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It's September and children in North America -- and in many places around the world -- are headed off to school. Happily, there's a great diverse collection of books about that experience in which young students can see themselves reflected. In our first post, here are some delightful titles on three topics. First Day  These ...continue reading "Back to School! Part I"

My favorite bookshelf is in pieces — literally. Like a child’s Tinker Toy set waiting to be assembled, the shelf's parts lie in a bright red bin. One by one, librarians fit the scattered wooden dowels, blocks, sliders, and flats together until they form a home for 30 diverse picture books. Once those books are ...continue reading "August Shelfie: How to Start a Community Conversation with a Book About Immigration"

Honestly, we never set out to do this. It started with Krista’s 2010 research on Cross-Group books. I was invited in as a community advisor, with author Margy Burns Knight, to create the titles for the study. Krista’s and my next step was offering workshops, “Books as Bridges,” for educators and parents on how children ...continue reading "The Diverse BookFinder Vision & Mission: An Evolution"

As a librarian, I love the Diverse BookFinder for giving me a tool to use in so many ways, but particularly when helping library patrons, teachers, and parents identify books featuring children of a particular identity—assuming these books are being written and published. I am Brazilian, and now an expectant mother, so I set out ...continue reading "Reflections on Picture Books Featuring Brazilian Characters"

This is the first in a series of posts chronicling the places where members of our team have traveled to share the Diverse BookFinder. At the end of June, I flew to Israel at the invitation of the English Teachers Association of Israel (ETAI), to speak at a number of events during July's "English Week." ...continue reading "DBF On the Road: Israel"

Since summertime is the perfect time to look back on a year’s worth of work, I’d like to reflect on the professional goal that I set for myself where I asked, “What if the picture books and picture book biographies I buy for my K-3 collection only featured characters of color?” I started this journey ...continue reading "An Experiment with Inclusive Literature, Part III: One White Elementary Librarian’s Endeavor to Diversify Her Picture Book Collection"

Picture book biographies and books that represent a social justice cause, with young people as the main characters, are powerful tools that allow younger children to identify injustices, develop empathy for others, and recognize their place in the world. One of the many reasons I love my job as an elementary school Library Teacher/Media Specialist ...continue reading "July Shelfie: Picture Books as Tools to Take a Stand"

We recently came across Ashley Fetters’ article, “Where Is the Black Blueberries for Sal?” (The Atlantic, May 2019), which addresses the dearth of Black characters within the very frequent exploration of the Great Outdoors in children's picture books. The article notes that there are, sadly, only a handful of books that defy this trend (all 4 titles mentioned appear ...continue reading "Where are the books about Black Kids in Nature?"

I’ve written previously about the importance of books about Jews that go outside the usual trifecta of holidays, Holocaust and Israel. Jews exist all around the world, have differing observances and levels of religiosity, and lead ordinary, relatable lives. And so the books found in the Diverse BookFinder collection about Jews are important didactically, to ...continue reading "June Shelfie: Two Jews, Fourteen Stories"
A multi-ethnic group of elementary school girls are indoors in their classroom. They are wearing casual clothing. They are sitting on the floor and happily embracing.

Many children's books with Muslim characters focus on aspects of religion, such as those about Ramadan recommended in this blog post by our Advisory Council member, Islamic school librarian, Kirin Nabi. Other titles show Muslims in a wide range of human experiences beyond practicing their faith. Together these titles can provide a rich portrait of ...continue reading "Religious Observance & Beyond: Muslim Life in Children’s Picture Books"
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