While I Was Away

English & Japanese MG & Up Asian-American Experience Japanese-American Own Voices Growing Up Family Language Learning SEL Waka T. Brown summary Waka is a Japanese-American sixth grader in rural Kansas in the 1980’s. At home, her family speaks Japanese almost exclusively, but Waka is behind in reading and writing in kanji. After a few incidents…

Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever

English 4-8 years STEM Community Friendship Social-Emotional Learning Gardening Problem-Solving Ruth Spiro & Holly Hatam Summary: Maxine and Leo are best friends (along with Milton the goldfish) and also complete opposites. Leo is gentle and creative, and Maxine is practical and mathematically minded. I love the way this story not only bucks gender stereotypes, but…

Evelyn Del Ray is Moving Away

english 4-8 years friendship moving BIPOC Protagonists Meg Medina & Sonia Sánchez summary Evelyn and Daniela are so close, they’re practically twins. The apartments across the street from each other are mirror images, and they even have secret hiding places for treasures that they find. But although today is mostly like every other day they…

What Happened to You?

english 4-8 years Own Voices Disability Social-Emotional Learning Friendship James Catchpole & Karen George summary What can I possibly say about this book that hasn’t been said before? Yesterday, on its North American release date, Instagram was a veritable wall of beautiful book photos of this extremely needed story. Joe is simply trying to defeat…

Arno and his Horse

english 4-8 years english Jane Godwin & Felicita Sala summary When my Aussie friend Lucy (on Instagram @LoveFourLearning ) suggested I make Lamingtons, I knew the perfect book to make them for! Arno is a young boy who can’t remember where he left his little wooden horse. At first, the reader doesn’t know why Arno…

sunday rain: review & giveaway!

Elliot has buried himself in a book on a rainy Sunday afternoon (I can relate to this) and is enthralled in the princess fighting the dragon. Eventually, his mother suggests that he go outside and play in the puddles while she unpacks boxes from their recent move. Elliot is a little nervous to try and make friends, but he goes outside hoping for a big adventure.

Oona

English 4-8 years Perseverance Friendship Whimsy STEM Kelly DiPucchio & Raissa Figueroa Summary: I was really excited to read this, and was of course instantly drawn in by the ridiculously gorgeous illustrations. Oona is a mermaid that loves to explore and hunt for treasure with her friend Otto. The pair swim around and lounge with…

Curls

Written & Illustrated by:  Ruth Forman & Geneva Bowers For ages: Infant & Up (board book) Language: English Topics Covered: Own Voices BIPOC Protagonists Confidence Natural Hair Self-Esteem Friendship   Summary: In this gorgeous and poetic board book, the reader follows four friends that wear their natural hair in different ways. The children are buoyant and play…

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021: Northbound

Written & Illustrated by:  Michael S. Bandy, Eric Stein & James E. Ransome For ages: 6-9 years Language: English Topics Covered: History Segregation Activism Jim Crow Own Voices Memory   Summary: This book is a wonderful story taken right from author Michael S. Bandy’s memories of a train ride during a segregated childhood. Michael and his grandmother…

Rain Before Rainbows

Written & Illustrated by:  Smriti Prasadam-Halls & David Litchfield For ages: 4 years & up Language: English Topics Covered: Friendship Poetry BIPOC Protagonists Social-Emotional Learning Bravery Courage Summary: Rain Before Rainbows is filled with lyrical and poetic text with illustrations that are truly resplendent and enticing to the eyes, urging the reader to turn the page. In…