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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"

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"
a woman stands in front of a bookshelf featuring picture books about Ramadan

Our New Shelfie Series Here at the Diverse BookFinder (DBF) we are fortunate to have a rich network of experts who work with diverse books on a daily basis—and we want to share that wealth widely! Though we do not review or recommend books in our work, our new monthly Shelfie feature asks an educator, ...continue reading "May Shelfie: ‘Islamic School Librarian’ Blogger Shares Her Favorite Picture Books About Ramadan"

As we find ourselves in the thick of mud season (AKA spring) here in central Maine, and the trees are finally budding after a long winter, we’re excited to share our own news of growth! This coming fall, the Diverse BookFinder (DBF) will launch a free, online Collection Analysis Tool (AKA “the CAT”) to help ...continue reading "The Most Diverse Picture Book Collections in the U.S. & How the Diverse BookFinder Can Help You Diversify Yours"

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"

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