The Fire of Stars: by Kirsten W. Larson is a must-read for anyone who loves science and is passionate about exploring the universe. It’s a fascinating and beautifully illustrated biography of Cecilia Payne, the first person to discover what burns at the heart of stars.
Author: Kirsten W. Larson Illustrator: Katherine Roy Publisher: Chronicle Books Published: February 7, 2023 Format: Picture Book
This was one of my 23 Most Anticipated Picture Books of 2023 , and I’m happy to report it did not disappoint! The book is a real gem, with lyrical and evocative text by Kirsten Larson and stunning illustrations by Katherine Roy. The text captures the excitement and thrill of scientific discovery while the illustrations showcase the beauty of space and the wonder of a star’s birth.
I personally loved how this book parallels the birth of a star with the journey of Payne’s own curiosity and scientific career. It’s a great reminder of the power of science and the spirit of adventure that drives so many of us to explore and discover.
I highly recommend The Fire of Stars for classroom, school libraries, and bookshelves everywhere. It’s a Junior Library Guild Selection, and a must-read for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of science and the power of human curiosity.
It’s no surprise that this book has received high praise from critics and reviewers. Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly have all given it a starred review. Critics have praised the book’s “luminous thematic pairing” and its ability to emphasize Payne’s accomplishments, highlighting her impact on astrophysics.
The Fire of Stars officially releases next week but you can preorder your copy wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon.
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If you’re looking for an inspiring picture book for Women’s History Month, I have the perfect pick for you today! Milloo’s Mind: The Story of Maryam Faruqi, Trailblazer for Women’s Education by Reem Faruqi and Hoda Hadadi tells the story of the author’s courageous grandmother, Maryam Faruqi, founder of Happy Home Schools in Karachi, Pakistan.
Title: Milloo’s Mind: The Story of Maryam Faruqi, Trailblazer for Women’s Education Author: Reem Faruqi Illustrator: Hoda Hadadi Published: January 17, 2023 Publisher: Harper Collins Children Format: Picture Book
Beginning in Maryam’s childhood as she attended school herself, Milloo’s Mind follows Maryam (affectionately called Milloo by her father) as she realizes she wants to become a teacher. Milloo remains determined and goes on to graduate highschool and college, though it was uncommon for girls to receive such an education. And she was just getting started on her journey to becoming an educator.
I don’t want to give away the whole plot, but I will say that I absolutely adored this book! Reem Faruqi’s perfect pacing combined with Hodad Hadadi’s unique intricate artwork makes for a wonderful reading experience.
With an informative Author’s Note, Milloo’s Mind would be a fantastic addition to classrooms and school libraries everywhere. It’s also a wonderful selection to add Pakistani and Muslim representation to International Women’s Day ciriculums, projects, and read alouds.
Milloo’s Mind officially released yesterday, so be sure to grab your copy today! You can find it wherever books are sold including Bookshop, Amazon, and your favorite indie bookstore. And don’t forget you can always request a copy at your local library if they haven’t already ordered it.
Happy early New Year, everyone! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for 2023. I have big plans for this year, both personally and for Mutually Inclusive (some of which may be related to the changes you’re seeing on the site this week) and I’m ready to get back to work and dive in.
So, to get the year started on the right foot, I want to share the 23 books I’m most looking forward to! As always, these titles will have inclusive characters or themes, and fall into a range of genres in both fiction and nonfiction categories. I just can’t help it, my reading runs the gamut when it comes to kidlit.
Please note: This list will contain affiliate links. I will receive a small commission from purchases made using these links at no additional cost to you. This commission allows me to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.
Everybody Has a Body by Molli Jackson Ehlert, Illustrated by Lorian Tu
In this body neutral picture book, debut author Molli Jackson Ehlert and illustrator Lorian Tu show us all of the different ways bodies can look and all of the things they can do.
Everybody has a body. Whether you’re short, tall, fat, thin, hairy, bald, whether you use a wheelchair or have a limb difference, we all rely on our bodies to take us through the world.
From hiking a mountain to playing baseball to exploring an aquarium, debut author Molli Jackson Ehlert and illustrator Lorian Tu show us all the different ways that bodies can look and the things they can do, with representation of all different types of bodies,
With a body neutral approach – your body isn’t good or bad, it just is – this is an accessible and fun read that’s perfect for kids who have questions about the different bodies they encounter every day.
The Fire of Stars by Kirsten W. Larson, Illustrated by Katherine Roy
A poetic picture book celebrating the life and scientific discoveries of the groundbreaking astronomer Cecilia Payne!
Astronomer and astrophysicist Cecilia Payne was the first person to discover what burns at the heart of stars. But she didn’t start out as the groundbreaking scientist she would eventually become. She started out as a girl full of curiosity, hoping one day to unlock the mysteries of the universe.
With lyrical, evocative text by Kirsten W. Larson and extraordinary illustrations by award-winning illustrator Katherine Roy, this moving biography powerfully parallels the kindling of Cecilia Payne’s own curiosity and her scientific career with the process of a star’s birth, from mere possibility in an expanse of space to an eventual, breathtaking explosion of light.
Remember by Joy Harjo, Illustrated by Michaela Goade
US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s iconic poem “Remember,” illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade, invites young listeners to pause and reflect on the wonder of the world around them, and to remember the importance of their place in it.
Remember the sky you were born under, Know each of the star’s stories. Remember the moon, know who she is. Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, That is the strongest point of time.
So begins the picture book adaptation of the renowned poem that encourages young listeners to reflect on family, nature, and their heritage. In simple and direct language, Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Nation, urges listeners to pay close attention to who they are, the world they were born into, and how all inhabitants on earth are connected. Michaela Goade, drawing from her Tlingit culture, has created vivid illustrations that make the words come alive in an engaging and accessible way.
This timeless poem paired with magnificent paintings makes for a picture book that is a true celebration of life and our human role within it.
Mother of Sharks by Melissa Cristina Márquez, Illustrated by Devin Elle Kurtz
Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree and globally renowned shark scientist Melissa Cristina Márquez teams up with award-winning illustrator Devin Elle Kurtz to create an informative, powerful picture book that explores Melissa’s personal journey from being an inquisitive ocean-loving child in Puerto Rico to becoming the Mother of Sharks.
As the sun sets over another gorgeous day at la Playita Del Condado in Puerto Rico, Meli doesn’t want to go home. She loves the ocean more than anything, and with only five minutes left at the beach, she knows exactly where her last stop should be: the tidal pools. They are small universes of their own teeming with critters and creatures of the ocean. While looking into the pools, she meets a crab, Jaiba, who takes her on a dreamlike underwater adventure, teaches her about the importance of shark conservation, and reveals Meli’s ultimate destiny: to become the Mother of Sharks.
The Good Hair Day by Christian Trimmer, Illustrated by J Yang
A boy dreams of long hair in this sweet story about self-expression and embracing our most authentic selves.
Noah has a special day coming up, and he has a very long wish list. But there’s one thing missing from it, the thing he wants more than anything else in the world: long, beautiful, wavy hair.
Noah understands that his hair will grow if he just doesn’t get a haircut. But almost all the boys that Noah knows have short hair, and he’s heard people say mean things about men with long hair. So, he just doesn’t think he’s allowed to ask.
When a fresh trim brings Noah to his lowest point, it turns out his caring family has been paying closer attention than he thinks–and they have an idea that will show Noah it’s okay to be his gorgeous self.
This heartfelt, witty, encouraging story from Christian Trimmer and J Yang will empower kids to share their true selves with the world.
Summer Is For Cousins by Rajani LaRocca, Illustrated by Abhi Alwar
From Newbery Honor author Rajani LaRocca comes a celebration of extended family and summertime fun
Summer is for cousins. Mom and Dad, Two uncles, two aunties, Thatha and Pati, Seven cousins, All of us are together.
Ravi can’t wait to spend summer vacation at the lake house with his family—especially his cousins! Summer vacation is for days at the beach, long hikes, paddleboarding, and—of course—ice cream. Ravi and his oldest cousin, Dhruv, had the same favorite flavor last year, but everything feels different now.
Dhruv’s much taller and his voice is deeper. Ravi’s worried that Dhruv won’t be interested in spending time with him, the little cousin. The ice cream shop doesn’t even have their favorite flavor this year. But on the last night of vacation, the cousins decide to make dinner, and Ravi’s in charge of dessert. He only has one special thing in mind!
This picture book all about summertime fun celebrates the resilient bond between extended family members.
The Wishing Flower by A.J. Irving, Illustrated by Kip Alizadeh
An LGBTQ-inclusive story about understanding your peers, your feelings, and yourself, The Wishing Flower is a love letter to longing, belonging, and longing to belong.
Birdie finds comfort in nature and books, but more than anything she longs for connection, to be understood. At school, Birdie feels like an outsider. Quiet and shy, she prefers to read by herself, rather than jump rope or swing with the other kids. That all changes when Sunny, the new girl, comes along. Like Birdie, Sunny has a nature name. She also likes to read, and loves to rescue bugs. And when Sunny smiles at her, Birdie’s heart balloons like a parachute.
From the acclaimed author of Dance Like a Leaf, with stunning illustrations by Kip Alizadeh, this book will inspire readers to honor their wishes and show the world their truest selves.
La Guitarrista by Lucky Diaz, Illustrated by Micah Player
From the creators of Paletero Man—Latin Grammy–winning musician Lucky Diaz and celebrated artist Micah Player—comes a story about a tenacious girl who achieves her wildest dreams with a little help from her community and a broken guitar.
Strum! Strum! Strum!Get ready to rock with la guitarrista!
When Canta finds a guitar in the trash, she is one step closer to becoming a rock star. Even though the guitar is broken and she doesn’t know how to play, nothing can stop Canta from going after her dreams!
Perfect for fans of Because and We Will Rock Our Classmates, readers will rock out to this empowering tale of resilience, community, the power of music—and never giving up on your dreams.
The book includes Spanish words and phrases throughout, an author’s note from Lucky Diaz, and a link to the song inspired by the book.
I Dare! I Can! I Will!: The Day the Icelandic Women Walked Out and Inspired the World by Linda Ólafsdóttir
A picture book inspired by the Long Friday—a real event in Iceland that inspired women around the world to stand up, walk out, and march together for women’s rights
Vera and Mamma are headed out for a march, but it’s not just any march: It’s October 24 in Reykjavík, and on this day in 1975, the women of Iceland took the day off, walked out of their homes and away from their jobs—as farmworkers, butchers, and fisherwomen; wives, daughters, and children—and marched to demand equality and change, chanting: “I dare! I can! I will!” And they did, inspiring and empowering girls and women to make change, not just in their country, but all around the world.
The Yellow Handkerchief (El pañuelo amarillo) by Donna Barba Higuera, Illustrated by Cynthia Alonso
A child confronts conflicting feelings of embarrassment and love for her Mexican abuela in this moving, personal story from Newbery- and Pura Belpré Award–winning author Donna Barba Higuera
My abuela wears an old yellow handkerchief that her grandmother gave to her. I don’t like the yellow handkerchief.
When a young girl feels ashamed of her family for being “different” and subconsciously blames her abuela, she gradually grows to not only accept but also love the yellow handkerchief that represents a language and culture that once brought embarrassment.
Inspired by the personal experiences of award-winning author Donna Barba Higuera and expressively illustrated by Cynthia Alonso, The Yellow Handkerchief is a lyrical, honest, and intimate intergenerational story about embracing who we are, where we come from, and the people who shape us.
Ramen for Everyone by Patricia Tanumihardja, Illustrated by Shiho Pate
Hiro loves ramen. Every Sunday, Hiro’s dad makes delicious, perfect ramen for dinner, using a recipe passed down from his dad. There’s nori seaweed, briny like the ocean; nitamago egg, the yolk golden like the sun; and chashu pork so tender, it melts in your mouth. Yum!
Hiro’s dream is to make his own perfect bowl, and he’s sure he can do it after watching his dad and taking notes. But when he gets started, things don’t go according to plan. The seaweed crumbles! The eggs slip through his fingers! The pork falls apart! Hiro is worried he’ll never be a real ramen chef…but thanks to his father’s wise advice and his own creativity, Hiro discovers that every person’s perfect bowl of ramen is unique.
Naming Ceremony by Seina Wedlick, Illustrated by Jenin Mohammed
A sweet sibling story all about making family traditions your own–perfect for fans of Alma and How She Got Her Name and Welcome to the Party
Today’s the day! It’s Baby Sister’s naming ceremony, and big sister Amira could not be more excited. She has the perfect name picked out . . . or, at least, she hopes it’s the perfect name.
One by one, friends and family arrive. As Amira greets them, she asks what name they have brought to give to Baby Sister. Each is more beautiful than the last–Shakira, Akahana, Uhwe. And each has its own special meaning–thankful, red flower, moonlight. Amira knows that Baby Sister will love these names. But will she love the name Amira has chosen? Is it special enough?
A story about rich traditions and the unique bond between sisters, Naming Ceremony celebrates multigenerational family and Black joy.
Chef Edna: Queen of Southern Cooking by Melvina Noel, Illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera
A warm and inviting picture-book portrait of African American culinary legend Edna Lewis, who brought Southern cooking to the masses
Edna loved to cook. Growing up on a farm in Freetown, Virginia, she learned the value of fresh, local, seasonal food from her Mama Daisy, how to measure ingredients for biscuits using coins, and to listen closely to her cakes to know when they were done. Edna carried these traditions with her all the way to New York, where she became a celebrated chef, who could even turn traditional French food into her signature Southern style. The author of several cookbooks and the recipient of numerous awards, Chef Edna introduced the world to the flavors of her home.
Manolo and the Unicorn by Jackie Azúa Kramer and Jonah Kramer, Illustrated by Zach Manbeck
A story about seeing, believing wholeheartedly in the extraordinary—unicorns and oneself
To Manolo, the world is a magical place, a place where he searches for the most magical creature of all: unicorns. Manolo loves unicorns. When the Wild Animal Parade is announced at school, and Manolo declares that he will come as his favorite animal, his classmates say there is no such thing as unicorns, making the world feel ordinary. That is, until Manolo meets a real unicorn—wild and graceful—and discovers that the world is truly extraordinary.
Milloo’s Mind: The Story of Maryam Faruqi, Trailblazer for Women’s Education by Reem Faruqi, Illustrated by Hoda Hadadi
From the author of Lailah’s Lunchbox and Unsettled comes a powerful picture book biography about Maryam Faruqi, the founder of the Happy Home Schools, which provided education to thousands of girls across Pakistan at a time when girls weren’t encouraged to go to school.
Maryam was a trailblazer for women’s education and the author is her granddaughter, creating a personal, inspiring tale. Perfect for fans of Malala’s Magic Pencil and She Persisted!
Milloo lives in a time when school is considered unnecessary for girls. But to Milloo, education is essential.
When Milloo reads, her thoughts dance. Milloo courageously dreams of becoming a teacher, but in fifth grade her parents tell her she has had enough school. Milloo is heartbroken but finds a way to achieve her educational goals, graduating high school and college with honors. When she’s married, Milloo’s husband tells her to stay home, but she does not let that stop her.
She decides to open a school in her house and later opens more schools around Karachi, Pakistan, fulfilling her dreams
Just Like Grandma by Kim Rogers, Illustrated by Julie Flett
In this lyrical picture book by Kim Rogers (Wichita), with illustrations by Boston Globe-Horn Book Honoree Julie Flett (Cree-Métis), Becca watches her grandma create, play, and dance—and she knows that she wants to be just like Grandma.
Becca loves spending time with Grandma. Every time Becca says, “Let me try,” Grandma shows her how to make something beautiful.
Whether they are beading moccasins, dancing like the most beautiful butterflies, or practicing basketball together, Becca knows that, more than anything, she wants to be just like Grandma.
And as the two share their favorite activities, Becca discovers something surprising about Grandma.
Nell Plants a Tree by Anne Wynter, Illustrated by Daniel Miyares
This gorgeous picture book shows how one little girl’s careful tending of a pecan tree creates the living center of a loving, intergenerational Black family. For Earth Day and every day! Perfect for fans of Matt de la Peña and Oge Mora.
Before her grandchildren climbed the towering tree,
explored its secret nests,
raced to its sturdy trunk,
read in its cool shade,
or made pies with its pecans…
Nell buried a seed.
And just as Nell’s tree grows and thrives with her love and care, so do generations of her close-knit family.
Inspired by the pecan trees of the creators’ own childhoods, Anne Wynter’s lyrical picture book, brought to life with breathtaking illustrations by Daniel Miyares, brims with wonder and love.
Plátanos Go with Everything by Lissette Norman, Illustrated by Sara Palacios
Paletero Man meets Fry Bread in this vibrant and cheerful ode to plátanos, the star of Dominican cuisine, written by award-winning poet Lissette Norman, illustrated by Sara Palacios, and translated by Kianny N. Antigua.
Plátanos are Yesenia’s favorite food. They can be sweet and sugary, or salty and savory. And they’re a part of almost every meal her Dominican family makes.
Stop by her apartment and find out why plátanos go with everything—especially love!
Little Rosetta and the Talking Guitar: The Musical Story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Woman Who Invented Rock and Roll by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow
A picture-book biography of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the woman who invented rock and roll–a warm, inspiring tale of a childhood filled with music, community, and a drive to succeed.”
Music is the heart of our story,” says Momma to young Rosetta, surprising her with her first guitar. Rosetta’s strums sound like ker-plunks. But with practice and determination, she makes music, fingers hopping “like corn in a kettle,” notes pouring over the church crowd “like summer rain washing the dust off a new day.” In this stunning picture book, author and illustrator Charnelle Pinkney Barlow imagines the childhood of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose rural roots inspired the music we still hear today. Young readers will see a child’s dream become reality through hard work and perseverance. And they’ll learn the overlooked story of a pioneering Black artist, whose contribution to music history is only now being discovered.
Sometimes they call you shy. Sometimes they call you quiet, or maybe even scared. People think these are bad things, because sometimes they are LOUD.
But you are happy just the way you are. And maybe you don’t need to learn to be loud, they just need to learn to listen.
Mackenzie Joy beautifully pairs her gorgeous illustrations with minimalist text in this heartwarming book that doesn’t just acknowledge shy children, but celebrates them–because every wallflower deserves their chance to grow.
Door by Door: How Sarah McBride Became America’s First Openly Transgender Senator by Meeg Pincus, Illustrated by Meridth McKean Gimbel
A nonfiction picture book about Delaware State Senator Sarah McBride, who dreamed of making a difference as a kid and grew up to become the highest-ranking openly transgender political official in America.
As a kid, Sarah McBride dreamed of running for office so she could help people in her community. When her friends asked for bicycles for Christmas, Sarah asked for a podium. Her friends and family encouraged her to follow this path, but there was one problem: they saw Sarah as a boy, and Sarah knew she was a girl. Every night, she’d replay the day in her head, watching how it would have played out if she was able to live as the girl she knew herself to be.
In college, she finally came out as Sarah, and in 2020 she won her election to become a Delaware State Senator, making her the highest-ranking trans political official in the country and a hero to kids everywhere who want to live their dreams and be themselves!
Your One and Only Heart by Rajani LaRocca, Illustrated by Lauren Paige Conrad
A lyrical introduction to the many wonders of the human heart, from award-winning author and practicing doctor, Dr. Rajani LaRocca
In this stunning non-fiction picture book, poetry and science come together with playful cut-paper illustrations to create a moving ode to the human heart and all that it does. Complete with illustrative diagrams and copious backmatter, this is a one-of-a-kind non-fiction picture book that gently guides readers through the various systems make up our most vital organ.
Grandad and Milly are back for another adventure, this time honoring the past and celebrating the future with a pride parade. This heartwarming tale continues to wonderful journey that began with the Stonewall Honoree and Waterstones Best Illustrated Book, Grandad’s Camper.
After Milly discovers a pride flag in Grandad’s attic, this adorable pair are motivated by the past to start a pride parade in their small town. Activism and celebration go hand in hand as the town gathers to help “build a world where everyone is proud to be themselves.” This beautiful follow-up to Grandad’s Camper is filled with heart and purpose.
Spooky season is upon us, so this month’s Author Spotlight has a Halloween twist! Today, I’m thrilled to be chatting with my friend CK Malone today about their debut picture book A Costume For Charly.
C.K. Malone (they/them) is a bigender award-winning educator and literature coach at the secondary level. When not grading essays or helping students, they’re busy helping design culturally and LGBTQIA+ responsive units for the district and working as a climate and culture coach. When they’re not writing, they’re coaching and advising through alignment with the Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network. C.K. continues this work in the literary world by advocating for all to be given the space to tell their own stories. Though they love the many hats they wear, their favorite is as an advocate for diverse voices.
How did Charly come to be? What inspired you to write this book and how did your experiences with your own identity impact the story?
Charly is much braver than I am, to be honest. I dream of being this strong. Charly came to be because when I was 11 going on 12, I made a mishmash of costumes for myself to show a select group of friends who I was. It didn’t turn out to be as joyous a situation as Charly’s, though. So Charly’s experience is very much how I *wish* it would have been. My own identity is Bigender (technically Intersex but Bigender is the easiest explanation for people) and I wanted to show readers this identity doesn’t have to cause strife when choosing how to express it. Like myself, the easiest way was to choose binary costumes and combine them.
Author: CK Malone Illustrator: Alejandra Barajas Published: September 6, 2022 Publisher: Beaming Books Format: Picture Books
Writing stories so close to our hearts can be both difficult and rewarding. What has been the biggest challenge in writing A Costume For Charly? What has been the biggest reward?
The biggest challenge was having to omit some items from the story because I was told Charly needed their own agency. There was a person near and dear to my heart in the LGBTQIA+ community who helped me along the way. She has since passed. But I keep my original draft in my home office in a frame next to her picture. The biggest reward is hearing how my book is helping people to not only understand the identity a bit more, but also that they are sharing CHARLY with their kiddos.
Speaking of rewarding, how was it seeing Alejandra Barajas’ amazing illustrations for the first time? It must be such a thrill to see your words come to life on the page!
Alejandra is SUCH a talented artist. I loved seeing how she emulated Charly’s moods through the illustrations. The colors start off muted when Charly is experiencing a lot of lows then become vibrant as they realize they can make their own costume and celebrate it. It was amazing seeing the illustrations for the first time. I cried. A lot.
If children only take one thing away from reading A Costume For Charly, what message would you hope they get?
I hope they receive the message that they are not wrong in how they feel or how they identify. Find a trusted adult to speak to about feelings. So often, kids are told by the wrong people “this is just a phase” and other such nonsense. One of my middle school GSAs is 36 children strong with over 60 who identify who cannot attend meetings due to transportation, so now we hold them virtually as well. I have students at the elementary level sending me emails because they know they are coming to my school someday. There is no “phase” about it. Children know they are different.
You are such a vocal advocate for diverse voices in the kidlit community. What advice would you give those still learning to find their voice and speak up for others?
That’s a hard question. I’m still learning daily how to speak up and out for others without putting myself in danger and without making huge mistakes because I have done both. Both have left scars on an already scarred heart. I’d say joining platforms that support as well as giving money to verified platforms that support helps immensely. Celebrate diversity in all its intersections because it is truly beautiful. And if you have any kind of privilege–even if you are intersectional yourself–use that privilege to help others whenever possible.
What are your plans for Halloween this year? Do you have any creative costumes planned?
I’m going as a bat tap dancer. It’s going to be weird, but kids will like it. Oh, and I can’t even tap dance. Soooo…there’s that. I hope to read at a local bookstore as well as hand out candy. One of the schools is doing a haunted house, so I look forward to joining in on that!
A Costume For Charly is your debut, so I have to ask, what’s next for you?
I have a short story coming out in a literary magazine and we’re waiting to announce my next book. It’s not LGBTQIA+ because I don’t want to write only about my identity since I’m so much more than this. My experiences extend beyond identity. Looking forward to everyone hearing about both!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with Mutually Inclusive’s readers?
If you read this blog, then I know you must be amazing and want the best for your kiddos. Keep being you!
I love that! Thank you so so much for joining us today, CK. It’s been an absolute delight chatting with you!
In the United States, Hispanic Heritage Month is observed every year from September 15th to October 15th and gives us all a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the many ways Hispanic Americans have enriched the culture and society of our nation. So to celebrate, I want to share some of my favorite picture books about Hispanic history, heritage, and culture.
Please note: This article contains affiliate links, from which I will receive a small commission. This commission allows me to maintain this website and continue to bring new content to you.
Our Day of the Dead Celebration by Ana Aranda
“A family honors their living and dead relatives as they celebrate this holiday with shared food and stories.
The Day of the Dead is a happy day when Mar’s family gathers together. There are favorite dishes to enjoy, games to be played, and most importantly, stories to tell. No one in the family is forgotten because this is the day of the year when the dead come to visit the living—and for this holiday it is almost as if they’re alive again, as the family takes great joy in celebrating the things that made them special. Mar realizes she is just like her Grandpa Ramón, who kept a journal. And her sister, Paz, plays accordian, just like their great-grandfather. There are so many things that connect them all—and at dinner, Abuelita spins even more stories that make them feel close to the ones they will love forever. Ana Aranda’s tender text and vibrant art make the joy felt on this sweet day totally palpable.”
Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz, Illustrated by Micah Player
“A vibrant picture book celebrating the strength of community and the tastes of summer from Latin Grammy-winning musician Lucky Diaz and celebrated artist Micah Player.
Ring! Ring! Ring! Can you hear his call? Paletas for one! Paletas for all!
What’s the best way to cool off on a hot summer day? Run quick and find Paletero José!
Follow along with our narrator as he passes through his busy neighborhood in search of the Paletero Man. But when he finally catches up with him, our narrator’s pockets are empty. Oh no! What happened to his dinero? It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat now.”
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise, Illustrated by Paola Escobar
“An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature.
When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy.
Brought to colorful life by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life.”
Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules! by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Joe Cepeda
“When a sassy drummer starts kindergarten, the rules of school cramp her style. What’s a young rock star to do?
When Lupe Lopez struts through the doors of Hector P. Garcia Elementary in sunglasses with two taped-up Number 2 pencils—drumsticks, of course—poking from her pocket, her confidence is off the charts. All day, Lupe drums on desks, tables, and chairs while Ms. Quintanilla reminds her of school rules. Lupe has her own rules: 1) Don’t listen to anyone. 2) Make lots of noise. ¡Rataplán! 3) Have fans, not friends. But with her new teacher less than starstruck, and fans hard to come by, Lupe wonders if having friends is such a bad idea after all. Can it be that true star power means knowing when to share the spotlight? With its spirited illustrations and a simple text threaded through with Spanish words, this picture book is proof positive that being a strong girl moving to her own beat doesn’t have to mean pushing others away.”
Areli Is a Dreamer: A True Story by Areli Morales, a DACA Recipient by Areli Morales, Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
“In the first picture book written by a DACA Dreamer, Areli Morales tells her own powerful and vibrant immigration story.
When Areli was just a baby, her mama and papa moved from Mexico to New York with her brother, Alex, to make a better life for the family–and when she was in kindergarten, they sent for her, too.
Everything in New York was different. Gone were the Saturdays at Abuela’s house, filled with cousins and sunshine. Instead, things were busy and fast and noisy. Areli’s limited English came out wrong, and schoolmates accused her of being illegal. But with time, America became her home. And she saw it as a land of opportunity, where millions of immigrants who came before her paved their own paths. She knew she would, too.”
Nosotros Means Us: Un cuento bilingüe by Paloma Valdivia
“A moving bilingual ode to the unshakeable bond between a parent and child in the tradition of Runaway Bunny and The Wonderful Things You Will Be, from a New York Times bestselling creator.
If I were a sheep, you would be a lamb. If I were a bear, you would be a cub. As a mother holds her toddler, they muse over the way their love would translate if they were different animals. But no matter how they change, they will always be “us.” This bilingual story is a timeless ode to the unshakable bond between parent and child.”
Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua by Gloria Amescua, Illustrated Duncan Tonatiuh
“As a young Nahua girl in Mexico during the early 1900s, Luz learned how to grind corn in a metate, to twist yarn with her toes, and to weave on a loom. By the fire at night, she listened to stories of her community’s joys, suffering, and survival, and wove them into her heart.
But when the Mexican Revolution came to her village, Luz and her family were forced to flee and start a new life. In Mexico City, Luz became a model for painters, sculptors, and photographers such as Diego Rivera, Jean Charlot, and Tina Modotti. These artists were interested in showing the true face of Mexico and not a European version. Through her work, Luz found a way to preserve her people’s culture by sharing her native language, stories, and traditions. Soon, scholars came to learn from her.”
The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border by Stephen Briseño, Illustrated by Magdalena Mora
“Based on true events, this inspiring story follows a mama and her daughter who are denied entry at the U.S. border, and must find the refugee in charge of “the notebook,” an unofficial ledger of those waiting to cross into the U.S.
Before, the sun drenched the yard. Our neighbor’s laughter danced in the streets. Now, the streets are quiet. Papa is gone, and we are no longer safe here. We are leaving, too.
In this moving and stunningly-illustrated picture book, Noemi and Mama flee their home in Mexico, and head for the US border. There, they look for “The Notebook Keeper”– the person in charge of a ledger for those waiting to cross, and they add their names to the book. As the days turn into weeks, and hope dwindles, the little girl looks for kindness around her– and inside herself. One day, when the Notebook Keeper’s own name is called to cross, Noemi and her Mama are chosen–for the generosity in their hearts– to take her place.”
“A heartfelt picture book based on the author-illustrator’s own experiences, about a boy who moves to the U.S. mainland from Puerto Rico and realizes that New York City might have more in common with San Juan than he initially thought.
Miguel’s pet frog, Coquí, is always with him: as he greets his neighbors in San Juan, buys quesitos from the panadería, and listens to his abuelo’s story about meeting baseball legend Roberto Clemente. Then Miguel learns that he and his parents are moving to the U.S. mainland, which means leaving his beloved grandparents, home in Puerto Rico, and even Coquí behind. Life in New York City is overwhelming, with unfamiliar buildings, foods, and people. But when he and Mamá go exploring, they find a few familiar sights that remind them of home, and Miguel realizes there might be a way to keep a little bit of Puerto Rico with him–including the love he has for Coquí–wherever he goes.”
“A stunning bilingual picture book that celebrates Latinx families by highlighting moments of connection and delight and feelings of safety and home, even through challenges and difficult times.
Me gusta your smile, tu sonrisa, and your hugs, tus abrazos.
Me gusta when we explore this spectacular world, el mundo, and gaze at all the stars, las estrellas.
But most of all, me gusta that no matter where we are, I feel at home, en casa, when I’m with you.
In the affirmative and encouraging Me Gusta, acclaimed author and illustrator Angela Dominguez combines Spanish and English in a poetic and touching story of family, reminding us that through the adventures and the heartbreak, love conquers all and transcends language.”
If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja by Ana Siqueira, Illustrated by Irena Freitas
“This bouncy, bilingual picture book is an enchanting, rollicking read-aloud for small ones with big imaginations.
On the night before Halloween, a new babysitter might be more than she appears. If she wears a black sombrero and cackles like a crow, she might just be a bruja! One little girl is determined not to fall victim to an evil witch or her cats. She knows bath time is really the bruja’s way of putting her in a boiling cauldron, and the only way to keep her at bay is with a magic potion—or is it?
With a boundless imagination and plenty of tricks up her sleeve, the young protagonist may just have the best night ever!”
Phenomenal AOC: The Roots and Rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by Anika Aldamuy Denise, Illustrated by Loris Lora
“An inspiring biography of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from Pura Belpré Honor-winning creators Anika Aldamuy Denise and Loris Lora!
In 2019, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest congresswoman in America. How did this young Puertoriqueña become an unstoppable force in politics? Find out in this accessible and engaging book for young readers.
AOC’s remarkable story begins in her childhood Bronx home and comes full circle the moment AOC became America’s youngest Congresswoman. Ocasio-Cortez’s empowering journey reminds us that everyone, regardless of their age, race, creed, wealth, or zip code, is capable of being a voice for change.
A glossary and resources for changemakers are included at the end of the book. “
“In her debut as author and illustrator, Mirelle Ortega shares her own story of growing up near her family’s pineapple farm in Mexico, where she learned the true meaning of magic
I learned that magic isn’t good or bad, it just is. Sometimes it gives, sometimes it takes. Sometimes life blossoms, sometimes it wilts.
Growing up on a pineapple farm in Mexico, a girl discovers the true meaning of the word magic in this truly magical picture book about change and transformation of all kinds—what we can’t control, such as natural disasters and loss, and what we can. Magic can transform dirt into pineapples, seeds into trees, wool into blankets, words into stories, blank pages into pictures—a story into a picture book.”
May Your Life Be Deliciosa by Michael Genhart, Illustrated by Loris Lora
“A delicious and fortifying picture book inspired by the author’s family, featuring the Mexican tradition of holiday tamale-making
A 2022 Pura Belpré Award Illustrator Honor Book
“What is the recipe?” I ask. Abuela laughs. “It is in my heart, Rosie. I use mis ojos, my eyes, to measure. Mis manos, my hands, to feel. Mi boca, my mouth, to taste. My abuela gave it to me, and I am giving it to you.” Each year on Christmas Eve, Rosie’s abuela, mamá, tía, sister, and cousins all gather together in Abuela’s kitchen to make tamales—cleaning corn husks, chopping onions and garlic, roasting chilis, kneading cornmeal dough, seasoning the filling, and folding it all—and tell stories. Rosie learns from her abuela not only how to make a delicious tamale, but how to make a delicious life, one filled with love, plenty of spice, and family.”
Mi Ciudad Sings by Cynthia Harmony, Illustrated by Teresa Martinez
“After experiencing a devastating earthquake, the spirit of a charming and vibrant Mexican neighborhood might be shaken, but it cannot be broken.
As a little girl and her dog embark on their daily walk through the city, they skip and spin to the familiar sounds of revving cars, clanking bikes, friendly barks, and whistling camote carts. But what they aren’t expecting to hear is the terrifying sound of a rumbling earthquake…and then…silence.
With captivating text and lively, beautiful illustrations, this heartwarming story leaves readers with the message that they can choose to be strong and brave even when they are scared, and can still find joy and hope in the midst of sadness.”
My Town / Mi Pueblo by Nicholas Solis, Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
“In this bilingual picture book, cousins from opposite sides of the border visit each other’s towns and delight in their similarities and differences.
Two cousins live in two towns, separated by a river. But there is also a bigger divide—the US-Mexico border—which means they live in different countries. On the girl’s side, English is the main language, and on the boy’s it’s Spanish. The cousins love their towns, and they love visiting each other’s, where they notice some things are the same and some are wonderfully different, adding up to a vibrant world full of even more possibilities.
Author Nicholas Solis shows how border towns are special places, beautiful and dynamic, because two cultures can be better than one—and both cultures should be equally treasured and respected.”
Lola Out Loud: Inspired by the Childhood of Activist Dolores Huerta by Jennifer Torres, Illustrated by Sara Palacios
“A powerful and inspiring imagined story about real-life civil rights activist and labor leader Dolores Huerta that reminds us that even our biggest heroes started out small.
Her grandpa calls her “Lolita Siete Lenguas”—Little Lola, Seven Tongues, all fighting to be heard. Lola is trying not to make so much noise, but when she witnesses injustices in her own neighborhood, she knows she can’t keep quiet. Can Lola find a way to use her voice for change? ¡Sí, se puede!
Inspired by the real-life civil rights activist and labor leader Dolores Huerta, Lola Out Loud is a warm and rollicking picture book that reminds us that sometimes one strong voice is just what we need.”
The Little House of Hope by Terry Catasús Jennings, Illustrated by Raúl Colón
“When Esperanza and her family arrive in the United States from Cuba, they rent a little house, una casita. It may be small, but they soon prove that there’s room enough to share with a whole community.
“It was a little house. Una casita . . . It was small. It smelled like old wet socks. . . But even though they were far from home, The family was together.”
As Esperanza and her family settle into their new house, they all do their part to make it a home. When other immigrant families need a place to stay, it seems only natural for the family in la casita to help. Together they turn the house into a place where other new immigrants can help one another. Esperanza is always the first to welcome them to la casita. It’s a safe place in a new land.”
Sing with Me: The Story of Selena Quintanilla by Diana López, Illustrate by Teresa Martinez
“An exuberant picture book celebrating the life and legacy of Selena Quintanilla, beloved Queen of Tejano music.
From a very early age, young Selena knew how to connect with people and bring them together with music. Sing with Me follows Selena’s rise to stardom, from front-lining her family’s band at rodeos and quinceañeras to performing in front of tens of thousands at the Houston Astrodome. Young readers will be empowered by Selena’s dedication–learning Spanish as a teenager, designing her own clothes, and traveling around the country with her family–sharing her pride in her Mexican-American roots and her love of music and fashion with the world.”
Isabel and her Colores Go to School by Alexandra Alessandri, Illustrated by Courtney Dawson
“English, with its blustery blues and whites, just feels wrong to Isabel. She prefers the warm oranges and pinks of Spanish. As she prepares for class at a new school, she knows she’s going to have to learn–and she would rather not! Her first day is uncomfortable, until she discovers there’s more than one way to communicate with friends. This is a universal story about feeling new and making new friends.”
El Cucuy Is Scared, Too! by Donna Barba Higuera, Illustrated by Juliana Perdomo
“A boy and his monster confront their mutual fears in this unlikely friendship story that’s rooted in Mexican folklore
Ramón is a little boy who can’t sleep. He is nervous for his first day at a new school. And El Cucuy is the monster who lives in Ramón’s cactus pot. He can’t sleep, either. It turns out that El Cucuy is scared, too! This gentle, perceptive story explores the worries that can accompany moving to a new place and beginning a new journey—and reveals how comfort, bravery, and strength can be found through even the most unexpected of friendships.”
A Song of Frutas by Margarita Engle, Illustrated by Sara Palacios
“From Pura Belpré Award–winning author Margarita Engle comes a lively, rhythmic picture book about a little girl visiting her grandfather who is a pregonero—a singing street vendor in Cuba—and helping him sell his frutas.
When we visit mi abuelo, I help him sell frutas, singing the names of each fruit as we walk, our footsteps like drumbeats, our hands like maracas, shaking…
The little girl loves visiting her grandfather in Cuba and singing his special songs to sell all kinds of fruit: mango, limón, naranja, piña, and more! Even when they’re apart, grandfather and granddaughter can share rhymes between their countries like un abrazo—a hug—made of words carried on letters that soar across the distance like songbirds.”
With Lots of Love by Jenny Torres Sanchez, Illustrated by André Ceolin
“A beautiful, lyrical story about a girl who moves from her home in Central America to the United States, and everything she leaves behind and longs for—especially her Abuela—as she makes a new life.
Rocio has grown up in Central America, but now she and her family are moving to the United States. Rocio does her best to adjust to a new way of living, but there are many things she misses from her old life—Abuela’s cooking, Abuela’s pinata creations, Abuela’s warm hugs, and of course, Abuela herself most of all. But Abuela finds a way to send Rocio something special just in time for her birthday—a gift wrapped with lots of love—and that fills Rocio to the brim.”
The Coquíes Still Sing: A Story of Home, Hope, and Rebuilding by Karina Nicole González, Illustrated by Krystal Quiles
“A powerful story about home, community, and hope, inspired by the rebuilding of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017, written by debut author Karina González and illustrated by Krystal Quiles.
“This book is more than beautiful.” – Yuyi Morales, Caldecott Honoree and New York Times bestselling creator of Dreamers
Co-quí, co-quí! The coquí frogs sing to Elena from her family’s beloved mango tree―their calls so familiar that they might as well be singing, “You are home, you are safe.” But home is suddenly not safe when a hurricane threatens to destroy everything that Elena knows.
As time passes, Elena, alongside her community, begins to rebuild their home, planting seeds of hope along the way. When the sounds of the coquíes gradually return, they reflect the resilience and strength of Elena, her family, and her fellow Puerto Ricans.”
Until Someone Listens: A Story About Borders, Family, and One Girl’s Mission by Estela Juarez, Illustrated by Teresa Martínez
“When Estela Juarez’s mom is deported to Mexico, Estela knows she has to speak up for her family. Told in Estela’s own words,Until Someone Listens is a true story about a young girl finding her voice and using it to make change.
Estela’s family lives together in a happy home full of love. Or, at least, they used to… until their home was torn apart.
My mom had to go back, to the other side of the river, because she wasn’t born in this country.
For years her family fought and fought for permission for her to stay in the U.S. But no one listened. When Estela was eight, her mother was deported to Mexico.
Estela knew she had to do something. So she wrote letters: to local newspapers, Congress, the President, and anyone else who could help. She wrote and wrote and wrote until, finally… someone listened.”
Strollercoaster by Matt Ringler, Illustrated by Raul Gonzalez III and Elaine Bay
“This joyous romp through the neighborhood celebrates the bond between a father and a child, illustrated by an award-winning artist team. Buckle up as a toddler’s tantrum is cleverly averted when a loving dad transforms an everyday neighborhood stroll into an extraordinary adventure, reminding us that all you need to chase away a bad mood is love and a little bit of imagination.
Brought to brilliantly-colored, kinetic life by award-winning artists Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay, Strollercoaster sings with details of a diverse and vibrant urban neighborhood bursting with life, enhanced by Spanish words embedded in the art. It’s the best ride in town!”
Yefferson, Actually / En realidad, es Yefferson by Katherine Trejo and Scott Martin-Rowe, Illustrated by Karla Monterrosa
“Introduce your little ones to standing up for themselves (and their roots) in both English and Spanish!
On his first day as the new kid in school, shy Yefferson’s name is consistently mispronounced to his discomfort and embarrassment. With his family’s support, Yefferson finds the courage to stand up for himself and his namesake.
Yefferson, Actually is wonderful new picture book to embrace in the pantheon of classic Back to School stories. Follow sweet and unassuming Yefferson – proudly pronounced with the sound the Y makes in Spanish, not the J in English – as learns to overcome what is a common, but often undiscussed hurdle for all shy kids entering a new school year: correctly teaching people how to say your name correctly.”
“In this charming picture book from the author-illustrator of Gustavo, The Shy Ghost,a witch who is spellbindingly good at everything discovers that baking is no piece of cake.
Leila Wayward is a little witch who excels at everything she does. She’s the fastest flier, the most cunning conjuror, and the most superb shape-shifter. She has won trophies for potions, herbology, and alchemy—and now she dreams of winning the Magnificent Witchy Cake-off! As the youngest in a long line of masters of the Dark Arts of Patisserie, Leila wants her entry to be perfect. But even with the most bewitching of recipes, she realizes a terrible truth: she’s a disaster in the kitchen. Luckily, Leila has three magical sisters who are happy to share their culinary secrets with her. What’s more, Leila discovers that baking with them is fun! Win or lose, she has already tasted the sweetest thing of all: acceptance—with a pinch of nightshade and a bit of mandrake. Filled with expressive and fancifully offbeat illustrations, Flavia Z. Drago’s enchanting story of trying your hardest despite your imperfections is sure to delight little witches and novice bakers alike.”
“For fans of Guess How Much I Love You? and Just Me and My Dad comes a heartwarming story perfect for Father’s Day about a son and his papá who love to measure everything, including their love for each other.
Rafa and his papá love to count and measure together. They know how many branches they climb to their favorite spot, they know how high their dog Euclid can jump, and they know how far they can run. But there’s one thing Rafa can’t count or measure because it is infinite: the love that he and his papá share.
Pura Belpré Honor illustrator and author Joe Cepeda celebrates curiosity and shows the tender and playful relationship between father and son on every inch of the page. With a subtle nod to introducing concepts, from real objects to the abstract, readers feel the immeasurable love of this Latinx family as Papá delights in spending time with Rafa.”
Anita and the Dragons by Hannah Carmona, Illustrated by Anna Cunha
“A beautifully tender story touching on the range of emotions immigrants may feel when leaving their home countries – excitement and sorrow, fear and courage.
Anita watches the dragons high above her as she hops from one cement roof to another in her village in the Dominican Republic. But being the valiant princesa she is, she never lets them scare her. Will she be brave enough to enter the belly of the beast and take flight to new adventures?
A Barnes & Noble Bookseller Favorite. A BookTrust Book of the Month. A Love Reading For Schools Book of the Month.”
Growing an Artist: The Story of a Landscaper and His Son by John Parra
“From award-winning artist John Parra comes a touching and deceptively simple picture book based on his childhood experience that’s a “heartwarming family story that underscores the value of creativity, passion, and hard work” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and celebrates the bond between a father and son.
Today is a big day—the first time Juanito gets to help his papi on the job as a landscape architect! Throughout the day, Juanito sketches anything that catches his eye: a nest full of baby birds, a nursery with row upon row of plants and flowers, and more. Father and son travel from house to house, pruning, weeding, mowing, and turning overgrown and chaotic yards into beautiful spaces.
A few of the clients don’t appreciate Papi’s hard work, like Juanito’s classmate who pretends not to see him. But Papi always feels pride in owning his own business and in a job well done. And at the end of the day, Juanito may get the chance to turn his artistic eye toward landscape design—just like his papi.”
Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement by Angela Joy and Janelle Washington is a stunning picture book biography that captures a difficult lesson in American history for young readers in a remarkably age-appropriate way. Choosing Brave follows the life of Mamie Till-Mobley, who was the mother of Emmett Till. Emmett Till was a young Black boy who was murdered after he allegedly whistled at a white woman in Mississippi in 1955. Mamie Till-Mobley’s response to this tragedy ignited the Civil Rights Movement and caused her to become The Mother of The Movement.
Title: Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement Author: Angela Joy Illustrator: Janelle Washington Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan Kids) Published: September 6, 2022 Format: Picture Book
Choosing Brave documents Mamie’s childhood in which her family moved from Mississippi to Illinois during the Great Migration and follows along as she excels at school and graduates at the top of her class. Mamie becomes what many considered an “old maid” when she is unmarried at 18, so she is pressured to marry Louis Till. They have a little boy named Emmett shortly before Louis joins the army and leaves Mamie a widow at the age of 23.
Emmett is raised by Mamie and her mother, who cares for him while Mamie works. When he contracted polio as a child, Emmett recovered but developed a stutter. Mamie taught him a trick to help – by whistling, Emmett could take a moment to stop and get the words out. When he was 14, Emmett Till traveled to visit family in Mississippi, where his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River a little over a week after he arrived.
Since 1955, there have been many versions of the events that lead to the murder of Emmett Till. As someone who writes non-fiction, I know the challenges this kind of historical ambiguity can create for authors, but Angela Joy handles it flawlessly. She addresses the shifting story, but holds fast to the facts.
Even more impressive to me is the way that Choosing Brave handles the murder of Emmett Till in an age-appropriate way. When I say age-appropriate, I don’t mean that it is skipped over or minimized in any way. Angela Joy does not shy away from the brutality and injustice of Emmett Till’s murder, but directly addresses horrible truths that are too often left out of history books with poetic text. The juxtaposition of the beautiful lyrical language with the horrible act of violence is absolutely haunting.
The illustrations by debut illustrator Janelle Washington are absolute perfection. The paper-cut illustrations are so unique and incredibly moving on every single spread.
Choosing Brave captures the bravery, resilience, and grace of Mamie Till-Mobley, who shared her unimaginable grief and pain with the world. She bared her soul to the country and turned a tragedy into a movement for change. I have a feeling this book is going to win a lot of awards this year, and I cannot recommend it enough.
With extensive backmatter, including an author’s note, illustrator’s note, soundtrack, glossary, and timeline of the events of Emmett Till’s death (including the passing of The Emmett Till Antilynching Act in 2022) Choosing Brave is an absolute must-have for classrooms. I believe this is especially true for the classrooms of white children whose ancestors’ brutality and hatred are so often hidden from them “for their own good”.
It will be officially released next week (September 6, 2022), but you can preorder today wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)
Thank you so much to Roaring Brooks Press and Macmillan Kids for sending me a review copy of Choosing Brave. I am honored to share Mamie Till-Mobley’s and Emmett Till’s stories today.
About The Author:
Before graduating from the University of Minnesota, Angela Joy attended NYU and Spelman College. Angela then traveled as a background vocalist, also working in television and movie soundtracks. She lives in southern California with her family. To learn more about Angela and her work please visit her website at angelajoyblog.com.
About The Illustrator:
Janelle Washington is a self-taught paper-cut artist from Virginia. She has permanent silhouettes housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, DC, and Downing-Gross Community Arts Center in Newport News, Virginia. Please visit Jannelle’s website washingtoncuts.com for more information about her and her work.
For all our U.S. readers, Grandparents Day is quickly approaching! So I thought I’d share some fantastic picture book titles for all the parents and grandparents looking for the perfect gift or story for the occasion.
As always, these titles all feature inclusive characters and themes (think racial and cultural diversity, LGBTQ+ representation, diverse family structures, disability representation, and more), falling into a range of genres in both fiction and nonfiction categories.
Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.
Something About Grandma by Tania de Regil
“On a first solo visit to her grandmother’s home outside Mexico City, a young girl discovers what makes Grandma so special in this enchanting and personal picture book.
At Grandma’s house, where Julia is staying without her parents for the first time, the breeze is sweet like jasmine. Mornings begin with sugared bread, and the most magnificent hot chocolate cures all homesickness. There’s something about this place . . . and about Grandma. Like how she can tell when Julia has been quietly picking limes from the garden. Or that she can see the future—and knows when Julia is about to fall off her bike. Or how she can journey back in time through the stories she tells. In the room where Julia’s mother grew up, her grandmother holds her in a warm embrace—an embrace that Julia will pass on to her family when her parents arrive with her new baby brother. With Tania de Regil’s heartfelt illustrations, incorporating poems by her great-grandfather that were handwritten by her grandmother, Something About Grandma offers a tender and playful exploration of the magic of intergenerational love and wisdom.”
All from a Walnut by Ammi-Joan Paquette, Illustrated by Felicita Sala
“A moving, multigenerational story about love, family roots, and the cycle of life When Emilia finds a walnut one morning, Grandpa tells her the story behind it: of his journey across the ocean to a new home, with only one small bag and a nut in his pocket.
“I planted my little tree in good brown soil, so it would grow strong here forever.” “In this house? In this yard?” “Shall we go see?”
Step by step, Grandpa teaches Emilia how to cultivate her own seed. But as her little nut grows, Grandpa begins to slow down—until one sad day, Emilia has to say goodbye. Emilia’s sapling looks as droopy as she feels . . . but she knows just what to do.”
Tofu Takes Time by Helen H. Wu, Illustrated by Julie Jarema
“Homemade tofu is good, and good things take time.
CLICK CLACK WHIRRRR . . . Lin and her grandma, NaiNai, are making tofu from scratch! When NaiNai goes through each step, from blending soybeans with water to molding curd into shape, Lin gradually becomes impatient. But she soon discovers that making tofu not only takes time, but also takes the whole universe! It takes the seed from soil and sunshine, the cloth from thread and fiber, weight and space, books of words and pictures. And most of all, it takes spending lovely time with her beloved grandmother.
In this charming tale by Helen H. Wu, readers will marvel at how patience brings a whole universe together in a simple dish made by a modern Chinese American family. Perfect for fans of Fry Bread, Drawn Together and Thank You, Omu.“
“Discover a wonderful grandfather-granddaughter relationship, as a little girl hatches the perfect plan to get her Grandad adventuring again.
Gramps and Grandad were adventurers. They would surf, climb mountains, and tour the country in their amazing camper. Gramps just made everything extra special. But after Gramps died, granddad hasn’t felt like traveling anymore. So, their amazing granddaughter comes up with a clever plan to fix up the old camper and get Grandad excited to explore again.
This beautiful picture book honors love and reminds us not only to remember those we have lost, but to celebrate them.”
When Lola Visits by Michelle Sterling, Illustrated Aaron Asis
“For one young girl, summer is the season of no school, of days spent at the pool, and of picking golden limes off the trees. But summer doesn’t start until her lola—her grandmother from the Philippines—comes for her annual visit.
Summer is special. For her lola fills the house with the aroma of mango jam, funny stories of baking mishaps, and her quiet sweet singing in Tagalog. And in turn, her granddaughter brings Lola to the beach, to view fireworks at the park, and to catch fish at their lake.
When Lola visits, the whole family gathers to cook and eat and share in their happiness of another season spent together. Yet as summer transitions to fall, her lola must return home—but not without a surprise for her granddaughter to preserve their special summer a bit longer.”
Brand-New Bubbe by Sarah Aronson, Illustrated Ariel Landy
“Jillian isn’t so sure she needs a third grandma now that her stepdad is joining the family, but can her brand-new Bubbe win her over?
When Jillian joins Bubbe for some mom-mandated matzo ball soup making, she realizes she has room in her heart (and stomach!) for one more grandmother. But how can she convince Noni and Gram she still loves them just as much? A super soup celebration, of course! Chaos in the kitchen leads to matzo ball soup, spicy gazpacho, meatball soup, and a trio of grandmas united in their love for their family.
Complete with all three soup recipes, Brand-New Bubbe captures the warmth of blended family and honors the joys of cooking with the ones you love.”
“Where do poems come from? This beautiful picture book about a young aspiring poet and his grandfather shows that the answer lies all around us–if we take the time to look.
After Kiyoshi watches his grandfather, Eto, compose his delicate haiku, he wonders out loud: “Where do poems come from?” His grandfather answers by taking him on a walk through their city, where they see a cat perched on a hill of oranges; hear the fluttering of wings; imagine what’s behind a tall wall; and discuss their walk, with each incident inspiring a wonderful new haiku from Eto. As Kiyoshi discovers that poems come from the way the world outside of us meets the world within each of us, he also finds the courage to write a haiku of his own.
This lovely book will speak to any reader who treasures poetry, city life, grandparents, or the beauty of the everyday.”
I’ll Go and Come Back by Rajani LaRocca, Illustrated Sara Palacios
“A tender, beautifully illustrated story about a girl in America and her grandmother in India, whose love stretches between languages and cultures—and across the world.
When Jyoti visits her grandmother halfway around the world, she is overwhelmed by the differences between India and home. At first she feels lonely and out of place, but soon, despite a language barrier, she and Sita Pati are able to understand each other. They form a bond—looking at books together, making designs with colored sand, shopping at the market, playing games, eating chapatis, and sipping warm milk with saffron to bring sweet dreams. When it’s time to part, Jyoti doesn’t want to leave, but then she remembers that in Tamil, people don’t say goodbye, they say “I’ll go and come back.” Sure enough, the two reunite the next summer when Pati visits Jyoti in America, and it’s Jyoti’s turn to make her grandmother feel welcome. Can they create some special memories that will last until the next time they see each other?”
Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham, Illustrated by C. G. Esperanza
“Granny teaches her grandson to cook the family meal in this loving celebration of food, traditions, and gathering together at the table.
On Sundays, everyone gathers at Granny’s for Soul Food. But today, I don’t go to the backyard or the great room. I follow Granny instead. “You’re a big boy now,” Granny says. “Time for you to learn.”
At Granny’s, Sunday isn’t Sunday without a big family gathering over a lovingly prepared meal. Old enough now, our narrator is finally invited to help cook the dishes for the first time: He joins Granny in grating the cheese, cleaning the greens, and priming the meat for Roscoe Ray’s grill. But just when Granny says they’re finished, her grandson makes his own contribution, sweetening this Sunday gathering—and the many more to come. Evocatively written and vividly illustrated, this mouthwatering story is a warm celebration of tradition and coming together at a table filled with love and delicious food.”
Grandpa Grumps by Katrina Moore, Illustrated by Xindi Yan
“Daisy’s Yeh-Yeh is visiting from China, and try as she might, Daisy can’t get her grumpy grandpa to smile!
Daisy’s Yeh-Yeh is visiting for the first time from China, and Daisy is so excited to meet him! She has big plans for all the fun they’ll have together, like tea parties and snow angels, but when Yeh-Yeh arrives, Daisy finds him less jolly than she imagined. Throughout the week, she tries all sorts of things to get him past his grumpiness. Will she be able to make him smile before he goes home?
Kids will love this funny and heartwarming story about overcoming cultural differences and connecting across generations!”
Abuelita and I Make Flan by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom
“Anita loves to bake with her abuela, especially when they are using her grandmother’s special recipes for Cuban desserts like flan!
Anita is making flan for Abuelo’s birthday, but when she accidentally breaks Abuelita’s treasured flan serving plate from Cuba, she struggles with what to do. Anita knows it’s right to tell the truth, but what if Abuelita gets upset? Worried that she has already ruined the day, Anita tries to be the best helper. After cooking the flan, they need a serving dish! Anita comes up with a wonderful solution.
Complete with a glossary of Spanish terms and a traditional recipe for flan, Abuelita and I Make Flan is a delicious celebration of food, culture, and family.”
Holding On by Sophia N. Lee, Illustrated by Isabel Roxas
“A young girl in the Philippines uses music to connect with her grandmother as her memory fades in this warm and moving picture book perfect for fans of Pixar’s Coco.
There is always singing in Lola’s house. Sammy Davis Jr. in the morning, Dean Martin in the afternoon, and all throughout the evening, old Tagalog love songs from Nora Aunor, Basil Valdez, and more. Lola always says: “If you want to hold on, you gotta sing your songs.”
Her granddaughter tucks these sounds and Lola’s wisdom deep within her heart. And when Lola starts slipping into silence and stillness, she helps Lola hold on, piece by piece, with the joy and music that Lola taught her.”
A Plan For Pops by Heather Smith, Illustrated Brooke Kerrigan
“Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. They walk to the library hand in hand, like a chain of paper dolls. Grandad reads books about science and design, Pops listens to rock and roll, and Lou bounces from lap to lap. But everything changes one Saturday. Pops has a fall. That night there is terrible news: Pops will need to use a wheelchair, not just for now, but for always. Unable to cope with his new circumstances, he becomes withdrawn and shuts himself in his room. Hearing Grandad trying to cheer up Pops inspires Lou to make a plan. Using skills learned from Grandad, and with a little help from their neighbors, Lou comes up with a plan for Pops.”
Amah Faraway by Margaret Chiu Greanias, Illustrated Tracy Subisak
“A delightful story of a child’s visit to a grandmother and home far away, and of how families connect and love across distance, language, and cultures.
Kylie is nervous about visiting her grandmother-her Amah-who lives SO FAR AWAY. When she and Mama finally go to Taipei, Kylie is shy with Amah. Even though they have spent time together in video chats, those aren’t the same as real life. And in Taiwan, Kylie is at first uncomfortable with the less-familiar language, customs, culture, and food. However, after she is invited by Amah-Lái kàn kàn! Come see!-to play and splash in the hot springs (which aren’t that different from the pools at home), Kylie begins to see this place through her grandmother’s eyes and sees a new side of the things that used to scare her. Soon, Kylie is leading her Amah-Come see! Lái kàn kàn!-back through all her favorite parts of this place and having SO MUCH FUN! And when it is time to go home, the video chats will be extra special until they can visit faraway again.”
“Meet Punky Aloha: a girl who uses the power of saying “aloha” to experience exciting and unexpected adventures!
Punky loves to do a lot of things—except meeting new friends. She doesn’t feel brave enough.
So when her grandmother asks her to go out and grab butter for her famous banana bread, Punky hesitates. But with the help of her grandmother’s magical sunglasses, and with a lot of aloha in her heart, Punky sets off on a BIG adventure for the very first time.
Will she be able to get the butter for grandma?
Punky Aloha is a Polynesian girl who carries her culture in her heart and in everything she does. Kids will love to follow this fun character all over the island of O’ahu.”
Over the Shop by Jonarno Lawson, Illustrated by Qin Leng
“In a beautifully detailed wordless picture book, a tumbledown building becomes home sweet home for a found family.
A lonely little girl and her grandparent need to fill the run-down apartment in their building. But taking over the quarters above their store will mean major renovations for the new occupants, and none of the potential renters can envision the possibilities of the space—until one special couple shows up. With their ingenuity, the little girl’s big heart, and heaps of hard work, the desperate fixer-upper begins to change in lovely and surprising ways. In this bustling wordless picture book, JonArno Lawson’s touching story and Qin Leng’s gentle illustrations capture all angles of the building’s transformation, as well as the evolving perspectives of the girl and her grandparent. A warm and subtly nuanced tale, Over the Shop throws open the doors to what it means to accept people for who they are and to fill your home with love and joy.”
“Nina loves visiting her two faraway grandmas—one in Malaysia and one in England. Spot the similarities and differences between their homes in this cozy and beautifully illustrated picture book!
Nina lives in San Francisco with her parents, and she loves visiting her two grandmas across the world. Follow Nina as her two trips unfold side by side: Young readers will love poring over the details of what is the same and what is different at Nana’s home in England and at Nenek’s home in Malaysia. In each place, Nina wears different clothes, plays different games, and eats different food. But so much about visiting Nana and Nenek is the same, from warm hugs at the airport to beach days and bedtime snuggles. Nina is equally at home across the world in Malaysia or England, and both of her grandmas love her to California and back.”
Bindu’s Bindis by Supriya Kelkar, Illustrated by Parvati Pillai
“A companion to Kelkar’s The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh, this picture book features a little girl named Bindu whose bindis connect her to family and help her find courage to compete in the school talent show.
This charming picture book is about a little girl who loves her bindis (and the many creative shapes they come in!). The bindis are also a connection to her Nani who lives in India. When Nani comes to visit Bindu and brings the bindis to her, it is just in time to wear something new to the school talent show. Bindu and Nani work together to shine their brightest and embrace their sparkle, even when they stand out from the crowd.”
“Though separated by language, age, and an ocean, a child and grandparent find common ground in this warm, witty picture book
Grandpa lives on the other side of the ocean. He takes naps all the time. He eats different foods. He speaks an unfamiliar language. His house is the most boring place on Earth! Or is it? A little time together just might reveal that Grandpa is also a great singer, an energetic sandcastle builder, and a troublemaker . . . just like his grandson! With her signature warmth and humor, award-winning author-illustrator Hyewon Yum shares the challenges and joys of having a relative who lives far away—proving that even from across the ocean, the grandparent-grandchild relationship is a very special one.”
I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne, Illustrated by Julia Kuo
“From New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne and illustrator Julia Kuo, here is I Dream of Popo. This delicate, emotionally rich picture book celebrates a special connection that crosses time zones and oceans as Popo and her granddaughter hold each other in their hearts forever.
I dream with Popo as she rocks me in her arms. I wave at Popo before I board my flight. I talk to Popo from across the sea. I tell Popo about my adventures.
When a young girl and her family emigrate from Taiwan to America, she leaves behind her beloved popo, her grandmother. She misses her popo every day, but even if their visits are fleeting, their love is ever true and strong.”
“A picture book celebrating Indigenous culture and traditions. The Governor General Award–winning team behind When We Were Alone shares a story that honors our connections to our past and our grandfathers and fathers.
A boy and Moshom, his grandpa, take a trip together to visit a place of great meaning to Moshom. A trapline is where people hunt and live off the land, and it was where Moshom grew up. As they embark on their northern journey, the child repeatedly asks his grandfather, “Is this your trapline?” Along the way, the boy finds himself imagining what life was like two generations ago — a life that appears to be both different from and similar to his life now. This is a heartfelt story about memory, imagination and intergenerational connection that perfectly captures the experience of a young child’s wonder as he is introduced to places and stories that hold meaning for his family.”
Hundred Years of Happiness by Thanhhà Lai, Illustrated by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien
On a first solo visit to her grandmother’s home outside Mexico City, a young girl discovers what makes Grandma so special in this enchanting and personal picture book.
“At Grandma’s house, where Julia is staying without her parents for the first time, the breeze is sweet like jasmine. Mornings begin with sugared bread, and the most magnificent hot chocolate cures all homesickness. There’s something about this place . . . and about Grandma. Like how she can tell when Julia has been quietly picking limes from the garden. Or that she can see the future—and knows when Julia is about to fall off her bike. Or how she can journey back in time through the stories she tells. In the room where Julia’s mother grew up, her grandmother holds her in a warm embrace—an embrace that Julia will pass on to her family when her parents arrive with her new baby brother. With Tania de Regil’s heartfelt illustrations, incorporating poems by her great-grandfather that were handwritten by her grandmother, Something About Grandma offers a tender and playful exploration of the magic of intergenerational love and wisdom.”
“A grandmother and grandchild nurse an injured bird together in this touching story about caring for all creatures, the wonder of nature, and letting go.
On a snowy day, a grandmother and grandchild find an injured bird. They take it home and care for it until it can fly around the living room. It is fantastic—just like everything at Abuela’s house! But a fantastic moment is also bittersweet, for the little bird’s recovery means that it’s time to let it fly free. Drawing inspiration from a formative childhood experience, Blanca Gómez crafts a deceptively simple story that is morally and emotionally resonant and is brimming with love, wonder, and a deep respect for the natural world.”
We Wait for the Sun by Katie McCabe and Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Illustrated by Raissa Figueroa
“A beautiful and uplifting non-fiction picture book from Katie McCabe and trailblazing civil rights lawyer and activist Dovey Johnson Roundtree, We Wait for the Sun.
In the hour before dawn, Dovey Mae and Grandma Rachel step into the cool, damp night on a secret mission: to find the sweetest, ripest blackberries that grow deep in the woods.
But the nighttime holds a thousand sounds―and a thousand shadows―and Dovey Mae is frightened of the dark. But with the fierce and fearless Grandma Rachel at her side, the woods turn magical, and berry picking becomes an enchanting adventure that ends with the beauty and power of the sunrise.”
Today I’m sharing a book that I’m certain will be on my list of favorites for 2022. Kind Like Marsha: Learning From LGBTQ+ Leaders by Sarah Prager and Cheryl “Ras” Thuesday is a fantastic book that fills a huge hole in the picture book market.
Title: Kind Like Marsha: Learning From LGBTQ+ Leaders Author: Sarah Prager Illustrator: Cheryl “Ras” Thuesday Publisher: Running Press Kids Published: August 2, 2022 Format: Picture Book
Kind Like Marsha is a picture book biography collection that shares the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ leaders throughout history for readers ages 4-8. I’ve seen lots of picture book biography collections with biographical information in the backmatter, but Kind Like Marsha is the first one I’ve seen that presents biographical information upfront in an approachable way for the youngest readers.
Beginning with Marsha P. Johnson, a trans woman whose activism supported LGBTQ+ youth in her community in New York, each spread has a portrait on the left and a biography on the right. The biography includes the subject’s name, dates, one sentence explaining their accomplishment, a quote from the subject, and the lesson we can all learn from them. I absolutely adore this format because it is SO approachable. Nonfiction can feel intimidating for so many young readers, but Sarah Prager has laid the information out in a way that invites young readers in.
The illustrations by Cheryl “Ras” Thuesday pair perfectly with the biographies, not just giving the reader a face to put with each name, but capturing each leader’s work in such a beautiful way.
Kind Like Marsha officially releases on August 2nd, and I can’t recommend it enough! You can pick up a copy wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)
Thank you so much to Running Press Kids for sharing this amazing book with me. I can’t wait to read this one over and over to my little one.
About The Author:
Sarah Prager is the author of Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World and Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History. She came out as lesbian when she was fourteen and feels grateful for her extended LGBTQ+ family and loves telling the stories of our shared history. She’s written for the New York Times, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and many other publications about LGBTQ+ topics. Sarah lives with her wife and two children in Massachusetts.
About The Illustrator:
Cheryl “Ras” Thuesday is an illustrator originally from London and who grew up in New Jersey. Her illustrations are heavily influenced by her Caribbean and Asian heritage and she’s created artwork for various worldwide publications and companies. Cheryl lives in the Tri State area.
I can’t believe Pride Month is only two days away! While I was trying to figure out where the month of May went, I thought of the perfect book to share as Pride approaches. ‘Twas The Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick and Juana Medina is a beautiful picture book that honors the history of Pride.
Title: ‘Twas the Night Before Pride Author: Joanna McClintick Illustrator: Juana Medina Published: May 10, 2022 Publisher: Candlewick Press Format: Picture Book
‘Twas the Night Before Pride was one of my most anticipated picture books of 2022, and it did not disappoint! Told with the familiar rhyme scheme of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, this wonderful book tells the story of a family preparing to celebrate Pride. Sitting on a couch with one mom on each side, the oldest sibling prepares the youngest sibling for their first pride by telling them the history of this celebration.
This joyous story combines a comprehensive history with honest representation, creating the perfect Pride celebration for young readers. Discussing topics like the Stonewall Riots and the AIDS March in simplified terms for young readers, Twas the Night Before Pride pays respect to those in the LGBTQ+ community who fought against injustice and inequality throughout history.
The illustrations by Juana Medina are an absolute treat! Each page perfectly captures the joy and belonging I feel every year at Pride, allowing me to share it with my little one any day of the year. He will be attending his third Pride this year, and I can’t wait to share this wonderful book with him because I know he’s just as excited to celebrate as I am.
You can pick up your very own copy of ‘Twas the Night Before Pride wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)
Thank you so much to Candlewick Press for sharing a review copy of ‘Twas the Night Before Pride. I already know this will become a beloved title in our home that we will read year after year, and I’m so grateful to be able to share it with everyone today.
About The Author:
Joanna McClintick is a debut children’s book author and a licensed social worker at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center in Manhattan. When she was dreaming about building her family, she wrote this poem to honor Pride’s history of resistance and imagined sharing it with her future child one day. It has become a tradition to read it at their annual brunch the day before the Pride March with family and friends. Joanna McClintick lives with her wife and child in Brooklyn. You can learn more about Joanna and her work at her website, joannamcclintick.com.
About The Illustrator:
Juana Medina is the author-illustrator of Juana & Lucas, which won the 2017 Pura Belpré Author Award; Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas; Juana & Lucas: Muchos Changes; and many other titles and has illustrated numerous picture books, including Smick! by Doreen Cronin and I’m a Baked Potato! by Elise Primavera. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Juana Medina now lives with her family in the Washington DC area. To learn more about Juana and her work, please visit her website at juanamedina.com.
Today is National Astronomy Day, and I can’t think of a better title to celebrate with than The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything: The Story of Maria Mitchell by Laura Alary and Ellen Rooney. This lovely picture book biography chronicles the life of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in the United States.
Title: The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything: The Story of Maria Mitchell Author: Laura Alary Illustrator: Ellen Rooney Publisher: Kids Can Press Published: May 3, 2022 Format: Picture Book
Starting in her childhood in Nantucket, The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything really highlights Maria’s curiosity and determination. As a young child, she learned to use her astronomer father’s tools and begins scanning the night sky for herself. When the King of Denmark offers a prize to the first person to find a comet, Maria was determined to win it, and she did! I don’t want to spoil the fun by telling you all of her accomplishments, so I will just say this discovery opened lots of doors for Maria that were not open to women in the early 18oo’s.
The illustrations by Ellen Rooney are absolutely delightful. I love the way she captures the starry night skies, and the texture on every page is amazing.
The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything is another great picture book biography of a trailblazing woman in STEM, making it a great selection for school and classroom libraries. I love that it encourages children to wonder, and specifically to ask questions. It’s such an important part of learning and growing at any age, and I feel like we don’t encourage questions enough, especially outside of the classroom.
You can pick up your own copy today wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)
Thank you so much to Kids Can Press for sharing this inspiring picture book biography with me!
About The Author:
Laura Alary believes in writing stories that make us bigger on the inside. She is constantly reading and wondering and learning so that she can keep up with all the questions her children ask — especially about science and life on Earth. She grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and currently lives in Toronto with her three children.
About The Illustrator:
Ellen Rooney is an illustrator, designer and artist. She’s originally from Massachusetts, but now lives in the southern Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. She loves graphic shapes, textured color, printmaking, drawing outdoors, painting — and her hidden art powers are released when cutting up paper!