DAZZLING TRAVIS by Hannah Carmona, illustrated by Brenda Figueroa, and published by Cardinal Rule for Multicultural Children's Book Day #ReadYourWorld Day.
Each year I have reviewed a book for MCBD, I request a title that combines girls and sports. At first glance, I paused, “Hmmm . . . I’m not sure this is the correct match.” But l was curious, so I turned to the first page and had my aha moment.
Travis is a delightful, confident little boy with a wide range of interests that vary from playing dress-up in “colorful denim and glitter galore” who takes ballet classes and likes to play basketball. He is also self-confident and can stand up to playground bullies. One of the bullies (a girl) grabs his doll and exclaims, “Boys CAN’T play with that!” But Travis firmly replies, “I am who I am!” He also tells them a boy can like pink just as a girl can like blue.
In many ways, this book is not only about children who feel they are different but an opportunity to open up a dialog about acceptance, bullying, and peer pressure. Sporty girl readers are sure to find relatable situations – they may be the only girl on their sports team or get teased about playing a particular sport. The author includes age-appropriate topics and questions to engage readers like, “What do you think it would be like if we were all the same?”
I enjoyed this rhyming picture book, and the colored illustrations reflect diverse children. If you are looking for a book (recommended for readers aged 4-10, but I think it will appeal to younger readers) that celebrates differences and being confident, this is a good pick.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2023 is in its 10th 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. Ten 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. For more information CLICK HERE.