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It's September and children in North America -- and in many places around the world -- are headed off to school. Happily, there's a great diverse collection of books about that experience in which young students can see themselves reflected. In our first post, here are some delightful titles on three topics. First Day  These ...continue reading "Back to School! Part I"

My favorite bookshelf is in pieces — literally. Like a child’s Tinker Toy set waiting to be assembled, the shelf's parts lie in a bright red bin. One by one, librarians fit the scattered wooden dowels, blocks, sliders, and flats together until they form a home for 30 diverse picture books. Once those books are ...continue reading "August Shelfie: How to Start a Community Conversation with a Book About Immigration"

Picture book biographies and books that represent a social justice cause, with young people as the main characters, are powerful tools that allow younger children to identify injustices, develop empathy for others, and recognize their place in the world. One of the many reasons I love my job as an elementary school Library Teacher/Media Specialist ...continue reading "July Shelfie: Picture Books as Tools to Take a Stand"

We recently came across Ashley Fetters’ article, “Where Is the Black Blueberries for Sal?” (The Atlantic, May 2019), which addresses the dearth of Black characters within the very frequent exploration of the Great Outdoors in children's picture books. The article notes that there are, sadly, only a handful of books that defy this trend (all 4 titles mentioned appear ...continue reading "Where are the books about Black Kids in Nature?"

I’ve written previously about the importance of books about Jews that go outside the usual trifecta of holidays, Holocaust and Israel. Jews exist all around the world, have differing observances and levels of religiosity, and lead ordinary, relatable lives. And so the books found in the Diverse BookFinder collection about Jews are important didactically, to ...continue reading "June Shelfie: Two Jews, Fourteen Stories"
A multi-ethnic group of elementary school girls are indoors in their classroom. They are wearing casual clothing. They are sitting on the floor and happily embracing.

Many children's books with Muslim characters focus on aspects of religion, such as those about Ramadan recommended in this blog post by our Advisory Council member, Islamic school librarian, Kirin Nabi. Other titles show Muslims in a wide range of human experiences beyond practicing their faith. Together these titles can provide a rich portrait of ...continue reading "Religious Observance & Beyond: Muslim Life in Children’s Picture Books"

Back in the 1980s and ‘90s, as I was deeply engaged in identifying and sharing multicultural picture books as well as creating them, I developed a theory of how contemporary social issues and/or groups are reflected in children’s literature. I noticed that an issue or group is first introduced in nonfiction, then fiction, both about ...continue reading "Two Moms & Two Dads in Multicultural Picture Books"
a woman stands in front of a bookshelf featuring picture books about Ramadan

Our New Shelfie Series Here at the Diverse BookFinder (DBF) we are fortunate to have a rich network of experts who work with diverse books on a daily basis—and we want to share that wealth widely! Though we do not review or recommend books in our work, our new monthly Shelfie feature asks an educator, ...continue reading "May Shelfie: Picture Books About Ramadan"

The Diverse BookFinder collection includes 308 titles with Latinx characters at the date of this post, which we have coded in these categories. The most obvious takeaway from our statistics is that Latinx characters are overwhelmingly represented (more than 60%) in books of cultural particularity, the category we call “Beautiful Life: A Focus on Culture.” ...continue reading "Latinx Representation in Picture Books: A Focus on Illustration"

A child needs a home, parents want a child, they are brought together and everyone lives happily ever after. This is the mainstream, dominant story of adoption. Of course the reality is far more complicated than the dominant view, with complex layers of loss, identity, family, and home to be explored, often over a lifetime. ...continue reading "Perspectives in Multicultural Picture Books About Adoption: Who’s Missing?"
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