold line comic art work to Brett Helquist’s more parchment colored art, this book is truly a very unique collection.

2. Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci

Odd Duck cover
We fell in love with the very predictable Theodora and her new quirky “odd” friend Chad. This is a story about friendship, impressions and acceptance.
The author/illustrator duo have created a charming story in a “graphic novel” format. Word balloons, clear pastel colors and strong lines with lots and lots of whimsical, quirky details makes this book very endearing! This tale has an age old theme of “be yourself”. The unique twist however comes when the “Odd Duck” seems to think that their world is quite normal while the others are somehow “different”. At the end, however, the “Odd Duck” realizes that being different, isn’t that bad after all..

3. Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell 

Monster on the Hill page

Do you want to read a fun, goofy and super silly tale about monsters? If you answered with a resounding “YES” then this is the book for you !! Rob Harrell’s Monster on the hill is not scary at all. While other monsters in their other hometowns are scaring people silly, Stoker-on-Avon’s monster is moaning and groaning and sulking all day long. Bottom line: Stoker-on-Avon’s monster sucked! Now its up to two very unusual partners to solve this monster’s problems and get him back on his feet.

4. Hereville series by Barry Deutsch

Hereville series cover

Hereville, a contemporary Orthodox Jewish community, is the home of an 11 year old girl, Mirka. But Mirka is a restless soul. Her wise stepmother tries to quiet her restless spirit by teaching her to knit. Mirka, however, has other ideas. A talking pig encounter takes Mirka on an extra ordinary journey that ends up with Mirka having to sword fight an alien for her life! So what’s so unique about this series? We loved reading about the traditional background of a restless modern 11 year old girl. Her emotional tug of war with her upbringing, customs and her desire to do the “unthinkable” (such as fight aliens and save the world). The author does a superb job of blending the unreal and the real while keeping everything on track. Can’t wait for more of Mirka!

5. El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo cover
One day little Cece falls ill with meningitis. As she recovers, the family and Cece realize that she has lost her hearing. Over the next few months, Cece has to get multiple hearing tests and then ends up having to wear a hearing aid for her life. As little Cece slowly settles into her “new” regular life as an hearing impaired child, she struggles to blend in, make friends and find something special. And one day she realizes that she indeed has a super power. Something that makes her special.. her hearing aid picks up voices from far away. A talent that no one else poses. And thus “El Deafo” is born. We loved this tale for all the conversation starters it provides. A serious subject told with so much heart, a little bit of humor and with a lot of poise, this book is a MUST read for everyone!

Are graphic novels “real” books? Should they count towards reading?

Prejudices: I have come across this question many times. Some parents and educators believe that graphic novels are not serious books or should not be counted as good reads or encouraged. Schools do not allow graphic novels for book reports and other literacy based projects. However, graphic novels have come a long way. They are smart, mature reads. As you can see from above examples, the story telling is very unique and fresh. The format lends itself beautifully for girls and boys. Topics range from serious (El Deafo) to quirky (Mirka) to good old fun (Fairy tales).

Here are a few benefits to reading graphic novels:

Foster love for Reading:  Graphic novels can be a great motivation for reading books. I know many kids tire from their regular reading and need a break. A graphic novel is a wonderful way to provide that break. It is a fun way to get reading done, diversify reading habits and work on reading longer too!

Story telling: The creativity that goes into building stories in this format is simply superb. Artists use so many different visual cues to send subtle messages to the readers. For example: Look at the picture below of Cece finally realizing that something was different. This single page is so powerful in the way it expresses the confusion and fear Cece feels. It is hard to imagine this being in any other format. Matt Phelan, a veteran graphic novel artist and store teller, explains it beautifully with his book “Bluffton”:

Struggling or reluctant readers: Graphic novels are dimply the best way to get reluctant readers excited about reading. It builds reading confidence and kids also end up reading longer!

What are your thoughts around graphic novels? Have you read one recently?

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My Dadima wears a Sari

My Dadima wears a Sari
by Kashmira Sheth (Author), Yoshiko Jaeggi (Illustrator)

A Warm Generational story!


Little Rupa wonders why her “Dadima” (grandma) wears her traditional Indian outfit, her Sari. She notices her dadima wears it every day. She wears them all day and wears them every where. Her saris are bright and colorful and cheerful.  But it makes Rupa curious.. why does her dadima wear only saris?

So she asks “Dadima, don’t you ever feel like wearing something other than saris? What can you do with a sari?” So Dadima explains..

How she can use her “pallu” (the end of her sari) to cool her on a hot summer’s day.

My dadima wears a sari fan

 And how her sari can help carry all the seashells that Rupa collects

 My dadima wears a sari seashells

And how her sari can quickly protect her from falling raindrops!

My dadima wears a sari umrella


“Dadima wears a Sari” is a wonderful heartwarming tale about a tradition followed by women for generations in India. Gently told, the story is easily relatable. So many girls love to dress up and look for ideas and examples around them. In this tale, little Rupa and her sister see their grandma wearing something unique, something beautiful and become curious about her habit of wearing a sari.

We loved the gentle water color illustrations and the warm colors. The sway of dadima’s sari reminded us of our own collection sitting in the wardrobe! Can you guess how we decided to spend the rest of our evening? Smile

This review is part of celebrating Multicultral Children’s Book Day. We believe diversity in reading children’s literature helps expose the world to our kids, make them tolerant of differences and create empathy and awareness that is so much in need today.

More about Multicultral Children’s Book Day:MCBD


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.

Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. On January 27th, 2015 this dynamic duo will be hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along via book reviews, author visits, multicultural booklists and visit the huge multicultural book review link-up that will occur on the MCCBD website 1/27/15.

Here are some ways you can help us celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day

  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website and view our booklists, reading resources and other useful multicultural information.
  • Visit our Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board for more reading ideas.
  • Have children bring in their favorite multicultural book to school on this day and share it with the class.
  • Watch for the #ReadYourWorld hashtag on social media and share.
  • Visit our Diversity Book Lists and Resources for Educators and Parents on our website.
  • Visit MCCBD sponsors (you can find them HERE)
  • Create a Multicultural Children’s Book Day display around the classroom or library.
  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website on January 27th to view and participate in our huge blogger link-up, multicultural book reviews, giveaways and more!

Other Fun Details:

2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global BookshopGold Sponsors:  Satya House,,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic PoofSilver SponsorsJunior Library Guild,  Capstone PublishingLee and Low Books,  The Omnibus PublishingBronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls,Bliss Group BooksSnuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

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Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus & the Village Bank

Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus & the Village Bank
by Paula Yoo  (Author), Jamel Akib (Illustrator)

The Power of ONE!

Muhammad Yunus grew up in the city of Chittagong in Bangladesh. He was the third oldest of nine children. His parents were great believers in education and made sure that all their children studied hard. Muhammad joined the boy scouts and went on hikes through the countryside. On his hikes, Muhammad was alarmed to see the terrible conditions around him. 


Muhammad became active in charity soon after. He realized that a very few coins went a long way for entire families.He studied economics and went to university in US where he saw a whole new world.

Back home, war, drought and famine had taken a toll on people. Muhammad was appalled to see the conditions had worsened while he was away. Then he met a young woman named Sufiya Begum. Although, weak and thin from lack of food, Sufiya weaved beautiful bamboo stools to make money. It cost her 5 taka or twenty two cents to make the stools. But she had to borrow the money and pay exorbitant amounts as interest. By the time she sold her wares, paid back her debt, Sufiya was left with only 2cents; not enough for the family.


It would have been easy for Muhammad to lend her that money as charity. But he quickly realized that this was not a long term solution. He was looking for a way to make her self-sufficient. He asked the local banks for the loan. He was turned down not just that once, but many more times. Frustrated at the lack of support, her started his own bank, “Grameen Bank” and made small loans called micro-credit.

The rest is history!

From wanting to help one woman, Muhammad Yunus soon became a “banker to the poor”. Muhammad went on to loan ten billion US dollars to twelve million people worldwide. He received Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

Paula Yoo tells it straight. She describes the tragic conditions of people living under poverty with grace and compassion. Coupled with Akib’s pastel chalk art, Yoo makes a difficult subject accessible to younger audience. In a world separated by the “haves” and “have-nots”, the courageous tale of Muhammad Yunnus is refreshing, hopeful and forward-looking. Paula Yoo’s ending leaves us with a sense that there is still more to be done, more to fulfill and that it can be done.

A real-life hero story, a lesson in how one man can truly create change for the masses, this book is an essential read for kids. 

This review was done as a part of a blog tour. I had the wonderful opportunity to ask Paula Yoo, the author, a few questions. And here is what she had to say:

1. Tell us what led up to this book?

PAULA: Jason Low of Lee & Low Books emailed me a few years ago to ask if I was interested in the life of Muhammad Yunus. Jason had admired Professor Yunus’ work and felt his life could potentially become a strong children’s book biography. At the time, I knew Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank had won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for their revolutionary work with micro banking and micro credit to combat poverty. But I did not know the details of his life. Jason recommended I read his autobiography, BANKER TO THE POOR: MICRO-LENDING AND THE BATTLE AGAINST WORLD POVERTY. I read that book in one sitting. I was fascinated and inspired by his life. I realized Jason was right – Professor Yunus’ journey to become a champion for the poor would be a great story for children to learn not just about the basic tenets of finance and money but also about compassion and generosity and helping others. I began to read more books and research Professor Yunus’ life, along with interviewing him, which led to this book.

2. Your favorite page in the book is…

PAULA : First of all, I want to say how honored and thrilled I am by the beautiful artwork done by the amazing Jamel Akib. So art-wise, I would say all the pages of the book’s illustrations are my favorites! But if I had to choose one specific page, it would be the opening page featuring the text and art of Muhammad as a young boy and his mother giving away food and clothes to their poor neighbors. It’s a very moving picture and moment in Muhammad’s childhood because it shows what sparked his inspiration and drive to help others less fortunate than him. His mother and father taught him great lessons in compassion and generosity.

3. You had the opportunity to meet with Muhammad Yunus. Tell us what about Yunus struck you the most.

PAULA: It was such a privilege and honor to sit down with Muhammad Yunus for a one-on-one interview for the book! I was incredibly nervous and intimidated because he won the Nobel Peace Prize! So when we met, what struck me immediately about Professor Yunus was how down to earth and friendly he was with me. His smile lit up his whole face and put me at ease immediately. It made me realize how his ability to connect with people and find common ground was the driving force behind his passionate mission to help others rise above poverty.

4. What’s next?

PAULA: When I’m not writing books, I also write for TV. I have had the wonderful opportunity to write for two shows this year – Amazon’s MOZART IN THE JUNGLE and SyFy’s DEFIANCE. I’m also working on a couple of book projects but I can’t say much about them yet, so stay tuned! Thank you for this fun Q&A and blog tour stop. I really appreciate it! Wishing you and everyone Happy Writing!


Paula, Thank YOU for taking time to answer my questions and creating this memorable book on the life and work of Muhammad Yunus! 

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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