Mami Tales is proud to review Mystery of the Disappearing Dolphin, by Janelle Diller, as a part of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day!
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s 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.
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.
Mystery of the Disappearing Dolphin, A Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure
Title: Mystery of the Disappearing Dolphin (Pack-n-Go Girls, Mexico Adventures Book 2)| Author: Janelle Diller Genre: Children’s Adventure | Number of Pages: 118 | Publisher: World Trek Publishing Release Date: December 1, 2014 | Age Group: 2-3rd Grade
Book Description: Welcome to Mexico! It’s market day in Barra de Navidad. 9-year-olds Izzy and Patti discover a beautiful glass dolphin that Izzy wants more than anything. As she is trying to convince her Mom to buy it, the dolphin disappears! This triggers a big confrontation between Lizzy’s uncle Rob and the dolphin’s salesman, Señor Gomez, with lots of finger-pointing and animosity on both sides. The plot thickens further when Lizzy goes back home to the family’s sailboat to find the dolphin hidden in her backpack! How is Lizzy going to convince everyone she didn’t take it?
For this year’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day I was put in touch with Janelle Diller, author of the Mexico series of the Pack-n-Go Girls brand. She asked me which country I wanted to review, and of course I said Mexico. It is my hometown, and reading to my children is one way for me to make my culture more accessible for them. At that time both Janelle and I were in Mexico. She even said that if I was anywhere close to Barra de Navidad, she could hand-deliver a signed copy of the book for me! Unfortunately I was inland, so she had the book mailed to my LA home instead. I also asked her to send me the first book of the series, Mystery of the Thief in the Night, to have a better grasp of the series as a whole.
Mystery of the Disappearing Dolphin
This second book of the Mexico Adventures picks up where the first book left off. American girl Izzy Bennett and her now best friend local friend Patti have strengthened their bond over the summer. As this new story starts, Izzy’s aunt and uncle are about to arrive in Mexico to visit Izzy’s sailing family. Izzy’s uncle Rob does not like to travel, and he has some preconceived notions about Mexico and Mexicans that unsettle Izzy and exasperate her dad.
The book is fast paced and full of adventure, with very age-appropriate subject matters. I love how the author gives us the point of view of a child who is afraid of change, and what she does to learn and interact with a new culture and environment. The characters are fun and distinctive, the illustrations that accompany the book are a great way to peek into Lizzy and Patti’s world. Mexico’s description is full of color, flavors and pretty true to Mexican hospitality. My 8-year-old daughter read the entire book in two afternoons and have been asking for more books from the series.
The paperback version of the book also includes in the end some travel tips to Mexico, a recipe for Patti’s enchiladas, some words to say in Spanish as well as a Trip Planner for the kids to fill in. This is a wonderful book to give any elementary school child before a trip to Mexico!
The Pack-n-Go Girls® Series
Dreaming of true-blue friends, mysterious adventures, and far away places? Pack-n-Go Girls® take you there.
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO, Pack-n-Go Girls® specializes in creating innovative stories and toys for girls that deliver positive messages around independence, adventure, and global awareness. Lisa Travis founded the company after a miserable cross-country trip with small children and few entertaining travel books and toys to be found. Janelle Diller joined her in this mission, and together they are working to give the best gift they can give a child: curiosity about the world beyond herself.
The Adventures take different American girls to new countries and cultures for them to explore, in Austria, Brazil, Mexico and Thailand.
About the Author
Janelle Diller, Author
Janelle Diller has always had a passion for writing. As a young child, she wouldn’t leave home without a pad and pencil just in case her novel hit her and she had to scribble it down quickly. She eventually learned good writing takes a lot more time and effort than this. Fortunately, she still loves to write. She’s especially lucky because she also loves to travel. She’s explored over 45 countries for work and play and can’t wait to land in the next new country. It doesn’t get any better than writing stories about traveling. Janelle and her husband split their time between a sailboat in Mexico and a house in Colorado.
Making Some Super Easy Guacamole!
At the end of 2014, when Mystery of the Disappearing Dolphin was published, my daughter had a school homework to explore their diversity in the classroom through food. She was to make a big cardboard cube with a family recipe. Each face of the cube had something different:
- A photo of the dish.
- The name of the dish, and who made it.
- A photo of the person who made-makes the dish at home.
- The Ingredients for the dish.
- The steps for making the dish.
- A little blurb on why this dish is important for the family, and how it reflects the family tradition.
We made the Guacamole I’m sharing here with you, which is a super easy recipe to have little kids prepare. I also went to their class and made the dish to share with everyone.
As part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day is sharing an activity that has to do with the book, I thought this was just perfect! Hope you enjoy it.
- 2 Ripe Medium Avocados
- 2 TBSP White Onion, Very Finely Chopped
- 2 TBSP Cilantro, Finely Chopped
- 1 Green Chili, Finely Chopped (optional)
- Juice of 1 Lime
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Tortilla Chips
- Cut the avocados and scoop out their flesh onto a medium sized bowl. Mash with a fork, to get a lumpy paste.
- Place in the bowl with the avocado paste the finely chopped onion, cilantro, green chili (if using), lime juice and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Using the tortilla chip have a little taste, and correct for salt and pepper.
- Enjoy! You can eat this guacamole with tacos or on its own, with tortilla chips.
MCBD 2017 Sponsors
MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books
Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang
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 work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. You can view our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember
- MCBD site
- Multicultural Books for Teachers – Free
- Kindness Classroom Kit – Free
- Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents – Free