Books Added in 1929-21, Ages 3-8

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Books are arranged by age-appropriateness

Mixed: A Colorful Story, by Arree Chung, 2018 (Ages 2-5)

The reds, yellows and  blues all think they’re the best in this vibrant, thought-provoking picture book with a message of acceptance and unity. “Laugh-out-loud fun. Prospective ninjas, take notice!” ―School Library Journal, starred review

Our Favorite Day of The Year, by A. E. Ali Rahele Bell, 2020 Ages 3-5

Beautifully told and illustrated book follows five new school friends through the year as they learn about their different cultures and religions. Adding to the cultural mix, their warm and masterful teacher is Hindu. “The dual focus on friendship and diversity makes this choice a winner.”–Kirkus, starred review

Finding Kindness, by Deborah Underwood, 2019 (Ages 3-5)

“With its positive message, simple rhymes, and eye-catching art, this is a wonderful choice for a kindness-themed storytime.” ―School Library Journal

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, by Kevin Noble Maillard 2019 (Ages 3-5)

Fry Bread celebrates the thing itself and much, much more . . . Maillard and Martinez-Neal bring depth, detail, and whimsy to this Native American food story, with text and illustrations depicting the diversity of indigenous peoples, the role of continuity between generations, and the adaptation over time of people, place, and tradition.” ―Booklist, starred review

Rain!, by Linda Ashman, 2013 (Ages 3-5)

Can a child’s natural exuberance on a rainy day (and perhaps a cookie) cheer up a grouchy old man who hates the rain? This beautifully illustrated book is about empathy and caring.

I Am Every Good Thing, by Derrick Barnes, 2020 (Ages 3-6)

“A powerful celebration of Black boyhood, countering many of the negative messages that a racist society puts forth about African American boys. Here they are adventurous, polite, inquisitive, playful, creative, artistic, athletic, brave, and worthy. They are also loving, vulnerable, and reliable. The text has a cadence that demands to be read out loud, performed, sung, or shouted with joy and veracity.”– Booklist, starred review.

Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy, by Tara Dairman, 2020 (Ages 3-6)

“A beautiful and important book about climate change featuring those who are most affected by it. Dairman draws inspiration from the Rabari people, an Indigenous tribe of nomadic herders and shepherds that live in northwest India.” –Kirkus, starred review.  While the text and drawings will engage 3 year-olds, the book provides much food for thought for older children.

Julian is a Mermaid, by Jessica Love, 2018 (Ages 4-7)

Julian is mesmerized by mermaids, Julian wants to be a mermaid, Julian’s grandmother knows exactly what to do! This book is empowering for children who are gender non-conforming or different in any way—and empowering for their grandparents as well.  The illustrations are beautiful and uniquely suited to the story. “Groundbreaking…here’s a happy picture book that challenges traditional gender stereotypes, rendering one boy free to be himself.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Sulwe, by Lupita Nyong’o, 2019 (Ages 4-8)

From Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within. Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything. “A thoughtfully layered text and powerful illustrations address this sensitive topic [of colorism] in a uniquely nurturing way.” ― Kirkus, starred review

 Black is a Rainbow Color, by Angela Joy, 2020 (Ages 5-8)

A young black child ponders the colors in the rainbow and realizes that while black is not a color in the rainbow, black culture is a rainbow of its own. Joy’s text describes what “Black is” physically and culturally. It ranges from the concrete, such as “the braids in my best friend’s hair,” to the conceptual: “Black is soft-singing, ‘Hush now, don’t explain’ ”—a reference to the song by Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. Joy alludes throughout the brief text to poetry, music and historical figures, and events in black history, Several pages of back-matter supply the necessary context for those who need a little extra help explaining them to listeners.

Nana Akua Goes to School, by Tricia Elam Walker, 2020 (Ages 5-8)

Zura isn’t so sure she wants to bring her West African born grandmother to Grandparents Day at school because of the traditional markings on her face. “Walker writes convincingly about how difference can cause unease among children, and her story offers a compelling portrait of a grandmother whose pride and poise put that concern to rest.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, by Traci Sorell, 2018 (Ages 5-8)

The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Written by a Cherokee poet, this book follows a contemporary Cherokee family throughout the year, expressing gratitude with each season with their community. A Cherokee syllabary with words written phonetically and with Cherokee characters is included. It appeared on many best book lists in 2018 and received two honor awards in 2019.