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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"

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?"

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"

The state of Black picture book biographies is strong, with new titles regularly adding to the diversity and vibrancy of portrayals of African American life. Of the 607 picture books (as of this date) in the Diverse BookFinder catalog which feature African or African American characters, nearly 1/3 are biographies. Among the 288 biographies in ...continue reading "10 Picture Book Biographies of Black Lives"

As Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month 2018 winds up, the Diverse BookFinder has 291 books with Asian/Pacific Islander/Asian American characters identified in our current collection. (We are constantly adding titles, so these numbers keep changing. Also, we code by character, not title, so a number of these characters may appear in books with white ...continue reading "Representations of Asians and Asian Americans in Recent Picture Books"
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