Celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD 2020)

[ 0 ] 27/01/2020 |

This is my second year participating in the online event Multicultural Children’s Book Day as an author and book reviewer. I am honored to be part of this, helping to raise awareness for children’s books that celebrate diversity and inspire a love of learning. This time, I decided to present to you two women authors from my home country, Greece. I received a digital copy of the illustrated children’s books ‘Bel Bechamel’ and ‘The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree’ for review purposes. The first one is published only in Greek whereas the latter is available in English and Greek.

About the book ‘Bel Bechamel’ (picture book for preschoolers and early readers)

At first glance, Bel Bechamel can be described as a culinary adventure for aspiring chefs. But it’s so much more than that. It feels like a classic fairytale, in a modern setting, with a heroine who travels the whole wide world before discovering her true self and how she wishes to live her life. Multi-layered with many topics weaved masterfully within the story’s fabric. With handmade tortellini, traditional pies and warm bowls of soup as the background, the author Christina Konstandoudaki creates a delightful story about family love, values, humility, achieving goals, friendship, and solidarity. The illustrator Αlexandra Colombo also did an amazing job; vibrant, colorful illustrations and the most adorable characters.

Cooking activity inspired by ‘Bell Bechamel’

Readers will find a recipe for traditional Cretan kalitsounia at the end of the book (my father comes from this island and I can assure you, they’re worth the effort!). Here you can find a similar recipe in English.

You can order the book here.

About the author

Christina Konstandoudaki is from the island of Crete in Greece, she’s a kindergarten teacher and a dreamer. She likes to write all sorts of stories both for kids and grown-ups. She is a volunteer at summer camps for kids, and she has won awards for her stories. Two of her books, ‘To Arhigio’ and ‘Bel Bechamel’, are published by Biblioscopio Books. Her life motto is to let kids be kids.

About the book, The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree (picture book for preschoolers and early readers)

This early childhood book is written from a mother’s point of view with the purpose of helping hard of hearing or deaf children and their families at the critical mainstream stage.

It is the story of Angelia and Jacob, two kids destined to be best friends, and it all begins on their first day at school. Angelia is curious about something behind the ears of Jacob (hearing aid), and the two kids engage in a very informative dialogue. Angelia learns how to be a good and helpful friend, and appreciates that Jacob is smart and able to succeed when his needs are met. Angelia is also introduced to a new set of vocabulary like hearing aids, sign language, audiologist, cochlear implant, a speech pathologist.

As the author addresses in her book “Mainstream schooling for strong kids with weak hearing requires information, acceptance, and support from young and old’. A must-have book for educators, caregivers, speech therapists, school libraries and public libraries. Through the story and the illustrations, we get to see how hearing impaired and non-hearing impaired students can thrive harmoniously both in and out of the classroom. When young children get exposed to differences in others, they learn tolerance, empathy and create new ways of learning.

You can buy this book here.

About the author

Angeliki Stamatopoulou-Pedersen was born and raised in Greece. She studied nursing and worked in this field. Since 1972 she has been living in the United States with her family. She is a past member of the board of directors at the Connecticut Chapter of AG Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Over the past twenty-five years, she has attended many training seminars for parents and professionals in the field of deafness. She has also been trained by the Parent-Child Education Program (PCEP) at the American School for the Deaf (ASD) in Hartford, Connecticut.

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 books 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,


Language LizardPack-N-Go Girls,


Audrey PressLerner Publishing GroupKidLit TVABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational PublishersPragmaticMom & Sumo JoCandlewick Press,


 Author Charlotte RiggleCapstone PublishingGuba PublishingMelissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,


Author Carole P. RomanSnowflake Stories/Jill BarlettiVivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices HeardBarnes Brothers Books,  TimTimTomWisdom Tales PressLee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge PublishingBarefoot Books Talegari Tales

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry CraftA.R. Bey and Adventures in BoogielandEugina Chu & Brandon goes to BeijingKenneth Braswell & Fathers IncorporatedMaritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_MejiaKathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry BlossomSISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. NorrgardJosh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTERMaya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove,  Lauren RanalliThe Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon ChappellPhe Lang and Me On The PageAfsaneh Moradian and Jamie is JamieValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena PublishingTUMBLE CREEK PRESSNancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen JacksonAngeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm TreeAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleBEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia WenjenSusan 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 OceanEvelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the WorldShoumi Sen & From The Toddler DiariesSarah Jamila StevensonTonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book SeriesTeresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTukGirlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book ClubFinding My Way Books, Diana Huang & IntrepidsFive Enchanted MermaidsElizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling CastleAnna Olswanger and GreenhornDanielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow JeepneyMariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta DiminutaSara Arnold & The Big Buna BashRoddie Simmons & Race 2 RioDuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical DebutVeronica 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 ArabAfsaneh MoradianAgatha Rodi BooksAll Done MonkeyBarefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial BookwormsMichelle Goetzl & Books My Kids ReadCrafty Moms ShareColours of UsDiscovering the World Through My Son’s EyesEducators Spin on itShauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylinkGrowing Book by BookHere Wee ReadJoel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}Imagination SoupKid World CitizenKristi’s Book NookThe LogonautsMama SmilesMiss Panda ChineseMulticultural Kid BlogsSerge Smagarinsky {Australia}Shoumi SenJennifer Brunk & Spanish PlaygroundKatie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

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