Today I am back to feature 4 diverse children’s picture books that deserve some attention…
*What do I mean by diverse children’s picture books? I mean children’s picture books that are written by or about people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+, and any other minorities. Diversity in books is just as (if not more) important in children’s literature.
Books included in this post: Free As A Bird: The Story of Malala by Lina Maslo, Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, and A Different Pond by Bao Phi
» Free As A Bird: The Story of Malala by Lina Maslo
Published: January 2018
The inspiring true story of Malala Yousafzai, human rights activist and the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, from debut author/illustrator Lina Maslo.
When Malala Yousafzai was born, people shook their heads because girls were considered bad luck. But her father looked into her eyes and knew she could do anything.
In Pakistan, people said girls should not be educated. But Malala and her father were not afraid. She secretly went to school and spoke up for education in her country.
And even though an enemy tried to silence her powerful voice, she would not keep quiet. Malala traveled around the world to speak to girls and boys, to teachers, reporters, presidents, and queens—to anyone who would listen—and advocated for the right to education and equality of opportunity for every person. She would shout so that those without a voice could be heard. So everyone could be as free as a bird.
Free as a Bird is the inspiring true story of a fearless girl and the father who taught her to soar.
» Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Published: April 2018
Spend the day with Mimi and her granddaughter in this charming picture book about the magic found in Mimi’s favorite accessory, perfect for readers who love How to Babysit a Grandma!
When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, she always brings warm hugs, sweet treats…and her purse. You never know what she’ll have in there–fancy jewelry, tokens from around the world, or something special just for her granddaughter. It might look like a normal bag from the outside, but Mimi and her granddaughter know that it’s pure magic!
In this adorable, energetic ode to visits from grandma, beloved picture book creator Vanessa Brantley Newton shows how an ordinary day can become extraordinary.
Grandma’s Purse is about a little girl who is visited by her Grandmother, along with her Grandmother’s very special purse.
There was something very nostalgic about this book. My daughter really enjoyed reading this one because much like Grandma Mimi from the book, her own Grandmothers are known to keep a variety of items in their own purses: mints, stickers, hairbrushes, chapstick, etc. Purses can me magical (and practical) things can’t they? Especially purses that belong to indulging Grandmothers 🙂 What a wonderful celebration of the special relationships between Grandmothers and Grandkids.
The illustrations are absolutely beautiful & very colorful. I really enjoyed Brantley-Newton’s style, and look forward to reading more of her book that she has written and/or illustrated.
» All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle
Published: August 2017
So we purr, cara cara, and we glide, taka taka, and we zoom, zoom, ZOOM!
Together, a boy and his parents drive to the city of Havana, Cuba, in their old family car. Along the way, they experience the sights and sounds of the streets–neighbors talking, musicians performing, and beautiful, colorful cars putt-putting and bumpety-bumping along. In the end, though, it’s their old car, Cara Cara, that the boy loves best.
What a perfect book for the little car lover in your life! I love that this book centers around classic cars, since Cuba is famous for cars driving down the road that are decades old. While on the surface this book is about cars, it is really a tribute to the ingenuity, resourcefulness, & tenacity of the Cuban people.
» A Different Pond by Bao Phi
Published: August 2017
As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam.
Have you read any of these picture books to your children? If so, what did you think?
If you are an educator, have you utilized any of these books in the classroom?
Comment below & let me know 🙂