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2023 MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2023 (1/26/22) 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. Read about the Mission & History HERE.



Hacking the Code: The Ziggety Zaggety Road of a D-Kid is a middle grade novel written by Gea Meijering with illustrations created by Mads Johan Øgaard. Meijering’s book was gifted to me to review for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2023 event (1/26/23).


Hacking the Code is narrated by Kees, a fifth grader. Kees knows he’s talented, but not with skills that help him succeed in school. Reading and writing are always frustrating because Kees has dyslexia and he must “hack a code” every day. Kees uses his creativity to dream and build, but in school his plans focus on funny pranks with his best friend Pete. It is one prank that results in his worst punishment ever, writing an essay about the hardest thing he’s ever done. With the help of his best friends and his grandpa’s advice, Kees finds a way to describe his challenges reading and writing and teaches his school principal something new along the way.




Through Kees’ narration, Meijering keeps a light and engaging tone while working through difficult experiences, including classroom teacher missteps, lack of empathy by peers and adults and inequitable treatment of student behavior. While young readers may focus on the humor of Kees’ comments, adults can take his observations as opportunities for reflection about how we assess how people learn. Kees’ interactions with his friends celebrate multiple intelligences and unique ways to contribute as well as choosing friends who value this in ourselves.


The comic book like images support the story narrative effectively for the selected reading level, calling to mind the intentional use of such images in successful series like Captain Underpants.


Lastly, Kees character development from outsider to peer leader is an impactful example for all youth and an important opportunity to discuss youth voice and leadership and the role it can play in teaching adults and making change.


The book itself includes sample assessments that Kees shares as part of his journey to understanding his dyslexia. Free lesson plans & activity guide available for Hacking the Code and you can download it on the publisher website www.icarepress.com




MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!


FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Pragmaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s (Audreypress.com)

🏅 Super Platinum Sponsor: Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media

🏅 Gold Sponsors: Interlink Books, Publisher Spotlight

🏅 Silver Sponsors: Cardinal Rule Press, Lee & Low, Barefoot Books, Kimberly Gordon Biddle

🏅 Bronze Sponsors: Vivian Kirkfield, Patrice McLaurin , Quarto Group, Carole P. Roman, Star Bright Books, Redfin.com, Redfin Canada, Bay Equity Home Loans, Rent.com, Title Forward


Poster Artist: Lisa Wee

Classroom Kit Poster: Led Bradshaw


MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Authors: Sivan Hong, Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett, Josh Funk , Stephanie M. Wildman, Gwen Jackson, Diana Huang, Afsaneh Moradian, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Eugenia Chu, Jacqueline Jules, Alejandra Domenzain, Gaia Cornwall, Ruth Spiro, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Tonya Duncan Ellis, Kiyanda and Benjamin Young/Twin Powers Books, Kimberly Lee , Tameka Fryer Brown, Talia Aikens-Nuñez, Marcia Argueta Mickelson, Kerry O’Malley Cerra, Jennie Liu, Heather Murphy Capps, Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John Coy, Irene Latham and Charles Waters, Maritza M Mejia, Lois Petren, J.C. Kato and J.C.², CultureGroove, Lindsey Rowe Parker, Red Comet Press, Shifa Saltagi Safadi, Nancy Tupper Ling, Deborah Acio, Asha Hagood, Priya Kumari, Chris Singleton, Padma Venkatraman, Teresa Robeson, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Martha Seif Simpson, Rochelle Melander, Alva Sachs, Moni Ritchie Hadley, Gea Meijering, Frances Díaz Evans, Michael Genhart, Angela H. Dale, Courtney Kelly, Queenbe Monyei, Jamia Wilson, Charnaie Gordon, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Debbie Zapata, Jacquetta Nammar Feldman, Natasha Yim, Tracy T. Agnelli, Kitty Feld, Anna Maria DiDio, Ko Kim, Shachi Kaushik


MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by these Media Partners!

Check out MCBD's Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

📌 FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day


Join the event on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 9 pm EST for the 10th annual Multicultural Children's Book Day Read Your World Virtual Party!

This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.


There will be a give away a 10-Book Bundle during the virtual party plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **

Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, and connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians.

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