May was an incredible month of diverse books and we loved every minute of it. These are some of the books that were shared at the beginning of the month and you can click through to read the original post in each person’s feed. You can also search for the term diversity on our Archives page to take a look at the other books that were posted during the month. Please leave a comment below with any other favorites that you’d like to share.
From @averyandaugustine —
The Dinner That Cooked Itself is an old Chinese folk tale brought to life by Kenard Pak’s atmospheric art, beautifully textured and layered. It tells the story of Tuan, a simple but hard-working man, who one night, shows kindness to the smallest of creatures—a snail. Tuan’s compassion is rewarded in a magical way. Readers who are willing to take part in the wonder of this enchanting tale will be rewarded with a story they won’t forget.
From @bonjour_mes_amies —
This month's theme for the #littlelitbookseries is diversity. Coincidentally, my first graders are studying a unit on folktales, fables, and fairytales. Folktales are the perfect way to introduce other cultures and traditions. It lends itself to naturally compare and contrast the characters, setting, problem, solution, moral, and rich cultural details.
Most of my students already know about Little Red Riding Hood and have seen or read a version of it. But tomorrow...we're reading Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young. I'm sure we'll have lots of discussion, noticing the similarities and differences of these stories.
From @carterhiggins —
A #littlelitbookseries collection of diverse books for you this month. I love the way this one reminds us that the world is smaller than we think it is, that sincerity and curiosity and warmth help to shrink the globe, and that sharing humanity is a treasure.
From @kidlitbookaday —
A #littlelitbookseries collection on the theme of diversity. These books represent diverse perspectives on being a boy and from the swishy dress up dress that makes Morris feel like a tiger to the imagination and creativity in Weslandia, these books are great to share with all students as we explore gender stereotypes and what it means to be ourselves, even when it makes others feel uncomfortable.
From @littlebooksbigworld —
"The earth is big enough for all kinds of people." 🌏❤️
Wise words from an extraordinary boy, a wonder, named Auggie. A boy who knows he "can't change the way (he) look(s). But maybe, just maybe people can change the way they see.”
R.J. Palacio is known for her middle grade novel, WONDER, which captured the hearts of millions. It has earned multiple awards and has topped many notable bestseller lists. It also started nationwide movement to "choose kind”.
WE'RE ALL WONDERS is Palacio's picture book follow-up to WONDER and it encourages the same concepts of acceptance, inclusion, and kindness with a younger audience. It’s my pick for #littlelitbookseries this month as we highlight books that showcase diversity.
From @live_read_write —
This month's theme for @littlelitbookseries is #diversity. We're featuring books with characters from all walks of life. My selection is A BOY CALLED BAT a touching story of a boy who loves animals and his quest to prove that he has what it takes to care for a skunk.
"Bat realized he didn't know a lot about skunks. He knew they spayed a stinky smell to protect themselves, and he knew they were mammals, and he knew they were omnivores because they ate bugs and smaller animals and plants, too...He decided to learn everything about skunks.”
Bat, short for Bixby Alexander Tam, is a boy who, his mother says, has "an interesting way of the seeing the world." Bat loves vanilla yogurt, braiding his sister's hair, and above all, animals. His veterinarian mom brings home an orphaned baby skunk that changes Bat and the family. A skunk might seem like an unusual pet, but Bat sets out on a mission to convince his mom and sister otherwise. With the help of his teacher, Bat contacts world renowned skunk expert, Dr. Jerry Dragoo, to help build his case to keep the kit. Dr. Dragoo responds to Bat's request, and Bat's mother weighs all of the evidence, including Bat's commitment and determination, to make a decision on whether or not to contact animal control.
Captivating spot illustrations by Charles Santoso come together with Elana K. Arnold's strong characterization in this compelling middle grade read. Not only does the reader experience through Bat's eyes what daily life might be like for someone on the autism spectrum, but we also see how friends and family interact and react differently to the challenges. We see acceptance from a friend, sibling squabbles no different than in any other family, the disconnectedness of one parent, and the investment of another. We witness a collection of moments, marked with friction, frustration, and confusion, but also tenderness and even connection.
To read the full review, including some favorite scenes from the book, head over to this post on my blog.
From @ourbookbag —
Me, Too! tells the story of two girls from different cultural backgrounds who are best friends for many reasons. When a new girl arrives from France there is a concern that three might be a crowd. The friends find that there are many reasons for all three of them to be best friends. It is a sweet tale of friendship and finding common ground.
From @picturethisbook —
"Perfectly normal" is overrated, if you ask the creators of Odd Bods, an alphabetical rhyming picture book celebration of 26 wacky characters whose unapologetically strange habits and behaviour are a reminder of the uniquely weird individuals that we all are. Like #NormalNorman, which we reviewed sometime back, this book is the perfect antidote to the pressure to conform often imposed on us by society and social media, when in fact there is no uniform or template to emulate "normal", nor an Instagram-perfect life for that matter — only filtered moments and regular flawed people with their own private or public eccentricities. I love that the endearingly kooky characters brought to life by Jarvis' bold and neon-bright illustrations, are no shrinking violets and happy to simply be. Plus, that brilliantly thought-provoking twist at the end is just 👌. Tag a fellow #oddbod who needs this book in his or her life! p.s. This is my late entry for the #littlelitbookseries theme of diversity this month.
From @sunlitpages —
Today on the #littlelitbookseries, we're focusing on diversity, and I have to be completely honest and say that although I LOVE books that feature diverse characters, sometimes the treatment of the subject can feel a little heavy handed--almost like the point of the book is to showcase diversity instead of tell a really great story. So I'm always on the lookout for books that star a diverse character without making a big deal about it.
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool oes exactly that. It's about two boys, Jack Baker and Early Auden, who go on quite the adventure in search of Early's older brother. Early Auden is somewhere on the autism spectrum, although the book never says as much. He sorts jelly beans by color when he's upset, insists on listening to Billie Holiday when it's raining, and has an obsession with the number Pi. Most people just leave him alone because he's a little hard to figure out, but Jack desperately needs a friend, and Early comes through for him in ways that only he can.
This is one of my very favorite middle grade novels, and Early Auden is probably in my top ten favorite characters of all time. It's just a gem.
From @teeandpenguin —
This month’s theme for @littlelitbookseries is diversity. There are so many ways to interpret the theme but we are choosing to highlight how stories, and more specifically how variations of the same story from around the world, can give us insight into and appreciation for cultures that are not our own.
We are sharing a favorite version of Cinderella, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe A Caldecott Honor and Reading Rainbow book, it is a stunningly illustrated African version of the tale we know so well.
A while ago we did a round up of some of our favorite versions of this universally loved fairy tale on our blog so check out this post for more excellent variations.
From @welovebookworms —
This is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe is a solid jumpstart for a discussion on diversity. It follows seven REAL children from around the world (Iran, India, Italy, Japan, Peru, Russia, and Uganda). Lamothe illustrates and describes their daily meals, playtime, schooling, family time, and much more. It’s a beautiful platform to begin talking about what makes us unique AND what makes us unified. This is my #littlelitbookseries selection for our diversity theme.
From @writesinla —
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla is one of my May #littlelitbookseries picks for our diversity and neurodiversity theme. Readers may notice that Charlie, the narrator, is on the autism spectrum. His story touches on home, family, loss, and how one's own experience can expand by learning other people's stories. Charlie describes his summer like a switchback: "Back and forth, up and up, this way and that, lurch and slosh." What a wonderful way to describe growing up and the process of building resilience. A beautiful book.
From @writesinla —
Another pick for our #littlelitbookseries diversity theme, and one of my favorite books EVER: El Deafo by Cece Bell. This graphic novel from 2014 stars a creative, spunky, smart, and hilarious(!) main character who loses her hearing from an illness at age four. The book is a window into navigating growing up while feeling different. From the acknowledgements: "I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers."