Multicultural Children’s Book Day Read Your World is on January 27, 2015. I am thrilled to participate! Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.
Today, I am delighted to share a lovely children’s book with you!
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville
by Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrated by Frank Morrison
It’s the day before the big parade. Alta can only think about one thing: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist. She’ll be riding on a float tomorrow. See, Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, just like Wilma once was. It doesn’t matter that Alta’s shoes have holes because Wilma came from hard times, too. But what happens when a new girl with shiny new shoes comes along and challenges Alta to a race? Will she still be the quickest kid? The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is a timeless story of dreams, determination, and the power of friendship.
Age Range: 4-6
The Quickest Kid In Clarksville
My book review
We all have dreams and a hero we idolize and hope to follow in their footsteps. In The Quickest Kid In Clarksville (affiliate link) the author brings us a heartwarming story of a little girl, Alta, who is the quickest kid in Clarksville. She is eager to see her hero, Olympic Gold winner Wilma Rudolph, who will be in town the next day. To her, Wilma is a shining example of how, in spite of adversities, when we have the courage to follow our dreams, we can achieve them.
Just when she’s basking in the happiness of meeting her idol and fantasizing about how it would feel to have those gold medals hanging around her neck, along comes a new girl in town, Charmaine with brand new shoes. She seems arrogant and proud. They decide to race each other to see who’s fastest. Of course, Charmaine wins and Alta is sad.
On Parade Day, Alta makes a banner with her two friends but finds that it is too bulky to handle. There’s no way she can run to the Parade with it. Then she hears the sound of feet and sees Charmaine, who offers to help her. She agrees reluctantly. Together the four of them carry the banner in turns and make it to the parade where they see their idol Wilma Rudolph.
The Quickest Kid In Clarksville is an inspiring story with a message. The book is beautifully illustrated in water color. The writing is charming and almost lyrical. I thoroughly enjoyed the visual treat! I am sure you’ll love reading it with your kids, especially if they enjoy sports and have their own heroes. Absolutely motivating!
Yes, if you can dream it, you can achieve it!
I am grateful to Chronicle Kids for sending me a digital review copy of the book.
The inspiring story of Wilma Rudolph
In 1960, African American sprinter Wilma Rudolph was the fastest woman in the world. At the Summer Olympic Games in Rome, Italy, she became the first woman from the United States to win three gold medals at the same Olympics. Her wins in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4×100 relay (with Martha Hudson, Lucinda Williams, and Barbara Jones) made her a household name. She met President John F. Kennedy and received awards including:
• The Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year (in 1960 and 1961).
• The James E. Sullivan Award, which honors character, leadership, and sportsmanship.
• Induction into the U.S. National Track and Field Hall of Fame and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
Wilma’s success was even more impressive because of the diffi culties she overcame growing up. She was one of twenty-two children, and her family did not have much money. Wilma was often ill as a child and wore a leg brace after she was diagnosed with polio. Doctors didn’t think she would ever walk without it, but she exercised and worked for years until her leg was strong.
Wilma grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee, a segregated town. There were separate schools and doctors and restaurants for black people and white people.
After Wilma’s victories, Clarksville wanted to honor her with a parade and banquet. Wilma said she would not attend unless the events were integrated – open to everyone. The organizers agreed, and Wilma’s celebrations were the first major events for blacks and whites in Clarksville history.
About the authors
Pat Zietlow Miller began her writing career in college as a sports reporter and has had a fascination with Wilma Rudolph ever since. The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is her picture book tribute to the inspirational track star. Pat is the author of several picture books including Sophie’s Squash, Wherever You Go, and Wide-Awake Bear. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband, two daughters, and one pampered cat. You can visit Pat at patzietlowmiller.com.
Frank Morrison has always been a creator. In his early days, he channeled his creativity into graffiti art and break dancing. Later, inspired by countless visits to museums, he began focusing on painting, and eventually started illustrating books for children. He is the award-winning illustrator of many books, including Sweet Music in Harlem, I Got the Rhythm, and Stars in the Shadows.
Make Your Own Athlete Trading Cards!
Wilma Rudolph was the star of her day. Who are your favorite athletes?
Fill in the blank cards and trade with your friends!
Do download this free kit to make your own athlete trading cards!
About Multicultural Children’s Book Day
The MCCBD team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.
Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016
Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld
- Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press * StoryQuest Books*Lil Libros
- Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk*Candlewick Press,* Bharat Babies
- Silver: Lee and Low Books*Chronicle Books*Capstone Young Readers Tuttle Publishing ,NY Media Works, LLC/KidLit TV
- Bronze: Pomelo Books* Author Jacqueline Woodson*Papa Lemon Books* Goosebottom Books*Author Gleeson Rebello*ShoutMouse Press*Author Mahvash Shahegh* China Institute.org*Live Oak Media
Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Hosts (view them here)
All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share,Educators Spin on it,Growing Book by Book,Imagination Soup,I’m Not the Nanny,InCultural Parent, Kid World Citizen,Mama Smiles,Multicultural Kid Blogs,Spanish Playground
Classroom Reading Challenge:
Classroom Reading Challenge from MCCBD offers teachers and classrooms the chance to earn a free hardcover multicultural children’s book for their classroom library. These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are pre-screened and approved by them as well.
Do check out last year’s book review for Multicultural Children’s Book day here: Larry and his friends