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
Carefree, Like Me!: Chapter 2: Sacra the Joyous, by Rashad Malik Davis, introduces young readers to fantasy, friendship, and cultural diversity. Envisioned as a series of seven picture books, the second chapter will be released in late-February 2019.
The story stars two friends, the skinny brown-skinned Amir and his best friend Neena, a girl with big glasses and a deep golden-tan. Continue reading
A Tale of Two Mommies (2011), written by Vanita Oelschlager and illustrated by Mike Blanc, is an affirming story about a little boy and his two moms.
Three small, racially diverse children enjoy a day at the beach. One of the children, a little boy, has tawny beige skin, another is a girl with suntanned skin and red hair, the boy with two mommies has medium brown skin, curly-hair, and big brown eyes. The two moms’ faces are never shown but they both have pale skin with pink undertones. Continue reading
The story unfolds from the point-of-view of a young African American boy heading to his great-grandma Granny’s for an annual family reunion. The text is heavy with emotion, but none shine as boldly as joy. Continue reading
Written by debut author Laura Roettiger and illustrated by Ariel Boroff, Aliana Reaches for the Moon, will be released February 19, 2019 to coincide with the full moon. The story is about Aliana, a creative and curious little girl, who learns to harness the beauty of moonlight to make her little brother a delightfully personal birthday gift. Continue reading
Uncle Aiden (2005), written and illustrated by Laurel Dykstra, might just be my favorite gay uncle book. And, there are probably as many gay uncle books as there are boys who wear dresses books, which is to say competition is fierce. Continue reading
Bonjour, Mr. Satie (1991) by Tomie dePaola is the story of two children, Rosalie and Conrad, their uncle, Mr. Satie, and his “companion,” Ffortusque Ffollet, Esq.
When the two world travelers visit their family, they bring Paris to America through French cuisine, a smattering of French words, and enchanting stories of the artists, authors, and other characters they befriend in Paris. Continue reading