Diverse Kids Books–Reviews


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Mother Emanuel AME Memorial T-Shirt Raises Money for Victims’ Families

This fundraiser is for the families of the Emanuel AME 9. All proceeds will go to the Mother Emanuel AME Hope Fund. Buy a T-shirt to honor and memorialize those who died , show your solidarity with Emanuel AME and send financial support to their families.

Imagine if they had died in a natural disaster. Some would say that the massacre in which they died was a natural event in this country’s evolution of violence and racism. But social analysis aside, there has to be a moment that is not about flags, gun laws, or racism—there has to be a moment that is just about souls lost, tears shed, hearts broken.front and back of MotherEmanuel T-Shirt So right now, take a moment and imagine if the Emanuel AME 9 had died in a natural disaster. We would remember them. They would get their moments of silence. We would think of their families. We would remember their names. Cynthia Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson, DePayne Middleton Doctor. We would say her name and her name and her name and her name and her name and her name., Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel L. Simmons Sr. We would cry out “my brother” again and again and again. We would give to their widows and widowers, comfort their children, send condolences to their family and friends. And we would always be focused right there in that little spotlight on these nine people, nine names, nine families recognizing the pain of loss, the sadness of being without a father, mother, grandmother, husband, wife, sister, friend.

We would see our pain in their pain, remember the way we survived the loss of our own loved ones and the only thing symbolic in our sympathy would be the extending of our comforting hand, which cannot reach hundreds of miles to touch the shoulders of their surviving family members so our hands would wave solemnly in the air—feeling the sadness, the sympathy, the empathy for each individual person and his daughters, each individual person and her grandson.

This T-shirt is symbolic of our waving hands –to remember their names, our sympathy, our empathy, our oneness with the living and the deceased. The proceeds from the purchase will be sent to Emanuel AME on behalf of the victims’ families and the shirt will speak your heartfelt connection with each person who died and each family that lost a loved one. Buy your Memorial T-shirt here.


15 Things Not to Do With a Baby #mixed #biracial #black #diversekidsbooks

15-things-not-to-do-with-a-babyJoining the group of successful “List” books is this title by Margaret McAllister, featuring an interracial family and focused on the older sister’s shenanigans with her new born baby sibling. Like most of the “list” stories, the appeal of this book is its humor. The script and illustrations combine in hilarity with lines like “Don’t give the baby to a kangaroo,” standing alone to make one laugh while the illustration accompanying a line as simple as “Don’t take the baby to school,” gifts the scene with humor. The opening page is a family image of mommy (who is white) and daddy (who is of African Descent), the older daughter and new baby together. There is no mention of the family being interracial and the daughter and baby carry the rest of the story with their fun antics.

Often, mixed heritage children of darker hue feel they have to constantly prove that they are mixed. This engaging title featuring dark brown biracial children serves as a positive, fun, and encouraging reflection of deep chocolate hued mixed kids on the page. This will quickly become a favorite bed time story for your child of any background, who will ask to read it over and over again.

Reviewer: Omilaju Miranda

Author: Margaret McAllister; Illustrator: Holly Sterling

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Buy 15 Things Not to do with a Baby Now



Early Literacy: 3-year-old reads, writes, recites Countee Cullen’s “Hey Black Child”

Peighten for twitter of her performancePe’tehn Raighn-kem Jackson has been reading since she was 18 months old. Now three, she memorized and recited Countee Cullen’s poem, “Hey Black Child” for a Black History Month event. 7 online invited her  to perform the poem on air on February 25th of this year.

She and her parents speak a little about teaching a child to read and write early on. They’re just a start. Do you have a video or photos of your child reading or reciting  a story? If so, we’d love to share your child’s enthusiasm for books and literature with our Diverse Kids Books community. Submit your photos or videos to us in accordance with the guidelines on our Children Read Submissions Page.

Roc and Roe’s Twelve Days of Christmas by Nick Cannon and AG Ford #mixedkids #Diversekidsbooks

cover Roc and Roe's Twelve Days of ChristmasThis holiday time picture book about Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey’s twins celebrating Christmas caught my four-year-old daughter’s eye in the late morning after breakfast. The book was sitting on my dining room table waiting for me to review it when my daughter opened the front cover and immediately focused on the photograph of the Cannon/Carey family on the end cover page. (more…)

Emma and Meesha my Boy: A Two Mom Story by Kaitlyn Taylor Considine #twomoms #Diversekidsbooks

cover Emma and Meesha My boyEmma and Meesha my Boy by Kaitlyn Taylor Considine is a short rhyming story about a little girl named Emma, her two moms and their chubby cat. Emma, who looks delightfully naughty, learns how to interact and treat her cat properly with help from her Mommy and Mama. In the beginning Meesha my Boy, as Emma calls her cat, is traumatized with dress up, by brown paint, and being picked up but in the end Emma is cheered on by her moms as she pets him, feeds him and cares for him gently.

This book addresses the fact that Emma is part of a two mom family, but this is not the main topic of the book. The author approaches this topic as a matter of “just so you know”. The reader gets the clear message that having two moms is completely normal and nothing to really focus on. But a little girl and her cat—now, that’s a good story.

Recommendation: I highly recommend this book for readers 3-6 years old.

Reviewer: Amanda Setty

Publisher: TWOMOMBOOKS; Publication Date: 2005

Buy Emma and Meesha My Boy Now

The Festival of Bones / El Festival de las Calaveras by Luis San Vicente #DayoftheDead #WeNeedDiverseBooks

cover The Festival of BonesThe Festival of Bones / El Festival de las Calaveras; The Little-Bitty Book For the Day of the Dead By Luis San Vicente

This book is just exciting and really great for all ages. The illustrations are fun and filled with light which is highlighted by darkness: which is actually the point of Dia De Los Muertes (or Day of the Dead). It’s a time to celebrate the lives of those you love. It’s a time to make food and construct an altar to celebrate the lives of the ones who are no longer in this reality.

The Festival of Bones captures that other-worldliness of the holiday. The skeletons or calaveras are rushing to make it to the festival. They are riding paper airplanes across the dusty clouds and being pulled on carriages by skeletal horses, popping out of caskets, but not in a scary way, which is fantastic!

The best part is this book is good for all ages. There is a section in the back with paragraphs of information including the historical relevance, how to make an altar and how to make sugar skulls. Get this book and bring it out in the Fall!

The Have a Good Day Café by Frances and Ginger Park #Korean #DiverseKidsBooks #WeNeedDiverseBooks

cover The Have a Good Day CafeFrances Park and Ginger Park’s picture book, The Have a Good Day Café, tells the story of Mike and his family’s food cart where they sell his favorite American foods like pizza, pretzels, and popcorn. When his Grandma moves from Korea she has trouble adjusting to her new American lifestyle, and Mike becomes frustrated with her, wishing that she wouldn’t “day dream so much about the past.” As the summer progresses Mike’s family encounters too much competition for street food and he and his Grandma work together, ultimately creating the “Have a Good Day Café.” (more…)

Duck for Turkey Day by Jacqueline Jules #Vietnamese #DiverseKidsBooks #WeNeedDiverseBooks

cover Duck for Turkey DayAdults may find turkey dry and tasteless, but for Tuyet a turkey is symbolic of being the cultural majority, of fitting in, doing what one is supposed to do. Duck for Turkey Day follows a little Vietnamese American girl, Tuyet, who’s terribly upset her family is having duck for Thanksgiving. What follows is an engaging story of accepting of one’s heritage as well as general diversity.

Immigrants often have to negotiate how to preserve and honor their traditions while allowing their children to grow up American, and this book portrays a matter-of-fact immigrant family that plans on cooking some delicious duck regardless of what their little girl thinks. Some parents may give in to their Americanized kids and cook American food, but as Tuyet finds out, some of her classmates had noodles, enchiladas, or tofu turkey on “turkey day” as well. (more…)

Little Chanclas, by José Lozano #DiverseKidsBooks #Chicano #Hispanic #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Comfort Objects and Chicanismo

cover for Little ChanclasLily Luján likes her chanclas, they fit her feet perfectly, they clack clack when she walks, and more importantly, they are part of her identity.

Little Chanclas, by José Lozano,celebrates the individuality of one little girl and her tireless clack clacking. Like most developing children, Lily has found something she loves, something that is comforting and uniquely hers; in early childhood development speak, that’s called a “Comfort Object”. Developing a dependency on a Comfort Object is pretty common among preschool-aged children and helps them cope with the changing world around them. Sometimes the Comfort Object is a blanket or a teddy bear, but for Lily it is her CHANCLAS. (more…)

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow #DiverseKidsBooks #MixedRace #biracial

cover for The Girl Who Fell from the skyNella Larsen’s 1929 novel Passing tells the moving story of a young black woman who decides to pass for white, and the story ends with the woman falling or being pushed out of a window to her death. Heidi Durrow has said that Larsen, who, like Durrow, is half black and half Danish, is one of her literary heroes, and the mother of the main character in Durrow’s 2011 bestseller The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is named Nella. Durrow’s Nella has a daughter, Rachel, who is half Danish and half black, and it is this girl, Rachel, whose story is related in The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. Hers is a story that offers homage to Nella Larsen’s work, as well as bears witness to an actual story that Durrow read about, a recent true story of a mother who fell, or jumped, from the top of a building while holding her children; only a daughter survived. (more…)