Wednesday, September 7, 2016

'I'm a Great Little Kid' Series Nonfiction

Although I don't buy nonfiction for my system, I recently noticed a few titles from the "I'm a Great Little Kid" series from Second Story Press. 



I've read Never Give Up: A Story About Self-Esteem and That Uh Oh Feeling: A Story About Touch, both by Kathryn Cole illustrated by Qin Leng. While I'm not reviewing them in a formal way here, I read through both of them and was favorably impressed with the way sensitive issues are handled, and the fact that the books are racially diverse in a way that doesn't resort to tokenism. I'm not sure having only read two of them, but I think it's the same group of kids in all the books, and each book features a different child as the main character. Never Give Up in particular could work with older kids in a storytime or classroom setting. I like that the main character is a hijabi girl who solves a bullying problem for someone else--a white boy who is being mocked for his inability to ride a bike. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

August Round Up Two




Blocks by Irene Dickson (2016)

This one has all the ingredients for a perfect storytime book, especially for toddlers and younger storytimes. Ruby, dressed in red, builds with her red blocks. Along comes Benji with his blue blocks, and all is well until he takes one of Ruby's red blocks. A tug-of-war ensues, and the blocks become mixed up. The two companionably start building together and all is well. But what happens when Guy shows up with his green blocks? Readers are left to draw their own conclusions, but the endpapers full of green, blue, and red structures offer a clue. With large, clear illustrations and simple language and lots of opportunities to engage listeners this is an excellent choice for storytime.

Themes/Topics: Colors, Sharing/Cooperation, Toys, Building, EmotionsFriendship

Each spread has just a few words, but the characters show a lot of emotion and there's a lot to engage with on each page; here is a sample from four spreads:

Benji takes one of Ruby's red blocks. /

Ruby wants her red block back. /

"Mine!" says Ruby. "Mine!" says Benji. /

CRASH!



Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell, illustrated by Rafael López (2016)

This one gets me in the feels. Talk about something beautiful! It's a fictional story based on the real transformation of the East Village in San Diego. A girl tries to bring color and beauty to her gray city by giving away paintings and drawings. Then one day she meets a muralist, and together they bring the whole community together to create something beautiful--a place and a community spirit. One of the things I love about this book is the way the act of creating art and bringing something to life with color are shown as a kinetic and powerful act. Readers can't help but see the beauty and feel the energy and joy this book brings.

Themes/Topics: Cities, Art, Community, Color, Social Change

Sample text:

Then, just like that he dipped a brush in the paint. BAM! POW! The shadows scurried away. Sky blue cut through the gloom. The man's laughter was like a rainbow spreading across the sky.



A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu illustrated by Christina Forshay (2016)

It seems rare to find an inter-generational book where everyone is portrayed with equal respect and agency, but this is one. Mei Mei finds her Gong Gong in the garden practicing Tai Chi. He shows her some of the forms, and although readers see that her interpretations aren't quite spot on, he assures her that she did well. When Mei Mei shows Gong Gong some of the Yoga poses she learned in school, it's his turn to struggle--but Mei Mei assures him that he's perfect too. Grandfather's patience, Mei Mei's boundless energy, and above all the love and respect for each other combined with Liu's lyrical descriptions rooted in nature and Forshay's vibrantly appealing illustrations make this a lovely morning indeed. This one is pretty wordy, but would be a good fit as a single story paired with a Yoga or movement event.

Themes/Topics: Family, Grandparents, Yoga, Tai Chi, Movement, Nature

Sample text--probably the wordiest spread:

"How about we try the Mermaid?" Mei Mei asked. She sat with one leg bent behind her and the other leg folded in front. One hand rested on her bakc foot, and the other hand lifted to the sky. 
Mei Mei was a creature of the deep sea guarding treasures. 

 "Are you sure it's not called the Pretzel?" asked Gong Gong. "That looks complicated."
"Try it," said Mei Mei. 

Gong Gong twisted his leg this way and that, and almost fell over. He was a fish in the water trying to escape the dangling hook.
"I'm not made for the sea," said Gong Gong. 



Life Without Nico by Andrea Maturana illustrated by Francisco Javier Olea (2016 English edition)



Separation is a hard topic for kids, whether it's being separated from parents or friends. In this story, Maia's best friend Nico is moves very far away for a while, leaving a hole in Maia's life. The symbolism used in the illustrations is elegant and powerful--Nico gives Maia a globe which throws a shadow over her heart, and in subsequent illustrations the shadows of other round objects represent the emptiness that Maia feels. But life goes on, and slowly the emptiness left by Nico's absence is filled. When it's time for Nico to return, Maia is worried that he won't have a place in her life anymore. But when they are reunited, Maia finds that Nico has a place in her heart, and nothing can change that. While this isn't a common topic for storytime, this book would work well in that setting if needed.

Themes/Topics: Moving, Friendship, Love, Feelings

Sample text from three spreads during the 'sad' part of the story:

Now time passes slowly, and the emptiness follows Maia everywhere she goes. It's boring. She can't play with it, and it won't let other children near. /

Sometimes the days feel dark to Maia. Other times everything feels far away. /

But as time goes on, Maia meets an unexpected companion... [Maia finds a kitten]. 




Catch a Kiss by Deborah Diesen illustrated by Kris Aro McLeod (2016)



Izzie asks Mama to blow her kisses and she catches them--on her nose, in the crook of her elbow, or the tip of her ear. But then Izzie misses one of the triple-decker kisses, and although she tries her best to chase after it, she is devastated to lose it. Mama pulls her close and shares a secret: Mama-kisses always come back to find you. Izzie tells Mama a secret in return: So do mine, she says, launching a kiss into the sky. This one is sugary sweet, but has some emotional depth and a narrative conflict, so it could add some variety when paired with some of the more 'list' type picture books on the topic of motherly love.

Themes/Topics: Love, Mothers, Kisses

Sample text:
"Another!" cried Izzie. Mama smooched again. She blew Izzie a zigzag kiss. It zipped back and forth. Zoom. Zip! Izzie caught the kiss in the crook of her elbow. She giggled at the tickly feel.



Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer (2016)


"Poetry in the Park; Sunday at 6 o'clock" reads the new sign up in Daniel's beloved park. Daniel doesn't know what poetry is, but throughout the week he converses with the animals, and each animal points some natural beauty that they see as poetry. By the time Sunday at 6' o'clock rolls around, Daniel has a poem of his own to share. This is a really beautiful book--from the concept, to the gorgeous collage artwork, to the poetry of the text itself. It's well-suited to storytime, and could easily be shortened for younger groups by omitting a few of the animal interactions.

Themes/Topics: Poetry, Art, Parks, Nature

Sample text from two spreads near the end:
That night, moonlight fills Daniel's room. He hears a who. Leaning from his window, he calls to Owl, "Owl, what is poetry?" 

"Oh, poetry! Poetry is bright stars in the branches, moonlight on the grass, and silent wings to take me wherever I go. Good night, dear Daniel," she whispers, and flies off into the night. 

Blocks by Irene Dickson (2016)
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell, illustrated by Rafael López (2016)
A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu illustrated by Christina Forshay (2016)
Life Without Nico by Andrea Maturana illustrated by Francisco Javier Olea (2016 English ed.) 
Catch a Kiss by Deborah Diesen illustrated by Kris Aro McLeod (2016)
Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer (2016)

Saturday, August 6, 2016

August Round Up


All the titles and authors are listed at the end of this post--enjoy!

City Shapes by Diana Murray illustrated by Bryan Collier

City Shapes by Diana Murray illustrated by Bryan Collier

Storytime gold! This is a nearly perfect storytime book--it has a pleasing rhyme scheme, gorgeous illustrations, isn't too wordy, and will work with a variety of themes. The way the text interacts with the pages turns is particularly savvy, creating just the right amount of space for audiences to practice predictive rhyming and shape recognition.

Themes/Topics: Shapes, City, Birds, Home, Community

Sample text from the first three spreads:
"A pigeon takes flight through the bright cityscape, exploring the scenery...SHAPE after SHAPE. 
The city is bursting with SHAPES of each kind. And if you look closely, who knows what you'll find!

A truck rumbling by to deliver the mail, a silvery cart with hot pretzels for sale, and stacks of brown packages hauled up the stairs...

Some SHAPES in the city are... on-the-go SQUARES."

Princess! Fairy! Ballerina! by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Princess! Fairy! Ballerina! by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Three friends, two white and one black, play together on a rainy day, but disagree on what to play, with each one advocating strongly for her preferred game--Princess, Fairy, or Ballerina. After the expected fight, the lure of puddle jumping unites them once again. A fairly typical friendship story, but all three girls are equals, and with charming illustrations and a glittery cover, this is an appealing take on the familiar plot.

Themes/Topics: Friendship, Behavior, Rain, Imagination

Each girl's speech is printed in her signature color to indicate who is speaking:
"We shall play princess! Because princesses are royal, and that means they get to survey their royal domains, / and make the royal rules, and of course, ride the royal unicorns. 
You always want to play princess. 
Please call me Your Majesty. 
Shh, I have two words for you--Fairy. Dust."


Mira Forecasts the Future by Kell Andrews illustrated by Lissy Marlin
Mira Forecasts the Future by Kell Andrews illustrated by Lissy Marlin

Mira, who has light brown skin, dark brown hair, and golden brown eyes, is the daughter of a famous fortune teller who works on the boardwalk. Unfortunately, Mira doesn't share her mother's talent for predicting the future--until she turns her attention to the science of forecasting the weather, that is. I was excited about this one from the cover, but was taken aback by the 'gypsy' attire worn by Mira's mother. I haven't seen any critical reviews, however, so am including this title with reservation. This is a longer story, but might be a fit for a STEM storytime working with older kids.

Themes/Topics: Weather, Science, STEM, Storms

"Mira was about to say she couldn't predict the future. But then.../ she saw the wind gently whirring the blades of her pinwheel and fluttering the streamers on her windsock. She felt the warm air and the hot sun on her skin. She studied the clouds that were whiter and fluffier than cotton candy." 


My Little Sister and Me story and pictures by Maple Lam

My Little Sister and Me story and pictures by Maple Lam

And older boy has the responsibility of walking his sister home from school for the first time. At first he is frustrated by her short-attention span and constant distractions, but when a thunderstorm develops scaring both of them and causing little sister to run and fall into a puddle, big brother comes to the rescue. In the end, they make it home to a proud mama, and both siblings have new appreciation for each other. This is a sweet sibling story with 'first day of school' tie-ins, making it a refreshingly different addition to school themed storytimes.

Themes/Topics: School, Storms, Siblings, Bravery

Sample of the first two pages of text:
For the very first time, Mom asks me to take my little sister home from the bus stop--all by myself!

She bounces and hops and sings a song she learned from school, "Take me home...country roads..."
I don't even know the song. Maybe she is singing it wrong.

Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach

Utterly charming. Ed, the family dog, worries that he isn't excellent at anything, unlike the five kids in his family, who are all excellent at something. He worries that this is why he isn't allowed to do things the others are allowed to do, like eat at the table, ride in the van, sit in the couch, and use the indoor bathroom. He tries to figure out what he's excellent at, but is bested every time by one of the children. I don't want to ruin the delight of reading this book the first time, but I'll just say that Ed does indeed figure out what he's best at and how that ties into the things he's not allowed to do--well, most of them. I kind of can't even with how much I love this book.

Themes/Topics: Dogs, family, belonging, humor

Sample text:
Just then, Ernie dropped half of his peanut butter sandwich. Ed gobbled it up. "Wow, Ed! You are excellent at cleaning the floor," Ernie said.
'Yes, I am an excellent floor cleaner [thought Ed]. Maybe that's why I don't eat at the table'

A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson illustrated by David Robert

A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson illustrated by David Roberts

If you enjoy reading Bob Shea or Jon Klassen books in storytime, this is likely to be a good choice for you! The narrator is addressing a small child who is decked out for some serious hiking, trying to impress upon them the importance of taking bears seriously. The narrator gets carried away with bear facts that belie what is actually happening to our hapless hiker, who ends up needing to fend for themself when not one but TWO threatening bears show up. An underwear joke and the the opportunity to interpret an ambiguous ending round out this fun story.

Themes/Topics: Bears, Camping, Hiking, Outdoors, Humor, Stuffed Animals

Text sample from an interior spread:
Black bears are dangerous and BLACK. Brown bears are dangerous and BROWN. 
Although sometimes brown bears can be a little BLACK.  
...and black bears can be a little BROWN. 
Don't worry. 
Chances are you won't even SEE a bear. 

City Shapes by Diana Murray illustrated by Bryan Collier
Princess! Fairy! Ballerina! by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Mira Forecasts the Future by Kell Andrews illustrated by Lissy Marlin
My Little Sister and Me story and pictures by Maple Lam
Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson illustrated by David Roberts


Friday, July 29, 2016

July Round Up: New Racially Diverse Picture Books for Storytime

 
[You can find a full list of all titles at the bottom of this post]

I Won a What? by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Robert Neubecker

I Won a What? by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Robert Neubecker
Desperate for a pet, a young child tries to win a goldfish at the fair. But instead of a goldfish the prize is Nuncio--a whale! This is a slightly surreal take on the "inconvenient pet becomes useful and beloved" storyline, but one that could certainly work in preschool storytime or early elementary classrooms.

 Themes/Topics: Friendship, Pets, Circus, Whales, Love

Here's a sample of the text. This is the most text that appears on any page:
"We fill our enormous swimming pool with salt water until it's just right for Nuncio. I've always wanted something I could take care of.  Something that loves me back. Maybe that was a lot to ask of a goldfish. But a whale! A whale seems capable of almost anything!"

Puddle by Hyewon Yum

Puddle by Hyewon Yum
A rainy day creates a disgruntled child determined not to be appeased by any activity mom suggests. When her suggestion to spend time drawing is rejected, she cheerfully announces that she'll just draw by herself. Of course, the child becomes intrigued and they draw themselves into a rainy day scene, creating a narrative as they draw. Mom gets upset when the child "splashes" in the puddle they drew by scribbling, and mom looks quite concerned when they go outside and a giant puddle appears ahead. Happily, though unsurprisingly, she throws caution to the wind and they jump and splash together.
Part of the book is told through dialogue, with the mother's words in red and the child's in black, so larger groups might get lost unless you're comfortable reading with voices, but it should definitely be part of your collection anyway. Yum's skilled and delightful illustrations are wonderful as always.

Themes/Topics: Rain, Drawing, Imagination, Mothers, Dogs, Weather

Red Yellow Blue (And a Dash of White Too!)  by C. G. Esperanza

Red Yellow Blue (And a Dash of White Too!)  by C. G. Esperanza
This one is a welcome addition to the color theory shelf. In a riot of color, wordplay, and imagination, a young child wrangles a paintbrush mixing colors and bringing different animals to life until things get a little out of control with a "Grayish--Brownish Mud monster," but ultimately the mud monster just wants to get in on the action too, and paints portraits of all the other animals.

Text sample--full of opportunities for wordplay and movement, here's the first spread:
"Splish Splash Sploosh! I painted an elephant BLUE 
with a splash of RED and YELLOW and a dash of WHITE, too.

Swoosh Swash Swish! She mixed BLUE and YELLOW 
BLUE and YELLOW made GREEN!
Like a GREEN frog fellow.  

Themes/Topics: Color, Art, Imagination

Salad Pie written by Wendy BooydeGraaff illustrated by Bryan Langdo

Salad Pie written by Wendy BooydeGraaff illustrated by Bryan Langdo
An empty playground is the perfect setting for Maggie to make "Salad Pie" (a cleaner version of mud pie), but then Herbert shows up and--even worse--he wants to help. Maggie bossily rejects his attempts to help until she accidentally slips down the slide, dropping the salad into the air. Herbert saves the day by catching both her and the pie, and their friendship is solidified as they make plans to make "Sandwich Stew" tomorrow.

This one includes lots of places to add a little singing refrain, and isn't too wordy, making it a good storytime selection:
"Into the oven," said Maggie, and she closed the imaginary oven door with panache. Gently, ever so gently, Maggie danced her jig. Softly, ever so softly, she sang, "Salad Pie, oh Salad Pie! Soon you'll be ready, Salad Pie!

Themes/Topics: Friendship, Imagination, Playgrounds, Food

How to Find Gold by Viviane Schwarz

How to Find Gold by Viviane Schwarz
Anna and her best friend, Crocodile, decide to find gold even though it will be dangerous and difficult.

Several very wordy pages are followed by several wordless pages, which means this one is a better fit for very dialogic storytime groups who have practice reading and interpreting the pictures in a story.

One spread reads:
"Gold is always hidden. We need a map with an X where the gold is," said Crocodile. 
"That's easy, said Anna. "Draw a map of the whole world, to be sure." 
"It doesn't have an X," Said Crocodile when the map was finished. 
Anna drew one on. 
"The gold is in France!" said Anna. "How do we get to France?" 
"Hm," said Crocodile. "I don't know that bit."

Themes/Topics: Treasure, Ships/Sailing, Crocodiles, Pirates (not specifically, but it definitely works), Imagination, Bravery, Friendship, Travel

Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock

Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock
A day in the lives of two girls who love ballet are compared and contrasted. Emma, a young white girl, and Julia, an older black teen, both wake up early, both eat breakfast and both get dressed for a ballet lesson. But while Emma is excited to go the the city and watch a ballet later that night, Julia is in the performance. Most children reading this book will be able to relate to Emma as a beginning dancer, and will share her admiration and be inspired by Julia, who is an advanced dancer participating in live performances on stage.

Here's a sample of the text--the parallel stories and repetition make it a good fit for storytime:
"Some of Emma's friends take tap lessons. Some of Julia's friends take tap too. Some of Emma's friends take jazz lessons. Some of Julia's friends take jazz too. Some of Emma's friends dream of dancing on Broadway. Some of Julia's friends are dancing on Broadway. But Emma and Julia love ballet."

Themes/Topics: Dance, Ballet, Careers/Jobs people do, Practice

I Won a What? by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Robert Neubecker
Puddle by Hyewon Yum
Red Yellow Blue (And a Dash of White Too!)  by C. G. Esperanza
Salad Pie written by Wendy BooydeGraaff illustrated by Bryan Langdo
How to Find Gold by Viviane Schwarz
Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock

Monday, February 29, 2016

Everyday Diversity: 100+ Representationally Diverse Picture Books




Everyday stories can be hard to find, since the stories are not about being from a marginalized group, they become invisible in searches--thus the need for this project! Some of the decisions are subjective; you may not consider a particular book to represent a marginalized group. I am open to feedback, but please know that this project is, by nature, pretty subjective and a lot of what we have to go off of is what is presented in the pictures. 

 This list is a work in progress; The plan is to write more in-depth about the books, and create tags that make them searchable in different ways. But for now, here's the list! Alphabetical by title, with suggested themes below.

A Day with No Crayons by Elizabeth Rusch
colors, behavior, imagination

A Vacation for Pooch by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
multiracial families, dogs, travel, grandparents

All of Me! A book of Thanks by Molly Bang
thankfulness, bodies, five senses

An Orange in January By Diana Hutts Aston
sharing, fruit, food, seasons

Anna Hibiscus’ Song by Atinuke
multiracial families, being yourself, happiness, singing







Baby Parade by Rebecca O’Connel
Colors, babies

Baby Ruby Bawled by Malaika Rose Stanley
multiracial families, new siblings, babies, singing

Besos for Baby by Jen Arena
multiracial families, kisses, love, babies, board books

Big Snow by Jonathan Bean
snow, waiting, imagination, weather

Blackout by John Rocco
multiracial families, family, community, neighborhoods







Can you Hear the Sea? By Judy Cumberbatch *set outside the US, but is still an every day story oceans, shells, grandparents

Can’t Sleep without Sheep by Susanna Leonard Hill
bedtime, sheep, sleeping

Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin
yoga, noisy, nature

Cook It by Child’s Play, illustrated by Georgie Birkett
cooking, food, shopping, vegetables, pizza, multiracial families

Do Like Kyla by Angela Johnson
siblings, copying, snow, families







Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke
new siblings, families, multiracial families.

Drum City by Thea Guidone
music, communities

Fire engine No. 9 by Mike Austin
fire safety, heroes/superheroes, firefighters, community helpers

Fire! Fuego! Brave Bomberos by Susan Middleton Elya
community helpers, firefighters, heroes/superheroes, fire safety

Firebird by Misty Copeland
dance, ballet







Fireman Small by Wong Herbert Lee
community helpers, firefighters, heroes/superheroes, fire safety

First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
snow, snowmen, winter

Gracias Thanks by Pat Mora
thankfulness

Green is a Chile Pepper by Rosanne Greenfield Thong
colors

Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin
multiracial families, differences, being yourself


Here Comes Trouble by Corinne Demas
cats, dogs, behavior

Hero Mom by Melinda Hardin
heroes/superheroes, mothers,

How do you Wokka-Wokka? By Elizabeth Bluemle
cities, dance, movement, community

How to Share with a Bear by Eric Pinder
siblings, imagination, bears

I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
dance, singing, music, neighborhoods, movement







I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn
clothing, growing up, sewing, creativity

I Know a Lot by Stephen Krensky
babies, growing up, board books

I See Kitty by Yasmine Surovec
clouds, imagination, pets, cats

If I Had a Raptor by George O’Connor
pets, dinosaurs, cats

Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd
in and out, houses, opposites







Job Site by Nathan Clement
construction, vehicles, trucks

Juba This, Juba That by Helaine Becker
rhymes, dance, cats, fantasy, imagination

Just the Two of Us by Will Smith
families, love, fathers

Keisha Ann Can! by Daniel Kirk
school, being yourself, growing up

Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins
winter, money, lemonade







Lenny Has Lunch by Ken Wilson-Max
fathers, babies, food, board books

Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn
libraries, babies, books, board books

Lily Brown’s Paintings by Angela Johnson
painting, art, imagination

Lion Lion by Miriam Busch
pets, lions, tricksters

Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler
trucks, construction, books to sing







Little Little Girl with the Big Big Voice by Kristen Balouch
jungle, noise, lions,

Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn
reading, libraries, books, imagination

Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn
gardens, plants, spring, sharing

Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn,
new sibling, reading, books.

Lottie Paris and the Best Place by Angela Johnson
friendship, books, reading, libraries, imagination







Lullaby for a Black Mother by Langston Hughes
babies, love, night

Marc Just Couldn’t Sleep by Gabriela Keselman
bedtime, night, noisy, being afraid

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown
multiracial families, being yourself, individuality, school

Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper
night, moon, grandparents

Me and My Dragon by Biedrzycki
pets, dragons,







Messenger Messenger by Robert Burleigh
bikes, jobs, cities, communities

Monster Trouble by Lane Fredrickson
monsters, bedtime, problem solving, kisses, sleep

Moving day by Child’s Play illustrated by Jess Stockham
moving, helping, homes

My Friend Maya Loves to Dance by Cheryl Willis Hudson
dance, ballet, friends, abilities

My Teacher by James Ransome
teachers, school,








Never Ask a Dinosaur to Dinner by Gareth Edwards
bedtime, animals, stuffed animals

Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo by John Lithgow
multiracial families, music, zoos

New Red Bike by James Ransome
sharing, bicycles, friendship

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales
wrestling, superheroes, imagination

Not Norman by Kelly Bennet
pets, fish








Oddly by Joyce Dunbar
home, love, being yourself, fantasy

On the Ball by Brian Pinkney
imagination, sports, soccer

One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews
summer, weather, sun, cities

One Word From Sophia by Jim Averbeck
multiracial family, manners, birthdays, giraffes, pets, words/vocabulary

Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson
multiracial families, new siblings, jealousy








Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora
peekaboo, babies, seeing

Phoebe and Digger by Tricia Springstubb
new siblings, construction, trucks, bullies

Pickin’ Peas by MacDonald
gardens, rabbits, vegetables, tricksters

Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee
babies, manners, families

Please, Puppy, Please by Spike Lee
dogs, manners, pets








Princess and the Pea by Rachel Isadora
fairy tales, princesses

Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton
multiracial families, horses, gifts, being yourself

Purrfect! By Sarah Nash
stuffed animals, bathtime

Roar! By Tammi Sauer
dragons, imagination, pretend, creativity, friends

Round is a Tortilla by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
shapes








Ruby’s Baby Brother by Kathryn White
new sibling, imagination

Say Hello by Rachel Isadora
greetings, languages, neighbors, community

Scaredy Kate by Jacob Grant
monsters, counting, fear, bravery,  dogs, ice cream

Senor Pancho Had a Rancho by René Colato Laínez
farms, books to sing

Shanna’s Ballerina Show by Jean Marzollo
dance, ballet








Splash, Anna Hibiscus! By Atinuke
multiracial families, family, beach, ocean, swimming

Stop Kissing Me, Mommy! By Nadine Chevolleau
growing up, kisses, mothers

Summer Days and Nights by Wong Herbert Lee
seasons, day, night, picnics

Super Hair-O and the Barber of Doom by John Rocco
superheroes, hair, friendship

Take Me Out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon
sports, baseball, grandparents, difference







The Twin’s Little Sister by Hyewon Yum
sisters, twins, new siblings, sharing

The Twins Blanket by Hyewon Yum Sharing
twins, growing up, blankets

The Very Inappropriate Word  by Jim Tobin
multiracial families, vocabulary, words, libraries

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
parades, celebration, summer

This is Our House by Hyewon Yum
multiracial families, family, houses, growing up







Tiger in my Soup by Kashmira Sheth
imagination, siblings, books, reading
 
Tummy Girl by Roseanne Thong
babies, growing up, being yourself

Uh-Oh! By Rachel Isadora
babies, messes, behavior

Virginnie’s Hat by Dori Chaconas
clothing, alligators, lost/missing

Wait by Portis
opposites, stop/go, waiting, rainbows







Wave by Suzy Lee
ocean, imagination, water

Where’s Lenny by Ken Wilson-Max
multiracial families, peek-a-boo, babies, board books

Yo, Jo by Rachel Isadora
greetings, grandparents, language

You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan
multiracial families, new baby, growing up, families

Zoe and Beans: Pirate Treasure by Chloe and Mick Inkpen
beach, pirates, treasure

Zoe and Beans: How Many Pets by Inkpen
babies, pets, board books





Tuesday, February 9, 2016

17 Books that feature Multiracial Families



We all know how difficult it can be to find books that feature multiracial families living normal everyday lives. Here are seventeen titles that I've found that might work in your storytime or classroom. I've also included some possible themes for each title.

Ultimately, my goal is for this to be an ongoing list that I will keep adding to, and it will include links out to individual reviews of each book, and ways that educators and librarians have used it successfully, but for now, here's the list: 

Anna Hibiscus’ Song by Atinuke
Theme ideas: being yourself, happiness, singing

 Baby Ruby Bawled by Malaika Rose Stanley
Theme ideas: family, problem solving, babies, singing

Besos for Baby by Jen Arena
Theme ideas: Kisses, love, babies

Blackout by John Rocco
Theme ideas: Family, community, neighborhoods, technology

Cook It by Child’s Play, illustrated by Georgie Birkett
Theme ideas: Cooking, food, shopping, vegetables, pizza

Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin
Theme ideas: Differences, being yourself, I like me

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown
Theme ideas: being yourself, individuality, school

Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo by John Lithgow
Theme ideas: Music, zoos, instruments, dreams

One Word From Sophia by Jim Averbeck
Theme ideas: vocabulary, birthdays, giraffes, manners

Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson
Theme ideas: new siblings, family, pie

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton
Theme ideas: birthdays, princesses, individuality

Splash, Anna Hibiscus! By Atinuke
Theme ideas: family, beach, oceans, swimming

This is Our House by Hyewon Yum
Theme ideas: Family, houses, growing up, history

 A Vacation for Pooch by Marian Cocca-Leffler
Theme ideas: Dogs, travel, grandparents

The Very Inappropriate Word by Jim Tobin
Theme ideas: Vocabulary, words, libraries, behavior, manners

Where’s Lenny by Ken Wilson-Max
Theme ideas: Peek-a-boo, babies

You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan
Theme ideas: New siblings, growing up, families
 



For more books featuring multiracial families, check this list here: http://www.whatdowedoallday.com/2014/10/childrens-books-with-multiracial-families.html

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Introducing the Everyday Diversity Project

Are you interested in promoting diversity in #kidlit?

Do you do storytime? Do you teach? Do you have an interest in picture books?

I need your help.



We know that there is a huge dearth of books written by and for multicultural audiences. Smarter, more qualified people than I are writing excellent articles and bringing amazingly thoughtful discussions into being around this sensitive subject. I've struggled to figure out what my role is in promoting diversity. What do I, another person from the privileged majority, have to contribute? I want to be an ally, but I want to make sure that I'm respectful of the fullness of experiences I do not and cannot understand.

Having said that, I don't want to do nothing. Something that I can do, and that I challenge you to do too, is working to make sure that we are using diverse books in storytime. My frustration with doing that, however, is that those books are hard to find. Learning about other countries and cultures is SO important, but my focus in storytime is not on teaching intellectual concepts, and I don't want to contribute to anyone's sense of otherness. I want storytime to reflect the lives that my kids are living here and now. Bedtime books, loose tooth books, new baby books. I want books that feature diverse characters telling the stories that are universal. But those books are hard to discover in our library catalogs even when they are there.

So that's what the Everyday Diversity project is about: creating a resource of books reflecting "everyday" diversity, and highlighting those that are appropriate for storytime.

Everyday Diversity books:
1. Predominately feature diverse main characters--no tokenism.
2. Are, "Loose tooth books." That is, the storylines are not about race, religion, ability, or cultures.
3. Are, by nature, often ambiguous. Finding them requires close looking and open interpretations. We might get it wrong sometimes, but I think the benefits of the project outweigh the risk of misstep.

The Everyday Diversity project does not minimize the real need for education about race, history, social equality, and injustice. It does not mean to take a stand that we are past racism or any such idealism. The Everyday Diversity project is about filling a small but important need within the larger issues. More and more I get parents looking for books that are "everyday stories" featuring diverse characters, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I'd like to create a resource for answering those questions.

My goals for the project are:
1. To create searchable database of books with storytime theme suggestions.
2. In-depth reviews of great storytime books that feature Everyday Diversity.

We are working hard to get this project launched, and it will include a way for you to submit Everyday Diversity books that you find or already love.

For more information about the project, email EverydayDiversity at gmail, and watch this space for the upcoming launch.