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2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Racially/Culturally Diverse Picture Books

It's that time of year!

Searching for great gift ideas for your family and friends who have children? We've got you covered. We took a look back through our collection and picked out some of our very favorites from 2018 to share with you (we're still working on getting all the 2019 books, so stay tuned)!

Some things to keep in mind:

  • This is not an exhaustive list. There are so many good books in our collection. This list is based on books that we simply liked -- they spoke to us or moved us in some way, our children or grandchildren loved them, or we've heard a lot of buzz about them. So...
  • You should spend time evaluating the books before purchasing. A book that made us laugh might not work that particular magic on you! Each individual book page offers info. about who is represented and how they are represented in the book, links to professional book reviews through the Bates library catalog and to cultural (or #ownvoices) reviews when a book has been flagged as problematic, and some book pages even provide exclusive author/illustrator interviews when available. We also encourage you to visit our Research & Related Resources for links to tools that have been designed to help evaluate books for quality and authenticity.
  • The book list is organized by our 9 unique book categories. Check out their definitions if you want to know more about the messages found in any particular book.

Enjoy!!


Any Child

Ocean meets sky

2018

by Terry Fan and Eric Fan

"A little boy builds a ship to honor his late grandfather and sets sail for the magical place where ocean meets sky from his grandfather's stories"--|cProvided by publisher

Any Child


Beautiful Life

A day with Yayah

2018

by Nicola I. Campbell and Julie Flett

On an outing in Nicola Valley, British Columbia, a First Nations family forages for herbs and mushrooms while the grandmother passes down her language and knowledge to her young grandchildren. Includes glossary.

Beautiful Life

Mommy’s khimar

2018

by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn

A young Muslim girl puts on a head scarf and not only feels closer to her mother, she also imagines herself as a queen, the sun, a superhero, and more.

Beautiful Life

We are grateful: Otsaliheliga

2018

by Traci Sorell and Frané Lessac

Otsaliheliga is a Cherokee word that is used to express gratitude. Journey through the year with a Cherokee family and their tribal nation as they express thanks for celebrations big and small. This book presents a look at modern Native American life as told by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Beautiful Life


Biography and Oppression & Resilience

Counting on Katherine

2018

by Helaine Becker and Dow Phumiruk

You've likely heard of the historic Apollo 13 [mission]. But do you know about the mathematical genius who made sure that Apollo 13 returned safely home? As a child, Katherine Johnson loved to count. She counted the steps on the road, the number of dishes and spoons she washed in the kitchen sink, everything! Boundless, curious, and excited by calculations, young Katherine longed to know as much as she could about math, about the universe. From Katherine's early beginnings as a gifted student to her heroic accomplishments as a prominent mathematician at NASA, this is the story of a groundbreaking American woman who not only calculated the course of moon landings but, in turn, saved lives and made enormous contributions to history.--Adapted from book jacket

Biography Oppression & Resilience


Cross Group


Race/Culture Concepts

The day you begin

2018

by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López

Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.

Cross Group Race/Culture Concepts

Many of the cover images on this site are from Google Books.
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color poster of our unique picture book categories