This fall my 4-year-old son began a French-track dual-language Pre-K program at a public school in North Texas. In addition to a rigorous language component, the school focuses on cultural diversity! My interest in children’s literature has always been shaped by my personal journey as a mom and I’ve been adding more books about cultural diversity to our library over the last few months.
I’ll be reviewing some of our favorite books here as well as tagging relevant past reviews. I have always very intentionally reviewed diverse books, but this category will focus less on social justice themes and more on books that help young readers become familiar with various religious, ethnic, and regional cultural practices. I hope my readers find this new dimension of the blog informative!
2019 was a wonderful year for Raise Them Righteous! I’ve reviewed over 200 books since beginning my blog in June 2018. 125 of those reviews are of LGBTQ+ children’s picture books! I am so happy to bring more attention to diverse, inclusive, social justice-oriented books for young people! My blog has over 4500 followers and my Twitter account has an additional 4000. I hope to grow my followers in 2020 as I continue to review excellent books!
In 2019 I participated in Multicultural Children’s Book Day and will participate again at the start of 2020. I also participated in the Cybils Awards again! This time as a Round One Judge for the Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction category. I stepped a bit out of my comfort zone and read some amazing middle grade books! I hope to participate again in 2020.
In 2020 I will continue to review picture books, middle grade, and young adult literature with a focus on LGBTQ+ content. I’m finishing my book project about LGBTQ+ children’s picture books this spring and it will come out spring 2021! The project is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi.
I’ve made so many great author/publisher connections this past year and am continuing to learn about more great books. As a result, I plan on expanding my reviews to include English-language children’s picture books that focus on global cultures, including religion, food, geography, and day-to-day life. Although I’ve posted some reviews of books that fall into this category I will be making it a focus in the coming year!
Thanks so much for following my blog! I appreciate your support.
Jennifer Miller, PhD
Pija Lindenbaum’s Mini Mia and her Darling Uncle (2007) was originally published in Stockholm but was readily available in the US at the time of its release thanks to distributors like Amazon.com. Like quite a few LGBTQ children’s picture books, this one is told in the first person from the point-of-view of a young girl, Mini Mia, as she gushes about her amazing relationship with her gay uncle. Continue reading
M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book (2015), a Flamingo Rampant publication written by Catherine Hernandez and illustrated by Marisa Firebaugh, is an alphabet primer that also introduces children to various aspects of queer culture from rainbow flags to activist-icon Marsha P. Johnson.
Michael Willhoite’s Daddy’s Roommate was published in 1990 by Alyson Wonderland, the children’s literature imprint of Alyson Books, and was one of its top grossing children’s books of all time.
The simply told story is narrated by a young boy about a year after his parents’ divorce. His father has moved in with a man named Frank. Colorful illustrations show Frank, the boy’s father, and the boy in typical family scenes. Additionally, several images paired with brief descriptive text show Frank and the boy’s father engaged in everyday household activities from cleaning and eating to sleeping, all of which they do together. Continue reading
These are some of my favorite books to inspire young activists. They deal with a range of issues in accessible and empowering ways sure to excite young readers!