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As Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month 2018 winds up,  the Diverse BookFunder 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"

We have identified nine categories that capture the messages conveyed by children's books featuring characters of color. Every book in the Diverse BookFinder collection is coded using one or more of these nine themes. The Nine Dominant Categories We Use Are: Beautiful Life: A focus on culture Oppression: Struggle, resistance, and triumph Cross-group: Interactions across ...continue reading "How to Use Our Cross-Group Category to Foster the Development of Friendships Across Racial/Cultural Difference"

In March we celebrate Women’s History Month, and on March 8 International Women’s Day is recognized around the globe. There are many books in The Diverse BookFinder that honor the achievements of women great and small, from the extraordinary to the everyday. As April is Jazz Appreciation Month, this Women’s History Month we are focusing ...continue reading "Women and Jazz"

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"

GUEST POST by Melissa-Sue John, Ph.D. Melissa-Sue John, Ph.D.— wife, mother, psychologist, STEM education researcher, blogger, and author of children’s books — currently lectures at Quinnipiac University, works as a Research Associate at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and is the founder of Lauren Simone Publishing House which publishes the work of youth authors and illustrators. To learn ...continue reading "Engineering through Picture Books"

One of the most persistent stereotypes about Native/First Nations people in North America is that they all lived long ago. Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation), who writes the blog Native Appropriations, “a forum for discussing representations of Native peoples, including stereotypes, cultural appropriation, news, activism, and more,” posted this reminder recently on Twitter: Recently at ...continue reading "Here Now: Picture Books Portraying Contemporary Native Life, Part 1"

We believe that too many children are left out of mainstream picture books, so we research who is currently included — and how — to spark conversation and change. We would like to improve on how we categorize Native stories, including origin stories and the sacred. Humbly recognizing that it can take many people to ...continue reading "Seeking Input and Ideas from North American Indigenous Peoples"

In May 2017, I was invited by Anne Sibley O’Brien, author and illustrator, and by Dr. Krista Aronson, psychology professor at Bates College in Maine, to participate in the Diverse BookFinder Advisory Council. The Diverse BookFinder is an online comprehensive source that parents, teachers, librarians, authors, and publishers can use to locate picture books featuring ...continue reading "An Experiment with Inclusive Literature: One White Elementary Librarian’s Endeavor to Diversify Her Picture Book Collection"

As a librarian and a Jewish parent, I regularly see three types of books displayed during Jewish American Heritage Month—holiday books, Holocaust books, and Israel-related books. Yet there is much more to the American Jewish experience than these three tropes. Exploring books about Jews in the Diverse BookFinder database reveals four new ways to celebrate ...continue reading "Jewish American Heritage Month"