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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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Tribal Affiliation/Homelands

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Character Prominence

Diarou’s Not So Different

2020

by Diarou Bayo, Riley Campbell, Anthony Cooke and Alex Perkins

"Diarou is starting her first week in a new school, in a new country, speaking a new language... and she feels completely alone. She moved to the U.S. from Guinea over the summer and is determined to make friends, but with her limited English, she's having trouble communicating with her classmates. Just when she thinks she might be on her own, she meets another new student who’s struggling too. Can Diarou find a way to connect across language barriers to make a true friend? The authors of this story are part of an innovative program run by Reach Incorporated. Reach develops grade-level readers and capable leaders by preparing teens to serve as tutors and role models for younger students, resulting in improved literacy outcomes for both. Learn more at reachincorporated.org. Books were created in collaboration with Shout Mouse Press. Shout Mouse is a nonprofit writing and publishing house dedicated to amplifying underheard voices. Through writing workshops that lead to professional publication, Shout Mouse empowers writers from marginalized backgrounds to tell their own stories in their own voices and, as published authors, to act as agents of change. Learn more at shoutmousepress.org" -- publisher

Cross Group Race/Culture Concepts

The Hero of Cinco de Mayo / El héroe del Cinco de Mayo

2020

by José Angel Gutiérrez and Stephen Marchesi

"This bilingual picture book recounts the story of the Battle of Puebla and the Mexican army’s unexpected win against a much stronger foe. Today this victory is celebrated in the United States as Cinco de Mayo, a day to commemorate the Mexican roots of many US citizens. This non-fiction picture book for older elementary school students contains realistic illustrations depicting the Mexican general and his times. Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín was born in Goliad, Texas, in 1829, when Texas was part of Mexico. When he was seven, Texas became independent from Mexico, and the family had to move to Matamoros, Mexico. Ignacio tried to join the Mexican army in 1846 when the United States declared war, but he was too young. He was finally able to join it when he turned 24. An outstanding soldier, he was named the commander of the Mexican army and navy by President Benito Juárez. In 1862, he had to defend his country against the invading French army, one of the strongest in the world." -- publisher

Biography

My Hands Sing the Blues

2011

by Jeanne Walker Harvey and Elizabeth Zunon

"As a young boy growing up in North Carolina, Romare Bearden listened to his great-grandmother’s Cherokee stories and heard the whistle of the train that took his people to the North—people who wanted to be free. When Romare boarded that same train, he watched out the window as the world whizzed by. Later he captured those scenes in a famous painting, Watching the Good Trains Go By. Using that painting as inspiration and creating a text influenced by the jazz that Bearden loved, Jeanne Walker Harvey describes the patchwork of daily southern life that Romare saw out the train’s window and the story of his arrival in shimmering New York City. Artists and critics today praise Bearden’s collages for their visual metaphors honoring his past, African American culture, and the human experience. Elizabeth Zunon’s illustrations of painted scenes blended with collage are a stirring tribute to a remarkable artist." -- publisher

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

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

Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall

2012

by Leo Yerxa

"Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall takes us on a dreamlike voyage into nature at that secret moment when fall turns into winter. We find ourselves in a kind of paradise, which humans may be part of but which they have not despoiled. A Native father and son lead us through forests, down rivers, over lakes and ponds. Along the way we experience the primordial beauty of the physical world. This is nature as we all feel in our hearts it must once have been. Through lyrical words and a masterful collage technique, Leo Yerxa has created an exquisite and poetic evocation of this moment. Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall takes us on a dreamlike voyage into nature at that secret moment when fall turns into winter. We find ourselves in a kind of paradise, which humans may be part of but which they have not despoiled. A Native father and son lead us through forests, down rivers, over lakes and ponds. Along the way we experience the primordial beauty of the physical world. This is nature as we all feel in our hearts it must once have been. Through lyrical words and a masterful collage technique, Leo Yerxa has created an exquisite and poetic evocation of this moment." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

The Giant Bear

2020

by Jose Angutinngurniq and Eva Widermann

"Jose Angutinngurniq, a gifted storyteller and respected elder from Kugaaruk, Nunavut, brings to life a story of the great nanurluk that has been told in the Kugaaruk region for generations. One of the most terrifying creatures to be found in traditional Inuit stories is the nanurluk, a massive bear the size of an iceberg that lives under the sea ice. Its monstrous size and ice-covered fur make it an almost impenetrable foe. But when a lone hunter spots the breathing hole of the nanurluk on the sea ice near his iglu, he uses his quick thinking and excellent hunting skills to hatch a plan to outsmart the deadly bear. Jose Angutinngurniq, a gifted storyteller and respected elder from Kugaaruk, Nunavut, brings to life a story of the great nanurluk that has been told in the Kugaaruk region for generations." -- publisher

Folklore

Giving Thanks

1995

by Chief Jake Swamp and Erwin Jr. Printup

"A traditional Iroquois celebration of the beauty and spirit of Mother Earth, as told by a contemporary Mohawk chief. A traditional Iroquois celebration of the beauty and spirit of Mother Earth, as told by a contemporary Mohawk chief. For as long as anyone can remember, Mohawk parents have taught their children to start each day by giving thanks to Mother Earth. Also known as the Thanksgiving Address, this good morning message is based on the belief that the natural world is a precious and rare gift. The whole universe - from the highest stars to the tiniest blade of grass - is addressed as one great family. Now readers of all ages can share in this tribute to the environment, adapted especially for children by Chief Jake Swamp, whose efforts to share this vision of thanksgiving take him all over the world. Chief Swamp's inspirational message, along with Erwin Printup, Jr.'s unforgettable landscapes, make Giving Thanks a timeless celebration of the spirit of nature. A traditional Iroquois celebration of the beauty and spirit of Mother Earth, as told by a contemporary Mohawk chief." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

The Train

2020

by Jodie Callaghan and Georgia Lesley

"Ashley meets her great-uncle by the old train tracks near their community in Nova Scotia. When she sees his sadness, he tells her of the day when he and the other children were taken to residential school, their lives changed forever. Uncle also explains how Ashley gives him hope. She promises to wait with him in remembrance of what was lost. Ashley meets her great-uncle by the old train tracks near their community in Nova Scotia. Ashley sees his sadness, and Uncle tells her of the day years ago when he and the other children from their community were told to board the train before being taken to residential school where their lives were changed forever. They weren't allowed to speak Mi'gmaq and were punished if they did. There was no one to give them love and hugs and comfort. Uncle also tells Ashley how happy she and her sister make him. They are what give him hope. Ashley promises to wait with her uncle by the train tracks, in remembrance of what was lost." -- publisher

Oppression & Resilience

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