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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller


I'm so happy to be a Bronze Sponsor for the 2022 Multicultural Children's Book Day ("MCBD"). This year, in honor of MCBD, I'm delighted to help shine the spotlight on one of my favorite kidlit authors and friends, the wonderful VIVIAN KIRKFIELD.


Here is the group's description of its purpose and mission:

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 more about the Mission & History HERE.


I own all of Vivian's books, including SWEET DREAMS, SARAH, illustrated by Chris Ewald (Creston Books, 2019), and PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE, illustrated by Jill Weber (Holiday House, 2020). In this post, I'm highlighting MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE, art by Alleanna Harris (Little Bee Books, 2020).

This inspiring true story includes themes of friendship between women of different cultures, raising one's voice for good and being an ally, and social justice. Vivian provides an author's note adding more context to the story and offering primary and secondary sources.

The opening lines read: "Ella and Marilyn. On the outside, you couldn't find two girls who looked more different. But on the inside, they were alike - full of hopes and dreams, and plans of what might be."

The closing lines read: "For the rest of their lives, Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe remained good friends. Ella never missed one of Marilyn's movies. And Marilyn never stopped listening to Ella's songs. One the outside, these two stars couldn't have looked more different. But on the inside, they both understood that sometimes even stars need a little help to shine."

Vivian showcases this little-known friendship, and offers young readers a glimpse into the private lives of two huge stars who helped each other shine even more brightly. I highly recommend this book for home, school, and library collections. To learn more about Vivian, visit her at


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!

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!


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Vivian Kirkfield
Vivian Kirkfield
Feb 24, 2022

What a sweetheart you are, Melissa. Thank you for the wonderful post and review!!!


Svenja Gernand
Svenja Gernand
Feb 03, 2022

This looks like a wonderful book! Thanks so much for joining us for Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

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