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Our collection of picture books featuring Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC) is available to the public. *Inclusion of a title in the collection DOES NOT EQUAL a recommendation.* Click here for more on book evaluation.


COVID-19 Info: Currently, our collection is only available via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). However, we appreciate your patience as these services are still limited and you may find inactive links to the Bates Library Catalog and MARC record on certain book pages.

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Jump at the Sun

2021

by Alicia D. Williams and Jacqueline Alcántara

"From the Newbery Honor–winning author of Genesis Begins Again comes a shimmering picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature. Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, “to jump at de sun”, because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you’d get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales, to Howard University, to Harlem. And everywhere she jumped, she shined sunlight on the tales most people hadn’t been bothered to listen to until Zora. The tales no one had written down until Zora. Tales on a whole culture of literature overlooked…until Zora. Until Zora jumped." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography

Sharuko

2020

by Monica Brown and Elisa Chavarri

"A fascinating bilingual picture book biography of Peruvian archaeologist and national icon Julio C. Tello, who unearthed Peru's ancient cultures and fostered pride in the country's Indigenous history. SLJ Best Books of 2020; NYPL Best Books of 2020; Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Books of 2020; CSMCL's Best Books of 2020; The Horn Book's Fanfare 2020 Booklist; Pura Belpré Award Illustrator Honor; The Best Children's Books of the Year in Spanish, Bank Street College of Education. Growing up in the late 1800s, Julio Tello, an Indigenous boy, spent time exploring the caves and burial grounds in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Nothing scared Julio, not even the ancient human skulls he found. His bravery earned him the boyhood nickname Sharuko, which means "brave" in Quechua, the language of the Native people of Peru. At the age of twelve, Julio moved to Lima to continue his education. While in medical school, he discovered an article about the skulls he had found. The skulls had long ago been sent to Lima to be studied by scientists. The article renewed Julio's interest in his ancestry, and he decided to devote his medical skills to the study of Peru's Indigenous history. Over his lifetime, Julio Tello made many revolutionary discoveries at archaeological sites around Peru, and he worked to preserve the historical treasures he excavated. He showed that Peru's Indigenous cultures had been established thousands of years ago, disproving the popular belief that Peruvian culture had been introduced more recently from other countries. He fostered pride in his country's Indigenous ancestry, making him a hero to all Peruvians. Because of the brave man once known as Sharuko, people around the world today know of Peru's long history and its living cultural legacy." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography

Buddha

2018

by Demi

"A nonfiction picture book with full-color illustrations about the life of the Buddha, from award-winning author and illustrator Demi Many centuries ago, in a kingdom in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, a miraculous child was born to the king and queen. The young prince, Siddhartha, was raised in the greatest luxury, sheltered from all pain and ugliness. But one day Siddhartha left the palace and saw, for the first time, human suffering and death. He knew then that he must relinquish everything—his family, his wealth, his position—to discover the Truth of life and death. After a journey of enlightenment, he became the Buddha, and today millions of people around the world live by his teachings. Demi's exquisite illustrations, inspired by the paintings and sculptures of several Asian cultures, are layered with meaning; each brush stroke has a special significance. Demi, herself a Buddhist, brings her devotion to the teachings of the Buddha and her vast knowledge of his life to this comprehensive picture-book biography of an extraordinary spiritual leader." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography

The Life of the Buddha

2020

by Heather Sanche and Tara di Gesu

"“In the full bloom of spring, in a beautiful garden, in a place called Lumbini, a prince was born.” So begins the extraordinary story of the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the prince who would become the enlightened Buddha, the Awakened One. This classic tale follows Prince Siddhartha’s journey of truth-seeking and discovery, including his life-altering encounters with human suffering and his realization of the Four Noble Truths. Today, millions of people all over the world follow the Buddha’s teachings on meditation, selflessness, and compassion. Rendered here in exquisite original watercolor illustrations, this inspiring story is brought to life for young readers curious about one of history’s most monumental and influential figures." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography

Dream Builder

2020

by Kelly Starling Lyons and Laura Freeman

"You've seen the building. Now meet the man whose life went into it. Philip Freelon's grandfather was an acclaimed painter of the Harlem Renaissance. His father was a successful businessman who attended the 1963 March on Washington. When Phil decided to attend architecture school, he created his own focus on African American and Islamic designers. He later chose not to build casinos or prisons, instead concentrating on schools, libraries, and museums--buildings that connect people with heritage and fill hearts with joy. And in 2009, Phil's team won a commission that let him use his personal history in service to the country's: the extraordinary Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon celebrates a contemporary black STEAM role model, a man whose quiet work enabled the creation of an iconic building reflecting America's past and future. With a stirring text by Kelly Starling Lyons, vibrant pictures by Laura Freeman, and an afterword from Philip Freelon himself, it is sure to inspire the next generation of dreamers and builders." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography

Joe Louis, My Champion

2004

by William Miller and Rodney S. Pate

"During the mid-1930s, an African American boy who yearns to be a boxer learns the value of determination, perseverance, and his own natural abilities from the example of his hero, world champion prizefighter Joe Louis. It's the spring of 1937, and anticipation for the heavyweight title fight between Joe Louis and James Braddock is at a fever pitch. Sammy can hardly contain his excitement. He knows his hero, Joe Louis, will soon be the boxing champion of the world. Although he isn't big and strong, Sammy wants to be a boxer, just like Joe Louis, whose fame and success are a source of great pride and hope for African Americans. Only after Sammy realizes the significance of Louis's victories in the ring does he understand the true meaning of being a champion. Joe Louis, My Champion is a heartfelt tribute to the first African American to be regarded as a hero by all Americans. Louis's enduring legacy of determination and perseverance is sure to inspire readers to find and fulfill their dreams." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography

Paper Son

2019

by Julie Leung and Chris Sasaki

A picture-book biography of animator Tyrus Wong, the Chinese American immigrant responsible for bringing Disney's Bambi to life. Before he became an artist named Tyrus Wong, he was a boy named Wong Geng Yeo. He traveled across a vast ocean from China to America with only a suitcase and a few papers. Not papers for drawing - which he loved to do - but immigration papers to start a new life. Once in America, Tyrus seized every opportunity to make art, eventually enrolling at an art institute in Los Angeles. Working as a janitor at night, his mop twirled like a paintbrush in his hands. Eventually, he was given the opportunity of a lifetime - and using sparse brushstrokes and soft watercolors, Tyrus created the iconic backgrounds of Bambi. -- description from Amazon.com

Beautiful Life Biography Oppression & Resilience

Birth of the Cool

2019

by Kathleen Cornell Berman and Keith Henry Brown

"As a young musician, Miles Davis heard music everywhere. This biography explores the childhood and early career of a jazz legend as he finds his voice and shapes a new musical sound. Follow his progression from East St. Louis to rural Arkansas, from Julliard and NYC jazz clubs to the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival. Rhythmic free verse imbues his story with musicality and gets readers in the groove. Music teachers and jazz fans will appreciate the beats and details throughout, and Miles’ drive to constantly listen, learn, and create will inspire kids to develop their own voice." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography Oppression & Resilience

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