London Hat Hunting Mission
Written and illustrated by Winnie Mak Tselikas
Published by One Dear World
Publication date: 18th November 2017
Age range: 2+
Summary (from Goodreads):
Four little Londoners, Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth, come from a different cultural background, are good friends living in London. They are travelling to the iconic places around the city in search of magic hats to cure Mr Globe’s headache. The book is illustrated with a mix of real life photographs of iconic places in London and digital illustration so children can have a vivid visual experience of London and at the same time open up their world of imagination.
London is a city of diversity, where five little people live.
Meet the characters in this 30-second introduction!
I was delighted to be asked to read and review this book as part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018.
I am always looking out for books that show a wide range of characters and celebrate multiculturalism and multilingualism. I think this is particularly important for children who may find it difficult to see themselves in books, TV or toys. There is a danger that children can internalise these stereotypes and accordingly change their expectations or dreams. E.g. I can’t be the princess in the story because I don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes like all the picture books.
I know that some people might think this is overstating the point, but the fact is that our world is gloriously diverse, yet, in many cases, books and other popular media don’t reflect that. To give a personal example, I wear glasses. In other words, according to popular media, I am the ‘before’ picture in a beauty makeover!
Diversity can take all forms and, as a teacher, I am happy to see more diverse books with positive representations of different races, cultures, languages and abilities.
This book follows the friends as they travel around London, searching for various hats to help poor Mr Globe who is not feeling his best. As an adult reader, I did wonder if him sweating is a representation of climate change – perhaps environmental awareness will be touched upon in future books. The children interact positively with various cultures and in various languages along the way, speaking explicitly about how they are all from different backgrounds but that doesn’t stop them being friends and having fun.
This would be a lovely book to share with your child or pupils, alongside the dolls or alone. It would also be fascinating to follow the trail that the children take around London and could prove to be an effective vehicle for children to learn more about the diversity in just one city. From there, hopefully they will catch the ‘wanderlust’ bug and head out to explore the world!
I, for one, am hoping that this will be the first book in a series!
What I liked: LOVE the multiracial dolls and the various languages included. Love the landmarks of London being used as a backdrop to their adventure, with a few facts included painlessly. I also really like the fact that the children are helping ‘Earth’ I imagine this might develop in later books and promoting environmental awareness is always a plus!
Even better if: There is a hint at the end of the book that the children might be visiting other cities or places – I would really like to see this!
How you could use it in your classroom: I believe that every classroom or nursery should strive to promote multicultural understanding and ensure that they are being mindful about providing toys and books in which children can see themselves reflected. The dolls were developed in order to provide children with toys which reflect themselves and the people they see around them. The books support this, but could also be used on their own in order to ensure everyone is being represented.
Look out for an interview with the author on this blog later this week!
And you can listen to an interview on Radio Derby from the end of last year by clicking below:
(Thank you to the author for sending me an e-ARC and to the Multicultural Children’s Book Day initiative for introducing me!)
I have linked further information about the event below:
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (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 honoured 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.