School will start soon, and you’re going to meet a lot of new kids.
You’ll meet kids from other towns and maybe from other countries; some will have lighter hair and some will have darker skin. Maybe they will look like you, and maybe they won’t, so why not find out what’s different and interesting about those new kids by reading one (or all!) of these great books….
Do you know where your new classmates will live? In “My Town Mi Pueblo” by Nicholas Solis, illustrated by Luisi Uribe (Nancy Paulsen Books, $17.99) two cousins live very near one another, and very apart. She lives in the U.S., he lives in Mexico, and they’re separated by a big river. In this book, they tell you about their towns – her, in English; him, in Spanish – they explain why they like visiting one another in the town across the river, and what they do for fun. This is a great book for kids who are bilingual, and for those who may have playmates that are. Look for it on August 16.
For the child who straddles two cultures or for the kid whose playmates do, “American Desi” by Jyoti Rajan Gopal, illustrated by Supriya Kelkar (Little, Brown Young Readers $18.99) is the book to share. Here, a young girl has “one foot” in America and the other in India. So is she Indian or American… or both? Can she enjoy her Bindis and bangles and still like hip-hop music? How she reconciles her two lives and even brings them together is a story of pure joy, illustrated in colorful pages that your child will want to look at again and again.
For future Black men and their current playmates, “Black Boy, Black Boy” by Ali Kamanda and Jorge Redmond, pictures by Ken Daley (Sourcebooks, $17.99) is a book that inspires and informs. Here, a father proudly walks his Black son on a path through history to show the boy that inventors, activists, writers, musicians, politicians, and others have gone before him and paved the way. This pride-instilling book comes out August 9.
And finally, for every kid everywhere, no matter who he or she is, “Our World is a Family” by Miry Whitehill and Jennifer Jackson, pictures by Nomar Perez (Sourcebooks, $17.99) is fun and helpful. The words inside this book show kids and their families from all over the world, including children that are disabled, kids who speak different languages, kids who eat unusual foods, and kids who need friends. It explains immigration in words that small children can understand, and it tells kids how to be welcoming to those who are different.
These books are great for kids ages 4-to-7, but if you’re looking for inclusive books for older children or for toddlers, reach out to your favorite librarian or bookseller. They’ll help you find exactly what you need for your child, no matter what their reading (or listening) level. Your librarian or bookseller will introduce you to all kinds of new books to meet.