Educating the Mind without educating the Heart is no Education at all.(Aristotle)

The First Day of  School seems to be the milestone in a student’s life. Every student develops a different approach about school, either becoming excited or really apprehensive of the surroundings and the teacher who invades his life. Reading picture books aloud with your child about starting school is a good way to prepare the student to be, for the challenge ahead. Through the stories about School, students start realizing what happens in a school day and what to expect.  So this means less stress and more self-esteem while being away from familiar surroundings.

  • Once school starts students have to know before hand about that new transition in their life. Activities related to the new program they have to follow every day is a good way to make them feel secure about this new change.
  • Organisation is another way to make students think of preparing their own bag, take the initiative in doing so, is a major step to become independent and take on responsibility. Organisation is a good example of being taught to deal with school demands in the future, even placing their lunch box is an easy and practical way to have a task to complete.

Thinking of those students with learning difficulties or special needs then both parents and teachers need to work together on an individual learning plan. Teaching charismatic students with Dyslexia, Autism, ADHD, the last ten years, has taught me that the teacher has to comply with the student’s existing skills, set realistic goals to make progress happen, and modify the curriculum as many times as it is needed. Reading aloud, incorporating drawing and painting is a good strategy to help the student find his path in the learning process.There are no magic tricks, the teacher has to be aware of the student’s strengths and weaknesses and promote reading by choosing specific books that attract his interest.

I hope the new School year brings the best results and that teachers help students to trace their strong points, love books and show their creativity. Till next Rock Post, have a good start, enjoy the books below and have fun at school, all year round!

It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him?

The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.

Rosie can’t wait to start kindergarten—she’s had her pencils sharpened and her backpack ready for weeks. But suddenly, on the night before the big day, her tummy hurts. Rosie’s mom reassures her that it’s just butterflies in her belly, and she’ll feel better soon. Much to Rosie’s surprise, when she says hello to a new friend on the bus, a butterfly flies out of her mouth! As the day goes on, Rosie frees all her butterflies, and even helps another shy student let go of hers, too.

A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten, by the Newbery Honor-winning author of Crown.

The morning sun blares through your window like a million brass trumpets.It sits and shines behind your head–like a crown. Mommy says that today, you are going to be the King of Kindergarten!

Starting kindergarten is a big milestone–and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He’s dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can’t wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he’s up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can’t wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements–and then wake up to start another day.
     Newbery Honor-winning author Derrick Barnes’s empowering story will give new kindergarteners a reassuring confidence boost, and Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s illustrations exude joy.

Award-winning poet Alexander compares reading a book to peeling the gentle skin of a clementine, digging in to its juiciness, enjoying it “piece by piece, part by part,” until you can “watch a novel world unfurl right before your eyes.” And who better to illustrate this delicious poem than Caldecott Honoree Sweet. The artwork is done in watercolor, gouache, mixed media, handmade and vintage papers, found objects including old book covers, and a paint can lid. Not a splash of color, a piece of paper, or a line is out of place. Starting with the initial collage that incorporates the building blocks of reading (the letters A to Z) and the lines from a poem by Nikki Giovanni that careful readers will have to pay attention to see, the tone is set. “So get/real cozy/between/the covers/And let your/fingers wonder/as they wander…” for there is much to relish in this poem and its exuberant images. “Squeeze/every morsel/of each plump line/until the last/drop of magic/drips from the infinite sky.” The book includes a note from both the poet and the artist. VERDICT A beautiful book not to be rushed through, but to be enjoyed morsel by tasty morsel.

This humorous new book in the beloved HOW TO . . . series takes readers through a fun and busy school year. Written in tongue-in-cheek instructional style, a class of adorable students gives tips and tricks for getting a teacher ready—for the first day of school, and all the events and milestones that will follow (picture day, holiday concert, the 100th day of school, field day!). And along the way, children will see that getting their teacher ready is really getting themselvesready. Filled with charming role-reversal humor, this is a playful and heartwarming celebration of teachers and students, and the perfect gift for back-to-school readiness or graduation.

Spend the day at school and join the little girl in everything she does in a day—from breakfast to bedtime. Meet her classmates and try to spot what each friend is up to in every lesson throughout the book. Can you guess what they want to be when they grow up? This reassuring introduction to the school day for little ones has bright, friendly artwork and is perfect for children about to go off to school for the first time.

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

There will be times when you walk into a room
and no one there is quite like you.

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it. 

Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

A delightfully funny story that will reassure every child anxious about starting a new school or nursery.

Bears are clumsy. They don’t sit still. They’re much, much bigger than teachers – and they eat SUCH a lot of lunch! Yes, taking a bear to school is a BAD idea. But will this little boy find the courage to face the first day of school alone?

With so much to do, like painting, dressing up, storytime, and making new friends, he just might! And Bear? He’ll always be waiting at the end of the day, with a great big hug!

In this exuberant companion to If I Built a Car, a boy fantasizes about his dream school–from classroom to cafeteria to library to playground.

My school will amaze you. My school will astound.
By far the most fabulous school to be found!
Perfectly planned and impeccably clean.
On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!
And learning is fun in a place that’s fun, too.

If Jack built a school, there would be hover desks and pop-up textbooks, skydiving wind tunnels and a trampoline basketball court in the gym, a robo-chef to serve lunch in the cafeteria, field trips to Mars, and a whole lot more. The inventive boy who described his ideal car and house in previous books is dreaming even bigger this time.

A warm, welcoming picture book that celebrates diversity and gives encouragement and support to all kids.

Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school.

Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams. Shakespeare (Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Last night Moon’s dazzling light from my balcony made it seem almost as radiant as the sun, and turned our night into a never-ending twilight. Archaeological sites throughout Greece stayed open well after midnight, the  entrance was free, for visitors to enjoy the beauty. Lucky those who saw the brilliant white marble of the Acropolis, glowing in the moonlight, or the moon, hanging low over the sea and spent the night on the Aegean beaches. A recent article on Smithsonianmag refers to the Greek Philosopher Anaxagoras and useful info on the Moon.

”Close to the north pole of the moon lies the crater Anaxagoras, named for a Greek philosopher who lived in the fifth century B.C. The eponym is fitting, as Anaxagoras the man was one of the first people in history to suggest the moon was a rocky body, not all too dissimilar from Earth. Streaks of material thrown out during the impact that formed the crater extend 560 miles southward to the rim of another crater, this one named for Plato.” https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ancient-greek-philosopher-was-exiled-claiming-moon-was-rock-not-god-180972447/

If you ever happen to visit Greece in August, do take part in the festivities, including singing, dancing, musical performances and poetry reading, food abundant and wine flowing, under the light of the moon. Down below find and buy for your little children one of the amazing books I suggest and enjoy the beautiful illustrations as well as text! Best summer wishes till my next Rock Post!



From writer Stacy McAnulty and illustrator Stevie Lewis, Moon! Earth’s Best Friend is a light-hearted nonfiction picture book about the formation and history of the moon―told from the perspective of the moon itself.

Meet Moon! She’s more than just a rock―she’s Earth’s rock, her best friend she can always count on. Moon never turns her back on her friend (literally: she’s always facing Earth with the same side!). These two will stick together forever. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Moon in this next celestial “autobiography” in the Our Universe series. Rich with kid-friendly facts and beautifully brought to life by Stevie Lewis, this is an equally charming and irresistible companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years and Sun! One in a Billion.

A richly illustrated guide to the myths, histories, and science of the celestial bodies of our solar system, with stories and information about constellations, planets, comets, the northern lights, and more. 

Combining art, mythology, and science, What We See in the Stars gives readers a tour of the night sky through more than 100 magical pieces of original art, all accompanied by text that weaves related legends and lore with scientific facts. This beautifully packaged book covers the night sky’s most brilliant features–such as the constellations, the moon, the bright stars, and the visible planets–as well as less familiar celestial phenomena like the outer planets, nebulae, and deep space. Adults seeking to recapture the magic of youthful stargazing, younger readers interested in learning about natural history and outer space, and those who appreciate beautiful, hand-painted art will all delight in this charming book.

When the day has ended and everyone else has fallen asleep, a young boy embarks on a magical adventure with his friend the Moon. Their unusual journey is described in lyrical verse, creating a enchanting story that celebrates the serene beauty of the world at night. Jay’s trademark oil paintings with their crackled finish reveal charming details not mentioned in the verse: the moon loses one of its red slippers on the church steeple, for instance, and the boy recovers it in the next spread. The artist successfully marries the cool royal blue of the evening sky with the warm orange-reds of the buildings, many of which seem alive (two arched windows and a clock on the church tower form a face), alongside trees that appear to dance on curvy trunks. Boy and moon eventually link arms and accompany each other to their respective realms: the moon descends to skip across a bridge with the boy; boy and moon sail over a playground, and readers are treated to a bird’s-eye–view of a fanciful landscape. Endnotes for this soothing lunar lullaby contain facts about the moon’s phases and nocturnal animals.

nnie is preparing for Career Day at school, and is trying to follow her teacher’s directive to keep her career choice a secret. Every evening she works on her costume while her family asks for hints. Grandpop gives her a camera in hopes she will aspire to be a journalist like him. Grandma tells her about her days winning awards for her desserts and lets Annie borrow her mixing bowl and oven mitts. Dad is convinced that she’ll wants to be a mountain climber like him; and when Mom asks for a hint, she gives Annie some high-top sneakers hoping Annie will be a basketball player like she is. Annie does not commit to any of her family members’ career choices, but in the end shows that she can blend something from everyone and make it her own. Readers will have no doubt that Annie is well equipped to follow her dream to travel into space. The illustration of her room shows planets hanging from the ceiling, stars and moons on her bedspread and tissue box, space posters on the walls, and a telescope for stargazing. Tadgell’s watercolor illustrations are kid-friendly and complementary to Slade’s concise storytelling. Back matter gives a short biography of four female astronauts, information about the phases of the moon, and a list of sources to learn more. 

On time for the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing, this father-daughter story celebrates a small community’s big contribution to one of America’s greatest accomplishments.

Marthanne and her father sit side by side, looking out over their mill village as the moon glows in the sky. Marthanne hopes that one day, man will walk on the moon, and she knows her father is helping America accomplish this mission: The fabric he weaves forms one layer in the astronauts’ spacesuits. Papa insists he’s only making a living, but Marthanne knows his work is part of history, and she’s proud. She tries to be patient, but she can’t stop imagining the moon mission: the astronauts tumbling through space, the fabric her papa made traveling all the way up into the sky. When the astronauts blast off and Neil Armstrong finally takes his first steps on the moon, Marthanne watches in wonder. She knows her papa put a man on the moon.

A stunning picture book that addresses the question: do any of us “own” nature?

 When a curious cat asks the question, “Whose moon is that?”, a panoply of animals try to stake their claim. The wolf, the owl, and the starry sky all have their reasons, but the moon ultimately answers for herself — her light is meant to be shared by everyone.  Many stake a claim on the orb, from a bird, a bear, and a wolf to a tree, a mountain, and the starry sky. In the end, the moon says it shines “for one and all, and none, throughout eternity.” Told in the “Alouette” verse form, this is an original tale. Full spreads bring the nocturnal world alive, with the night sky backgrounds in watercolor with a palette that incorporates the magical colors and movement of the aurora borealis. Each spread focuses on one particular subject and its connection with the moon. Krans’s signature intricate pen-and-ink illustrations are larger-than-life, such as an image of a bear looking straight at readers, the moon dropping behind her as she says she found the moon first and doesn’t “like to share.”

Kim Krans’s stunning ink-and-watercolor illustrations beautifully illuminate this simple exploration of our relationship to the world around us and our place in it.

“In this playful book, the anthropomorphized moon watches humans from afar and eagerly notes as they invent the first airplane, build rockets and prepare to take the first tentative steps on her surface. Through text and informative back matter, young readers learn fascinating facts about the moon, astronauts and the space program.

Pedal it! Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul!

Summer frenzy of this year, in my neighbourhood is the presence of new bikes with kids of different age groups, coming and going all day long! There are such unbelievable places to go ride your bikes here in Greece, all over the place, at beaches, hills and undiscovered paths, beautiful scenic routes at the Aegean islands, countless unexplored villages on the top of the mountains in Central Greece, where the sky meets the trees.

Kids need that thrill of freedom and adventure a bike offers. Rides in places they discover for the first time add to their spicy incidents that make the summer holidays an unforgettable time in their life.

“Stathis Stasinopoulos, the founder of Folding Project and manufacturing company Velo Lab, is a passionate cyclist. The company’s bicycle is manufactured in Greece and sold internationally for serious bicyclists that regularly travel long distances, designed in a “cross frame” pattern.

Stathis Stasinopoulos bike on Kalymnos island, of the Aegean Sea!

Stasinopoulos says, “It combines the behavior of a Road Bike with the attitude of a City Bike.” It weighs less than 12 kilograms, yet maintains the standards of top riding quality and comfort. The 26 inch wheels and geometric design contributes to the bike’s agility and speed on the road. Folding only takes a mere 5 seconds and the bike can be rolled when folded, rather than carried. The company asserts that the majority of other folding bikes are heavier, take much longer to fold, and ride much less smoothly.” Find more on this interesting article on : http://greektv.com/soar-through-the-city-with-the-greek-engineered-folding-project/

If your summer destination is Greece, then check here for some of the iconic places to find bliss and relaxation : https://theculturetrip.com/europe/greece/articles/spectacular-places-to-cycle-in-greece/

What you shouldn’t miss is to read one of the following PBs to your kids!

This inspirational story follows the life of Big Red, a treasured bike. It starts its life in North America as a young boy’s prized possession, but when the boy grows up, he realizes that he has outgrown Big Red and decides to donate it to someone who truly needs it. Big Red’s life takes a dramatic turn when it gets sent to Africa, helping people to access the market, deliver medicine, and take people to the hospital. The author includes a section to help guide children in making donations and volunteering, making this a truly valuable book for broadening children’s worldviews. (With large amounts of text on each page, I recommend this for upper elementary students.)

Cycling rules the road in Amsterdam today, but that wasn’t always the case. In the 1970’s, Amsterdam was so crowded with vehicles that bicyclists could hardly move, but moms and kids relied on their bicycles to get around the city. PEDAL POWER is the story of the people who led protests against the unsafe streets and took over a vehicles-only tunnel on their bikes, showing what a little pedal power could do! Author and illustrator Allan Drummond returns with the story of the people that paved the way for safe biking around the world.

Want To Know! This series of informative picture books answers the many questions young children have about the world around them. Some subjects are familiar, but others are less so. Chock full of well-researched facts expressed in accessible and interactive ways, these books tell children what they want to know

Do you want to know all about the bicycle? What did the first bike look like? How many kinds of bikes are there? How can you chose the best bike for you? What kinds of cycling sports are there? Who are the most famous racing cyclists? 
These and many more subjects are discussed in this book. You will also find fun rhymes, a large fold-out page and a mini-quiz, and you learn how to repair a flat tire. By the time you finish this book you’ll be a real expert on bicycles!

The Cycling Wangdoos is an imaginative, fun to read rhyming tale of a Tibetan racing team who ride on a six-seater bicycle with a wacky yak on back. They have a long record of winning races by working together, until the smallest Wangdoo begins to think he’s pulling more than his fair share of the weight. Find out what happens when his discontentment quickly spreads through the team and the Wangdoos’s race takes a dangerous turn. When the race is over, the riders are left with a hard-learned lesson―that teams work best when everyone does their part. Laugh-out-loud illustrations bring this delightful story to life.

When little Etta the Elephant goes to her Aunt Ellen’s house, she takes a journey through bicycle-filled Cycle City, a town filled with bikes of all kinds! At the end of the day, a special surprise awaits Etta—the most amazing bicycle parade imaginable. Detail-rich illustrations in this fun seek-and-find book paint the colors of this unusual town where everyone rides some kind of bike—whether a penny-farthing, a two-wheeled unicycle, or a conference bike, everyone is on wheels! Packed with prompts and lots to see on every page, this is a sweet story for the sharpest of eyes.

Whether you are in the woods or at the beach, riding your bikes is the only way to feel the freedom of the moment. Till next Rock Post, enoy your rides with a book on bikes and be inspired to write a story!

Keep Smiling, because Life is a Beautiful thing and there is so much to Smile about.”Marylin Monroe”

Once a writer is dealing with many issues then writing habit comes to a halt. So much energy is wasted in tension and worry because life engenders issues that humans, (writers included, here) seem unable to solve. As months go by and time shrinks life still plays games and as usual doesn’t seem to cooperate and offer answers. That moment is the AHA! moment, when the human -writer we are discussing finds out that he/she has to have a chin up, show Faith and continue the writing journey.

All these previous months I was reading on different sites about time handling, postponing to write, anxiety adorned with excessive stress, blocking writers to express themselves and go on their set goals.Once I made the decision to have my monthly post I stumbled upon articles having the title: Understanding the way I feel. Then I realized the people around me are compassionate and think of me but I need to understand the way I feel! This kind of revelation woke me up! Because

(enjoy & download the Lesson plan from https://heartmindonline.org/resources/lesson-plan-the-way-i-feel) has to be the one related to

Feelings are difficult to decipher especially for a teacher like me, when my day is spent helping parents and kids to find a way to interpret their own ones! While teaching others on learning how to examine their feelings and understand their meaning, I forgot to leave some space free for examining and exploring the feelings created when writing takes place.

” Being alert and engaged is the ability to manage and direct one’s own feelings, thoughts and emotions. In general, the ability to be ‘present’ and to exercise self-control.” The above motto found on Heartmindonline site is the best reminder to be alert and always try for the best.

The books I chose to present in this Rock Post remind us feelings and carry specks of optimism. Enjoy reading them and let your feelings show you what comes next. There is always room for changes and new beginnings while being faithful to your past and to your inner voice. Till next Rock post take care, read a lot and think of reading your favorite book to kids in open spaces so they express their feelings in abundance.

Sometimes I’m Bombaloo!

The feeling of anger or frustration running out of control can be downright scary for kids. Katie’s temper makes her feel like a totally different person, and Bombaloo, who uses fists and feet instead of words, is a frightening person to be. Fortunately, firm but caring people in Katie’s life ensure that Bombaloo gets both the time to calm down and the love that she needs to turn into Katie again. And once that happens, Katie knows she can find ways to make up for the mistakes she made.

In My Heart: A Book of Feelings

Sometimes my heart feels like a big yellow star, shiny and bright. I smile from ear to ear and twirl around so fast, I feel as if I could take off into the sky. This is when my heart is happy.

Happiness, sadness, bravery, anger, shyness…our hearts can feel so many feelings! Some make us feel as light as a balloon, others as heavy as an elephant. In My Heart explores a full range of emotions, describing how they feel physically, inside. With language that is lyrical but also direct, toddlers will be empowered by this new vocabulary and able to practice articulating and identifying their own emotions. With whimsical illustrations and an irresistible die-cut heart that extends through each spread, this unique feelings book is gorgeously packaged.

Today I fell silly and other moods that make my day!

From silly to angry to quiet and sad, this little girl goes through them all…and is reassured that moods come and go, and that it’s okay to feel what you feel. An interactive page at the end that asks “How do YOU feel today?” comes complete with a wheel that allows you to change the expression of a face’s eyes and mouth. This light, fun book is written in exuberant rhyme that lends itself to being read aloud.

A smart Girl’s Guide:Worry

Every girl worries from time to time. Maybe it’s an argument with a friend, or a big test, or a performance in front of a crowd. Maybe it’s her body. Maybe it’s even something fun, like a slumber party or overnight camp — or something really big, like moving away or her parents’ divorce. For many girls, even small worries can take on a life of their own and get in the way of enjoying life. But this book will help take charge over your worries. You’ll learn tried-and-true ways to overcome fears and create a sense of calm. The book is packed with proven techniques for handling worry and creating confidence — freeing you to be the girl you’re meant to be.

My Happy Life.

Even if kids have more than one reason to be sad,  it’s important for them to know they can move forward despite it all. Dani’s first days in school are brightened by a new friend…until Ella moves away. Dani wonders if she’ll ever get over feeling sad about her lost friend, but remembers that, even though she was deeply sad after the mother died, she eventually found other ways to be happy again. This early chapter book handles difficult subjects with a gentle and optimistic touch, perfect for reassuring kids that they can make it through their own struggles.

“Where Am I From?” Enjoy my review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

A tweet on May 1st, 2016 as an answer to Maritza M. Mejia, #LuzDelMes http://www.luzdelmes.com/ldm.php?ldm=books is the reason for becoming a reviewer for Multicultural Children’s Book Day, at first place! Three years later I am the Global Co-Host for Greece, https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/about/co-hosts/ and that’s an honor!

Celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day is an awesome way to connect people from all over the world and I am really happy to know so many wonderful #Greekwriters. I was so curious to trace Elisavet Arkolaki and talk with her, and here I am reviewing her unique book “Where am I from?”I hope you enjoy this beautiful book and get inspired as I did! You may consider my review long but believe me, the Artist, Platon Mortis, Platonas-Πλατων https://www.facebook.com/platon1997/, as well as Elisavet Arkolaki, have done an exceptional work!

Book Title: Where am I from? – World’s 1st graffiti illustrated picture book for children, in the making! Crafted for children roughly from 3 to 8 years old artist Platon Mortis, Platonas-ΠλατωνAuthor Elisavet Arkolaki, Malta MumPublisher Joanne Micallef, Faraxa Publishing:
The book I am reviewing this year is the very first graffiti illustrated book for children and it will be published in the summer of 2019! When Maria Kamoulakou referred to Elisavet Arkolaki, the Greek young woman who had this brilliant book project idea, I got smitten and I knew I had to find more about her.

Elisavet (aka Liza) had the idea of writing a story that gives a universal answer to the burning question “Where am I from?”, and to combine it with street art illustrations. The story portrays children from different racial backgrounds, living in countries from all six inhabited continents. The children gather together and try to find a universal answer to the burning question Where am I from? an answer which isn’t true just for them but true for everyone. The writer launched a Kickstarter campaign in July 2018 to bring this book to life and they raised about 10,700 euro. In fact, all the book characters will be painted based on real children, a mum, and a baby from the backers themselves who commissioned the art, and all except one are of mixed cultural backgrounds. How cool is that?

The writer, a real traveler of the world, living in Thailand while this review is written for the European winter months, she has experienced herself multicultural societies and their cultural identities. She has lived and worked in 6 different countries while also spending a good amount of time traveling. How did she choose which countries and how many to include in her book? Here is the answer Elisavet gave me:

“Where am I from? is a fairytale for young children so I’ve kept it short and sweet. I chose countries from all 6 inhabited continents. The choice was made based on countries that are dear to me like Malta and Norway where my children have been born, countries where friends of mine have been born or live in like Venezuela and Nigeria, and others like China that I would love to visit one day. I felt the words would flow nicely within the story with this choice of countries and that the graffiti art would be captivating. 
Australia is where the seed for this story got planted. Many years back Roy, my husband, and I were backpacking and while in Australia, during a bus ride, I was listening to a local radio station. A journalist was asking tourists from where do they come from. I heard all sorts of cities and countries until he approached a mum and her young boy. He asked the boy ‘So, where do you come from?’. The boy replied the obvious, ‘I come from my mum’s belly’. It must have been in the autumn of 2009. I never forgot that phrase. What I obviously didn’t know back then was that I would use it in the future as a starting point to develop a children’s story.”

Elisavet writes about the children of this world spreading a message of Unity and Solidarity. What appears as a simple question, “Where Am I from?”, can be quite complex for someone of a mixed cultural background. As the young child reads the book, a feeling of unity and harmony comes together, leaving a sense of connection. The book’s message is so powerful. Just try to think of how many kids from various countries use their country’s cultural bond to show their Uniqueness and Similarity at the same time! This World of ours is so much in need of our Children to feel the Love and Acceptance of Diversity, our Oneness, so that Communities and Countries tie better together with their common pursuits, and raise the future Citizens of the World. Whatever the distance and the miles, one thing remains the same and children find that out after reading Elisavet’s beautiful writing. They know they are the piece of a Thread connecting and keeping the Globe’s Kids together. This is what I like the most, the idea of being together and feeling accepted of who we are no matter our country(ies) of origin.

This book deserves every praise. Elisavet, not only did she run a successful Kickstarter campaign (you can read more here about what has been achieved so far, like securing funding and being endorsed by 3 public sector institutions, one in Norway and two in Malta) but she literally wrote one more book, the essential guide ‘How to Raise Confident Multicultural Children’ with full chapter contributions from professors, psychologists and experts in the field, which was given as a free gift to our community during her Kickstarter campaign. https://www.kickstarter.com/…/where-am-i-from-worlds-1st-st…

She also had the fantastic idea of collaborating with a graffiti artist, Platon https://www.facebook.com/platon1997/ who makes use of his street art to share messages with the world, painting his murals mainly in Athens, Greece. In this case, a European capital city will host in her walls and will embrace a children’s book with a universal message of peace, unity, and acceptance, hoping to make a lasting impression in people’s minds.

End of May 2019 – Platon will complete all murals.

End of July 2019 – the book production will be finalized.

August 2019 – the book will be printed, mailed to the Kickstarter backers, an official book launch in MaltaI would also like to share with you some of Elisavet’s words that really hit an emotional chord in me:

“Words and paintings are the physical expressions of ideas. Art is what makes us human and being human is a political act itself. Street art, in particular, is a tool for asking the difficult questions and expressing concerns on crucial matters for the society which is on par with the story. ‘Where am I from?’ brings home the concept that we are more alike than we are different. What better way than a picture book with a universal theme and positive message, packed with lovely street art, to introduce such concepts to our young ones?”

As for the artist, Platon’s belief is that: ‘A work of Art is found between the sound and silence, the endless possibilities a palette offers (sound) and the free disposal of an empty wall (silence). In every essence, a work of Art constitutes an Action through which and by which sound and silence help speech to crystalize.’

Exclusive offer only available with Where am I from? pre-orders:● 1 Hardcopy + 3 ebooks:● How to Raise Confident Multicultural Children, a 40 pages guide written with the input of professors, psychologists, and experts in the field,● The Magical Land of Sunny, a short story, and● Filling the Parcel, a short story.

The eBooks will be sent to you shortly after you preorder Where am I from? here: https://bit.ly/2ATXBAn
Join the Facebook group ‘Elisavet Arkolaki’s Behind The Book Club’ to follow this book’s journey.


Here are some great diversity and tolerance quotes for kids:

“In diversity there is beauty and there is the strength.” – Maya Angelou “Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.” – Anonymous

“Different is beautiful –The Happy Soul Projecto Difference is of the essence of humanity.”

“Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.” John Hume

“Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.” – Mikhail Gorbachev

“The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?” – Pablo Casalso

“We are of course a nation of differences. Those differences don’t make us weak. They’re the source of our strength.” – Jimmy Cartero

“When I see you through my eyes, I think that we are different. When I see you through my heart, I know we are the same.” – Doe Zantamatao

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreauo

“United we stand, divided we fall.” – Aesop (620 -560 B.C.)

“We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.” – Kofi Annan

“The greater the diversity, the greater the perfection.” – Thomas Berry

“We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” – Jimmy Carter

“We all live with the objective of being happy: our lives are all different and yet the same.” – Anne Frank

“Religions are many and diverse, but reason and goodness are one.” – Elbert Hubbard

“The things that we share in our world are far more valuable than those which divide us.” – Donald Williams


http://www.inspiremykids.com/…/great-quotes-kids-diversity…/Articles worth reading and sharing in order to further promote cross-cultural understanding!
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/…/how_students_benefit_fro…Various programs to familiarize with diversity and have families interconnected with it as well as their childrenhttps://www.parenttoolkit.com/…/teaching-kids-ages-5-8-to-r…
● Cultural diversity and children’s wellbeinghttps://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/…/why-culture-matters-childre…http://www.aldenhabacon.com/13-tips-how-to-talk-to-childre…/“I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do. But they’re really saying I love you”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-T6aaRV9HY

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th 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 homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on boardMedallion Level Sponsors Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org. Super Platinum: Make A Way Media GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTV, Lerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press, SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls, BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul,Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on boardHonorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini, Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm,Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana andA Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing,Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Claudia Schwam, Lori DeMonia, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC 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-HostsA Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms,Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read,Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media!MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party.

GO HERE for more details.
FREE RESOURCES From MCBD Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: https://wp.me/P5tVud-1H Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom…/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.
About Multicultural Children’s Book Dayhttps://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDayhttps://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay/https://www.instagram.com/readyourworldmcbd/https://gr.pinterest.com/prag…/multicultural-books-for-kids/

Happy reading with Multicultural Children’s Books for an awesome 2019!

Every New Year, a new word comes out as my power word. Hope is a word of great importance to me. Kindness is another one. Patience is the Key Word, in my life’s Path. 2019 is a catalyst year in my life. There is so much going on every day that keep me worrying but Books and Writing keep me busy as a bee! Being away from my blog, because of heavy workload made me search for the right words to write. Then I thought I love all the words! Meeting Greek Children’s Writers and making new friendships was the best thing to happen to me, the last two months. I am so touched by the Greek & American Greek writers, who support MCBD. Here you have the chance to meet the first group of MCBD REVIEWERS for the first time! Sotiria Kyrmanidou, Anna Prokos, Angeliki Pedersen, Demetra Lecourezos, Alethea Kontis, Βησσαρία Ραμμοπούλου, Peggy Fourka, Foto Skorda, Jenny Koutsodimitropoulou, Ioanna Skarlatou, Nikoletta Skalkou, Giorgos Boubousis, Αργυρώ Μουντάκη, Αλκηστη Χαλικιά, Βαγγελιώ Κονδάκη Καραμέτου, Elisavet Arkolaki, Millie Slavidou, Maria Kamoulakou, Allexia Brewer.

https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/multicultural-reading-resources/diversity-book-lists-for-kids/ who participate as reviewers, plus those who donated books either to our School’s expanding library or sent them to Greek Schools in America. https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/sponsorship/sponsorship-info/authors-donate-a-book/

I wish I could do more to bring people together and make Greek customs & Language known. My involvement in other writing projects, my School commitments plus the initiative Greek Children Read & Write, all happening the last six months didn’t give me the chance to be fully dedicated to MCBD. Being a Global Co-Host for Greece https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/about/co-hosts/ is a great Honor. I feel both overwhelmed and excited!

Books with diverse topics that I truly Love will be presented in this post, dedicated to Multicultural Children’s Book Day, celebrated every year in January. https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/

Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yamulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

With warmth and wisdom, this inspirational book takes a heartfelt look at language and how children use words to encourage, forgive, express gratitude, heal, and love. Through charming illustrations and Warren’s engaging text, young readers will understand how words can change their lives and the lives of those around them.

In a series of simple yet evocative questions, this impactful book asks children how they will show kindness and consideration for others. Written by the editors of Pajama Press, and illustrated by celebrated Pajama Press artists, these stunning pages inspire meaningful discussion and storytelling about the understated yet powerful ways in which children might influence the world around them. A World of Kindness goes beyond mere rhetoric to examine, in a child-friendly way, everyday social interactions where a kind word or act could have a transformative effect on others.

Kaya is looking for her heart song – the song that happy hearts sing. Her search takes her on a journey deep into the jungle where a broken down carousel waits for a very special song to make it turn again…A story about mindfulness and listening to your heart.

Children living in different parts of the world see very different things when they gaze out of their windows. One child looks out over a boulevard lined with palm trees, another sees a train whistling past snow-capped mountains, and another waves to her father as he tends to their garden. But while their lives may seem different, there’s something important that they all share. This beautiful book will spark readers’ curiosity and imagina­tion with its celebration of global diversity.

Lila has just moved to a new town and can’t wait to make friends at school. But on the first day, a boy points at her and shouts: “A crow! A crow! The new girl’s hair is black like a crow!” The others whisper and laugh, and Lila’s heart grows as heavy as a stone. The next day, Lila covers her hair. But this time, the boy points at her dark skin. When she covers her face, he mocks her dark eyes. Now every day at school, Lila hides under her turtleneck, dark glasses, and hat. And every day when she goes home, she sees a crow who seems to want to tell her something. Lila ignores the bird and even throws rocks at it, but it won’t go away. Meanwhile, the great autumn festival is approaching. While the other kids prepare their costumes, Lila is sadder and lonelier than ever. At her lowest point of despair, a magical encounter with the crow opens Lila’s eyes to the beauty of being different and gives her the courage to proudly embrace her true self.

With our 24/7 news cycle and constant access to the latest headlines, the world can be a scary place. Now imagine you’re a child trying to make sense of it all! That’s where books from the Children in Our World series can help. Each book uses relatable comparisons, carefully researched text, and striking illustrations to help kids understand the many difficulties that children just like them face in the world today. In Racism and Intolerance, children can get answers to questions like: “What does it mean to be a racist or intolerant?” and “How can I help?” Children will begin to understand the way others struggle with these issues and become empowered to make a difference.

There is nothing more important to a child than to feel loved, and this gorgeous gathering of poems written by Nikki Giovanni celebrates exactly that. Hand-selected by Newberry honoree Ashley Bryan, he has, with his masterful flourish of color, shape, and movement, added a visual layering that drums the most important message of all to young, old, parent, child, grandparent, and friend alike: You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. As a bonus, one page is mirrored, so children reading the book can see exactly who is loved—themselves!

Learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from bestselling mother/son duo Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal. Spring is here, and it’s almost time for Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers to make into colorful powders to toss during the festival. And when at last the big day comes, they gather with their friends, family, and neighbors for a vibrant celebration of fresh starts, friendship, forgiveness, and, of course, fun!

his is the day the Lord has made.
A butterfly floats through the sun and the shade,
while dragonflies flit past the flowers and trees
and grasshoppers hop in the soft morning breeze.

The World Is Awake, A celebration of everyday blessings, written by Emmy Award winner and ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis with Joseph Bottum, is a lyrical, rhyming story for young children intended to make them feel safe and joyful, cradled in the hands of God. Paired with bright and engaging illustrations by Lucy Fleming, this book inspires children to be thankful for all of God’s blessings that surround us in our daily lives. From the nature in our own backyard to the animals at the zoo, The World is Awake is a celebration of God’s wonderful world.

From historic world leaders to brilliant scientists, artists, and modern-day pioneers, What Would She Do? shares twenty-five incredible women’s stories that educate and empower. Learn about the remarkable achievements and attitudes of feminist trailblazers such as Cleopatra, Amelia Earhart, Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama, and other brave women who overcame huge obstacles to accomplish great things. Featuring stunning illustrations from diverse artists, this beautiful book will inspire young readers and prepare them to face any challenge by simply asking, “What would she do?”

Participating in Multicultural Children’s Book Day can be the best gift for any new or well-established writer who enjoys storytelling and Loves tells stories to nourish kids’ imagination! Till next week’s Rock Post, more surprises to follow on that amazing Celebration of writing and Books. Yiassou from Greece! Keep posted on Facebook/Instagram https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay/

https://www.instagram.com/readyourworldmcbd/

7th Festival of Story Telling in Athens, Greece!

This past weekend I was so lucky to attend the 7th Festival of Story Telling & Fairy Tales in Athens, at the House of Fairy Tales
Children can enjoy workshops on storytelling, theater, fairytales, legends, while teachers and storytellers teach the art of storytelling encompassing a wide range of activities, craft making and endless projects to spread storytelling not only with  Greek stories but also with stories from all around the world.
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Although the site’s page is only in Greek, it has amazing workshops all year around and thanks to Evi Gerokosta, Violeta Solidaki, Giorgos Evgenikos, storytellers, writers and contributors the Festival was one of a kind! I had the opportunity to attend an exceptional workshop on writing Fairytales that an amazing Greek writer Argyro Pipini presented. She’s such a sweet person and the translator of many picture books written by American writers. 
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I was thrilled to have books like Migrant used as Mentor Texts. Argyro made me feel instantly the lyrism coming from the sweetness of the words! It was a three-hour nonstop travel to the magic world of writing!
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I felt that I traveled to many places with the number of books that were included, as well as the illustrators’ work had a different force to touch my senses! Colors, words, that carry the aroma of another era, this has to be a writer’s work, according to sweet Argyro Pipini.
Till next Rock Post, dream and write with dragons, princes, and queens, in a magical journey full of light!