4 Multicultural Picture Books


Image Credit: http://www.amazon.com/Pink-Say-Patricia-Polacco/dp/0399226710

Category/Genre: Multicultural, historical fiction

Published: 1994

Awards: 1997 West Virginia Children’s Book Award: 1998 Mid -South Independent Booksellers for Children; Humpty Dumpty Award

Pages: 48 pages

Themes: Friendship, Compassion for others, the value of Generational Storytelling

Rating: 5 Stars

Intended Age/Interest Range: 4th Grade and Up

A handed-down tale about a brief, but meaningful friendship between two soldiers. Quite the tear-jerker, but more importantly this title serves as a timeless reminder of the many faces of the civil war.

Overall Literary Merit: 5 Stars

Classroom Possibilities: A great story to be used with a history/civil war unit, but also this could serve as a great example of the importance of handed-down tales. Polacco has many great and diverse works; This title could be used in an author study unit, as well.


Image Credit: http://janbrett.com/bookstores/three_little_dassies_book.htm

Category/Genre: Multicultural/Fairy Tale Fiction

Published: 2010

Awards: Chicago Public Library – “Best of the Best Books of 2010”

Pages: 32 pages

Themes: Cautionary Tale/Retelling

Rating: 5 Stars

Intended Age/Interest Range:

A re-telling of the popular Three Little Pigs, but with a  South African flair! Brett traveled to Namibia in 2007. This trip opened her eyes to the unusual animals and beautiful fabrics that inspired her illustrations.

Overall Literary Merit: HIGH

Classroom Possibilities: Use this title for a unit on Fairy Tale (twists/retellings) or folklore. Brett’s illustrations provide detail that is so intricate; This title could be used to introduce children book illustrators who are also their own authors, or highlight how picture book illustrations ARE art!


Image Credit: http://www.amazon.com/The-Librarian-Basra-True-Story/dp/0152054456

Category/Genre: Multicultural/Non-fiction

Published: 2005

Awards: 2006 Black-Eyed Susan Award – Nominee; 2006 Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens2006 Flicker Tale Children’s Book Award – Nominee; 2006 Georgia Children’s Book Award – Nominee;
2006 Land of Enchantment Book Award – Nominee; 2005 Book Sense Book of the Year Award – Nominee; 2005 Children’s Book Committee Award – Winner; 2005 Middle East Book Awards – Honorable Mention;
2005 Parents Choice Award (Spring) (1998-2007) – Winner

Pages: 32 Pages

Themes: Courage, Compassion, Respect for Knowledge/Literacy

Rating: 5 Stars

Intended Age/Interest Range: 4th Grade and Up

First reported in the New York Times in 2003, by Shaila Dewan, this is a story about an Iraqi librarian who moves 30,000 books (twice!), with the help of her friends, to avoid the books being destroyed by an invading army.

Overall Literary Merit: HIGH

Classroom Possibilities: Although “current” issues of was in the Middle East is a mature topic for grade school, this book can introduce the topic in a non-threatening way, focusing on books (knowledge) equating to power/strength. In an high school setting, this title could be used with an all class texts of Persepolis or I Am Malala, or with a Current Events/History course.


Image Credit: http://www.amazon.com/Child-Soldier-When-Girls-CitizenKid/dp/1771381264

This 4th multicultural book is in a unique hybrid picture/graphic novel format. I reviewed this title in October 2015, please look for my review there!


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