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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.


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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

Very Last First Time

1985

by Jan Andrews and Ian Wallace

"An ALA Notable Children’s Book, Very Last First Time comes from one of Canada's most distinguished storytellers and an award-winning illustrator. Eva Padlyat lived in an Inuit village on Ungava Vat in northern Canada. In winter, when people wanted mussels to eat, they searched along the bottom of the seabed. Eva had often walked on the bottom, helping her mother, but today – for the very first time – she was to go down below the thick sea ice herself. Her mother went with her to the shore and out onto the ice. The time was just right. The outgoing tide had pulled the seawater away, leaving only the ice above and the rock-strewn seabed below. Eva lowered herself through a hole in the ice and, by candlelight, had soon gathered a pan full of mussels. There was still time to explore, she decided. But she stumbled and her candle went out. She was alone in the darkness, and the tide had turned. When, at the end of her adventure, she is safe with her mother again on top of the ice, she says, "that was my very last first time for walking alone on the bottom of the sea."" -- publisher

Beautiful Life

Along the Tapajós

2019

by Daniel Hahn and Fernando Vilela

"Cauã and Inaê are a brother and sister who live in a small community along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Here, the homes are on stilts and everyone travels around by boat—even to school! When the rainy season comes, they must leave their village and relocate to higher ground for a while. But after moving this year, Cauã and Inaê realize they’ve left behind something important: their pet tortoise, Titi! Unlike turtles, tortoises can’t swim, and Cauã and Inaê are really worried. So the pair sneaks back at night on a journey along the river to rescue him. Will they be able to save Titi? This picture book, first published in Brazil, offers kids a unique look into the lives of children who live along Brazil’s beautiful Tapajós River." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

Lessons from Mother Earth

2010

by Elaine McLeod and Colleen Wood

"Tess has visited her grandmother many times without really being aware of the garden. But today they step outside the door and Tess learns that all of nature can be a garden. And if you take care of the plants that are growing, if you learn about them - understanding when they flower, when they give fruit, and when to leave them alone - you will always find something to nourish you. At the end of their day Tess is thankful to Mother Earth for having such a lovely garden, and she is thankful to have such a wise grandma." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

Remembering Green

2020

by Lisa Gammon Olson and Lauren Rutledge

"In the late 19th century, the United States Government began establishing Indian Residential Schools with the intent of forcibly assimilating Native American children into Euro-American culture. Wenonah, a young Ojibwe girl, will need her Great Grandfathers help to find ways she can remember her beautiful culture & indigenous identity in this time of great upheaval for her tribe." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Oppression & Resilience

At the Mountain’s Base

2019

by Traci Sorell and Weshoyot Alvitre

"At the mountain’s base sits a cabin under an old hickory tree. And in that cabin lives a family—loving, weaving, cooking, and singing. The strength in their song sustains them through trials on the ground and in the sky, as they wait for their loved one, a pilot, to return from war. With an author’s note that pays homage to the true history of Native American U.S. service members like WWII pilot Ola Mildred “Millie” Rexroat, this is a story that reveals the roots that ground us, the dreams that help us soar, and the people and traditions that hold us up." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

Ho’onani

2019

by Heather Gale and Mika Song

"An empowering celebration of identity, acceptance and Hawaiian culture based on the true story of a young girl in Hawai'i who dreams of leading the boys-only hula troupe at her school. Ho'onani feels in-between. She doesn't see herself as wahine (girl) OR kane (boy). She's happy to be in the middle. But not everyone sees it that way. When Ho'onani finds out that there will be a school performance of a traditional kane hula chant, she wants to be part of it. But can a girl really lead the all-male troupe? Ho'onani has to try..."--

Beautiful Life Biography

We are Water Protectors

2020

by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth's water from harm and corruption -- a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade. Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all. When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people's water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth's most sacred resource. - Publisher

Beautiful Life Oppression & Resilience

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