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“Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and an Olympic Dream” Picture Book #ReadYourWorld

Note: Thank you to CapstonePub for providing a copy to review. All opinions are my own.

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Welcome to Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day is an annual event that raises awareness for kids’ books that celebrate diversity and also strives to put more of these books in classrooms and libraries. The big day takes place on the last Friday of January each year.

This year, the event takes place on January 28, 2022. In the days and weeks leading up to this day, Influencers review books written by or about multicultural stories and post them on their blogs and/or social media.

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For 2022, I’m a Co-Host of Multicultural Children’s Book Day…my second year in a row! It’s an honor to support this important initiative that is reflective of my values and my own family.

Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and an Olympic Dream

For Multicultural Children’s Book Day, the organization asked me to review the nonfiction picture book Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and an Olympic Dream written by KT Johnston and illustrated by Anabella Ortiz.

Jubilee Cover

When people think of the word multicultural, many assume it refers only to cultures based on race and/or geography. While multiculturalism certainly does include these facets, the co-creators of Multicultural Children’s Book Day (Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen) have created a definition for multicultural books as it applies to this event.

The founders want children to have the opportunity to “find themselves” within the pages of the books they read. One of the descriptions for multicultural books includes those that embrace special needs including “hidden disabilities” like ADHD, ADD, and anxiety. The story of Jubilee falls into this category.

Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and an Olympic Dream is the story of Lis Hartel who became paralyzed after contracting polio in 1944. She loved to ride horses, but after months in the hospital, doctors told her she’d never ride again. Devasted but not defeated, Lis was determined to prove them wrong.

Given her limited ability to move, she faced many challenges. But this didn’t stop her. Lis met a special horse named Jubilee and figured out how to stay on Jubilee without using her legs. Over time, she and Jubilee learned how to communicate in non-traditional ways. For example, Lis found she could use very small movements in her back to direct Jubilee.

Jubilee Bicultural Mama

Lis dreamed of competing in the sport of dressage. After years of training together, Lis and Jubilee danced in competitions and began winning shows. They eventually qualified to compete in the 1948 World Olympics.

At the Olympics, Lis Hartel became the first woman with a disability ever to win an Olympic medal. She was also the first woman to stand equally beside men on the Olympic winners’ podium in any sport. Spectators and more were surprised when she couldn’t walk to the podium stand. Very few people at the Olympics had known of Lis’ health issues. Lis and Jubilee defied the odds to achieve their dreams.

Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and an Olympic Dream is ideal for readers in grade levels 2-3. Regardless of whether or not young readers themselves have a disability, the book is inspiring. The life of Lis Hartel is also a story about perseverance, hard work, overcoming obstacles, and believing in yourself. These are universal traits that all children can embrace and emulate.

Where to Purchase the Book

Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and an Olympic Dream is available for purchase on the publisher’s website Shop.CapstonePub.com, Amazon (Hardcover, Kindle, Audio CD), and other book retailers.

Hardcover ——— Kindle ——— Audio CD

Enter the Jubilee Picture Book Giveaway – 2 Winners! [CLOSED]

Two lucky readers will win a hardcover copy of Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and an Olympic Dream. Please enter via the entry form below. The giveaway is open to entrants aged 18+ years old with a U.S. mailing address (no P.O. Boxes). Good luck!

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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 (1/28/22) is in its 9th 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.

MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves. Read about our Mission & History HERE.

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FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents

Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit

Teacher Classroom Activism and Activists Kit

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Kindness Kit for Teacher Classroom

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FREE Diversity Book for Classrooms Program

Join the #ReadYourWorld Twitter Party 

Join us on Friday, Jan 28, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party! Be sure and follow MCBD and Make A Way Media on Twitter!

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

We will be giving away an 8-Book Bundle every 5 minutes plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **

Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. See you all very soon on Twitter!

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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