Beautiful Rainbow World – National Diversity Awareness Month

Today is Friday. TGIF for people who work during the week. And PPBF for those who love picture books. And National Diversity Awareness Month for EVERYONE!

The special book I’m featuring today is one that belongs on every diversity children’s book list. Through my parenting blog, I connected with the talented lady who wrote the song that the book is based on, Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou. She travels all over the world, sharing beautiful music with children. Daria graciously agreed to answer a few questions about the importance of music in the lives of children.

daria and shekere

Hello Daria! Thank you so much for stopping by. I know music is such an important part of your life.

Do you play an instrument?


Yes! I’ve been playing guitar and dulcimer since I was a little girl. When I was young I was part of the Bucks County Folk Music Society and the older folks there were really kind to young learners. That was where I learned a lot about folk music from lots of different cultures and began playing the dulcimer.

When did you realize that music was the path you wanted to follow?

I was a young child in the 60’s and loved protest music because it gave a voice to many issues I felt strongly about, such as working for peace and caring for the Earth. I discovered that writing a song was a way to be heard, to speak out and yet it was a positive, non-confrontational way to change hearts and minds. That was when I knew I wanted to make music as my life’s path!
Why do you use music with kids?


Although music in most modern cultures is mainly about entertainment, it is so much more in other cultures. I love using music as a way to listen, a way to teach and a way to encourage kids to understand the power of cooperation. When children are playing together – for instance on a pow-wow drum- they can hear and even feel how something special happens when everyone works together toward a goal! It’s a great life lesson!
How can parents and teachers encourage a love of music in children?

That’s simple! First of all they can relax and enjoy music with them. Share what they know and love with their kids. They can sing simple songs to them and if they feel shy about that, they can still tap or clap along as their child sings a song they love. They can share music from their culture of origin. Plus they can visit a library and discover new cd’s with their child or ask their librarian about “kid-friendly” concerts or music programs that are available in their community.

Is music a universal language?


Yes! Music IS a universal language. People may disagree over politics, geography and other important concerns but once we begin singing, dancing, cooking, eating or celebrating together, then the differences disappear. Music can touch hearts where mere words cannot – and that is a beautiful thing!

If you have never visited Daria’s website, please do go there…it is one of the BEST multicultural sites around…you will be in for a treat:


beautiful world


Book created by Suzee Ramirez and Lynne Raspet

Original lyrics by Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou

Publisher: Two Poppies (an imprint of Multicultural Kids, Inc. 2014)

Ages: 0-100

Themes: Diversity, children


Opening Lines:

“Today I woke up to see…a beautiful rainbow world.

Won’t you dream along with me…a beautiful rainbow world.”


This is a photographic journey around the globe that shows us the beauty of children everywhere.
Why I like this book:

  • Simple read-aloud or sing along text
  • Incredible collection of photographs of children around the world


How a parent can use this book:

  • Great read-aloud or sing-along
  • The very youngest of infants will recognize faces – this is a book that can be shared with children of all ages
  • Talk about the differences among the children in the pictures – their faces, clothing, setting…and how they are all really the same.


Related Activity:

Daria shares music around the world and often teaches children how to make their own instruments. On her website, you will find instructions for making this shekere and many other instruments.



This instrument originates in Africa. Using an empty gourd, they string beads on netting and attach to the outside of the gourd. It makes a lovely sound when shaken. But you can also use a clean empty milk carton. Please go to Daria’s website for simple instructions:


If you are looking for more great picture book suggestions, hop over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog where you will find a bunch more hand-picked picture book reviews with activities for you and your child. If you are a mom, teacher or librarian, please check out Susanna’s amazing Perfect Picture Book page with over 1000 categorized picture book reviews and activities.

And just in case you haven’t heard – Susanna is hosting another of her FAMOUS HALLOWEENSIE WRITING CONTESTS…write a story for children, 100 words or less, use the words broomstick, pumpkin and creak…get all the details on here:

There will be prizes galore! So don’t miss it…if you don’t want to enter, you can still have lots of fun, cheering on those who do and reading a whole bunch of amazing Halloween stories…last year she had over 100 entries!

I hope everyone, especially my writer friends, will come back Saturday!



Sandy, founder of BUILD BOOK BUZZ, taught me how to write a press release…and so much more…when my first book was published. She’s a well-spring of knowledge – as well as an incredible person.

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on October 16, 2014, in National Diversity Awareness Month, Perfect Picture Book Friday and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Oh! This post has me singing and dancing! The universal language of music! Yes! Thanks for sharing all this Rhythm!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks like a great book and activities for so many ages! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. Great post. And I enjoyed Daria’s website. Thanks so much.


  4. Oh, the beads around the house! Both of my kids made shekeres in elementary school (we still have them!). Sounds like a perfect gift for a Montessori classroom I know!


  5. Thank you so much for introducing us to Daria. I love her music and book. Checked out her site. Music is such a universal and healing language. Perfect for National Diversity Month. Will look forward to following her!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Pat! Daria is one of those special people who just wants to share her gifts with the world…she definitely has her finger on the need to raise awareness of diversity…and she does a stellar job!


  6. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to check out her site, Vivian. What a great concept because the world is a rainbow. Always has been and always will be. And music is our universal language.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful interview! And this book sounds very special indeed. I’m glad you’ve introduced us to it, and to Daria. Thanks, Vivian!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Friends, Daria here with thanks to you all for stopping by. Vivian’s love of books plus her talent and encouragement make her a very special advocate for all of us who hope to make the world a little bit brighter, one child and one book at a time!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This looks absolutely lovely – and cool that the lyricist stopped by! Thanks for sharing this one!


  10. This book looks just beautiful and magical, Vivian! I must see if my library has it – the photographs sound amazing! And how nice of Daria to do the interview – it’s always great to hear from the creative mind behind the book 🙂 Thanks for the Halloweensie shout-out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The photos are wonderful…and people can go to Daria’s website and download the song, I believe. She provides lots of freebies for kids on her blog. Thanks for stopping by, Susanna…I think you will have a brilliant Halloweensie contest. 🙂


  11. Great interview and review! The book sounds great! 😀


  12. What a beautiful book, Vivian! I’m sure the children’s faces are precious. And I enjoyed the interview. Thanks!


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