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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

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

I am Frida Kahlo

2021

by Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos

"The famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is the 23rd hero in the New York Times bestselling picture book biography series for ages 5 to 8. Includes a foil mirror! The free-spirited Frida Kahlo survived childhood polio and a terrible bus accident to become one of the most beloved artists in the world. Her subject was the thing she knew best: herself. On her canvases, she depicted her Mexican homeland, her pets, and even her pain. Today, she continues to be admired for the exquisite honesty of her work and for being unafraid to do things differently." -- publisher

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

The ABCs of Black History

2020

by Rio Cortez and Lauren Semmer

"A beautiful alphabet picture book that presents key names, moments, and places in Black history with text lyrically written by poet Rio Cortez. This is an opportunity for children to learn their ABCs to the sound of words beyond apple, boy, and cat, and an opportunity for young thinkers to prepare for big ideas. A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER B is for Beautiful, Brave, and Bright! And for a Book that takes a Bold journey through the alphabet of Black history and culture. Letter by letter, The ABCs of Black History celebrates a story that spans continents and centuries, triumph and heartbreak, creativity and joy. It’s a story of big ideas––P is for Power, S is for Science and Soul. Of significant moments––G is for Great Migration. Of iconic figures––H is for Zora Neale Hurston, X is for Malcom X. It’s an ABC book like no other, and a story of hope and love. In addition to rhyming text, the book includes back matter with information on the events, places, and people mentioned in the poem, from Mae Jemison to W. E. B. Du Bois, Fannie Lou Hamer to Sam Cooke, and the Little Rock Nine to DJ Kool Herc." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography Informational

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

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

Fauja Singh Keeps Going

2020

by Simran Jeet Singh and Baljinder Kaur

"The inspiring true story of Fauja Singh, who broke world records to become the first one hundred-year-old to run a marathon, shares valuable lessons on the source of his grit, determination to overcome obstacles, and commitment to positive representation of the Sikh community. Every step forward is a victory. Fauja Singh was born determined. He was also born with legs that wouldn’t allow him to play cricket with his friends or carry him to school miles from his village in Punjab. But that didn’t stop him. Working on his family’s farm, Fauja grew stronger to meet his own full potential. He never stopped striving. At the age of 81, after a lifetime of making his body, mind, and heart stronger, Fauja decided to run his first marathon. He went on to break records all around the world and became the first person over 100 to complete the grueling long-distance race. With inspiring text by Simran Jeet Singh and exhilarating illustrations by Baljinder Kaur, the true story of Fauja Singh reminds us that it’s both where we start and how we finish that make our journeys unforgettable." -- publisher

Biography

Mario and the Hole in the Sky

2019

by Elizabeth Rusch and Teresa Martinez

"The true story of how a scientist saved the planet from environmental disaster. Mexican American Mario Molina is a modern-day hero who helped solve the ozone crisis of the 1980s. Growing up in Mexico City, Mario was a curious boy who studied hidden worlds through a microscope. As a young man in California, he discovered that CFCs, used in millions of refrigerators and spray cans, were tearing a hole in the earth’s protective ozone layer. Mario knew the world had to be warned—and quickly. Today Mario is a Nobel laureate and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His inspiring story gives hope in the fight against global warming." -- publisher

Biography Cross Group Informational

Paper Son

2019

by Julie Leung and Chris Sasaki

A picture-book biography of animator Tyrus Wong, the Chinese American immigrant responsible for bringing Disney's Bambi to life. Before he became an artist named Tyrus Wong, he was a boy named Wong Geng Yeo. He traveled across a vast ocean from China to America with only a suitcase and a few papers. Not papers for drawing - which he loved to do - but immigration papers to start a new life. Once in America, Tyrus seized every opportunity to make art, eventually enrolling at an art institute in Los Angeles. Working as a janitor at night, his mop twirled like a paintbrush in his hands. Eventually, he was given the opportunity of a lifetime - and using sparse brushstrokes and soft watercolors, Tyrus created the iconic backgrounds of Bambi. -- description from Amazon.com

Beautiful Life Biography Oppression & Resilience

The Life of Frida Kahlo

2019

by Jane Kent and Isabel Muñoz

"Mexican artist Frida Kahlo created vibrantly hued paintings . . . and led an equally colorful life. Known for her self-portraits, she became a feminist icon whose work now sells for millions of dollars. This lively biography looks at Frida’s childhood—including her bout with polio—as well as her devotion to Mexican culture and political causes; the bus accident that left her in chronic pain but also sparked her career; and her marriage to Diego Rivera. Appealing illustrations, information on her breakthroughs and successes, and an index of major events reveal how Frida left her mark on humanity. A timeline and simple quiz help kids test their understanding and knowledge." -- publisher

Biography

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