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  • Shoumi Sen

"Always Anjali" - Book Review

Updated: Jan 24, 2019


This is the third year I am participating in MCBD and I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing movement. As a sponsor, co-host and a book reviewer, I am excited for this to be the best MCBD ever! This year, I was fortunate to receive a copy of  Always Anjali by Bharat Babies. This book is written by Sheetal Sheth and beautifully illustrated by Jessica Blank.

This story resonated with me because even when I lived in India, my name was considered rare (I have met just one other Shoumi in all my life) and yes, it was always mis-pronounced. I wish I had read this book while growing up. 

Always Anjali

Always Anjali is about a girl who is bright, spunky and full of life! Alas, her name is uncommon where she lives. When she and her friends want to buy personalized name plates, she is the only one who walks out of the store empty handed. No one seems to have heard the name Anjali and the kids in school make fun of her. Dejected, bullied and her spirit crushed, she wants nothing to do with her name and decides to change it. But her parents tell her that she and her name are special and they encourage her to be herself! Anjali soon realizes that it's pretty cool to be different and her creative genius makes her colorful "Anjali" number plate the most wanted one in school. 

This book is for anyone whose uniqueness has been made fun of - whether it is your name, the color of your skin or anything that makes you stand out from the rest. It's a great story for kids to learn that it is ok to be different - and in fact, it is kinda special to not be part of the herd!


What is MCBD?


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 board!


*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-

*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN


Medallion 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, KidLitTVLerner 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 board

Honorary: 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 and A 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, Lori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, 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-Hosts:

A 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: 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.





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©2020 by Shoumi Sen

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

"... charming and informative...great way to introduce children to (Indian) culture"

~ Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Award winning author of "The Mistress of Spices" & "Before We Visit the Goddess"

“A much needed picture book on Holi, not just for the Indian diaspora but for young children living in India too."

~ Richa Jha, Children's book publisher and author 

"When I read Shoumi Sen’s Celebrate Durga Puja 

With Me, brilliantly illustrated by Abira Das, I must admit that I want to witness at least one Durga Pujo in my life, in Calcutta."

~ Indian Moms Connect