Anyone who knows me, knows that I have collected picture books--with an emphasis on books that center the stories of underrepresented communities--since long before I became a mother.
In light of the treatment of immigrant families on our southern border, yesterday's Supreme Court decision to uphold the President's Muslim ban, and today's announcement about Justice Kennedy's retirement, I'm sharing a few picture books that speak to the issues of the day.
Yo Soy Muslim, My Diary from Here to There, Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx, I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes her Mark, A is for Activist, and A de Activista are some of the books I'm sharing with my son these days.
They are also the books helping me believe in hope.
Now, more than ever, We Need Diverse Books!
I am eternally grateful for the ones below and I hope they will bring you and yours a glimmer of hope. Please share them with the little people in your life and anyone you love who needs a little light in these dark days.
As always, I encourage you to support your local bookstores and libraries; if they don't already carry these books, be sure to request that they order them today!
If, however, you plan to purchase any of these books online, please use my links; as an Amazon associate I will earn a small commission for qualifying purchases at no cost to you.
From Muslim and Latino poet Mark Gonzales comes a touching and lyrical picture book about a parent who encourages their child to find joy and pride in all aspects of their multicultural identity.
Dear little one,
…know you are wondrous.
A child of crescent moons,
a builder of mosques,
a descendant of brilliance,
an ancestor in training.
Written as a letter from a father to his daughter, Yo Soy Muslim is a celebration of social harmony and multicultural identities. The vivid and elegant verse, accompanied by magical and vibrant illustrations, highlights the diversity of the Muslim community as well as Indigenous identity. A literary journey of discovery and wonder, Yo Soy Muslim is sure to inspire adults and children alike.
One night, young Amada overhears her parents whisper of moving from Mexico to the other side of the border to Los Angeles, where greater opportunity awaits. As she and her family make their journey north, Amada records her fears, hopes, and dreams for their lives in the United States in her diary. How can she leave her best friend behind? What if she can't learn English? What if her family never returns to Mexico? From Juárez to Mexicali to Tijuana to Los Angeles, Amada learns that with her family's love and her belief in herself, she can make any journey and weather any change here, there, anywhere.
The inspiring and timely story of Sonia Sotomayor, who rose up from a childhood of poverty and prejudice to become the first Latino to be nominated to the US Supreme Court.
Before Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her seat in our nation's highest court, she was just a little girl in the South Bronx. Justice Sotomayor didn't have a lot growing up, but she had what she needed -- her mother's love, a will to learn, and her own determination. With bravery she became the person she wanted to be. With hard work she succeeded. With little sunlight and only a modest plot from which to grow, Justice Sotomayor bloomed for the whole world to see.
Antes de que la magistrada de la Corte Suprema Sonia Sotomayor llegara al máximo tribunal de nuestra nación, no era más que una niñita en el South Bronx. La magistrada Sotomayor no tuvo mucho durante sus primeros años, pero sí tuvo lo que contaba -- el amor de su madre, la voluntad de aprender y su propia determinación. Con valentía se hizo la persona que quería ser. Con trabajo arduo triunfó. Con un poquito de sol en un solarcito donde crecer, la magistrada Sotomayor floreció para que todo el mundo la vea.
Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable!
Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.
BONUS: Two more Picture Books!
Updated July 3, 2018:
Our family participated in the nationwide marches on June 30, 2018 and our participation reminded me I needed to add an important pair of picture books to this list:
A is for Activist is an ABC board book written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for.
The alliteration, rhyming, and vibrant illustrations make the book exciting for children, while the issues it brings up resonate with their parents' values of community, equality, and justice. This engaging little book carries huge messages as it inspires hope for the future, and calls children to action while teaching them a love for books.
Following on the outrageous success of Innosanto Nagara’s A is for Activist (now in its fourth printing), A de Activista is a Spanish-language ABC board book written by Grammy Award-winning lyricist and singer Martha Gonzalez and illustrated by Nagara for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for. The alliteration, rhyming, and vibrant illustrations make the book exciting for children, calling them to action while teaching them a love for books.
Join me in the Comments:
What books--picture books or otherwise--are helping you make sense of our current political climate?
Before you go...
Li Yun Alvarado
Puerto Rican Poet, Scholar & Parent
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