All posts in Multicultural Books for Kids

Wonderful Children's Books About Thailand

Wonderful Children’s Books About Thailand

A teacher mentioned on a comment on my blog that she was grateful for my lists on Laos and Hmong children’s books but she was looking for books covering Thailand and Myanmar/Burma for students in her classroom who were recent immigrants from these countries. This list (and the on on Myanmar) is for her.

Wonderful Children’s Books About Thailand

Mela and the Elephant by Dow Phumiruk, illustrated by Ziyue Chen

Kindness needs no reward, for it brings happiness and warmth to the heart.

Mela set forth on an adventure but didn’t take her little brother along because he had nothing to offer her. Her adventure went awry and the animals that she gave gifts in exchange for help, ran off with her offerings without helping her. Finally, an elephant helps Mela get home without asking for anything in return. This is a lesson that Mela puts to use the next day. Thai customs are woven throughout this story set in Thailand including bowing with clasped hands to show gratitude. Use this picture book to teach kindness and to explore Thai culture. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho, illustrations by Holly Meade

In charming rhyme, a mother asks the wildlife around her to stay quiet while baby is asleep. The animals reflect the wildlife of Thailand: mosquito, lizard, cat, mouse, frog, pig, duck, monkey, buffalo, and elephant. Use this book to compare to a picture book about animals on a farm in the United States. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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Top 5: Latinx Poetry Picture Book List & Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

Top 5: Latinx Poetry Picture Book List & Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome my guest author today, Emma Otheguy. She is the author of the bilingual picture book, Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos de la libertad, a biography of Cuban poet and independence leader José Martí. We are giving away one signed copy of her book. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.

Martí’s Song for Freedom by Emma Otheguy, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal. Translated by Adriana Domínguez.

As a boy, José Martí was inspired by the natural world. He found freedom in the river that rushed to the sea and peace in the palmas reales that swayed in the wind. Freedom, he believed, was the inherent right of all men and women. But his home island of Cuba was colonized by Spain, and some of the people were enslaved by rich landowners. Enraged, Martí took up his pen and fought against this oppression through his writings. By age seventeen, he was declared an enemy of Spain and forced to leave his beloved island.

Martí traveled the world, speaking out for Cuba’s independence. But throughout his exile, he suffered from illness and homesickness. He found solace in New York’s Catskill Mountains, where nature inspired him once again to fight for independence.

Written in verse, with excerpts from Martí’s seminal Versos sencillos, this book is a beautiful tribute to a brilliant political writer and courageous fighter of freedom for all men and women. [picture book, ages 7 and up]

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Diverse Children's Books

Share Your #DiverseKidLit Book Reviews!

Welcome to #DiverseKidLit ! Please join us in sharing your diverse children’s book links and resources, as well as visiting other links to find great suggestions and recommendations.

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

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10 Diverse Picture Books on Fine Artists & 2 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

10 Diverse Picture Books on Fine Artists & 2 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome author Sandra Neil Wallace with her list of 10 Diverse Picture Books on Fine Artists.

We are giving away 2 signed copies of her latest book, Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.


Art is for everyone and artists come from everywhere. But that’s rarely reflected in picture book biographies & autobiographies for young readers. Kids know a lot about Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keefe, and Henri Matisse. Now they’ll learn about other iconic artists who broke barriers of race, age, and physical ability with these diverse picture books featuring the inspiring lives of 10 fine artists.

10 Diverse Picture Books on Fine Artists

10. Teju Behan, self-taught artist and illustrator

Drawing from the City by Teju Behan

“They call me Teju … I feel at home indoors as well as outdoors, and my favorite place is near the stream that runs behind our hut.”

I absolutely love the intimacy and purity of this unconventional autobiography by Indian artist Teju Behan. With gripping candor, Teju recounts her artistic journey from a childhood in rural India, to the city of Mumbai where Teju and her family must find work to survive. Teju’s odyssey will open wide a window for children unfamiliar with the devotional life of the man she marries, who sings religious songs in return for food and how this old world occupation falls out of favor, and both he and Teju find a new life through art. Each page of Teju’s black ink drawings on brown, handmade paper are works of art and an ode to the power of transformation and art as a soulful experience. [picture book, age 10 and up]


9. Maud Lewis, self-taught folk artist

Capturing Joy: The Story of Maud Lewis by Jo Ellen Bogart, illustrated by Mark Lang

“Maud painted for hours straight, supporting her painting hand with the other.”

Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis sought and found joy in her life. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and ostracized by her classmates and often by her husband, Maud discovered joy in painting. While the act of painting proved painful with her gnarled fingers, her jubilant attitude shines through. With no money for art supplies, Maud used the walls of her one-room house as a canvas or discarded scraps of wood. Bogart’s straightforward text and Lang’s black and white sketches provide the perfect backdrop for Maud’s colorful paintings that make this picture book a treasure: cheerful scenes of kids playing in the snow and riding through bright red covered bridges in horse-drawn sleighs. [picture book, age 8 and up]

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WHAT IF...We Used Our Creativity to Overcome Obstacles?

WHAT IF…We Used Our Creativity to Overcome Obstacles? & GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome my guest authors today, Samantha Berger and Mike Curato. We are giving away a copy of their new picture book, What If?… Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

What If… by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Mike Curato

This girl is determined to express herself! If she can’t draw her dreams, she’ll sculpt or build, carve or collage. If she can’t do that, she’ll turn her world into a canvas. And if everything around her is taken away, she’ll sing, dance, and dream… [picture book, ages 5 and up]


We love your posts, love your sensibility, love you for reading What If…, which is a book about the power of creative expression to triumph over any obstacle, any circumstance. Read more…

Understanding Poverty: A Book List for Ages 4-12

Understanding Poverty: A Book List for Ages 4-12

For our Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom kit this year, we are exploring poverty through a book list, activities, discussion guide and posters. This book list was crowdsourced during our January 27th, 2018 Twitter Party. We hope to expand the list to include more books on rural poverty and intergenerational poverty. Can you please help us build this list? Thank you!

p.s. We also have a Classroom Kindness Kit and a Classroom Empathy Kit that explores Immigration and the Refugee Experience.

Picture Books for Understanding Poverty

A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui

–> for understanding poverty experienced by some new immigrants

A Vietnamese boy and his father go fishing in the middle of the night. This is not for recreation; it for feeding their family. His father works several jobs. His mother also works. The boy also takes responsibility for his siblings when his parents are at work. This is a dignified portrait of new immigrants and how hard they work to get established in a new country. Despite working around the clock, the family is grateful for what they have and for their time together. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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5 Great Growth Mindset Diversity Books & GIVEAWAY!

5 Great Growth Mindset Diversity Books & GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome my guest author today, Pip Jones. She is the author of Izzy Gizmo. We are giving away one copy of her book. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.

Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie

This delightful rhyming picture book features a girl with a penchant for creating marvelous inventions and working through to fix the glitches that are part of the process. When she rescues a crow with a broken wing, she comes up with her biggest challenge yet. It’s not easy to create a flying machine but Izzy is not the kind of girl who gives up easily!

I love these STEM books that show girls who push through the hardest part of the inventing process. Use this picture book to get your kids thinking about engineering as creativity + problems = marveleous inventions! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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Celebrating Asian Americans for #WomensHistoryMonth

Celebrating Asian Americans for #WomensHistoryMonth

Every March, I scratch my head to recognize Asian American and Pacific Islanders in children’s books for Women’s History Month. Here’s my (too short) list. Who am I missing?Celebrating Asian Americans for Women's History Month

These AAPI women are notable but don’t have picture books yet…

  • Tammy Duckworth, military leader, U.S. Rep, activist
  • Amy Tan, author
  • Tokyo Rose, radio personality
  • Yoko Ono, artist
  • Margaret Cho, actress, comedian
  • Sandra Oh, actress
  • Michelle Wie, golfer
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, actor
  • Mindy Kaling, actor, writer
  • Mazie Hirono, US Rep
  • Ming Na Wen, actress
  • Constance Wu, actress
  • Michelle Kwan, ice skater
  • Kristy Yamaguchi, ice skater
  • Ann Curry, TV news anchor
  • Sugar Pie DeSanto, blues singer
  • Patsy Takemoto Mink, US Rep,  co-authored the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Amendment
  • Yuri Kochiyama, activist
  • Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, activist
  • Michi Nishiura Weglyn, activist
  • Aki Kurose, activist
  • Cherry Kinoshita, activist

Good call Linda B:

  • Grace Lin
  • Grace Lee Boggs

Celebrating Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders for Women’s History Month

Queen Liliuokalani: Born September 2, 1838

Liliuokalani: The Last Queen of Hawaii by John MacGregor, illustrated by Pamela Johnson

Learn about the history of Hawaii and how it was taken over by the United States. [nonfiction, ages 8 and up]

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Wonderful Children's Books About Myanmar (Burma)

Wonderful Children’s Books About Myanmar (Burma)

A teacher left a comment on my blog that she was looking for children’s books about Myanmar and Thailand for the children in her classroom who have recently immigrated from those countries. This list is for her. My Thailand children’s book list is coming soon.

Wonderful Children's Books About Myanmar (Burma)

I’ve searched but I’ve only found a handful of books suitable for a classroom read aloud to teach kids about their classmates’ home country. Can you help me out with your suggestions? Thanks so much!

p.s. I have another post on Burmese culture here: Burma or Myanmar for Kids Though Books and Activities.

Wonderful Children's Books About Myanmar (Burma)

Wonderful Children’s Books About Myanmar (Burma)

I See the Sun in Myanmar by Dedie King, illustrated by Judith Inglese

This is a wonderful bilingual picture book series that follows the day in the life of a family in various countries. In Myanmar (previously known as Burma), a young girl starts off the day by reciting verses of loving kindness that reflect the influence of Buddhism in her life. She shares food with the monks who pass by her house on their daily alms walk. It is considered an honor to give the monks food. Her mother is a nurse and she accompanies her to work. The end notes provide more information about Myanmar including its history and current political climate. [picture book, ages 6 and up]

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