America My Love, America My Heart

english 4-8 years Patriotism Society Culture Racism Social-Emotional Learning Poetry Daria Peoples-Riley summary I have a lot of complicated feelings about America. I have complicated feelings about benefiting from a history of colonization and global imperialism, and a feeling of responsibility to in some small way dismantle the systemic oppression that built this land into…

If Dominican Were a Color

English & 4-8 years Afro-Dominican Identity Own Voices Dominican Republic Poetry Self-Love Sili Recio & Brianna McCarthy Summary: If Dominican Were a Color is a beautiful book that describes aspects of life in the DR as well as pays homage to their strong roots in Africa, as it is “estimated that 73% of the population…

A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart

English 4 years and up Poetry Own Voices Black Lives Matter Social-Emotional Learning Critical Thinking Skills Media Consumption Zetta Elliott & Noa Denmon Summary: This book just received a Caldecott Honor, which is incredibly well-deserved! This poetic story centers around the narrator working through feelings surrounding a police shooting of a young girl, which is…

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…

28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World

For #sweetsandsocialjustice this week I went down a bit of a rabbit hole for the stunning book 28 Days, which celebrates iconic moments and contributions made by the Black community. I ended up finding a really cool article from the Smithsonian (which you can read here) about how enslaved chefs shaped American cuisine, one from First We Feast (link here), and one from the NYT (hopefully there’s no paywall and you can read it here). I eventually landed on making an apple cake in my trusty cast iron skillet.

No Voice Too Small

Edited by: Lindsay H. Metcalf, Keila V. Dawson, Jeanette Bradley Illustrated by: Jeanette Bradley For ages: 5-9 years  Language: English  Topics Covered: Activism, Youth Activists, Poetry, Own Voices, Environmental Activism, Violence, Indigenous Voices, American Citizens, LGBTQ, Education, Muslim Activist, Community.  Summary:  Y’all need to buckle up for this book.  These are the type of books I started this website for.  No Voice…

A Story About Afiya

Written by: James Berry Illustrated by: Anna Cunha For ages: 3-8 years old  Language: English  Topics Covered: Imagination, Poetry, Memories, POC-Centric Narratives, Black Culture & Identity.  Summary:  A Story About Afiya tells of a joyful girl named Afiya and her magic dress, which picks up imprints of her daily experiences but clears itself overnight.  As Afiya spins through fields of…