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Adults may find turkey dry and tasteless, but for Tuyet a turkey is symbolic of being the cultural majority, of fitting in, doing what one is supposed to do. Duck for Turkey Day follows a little Vietnamese American girl, Tuyet, who’s terribly upset her family is having duck for Thanksgiving. What follows is an engaging story of accepting of one’s heritage as well as general diversity.
Immigrants often have to negotiate how to preserve and honor their traditions while allowing their children to grow up American, and this book portrays a matter-of-fact immigrant family that plans on cooking some delicious duck regardless of what their little girl thinks. Some parents may give in to their Americanized kids and cook American food, but as Tuyet finds out, some of her classmates had noodles, enchiladas, or tofu turkey on “turkey day” as well. (more…)
Going Home, Coming Home by Truong Tran and Ann Phong #WeNeedDiverseBooks #Vietnamese #DiverseKidsBooks
Going Home, Coming Home is a bilingual (English-Vietnamese) story book for all readers who feel “home is two different places,” on the left and right sides of their heart. The author, Truong Tran, sets this book in Vietnam and based it on his own upbringing. But I think the story will ring true with any family who has left their first home to make a second home in a different country. (more…)
Rebecca’s Journey Home tells the story of the author, Brynn Olenberg Sugarman, bringing home her daughter Rachele (“Rebecca” in the story) from Vietnam. Instead of the “Sugarmans”, the family in the story is the “Steins”. While the title centers on “Rebecca”—the Vietnamese adoptee, the story speaks more of the family’s adoption journey. Therefore, young siblings anticipating the addition of an adopted child into their home (or young siblings recently experiencing such an event) can especially identify with this story. (more…)
The Website, which founder Omilaju Miranda began as a page on facebook is now a full website with blog where you can find books with diverse protagonists by specific category. Books are easily locatable on a drop down menu. The site is dedicated to listing and reviewing children’s and YA books with protagonists who are either: biracial/mixed, transracial adoptee, bilingual, lgbt-parented, single-parented, or gender non-conforming. There is also a magazine where the site will feature writing for, and by children, and an opportunity for parents to send in photos and videos of their children reading or reciting stories and poems. Check out the book site and find the book for your little one today. If you are a writer or interested in communications and publicity, the site is actively seeking children’s book reviewers and interns to publicize and network with schools and libraries.
Molly Friedrich writes a spirited conversation between adoptive mother and child initiated by the Vietnamese daughter declaring “You’re not my real mother” to her mother. What follows is mother and daughter agreeing and laughing their way through an illustrated list of all the things that mothers and daughters do together. When the daughter revisits the issue of not understanding why her mother doesn’t look like her, the mother explains adoption to her daughter. I love the fact that this book deals with the issue of transracial adoption’s most obvious issue for the young child—that they don’t look racially like their parents— head on. By tackling that issue from the beginning of the book, this story respects children for their observation and insight. My three year old lost interest mid-book right after the mother and daughter hugged exalting kisses and parental gobbling of the child. I think she’s used to that sort of scene being the end of a story so an older child should voluntarily keep focus. The author says this is a story of the answer that poured out of her heart when she was faced with this challenge by her daughter. As such, accompanied by lively illustrations it feels incredibly sincere.
Recommendation: Recommended; ages for 4+
Book Reviewer: Omilaju Miranda