I am very excited to be taking part in Multicultural Children’s Book Day by providing an honest review of a book I received from the publisher. More information about Multicultural Children’s Book Day follows my review.
Space Station Elementary by Tasheba Berry-McLaren, illustrated by Angy Angrand (Princess and Pearls Publications, 2015)
From the promotional copy:
We are dedicated to empowering the minds of our students one planet at a time, by creating a story that talks about the struggle that one school was enduring. That’s when the community joined in to help the school with learning tools, so they could have a much better learning atmosphere.
This story is set in an elementary school on a space station, but there’s a problem: the students don’t have supplies and the classrooms have been vandalized.
Mrs. Oxygen (a teacher) calls the police to get students to stop breaking windows. Then the principal solicits equipment donations from other schools to improve Space Station Elementary. Local businesses and organizations donate student supplies and lunch funding.
These changes help turn the school around, making students and their teacher happy.
I loved the colorful illustrations in this book, the imaginative setting and the diverse characters presented. However, many of the authority figures appear to be white males – extending the character diversity to this level would’ve been a nice bonus.
I also wish the child characters in the book would’ve had more agency. Early in the story, two students are shown with a broom and trashcans. “Everyone had to pitch in and help clean the school because they didn’t have any custodians.” Then the following page relates the window breaking incident. These actions seem to be somewhat out of sequence.
The main problem of the story – the inadequacies of the school – are solved not by the students, but by the principal who takes action.
Space Station Elementary illustrates the value of community involvement and creative problem solving to tackle difficult situations, but seems aimed more at adults than young readers hoping for a story about school in space.
On the bigger picture, I applaud Tasheba Berry-McLaren on her non-profit organization, Space2Launch!
Through author visits and a book club, she encourages young readers to become young authors. By being a fantastic entrepreneurial role model, she is empowering young people in Broward County, Florida to reach for the stars.
Her background in early childhood education makes her a natural advocate on behalf of children and educators and I’m eager to see her inspire many other young readers and writers.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.
2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs
BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal Bowe, Gokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press
2018 Author Sponsors
Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo, Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and MFL Publishing Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham Author Natasha Yim
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.
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.