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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"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"“Before schools were introduced to the Inuit, we were taught by our relatives.” In this picture book, Monica Ittusardjuat shares how she learned knowledge and skills in a time before being taken to residential school. She describes how children learned through playing games, imitating grown-ups, and observing adults around them." -- publisher
"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
"In today’s Alaskan Yup'ik Eskimo communities, the villagers still gather in the kashim to sing, drum, and dance, carrying forward their forebears’ traditions. DANCE ON A SEALSKIN is the heartwarming story of Annie’s “first dance,” a coming-of-age ceremony that signifies a young person’s official entry into the Eskimo community. As northern lights dance above Annie with the spirit of her recently departed grandmother, she prepares to honor the living and the dead in her first dance at potlatch. Inside the kashim, she listens to the drums and songs of the others. Soon, when Annie’s father places a silvery sealskin at her feet, it is her turn to dance out a story for family and friends. The heartwarming story of Annie, a Yup'ik Eskimo girl, and her coming-of-age ceremony in her Alaskan village." -- publisher
"Dog musher Darryl Baker shares with young readers the basic information needed to prepare a dog team for a race. Jake and Kamik are finally ready to run their first dog sled race with a full team! But there is a lot to do to prepare, and Jake must follow his uncle’s lead if he and his dogs are going to be ready for the early spring race. Kamik Takes the Lead is the fourth installment in the Kamik series of books following Kamik: An Inuit Puppy Story, Kamik’s First Sled, and Kamik Joins the Pack. Books in this series share traditional dog-rearing practices and dog-training techniques from the remote community of Arviat, Nunavut, through the life memories of community members. These books preserve the rich history of working dogs in Nunavut and celebrate the traditional bond between Inuit and their sled dogs. Building on the dog-training practices outlined in Kamik Joins the Pack, Arviat, Nunavut, author and dog musher Darryl Baker shares with young readers the basic information needed to prepare a dog team for a race." -- publisher
"Jordan loves driving his Bravo! It might be small, but it is tough. Jordan uses his Bravo for hunting, helping his family, and more. Find out what makes Jordan’s Bravo so special." -- publisher