Grandma’s Saturday Soup [MCBD 2018 Selection #1]


Ahhhhhh soup, a favorite of most all red-handed enchanted hearts that betroth winter. Soup is and has always been a go-to food for warmth, variety, and easy digestion; a helping that is equally gratifying as it is satisfying. Especially when grandma’s hands cure it. Love in a bowl is what grandma can do as only she can.

This year Imagiread was fortunate to be chosen to review not one but two incredibly beautiful books for Multicultural Book Day 2018. What is Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018, you ask? It’s all things book celebration with an objective to get everyone reading and sharing in the magic of multicultural books for children. Especially for children. In its fifth year of being a substantial advocacy entity, the crew members over at MCBD have become resource affiliates for parents, educators, community organizations and little ones, managing an expansive list of beautiful multicultural books, the authors of, and the publishing companies that produce these phenomenal jewels. Here’s a bit to chew on straight from the team over at MCBD explaining who they are and what they do:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 (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 honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! 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

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan BernardoAuthor Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne BroylesAuthor 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, 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 QueenAuthor 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!

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.


Got it? Good! All the background information you need to understand just how powerful this movement is. It’s worth your time to follow MCBD and mark your calendars for the fun every year. Do that like right now.

Back to our reviews, one of them being the delectable tale entitled Grandma’s Saturday Soup written by Sally Fraser and Illustrated by Derek Brazell. I’ll try my best to contain my excitement about this book and give you a bird’s eye view of how much I thoroughly enjoyed it. Starting with my impression. As soon as I tore open the envelope, I was immediately intrigued. I have a habit of delicately touching book covers, understanding all of the hard work that goes into publishing as a publisher, and embracing what I believe to be the book’s characteristics. The perfectly bound spine, glossy cover and oblong shape is a sensory dream (like I said, you’d have to be a publisher to understand) for educators. Notably so when you invest in teaching the importance of book care as I do in the classroom. My scholars know to regard a book as one of the most essential tools made available to them as part of their educational tackle box. After I ravished the cover, I opened the book to an address from the president of Language Lizard (the publisher who published the title) about Language Lizard’s mission and commitment to educators and parents. Heart dancing for joy, I notice a small illustration of a reading pen on the inside cover. The note just above it explaining that the book has an accompanying reading pen that can be individually purchased for more of an interactive experience. Right then and there I was sold.

Because I immediately fell in love with Grandma’s Saturday Soup and saw a unique opportunity to celebrate this title as both as Mother and an Educator, I thought that giving a two-fold review would be appropriate so here goes.

The Mother in me was utterly captivated by the boundless beauty of this book. The main character, Mimi, who has eyes that sparkle like a mid-summer’s night is a joy to behold. The story is revved amidst her florid memories of fun, family and food. She meets her day as witness to a wintery gray sky that makes way for her colorful imagination. Everything her shimmering eyes attests takes her to another place stopping by Jamaica, where she is comforted in knowing that she always has something to look forward to. Reading this book for the first time reminded me of the summers I’d spend with my grandmother in Mississippi, picking fresh vegetables from the garden for lunch and dinner, helping to establish the little woman in me. Helping to formulate an understanding that a meal is more than physical nourishment, it’s food for the soul. That little woman in me immediately related to the little woman in Mimi, to the overflowing wisdom that she yields throughout her story, throughout her being. Mimi is one of the daughters I’ve never had; sweet, bubbly and incredibly bright. She makes the story just as a strong character does, with an unrivaled stride and an endless flow straight for the heart. Grandma’s Saturday Soup is officially a favorite. One that I’ll read over and over again to my boys.

As an educator, I was fascinated with how well this read stacked up on Imagiread’s socially responsible, culturally appropriate meter. We are talking one inclusive continuous teaching opportunity after another, fully equipped with discussions and activities that are sure to flood the minds and noses of readers and spectators alike. Here’s a quick, but hefty, list of EVERYTHING an educator can reinforce with this beautiful book:

Science with weather/seasons/nature
Art with textures
Culture through family, food, music, and lifestyles
Math with time, days of the week, and cooking
Health Literacy with food groups
Literacy concepts with comparisons, similes, and metaphors
and last but not least LANGUAGE!

You remember the picture of reading pen I noted on the inside cover? Well, it’s  a TalkingPen, and it reads the entire story in both English and the chosen language for an experience like none other. This copy reads in both Bengali, the official language of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, and English. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of the pens so my students can see and hear how these beautiful symbols come alive. They’ll be intrigued to learn how elaborate Bengali is as compared to English and how each language intricately conveys the warmth made available in Grandma’s Saturday Soup. It’ll be a full learning experience reaching every kind of learner and reader, one that I’m excited to be able to deliver as proud supporter of MCBD 2018.

There’s so much more I could say about this charming read, but I’ll slow it up here. Originally I’d planned to bulk up an episode of Imagireading Today! via YouTube featuring the read where I was going to give our Imagireading Family an exclusive peek at the book and then I remembered why I couldn’t do that. First, because my primary goal as an educator is to act as a bridge, affording all readers an opportunity to explore the magnetism of literacy for themselves. That empowers readers to seek the answers they need to appropriately inform themselves; encouraging empathy, responsibility, initiative and problem-solving. Second, because my primary goal as an author and publisher is to whole-heartedly support other authors and publishers who work tirelessly to produce and market gems like Grandma’s Saturday Soup. When community supports community we all win, and that is what I believe the purpose of Multicultural Children’s Book Day is all about, building beautifully diverse libraries that afford children rich and diverse experiences with multicultural children’s literature through community. It’s definitely Imagiread’s purpose.
While I won’t give away the entire read, I will offer a peek inside this beauty and forward you to where you can celebrate this book and all 28 bi-ligual companions in heart and home. Here are a few photos I snapped of the inside of the book:

Just enough for you to understand why I fell in love at first sight. Head on over to the Language Lizard site and put this one in your cart and don’t forget to snag your TalkingPen . The little ones in your life will thank you and so will I.

Happy Imagireading! <3


  • / Reply

    This looks like an amazing book! Thanks for sharing with MCBD.

    • Tiffany Rachann
      / Reply

      It truly is, Rebekah. I’m happy to share. 🙂

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