The Sissy Duckling (2002), written by Harvey Fierstein and illustrated by Henry Cole, is the story of Elmer, a little boy Duck who loves to build, paint, cook, and play make-believe. Elmer is quite happy, even though he spends a lot of time playing alone – not quite fitting in with the girl or boy ducks. Continue reading
A lot of stereotypical representations inevitably make their way onto young readers’ bookshelves. Elizabeth Rhodes’ Feminism is for Boys challenges near ubiquitous gender stereotypes by providing an accessible introduction to feminism.
The first page proudly declares: “Feminism is for Everyone… Including Boys!” Bright images of children with many different complexions shatter gender stereotypes and permit boys to feel all their emotions and experience life to the fullest. Continue reading
A Gift from Greensboro, a poem by Quraysh Ali Lansana, illustrated in black and white with meaningful splashes of color by Skip Hill, is a joyful story about a friendship between a black boy and a white boy in the segregated South.
The two friends race their bicycles through Greensboro, North Carolina, and hangout in Woolworth’s. Continue reading
The Origin of Day and Night (2018), written by Paula Ikuutaq Rumboltand and illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko, is an Inuit tale passed orally from generation to generation. It’s the story of a fox who can only see to find food at night and a hare who can only see to find food in the light. The two animals struggle to find enough to eat before the other uses powerful magic language to conjure their preferred lighting. They eventually agree to strike a balance between day and night for their mutual survival. Continue reading
Ballerino Nate (2006), written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley with pictures by R.W. Alley, tells the story of a young boy named Nate who becomes fascinated with ballet after seeing a student performance. He decides he wants to be a ballerina, but his slightly older brother tells him ballerinas are all pink-dress-wearing girls. His parents are very supportive and enroll him in dance class. All the dancers are girls and although Nate loves dancing, he doesn’t want to be associated with pink and sparkles. Continue reading
Let the Children March, written by Monica Clark-Robinson and illustrated by Frank Morrison, is a brilliant and bold children’s picture book that brings the Birmingham Children’s Crusade of 1963 to life for young readers.
In the South, Jim Crow laws enforced segregation, which led to unequal access to education, employment, health care, and housing. Leaders in the Black Civil Rights movement came up with many strategies to end segregation. Continue reading
Deborah Hopkinson makes history accessible to young readers through remarkably engaging and accessible children’s picture books. Her recent publication, Carter Reads the Newspaper, is no exception. Although I was planning on sticking to #ownvoices books throughout Black History Month, Hopkinson’s book is a wonderful description of Carter G. Woodson’s life and a moving description of the founding of Black History Month, so it seemed only fitting to include it. Continue reading