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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

Swish!

2020

by Suzanne Slade and Don Tate

"The true story of the high-flying Harlem Globetrotters -- the team that changed basketball forever. In this book you will find one-finger ball-spinning, rapid-fire mini-dribbling, and a ricochet head shot! You will find skilled athletes, expert players, and electrifying performers -- all rolled into one! You will find nonstop, give-it-all-you've-got, out-to-win-it, sky's-the-limit BASKETBALL! You will find The Harlem Globetrotters, who played the most groundbreaking, breathtaking ball the world had ever seen. With rhythmic writing and dynamic illustrations, Swish! is a celebration of the greatness, goodness, and grit of this remarkable team." -- publisher

Biography

Michelle’s Garden

2021

by Sharee Miller

"From an acclaimed author and illustrator: Enjoy this tribute to Former First Lady Michelle Obama and her contributions to building the healthy future that America's children deserve. Former First Lady Michelle Obama had an idea. A big, inspiring, and exciting idea! She would grow the largest kitchen garden ever at the White House. This wouldn't be easy, since she'd never gardened before: Where should she start? What tools did she need? What would she plant? Everyone needs help when they're learning something for the first time, even the first lady of the United States. So she gathered the help of local students, the White House staff, and even President Barack Obama. Together, they wouldn't just grow a garden—they would inspire a nation!" -- publisher

Biography

Stevie Wonder

2021

by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Melissa Lee Johnson

"In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Stevie Wonder, the genius behind some of the world’s best-loved songs. At just 8 years old, it was clear that Steveland Judkins was going to be a star. Renamed Stevie Wonder for his astonishing talent on the piano and other instruments, he wrote and performed some of the biggest hits of the 1970s. Stevie became known for his inventiveness, his soulful voice, and the social commentary in his lyrics. He is a UN Messenger of Peace and remains one of the music world’s most iconic figures. 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 great musician’s life." -- publisher

Biography

Aretha Franklin

2020

by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Amy Blackwell

"In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Aretha Franklin, "The Queen of Soul." The fourth of five children, Aretha was born in Tennessee and took the stage at an early age in her father's church choir. She went on to become the best-selling rhythm and blues singer of all time, and the first woman to be installed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 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 broadcaster's life." -- publisher

Biography

The Teachers March!

2020

by Rich Wallace, Sandra Neil Wallace and Charly Palmer

"Demonstrating the power of protest and standing up for a just cause, here is an exciting tribute to the educators who participated in the 1965 Selma Teachers’ March. Reverend F.D. Reese was a leader of the Voting Rights Movement in Selma, Alabama. As a teacher and principal, he recognized that his colleagues were viewed with great respect in the city. Could he convince them to risk their jobs—and perhaps their lives—by organizing a teachers-only march to the county courthouse to demand their right to vote? On January 22, 1965, the Black teachers left their classrooms and did just that, with Reverend Reese leading the way. Noted nonfiction authors Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace conducted the last interviews with Reverend Reese before his death in 2018 and interviewed several teachers and their family members in order to tell this story, which is especially important today." -- publisher

Biography Oppression & Resilience

Molly, by Golly!

2012

by Dianne Ochiltree and Kathleen Kemly

"Here is the story of Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City’s Fire Company 11 who is considered to be the first known female firefighter in U.S. history. New York City’s Fire Company Number 11 is in trouble. A deadly snowstorm is blowing, and many of the volunteers are sick in bed. When the fire alarm sounds, who will answer the call? Who will save the neighborhood? Molly Williams, the company’s cook, for one! Clapping a weathered leather helmet on her head, strapping spatterdashes over her woolen leggings, and pulling on heavy work gloves —it’s Molly, by golly, to the rescue. Young readers will enjoy plucky Molly Williams’s legendary adventure as they learn how fires were fought in the early 1800s." -- publisher

Biography Cross Group

Thurgood

2019

by Jonah Winter and Bryan Collier

"Thurgood Marshall--the first black justice on the Supreme Court and a giant of the civil rights movement--jumps to life in this inspiring picture-book biography from an award-winning author and six-time Coretta Scott King, four-time Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator. Thurgood Marshall was a born lawyer--the loudest talker, funniest joke teller, and best arguer from the time he was a kid growing up in Baltimore in the early 1900s. He would go on to become the star of his high school and college debate teams, a stellar law student at Howard University, and, as a lawyer, a one-man weapon against the discriminatory laws against black Americans. After only two years at the NAACP, he was their top lawyer and had earned himself the nickname Mr. Civil Rights. He argued--and won--cases before the Supreme Court, including one of the most important cases in American history: Brown v Board of Education. And he became the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history. Like its subject, here is a biography that crackles with energy and intensity--a great introduction to a great man." -- publisher

Biography Oppression & Resilience

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

Saving American Beach

2021

by Heidi Tyline King and Ekua Holmes

"This heartfelt picture book biography illustrated by the Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes, tells the story of MaVynee Betsch, an African American opera singer turned environmentalist and the legacy she preserved. MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in the days of Jim Crow, she couldn’t just go to any beach—most of the beaches in Jacksonville were for whites only. Knowing something must be done, her grandfather bought a beach that African American families could enjoy without being reminded they were second class citizens; he called it American Beach. Artists like Zora Neale Hurston and Ray Charles vacationed on its sunny shores. It’s here that MaVynee was first inspired to sing, propelling her to later become a widely acclaimed opera singer who routinely performed on an international stage. But her first love would always be American Beach. After the Civil Rights Act desegregated public places, there was no longer a need for a place like American Beach and it slowly fell into disrepair. MaVynee remembered the importance of American Beach to her family and so many others, so determined to preserve this integral piece of American history, she began her second act as an activist and conservationist, ultimately saving the place that had always felt most like home" -- publisher

Biography Oppression & Resilience

RuPaul

2021

by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Wednesday Holmes

"In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of RuPaul, the shape-shifter, performer, supermodel, and host of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Even before little Ru was born, a fortune teller told his mom that he would one day be famous... It was only a matter of time before he figured out how. Playing dress-up was his favorite game, and that’s where he felt most comfortable. Ru went on to study performing arts and then moved to New York to mix things up in a punk band. Later, drag was a way to express himself as an artist. He found success for himself, then wanted to help others find theirs. He inspires us to do what feels right and love ourselves. This witty and wise 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 inspiring performer’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

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