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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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Character Prominence

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

Pelé

2020

by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Camila Rosa

"Part of the best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, Pelé tells the inspiring story of this world-renowned soccer player. In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Pelé, Brazil’s all-time King of Soccer. With a sock full of rags for a ball, Pelé honed his skills in a poor neighborhood in Brazil. He believed that, one day, he would lead his country to World Cup victory—and he was right! With Pelé and his super skills on the team, Brazil lifted the trophy three times. Today, he is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player who ever lived—and a hero off the pitch, too, using his voice to help the people who need it most. This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of The King’s life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream." -- publisher

Biography

Jesse Owens

2020

by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Anna Katharina Jansen

"Part of the best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, Jesse Owens tells the inspiring story of this track and field legend. In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Jesse Owens, the great track and field star. The youngest of ten children, Jesse grew up working in the cotton fields of Alabama. Discovered by his high school track and field coach, Jesse quickly rose to fame as an athlete. He went on the challenge racism on the world stage at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and made new world records. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the athlete and activist's life." -- publisher

Biography Oppression & Resilience

The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity: A Tale of the Genius Ramanujan

2020

by Amy Alznauer and Daniel Miyares

"A young mathematical genius from India searches for the secrets hidden inside numbers — and for someone who understands him — in this gorgeous picture-book biography. A mango…is just one thing. But if I chop it in two, then chop the half in two, and keep on chopping, I get more and more bits, on and on, endlessly, to an infinity I could never ever reach. In 1887 in India, a boy named Ramanujan is born with a passion for numbers. He sees numbers in the squares of light pricking his thatched roof and in the beasts dancing on the temple tower. He writes mathematics with his finger in the sand, across the pages of his notebooks, and with chalk on the temple floor. “What is small?” he wonders. “What is big?” Head in the clouds, Ramanujan struggles in school — but his mother knows that her son and his ideas have a purpose. As he grows up, Ramanujan reinvents much of modern mathematics, but where in the world could he find someone to understand what he has conceived? Author Amy Alznauer gently introduces young readers to math concepts while Daniel Miyares’s illustrations bring the wonder of Ramanujan’s world to life in the inspiring real-life story of a boy who changed mathematics and science forever. Back matter includes a bibliography and an author’s note recounting more of Ramanujan’s life and accomplishments, as well as the author’s father’s remarkable discovery of Ramanujan’s Lost Notebook." -- publisher

Biography

Flying Paintings: The Zhou Brothers: A Story of Revolution and Art

2020

by Amy Alznauer, DaHuang Zhou and ShanZuo Zhou

"The epic story of two Chinese brothers who became art-world legends, illustrated with stunning paintings by the artists themselves First there was one Zhou brother, and then there were two. They lived in a bookstore with their grandmother, Po Po, whose stories of paintings that flew through the air and landed on mountain cliffs inspired them to create their own art. Amid the turbulence of China’s Cultural Revolution in the 1970s, the Zhou Brothers began painting together on the same canvas. Today, ShanZuo and DaHuang Zhou are icons in the art world, renowned for working side by side on all their paintings and sculptures. In this extraordinary biography, author Amy Alznauer joins with the Zhou Brothers to tell the story of their unique and often difficult childhood and their pursuit of a wild, impossible dream. The lyrical writing blends elements of legend, while the brothers’ dramatic illustrations soar with vibrant colors and surreal imagery from ancient Chinese cliff paintings. An inspiration for young artists and dreamers of all kinds, this deeply felt collaboration explores how art can bring people together, as well as set them free." -- publisher

Biography

Patricia’s Vision

2020

by Michelle Lord and Alleanna Harris

"The inspiring story of Dr. Patricia Bath, a groundbreaking ophthalmologist who pioneered laser surgery—and gave her patients the gift of sight. Born in the 1940s, Patricia Bath dreamed of being an ophthalmologist at a time when becoming a doctor wasn’t a career option for most women—especially African-American women. This empowering biography follows Dr. Bath in her quest to save and restore sight to the blind, and her decision to “choose miracles” when everyone else had given up hope. Along the way, she cofounded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, invented a specialized laser for removing cataracts, and became the first African-American woman doctor to receive a medical patent." -- publisher

Biography

Be Amazing

2020

by Desmond Napoles and Dylan Glynn

"This uplifting illustrated nonfiction picture book from twelve year-old social justice advocate Desmond is Amazing is an introduction to the history of the fight for LGBTQ rights, as well as a call to action on embracing your own uniqueness. Desmond is Amazing is a drag-kid, model, fashion icon, and social justice activist. When he isn’t slaying on the catwalk or performing drag, he’s an outspoken anti-bullying and LGBTQ advocate. In this uplifting picture book about being yourself, Desmond shows how he can be amazing thanks to courageous people like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and RuPaul who paved the way for a safer, more inclusive society for LGBTQ individuals. A kid-friendly primer to LGBTQ history that covers everything from the Stonewall Riots to RuPaul's Drag Race, Be Amazing shows young readers why we should celebrate the fight for LGBTQ rights." -- publisher

Biography Incidental Informational

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

2020

by Rita L. Hubbard and Oge Mora

"Imagine learning to read at the age of 116! Discover the true story of Mary Walker, the nation’s oldest student who did just that, in this picture book from a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator and a rising star author. In 1848, Mary Walker was born into slavery. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read. From Rita Lorraine Hubbard and rising star Oge More comes the inspirational story of Mary Walker, a woman whose long life spanned from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, and who—with perseverance and dedication—proved that you’re never too old to learn." -- publisher

Biography Oppression & Resilience

Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb!

2020

by Veronica. Chambers and Rachelle Baker

"A timely picture book biography about Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman in Congress, who sought the Democratic nomination to be the president of the United States. Shirley Chisholm famously said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” This dynamic biography illuminates how Chisholm was a doer, an active and vocal participant in our nation’s democracy, and a force to be reckoned with. Now young readers will learn about her early years, her time in Congress, her presidential bid and how her actions left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire, uplift, and instruct." -- publisher

Biography

111 Trees

2020

by Rina Singh and Marianne Ferrer

"In a small village in India, a boy grows up to make a huge difference in his community by planting trees to celebrate the birth of every girl. Based on a true story, this book celebrates environmental sustainability, community activism and ecofeminism. This is the story of Sundar Paliwal, who is from a small Indian village ruled by ancient customs. As he grows to be a man, Sundar suffers much heartbreak and decides it is time for change to come to his village. Sundar is determined to live in a place where girls are valued as much as boys and where the land is not devastated by irresponsible mining. Sundar's plan? To celebrate the birth of every girl with the planting of 111 trees. Though many villagers resist at first, Sundar slowly gains their support. And today, there are over a quarter of a million trees in his village, providing food, water and opportunities for women to earn a living. His efforts have turned a once barren and deforested landscape into a fertile and prosperous one where girls can thrive. Based on true events in the life of Sundar Paliwal, and written in collaboration with him, Rina Singh's uplifting story shows how one person can make a difference in a community. Beautiful illustrations by Marianne Ferrer sensitively bring the evolution of the village to life. With strong links to the science curriculum, this book offers lessons on environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship, as well as the concept of ecofeminism. It also explores ideas of social development, community and culture, and the character education traits of responsibility and cooperation. A thoroughly researched author's note with photographs and more information about the village of Piplantri is included." -- publisher

Biography Informational Oppression & Resilience

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