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“Any Child: Books featuring BIPOC in which race, ethnicity, tribal affiliation, culture, im/migration, and/or religious, sacred, or origin stories are not central to the story. These elements may be present, but they are not essential to the plot and could be changed without altering the storyline.” Over the next few months, we'll be featuring a list ...continue reading "Every Day Books for Every Child"
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In October, we launched our free, online Collection Analysis Tool (CAT) -- funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services -- to help librarians across the nation diversify their bookshelves. A recent survey done by School Library Journal indicates that the majority of librarians feel it is "very important" to have a racially and ...continue reading "How to Gain Support for & Navigate Challenges to Diversifying Your Library’s Collection"

“All Hispanics are poor.” As a Hispanic woman and “millennial” born and raised in the U.S., I find this stereotype to be personally offensive. I have experienced and witnessed firsthand the harmful consequences of such beliefs. Yet, in my recent work as a research assistant with the Diverse BookFinder -- during which I took a ...continue reading "Representations of Latinx/Hispanic Characters in Children’s Picture Books"

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"

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?"
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