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Have you ever wondered how you might use picture books to make gender norms visible to children? It turns out, you don't have to use books that do the explicit work of challenging gender norms in the story itself (although those are great too -- more on that later)! One way to help children identify ...continue reading "Using Picture Books to Disrupt Gender Norms"

My second grandchild and first granddaughter just arrived this month, and I have babies on the brain. So it’s delightful to notice that the last three years have birthed a wonderful batch of brand-new, beautiful picture books about babies, featuring characters who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color)! Two trends we’re cheering in ...continue reading "New Books for New Babies"

Books about going back to or starting school, like those in our first post, can tell stories about an exciting new adventure, an everyday event, or a rich experience of culture. Or, like the titles in this post geared toward older children, going to school books that feature Black and Indigenous people and People of ...continue reading "Back to School! Part II: Access, Equity & Inclusion"

I was really eager to read this set of #OwnVoices books with the expectation that they would be ones with which I could identify. But by the time I was halfway through, the characters and their stories felt foreign to me. After a summer as the Diverse BookFinder’s student research fellow, racial and cultural representation in ...continue reading "A Critical Look at #OwnVoices Books"

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"
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