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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"

Back in the 1980s and ‘90s, as I was deeply engaged in identifying and sharing multicultural picture books as well as creating them, I developed a theory of how contemporary social issues and/or groups are reflected in children’s literature. I noticed that an issue or group is first introduced in nonfiction, then fiction, both about ...continue reading "Two Moms & Two Dads in Multicultural Picture Books"

The Diverse BookFinder collection includes 308 titles with Latinx characters at the date of this post, which we have coded in these categories. The most obvious takeaway from our statistics is that Latinx characters are overwhelmingly represented (more than 60%) in books of cultural particularity, the category we call “Beautiful Life: A Focus on Culture.” ...continue reading "Latinx Representation in Picture Books: A Focus on Illustration"

A child needs a home, parents want a child, they are brought together and everyone lives happily ever after. This is the mainstream, dominant story of adoption. Of course the reality is far more complicated than the dominant view, with complex layers of loss, identity, family, and home to be explored, often over a lifetime. ...continue reading "Perspectives in Multicultural Picture Books About Adoption: Who’s Missing?"

By Alice Levine Alice Levine works as a consultant in the fields of math and literacy for adult learners, and assisting parents in supporting their children’s learning. She lives in Easthampton, MA. —————- “This is our book!” said a mother in a literacy class in Guatemala City as she hugged the book to her heart. The ...continue reading "A New Excitement about Books Among Immigrant and Refugee Parents"

The state of Black picture book biographies is strong, with new titles regularly adding to the diversity and vibrancy of portrayals of African American life. Of the 607 picture books (as of this date) in the Diverse BookFinder catalog which feature African or African American characters, nearly 1/3 are biographies. Among the 288 biographies in ...continue reading "10 Picture Book Biographies of Black Lives"

For the third year in a row, the Diverse BookFinder team honored the observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday with a family program as part of the Bates College series of events. In response to the 2019 theme, "Lifting Every Voice: Intersectionality and Activism," we focused on women activists. An initial search for Category: Biography ...continue reading "Women of Color Leading the Way: Celebrating MLK Day"

As Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month 2018 winds up, the Diverse BookFinder has 291 Asian/Pacific Islander/Asian American characters identified in our current collection of picture books. (We are constantly adding titles, so these numbers keep changing. Also, we code by character, not title, so a number of these characters may appear in books ...continue reading "Representations of Asians and Asian Americans in Recent Picture Books"

November is National Children’s Book Month, a perfect opportunity to highlight a selection of beautiful recent picture books featuring people of color and Indigenous people.  It’s also a chance to explore the Diverse BookFinder’s tools for examining not just who is represented but how. Each title below is a strong example of one (or more) ...continue reading "9 Diverse Picture Books to Celebrate National Children’s Book Month"

In a recent School Library Journal article, “Can Diverse Books Save Us? In a Divided World, Librarians Are on a Mission” , 55% of librarians surveyed reported that authentic character portrayals of Native or Indigenous People were “hard to find.” Author Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation), whose book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, came out this year, keeps track ...continue reading "Here Now: Picture Books Portraying Contemporary Native Life, Part 2"

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