Lisa and Michel Zajur’s The Piñata Story (2018)

The Pinata StoryThe Piñata Story (2018), written by Lisa and Michel Zajur and illustrated by Samira Mobayed Murray, explores the cultural history of piñatas while introducing young readers to Spanish vocabulary.

Mobayed Murray’s luscious illustrations of brightly colored homes and storefronts transport readers to an idyllic pueblo in Mexico where they are introduced to a young boy named Pepe. Pepe recently developed some bad habits and is ignoring his parents. Concerned with Pepe’s behavior, his parents seek wisdom through prayer at the iglesia. Continue reading

Early Chapter Books feat. Girls & STEM

Getting girls excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as well as recognizing structural barriers to the participation of women and girls in STEM fields, have been part of public discourse for awhile now. I’ve reviewed several children’s picture books that explore important contributions women have made to STEM fields, including books written by Julia Finley Mosca for Innovation Press’ Amazing Scientists series about Patricia Bath and Temple Grandin. Other available books seek to make STEM accessible and exciting to young readers while prompting them to imagine themselves as creators. Picture books that take that strategy include Josh Funk’s How to Code a Sandcastle and Laura Roettiger’s Aliana Reaches for the Moon.

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About Raise Them Righteous

My name is Jennifer Miller and I started Raise Them Righteous in July 2018 after giving a presentation about LGBTQ+ children’s picture books at the Children’s Literature Association’s annual conference. I wanted to connected with a larger audience and help educators, librarians, and caregivers find inclusive children’s picture books that represented racial, ethnic, religious, physical, mental, gender, and sexual diversity. As the mother of a now four-year-old child, I understand the importance of sharing diverse identities and ideas with young people. As an academic trained in literary and cultural studies, I understand the politics of culture, particularly children’s culture, as well as the important role it plays in early socialization.

Feel free to email recommendations, comments, and questions to raisethemrighteous@gmail.com.

For Publishers and Authors: I review inclusive social justice-themed children’s picture books, early chapter books, middle-grade books, and young adult books. I prefer hard copies (especially for children’s picture books and graphic novels). But, I understand the cost can be prohibitive and accept E-books. *It is currently taking me 6+ weeks to review picture books and 6+ months to review chapter books. Email me with requests at raisethemrighteous@gmail.com.

How to use the blog: Scroll down, discover great books, buy the books, read the books!