All posts by languagelizard

The “Seal of Biliteracy” in Schools Across the Country 

Graduates throwing caps in the airAcross the country, more schools are embracing fluency in multiple languages by offering a special award called the “Seal of Biliteracy” that can be earned by bilingual students.

Earning the Seal of Biliteracy

The first program began in California in 2010 to showcase biliteracy as an asset. The Seal of Biliteracy helps to elevate language programs in our schools, and gives students a new goal to work toward.

More than two dozen states now offer a state- or district-wide Seal of Biliteracy award to high school graduates who demonstrate that they can speak, read and write in more than one language. 

The purpose of the seal is to recognize the hard work of becoming biliterate. Offering the seal also sends a message about the value of maintaining native languages, and the importance of language learning.

Once earned, the seal appears on a student’s diploma and/or transcript, or as a special certificate. In some states, students can also earn “pathway awards” as they journey toward earning the seal.

In the long-term, students who have earned the seal are more attractive to colleges and employers, which leads to greater earning potential over their lifetimes.

Are you looking for a special gift for someone earning a Seal of Biliteracy? Read our previous post to learn about some unique gifts for bilingual students.

“goodbye” by Jessie Jacobson via Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/6uZfvq

Diverse Gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week & to Celebrate Bilingual Students

Spring is a great time to celebrate the outstanding educators and language learners in your life!

Teacher Appreciation Week & More!

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7-11. It’s the perfect opportunity to say “thank you” to the teachers and school staff that work tirelessly to make a difference in our children’s lives.

April is also National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month. Be sure to show your support of those students who are working to maintain their home languages, while also learning a new one!

Gifts that Celebrate Diversity & Inclusion

Looking for unique gifts that celebrate diversity and inclusion?

We’re excited to offer new multicultural t-shirt designs that celebrate bilingualism and diversity such as: Welcome Your Friends (with HELLO in 35+ different languages), I’m Bilingual, What’s Your Superpower? and We All Smile in the Same Language.

There are many more design and color options available at our Amazon store, as well as bilingual and Spanish-only versions of some of the designs.

Many of the same designs are now available on mugs and phone cases, too!

These gifts encourage and promote language learning – perfect for multicultural classrooms!

Home Language Maintenance Strategies

In previous posts, we’ve discussed the benefits of home language maintenance. However, many parents struggle to maintain the home language (HL) for a variety of reasons. Here, we offer some concrete suggestions that parents can use with elementary-aged children, to ensure they receive the cognitive, cultural and professional benefits of bilingualism.

Teachers can share the following strategies with parents and even provide assignments that will support HL maintenance. Educators can also build bilingual book libraries to provide resources for children to read at home in the HL, and at school in English.

  • Require your child to speak to you in the HL while at home. Give praise for doing so, and do not punish the child for wanting to speak English. Children will need several daily reminders to speak the HL.
  • Have one parent do homework with the child in English (as that is the language at school).
  • Provide grade level-appropriate homework for your child in the HL. If possible, coordinate with the teacher to select homework that is related to what they are doing in class. If there is not enough time to do this on the weekdays, pick a weekend day to do it.

1. Incentivize your child. Example: If you do this homework, then we’ll go to the_____________. If you don’t finish, we cannot go.

2. During the summer, do homework in the HL on a regular basis (if possible, work with your child’s teacher in determining summer assignments.

  • Find cartoons, music, movies, multicultural books, apps and educational shows to play for your child in the HL. Screen time should be limited.
  • If possible, send your child to your home country.  If you still have family there, you may be able to arrange a home stay where the child gets maximum exposure to the HL.
  • Explain to your child why it is important for her/him and your family that he or she speak both languages. Young children can understand and think critically about the importance of bilingualism, such as:

1. Maintaining the family’s native culture.

2. Maintaining communication with family who only speaks the HL.

3. Having pride in where you come from.

4. Being wll prepared for the future and a bilingual world and workplace.

  • Give age appropriate examples of how others value their bilingualism. Examples: “My friends at work wish they spoke two languages,” or “your teacher is so proud of you and impressed by your bilingualism,” or “I got my job in part because I speak two languages.”
  • Provide a print-rich environment for your child in the HL: Have your child help you choose fiction and non-fiction books in the HL, make grocery lists, write letters to relatives, and do other writing tasks in the HL. Reading and writing in the HL takes time and effort, but is important.
  • Stay firm, confident and proud of your “HL Only” rule while in the house. Children in elementary school are much more likely than middle school or high school children to eventually accept the rule and adapt to it.
  • Think of HL maintenance as part of parenting – you’re the enforcer!
  • Do not get discouraged when your child doesn’t want to speak the HL. If your child is just making the change to home language use, start by having your child speak to you in the HL for an allotted amount of time each day.

1. Be creative and pick a phrase in the HL that your child must use a couple of times a day for that week, for example.

2. Tell your child it’s like a challenge or a game: “If you speak to me in Spanish after school for 20 minutes and during dinner, you’ll be rewarded with _____.” Sticker charts, point systems, and more will show your child how s/he is progressing and s/he can earn something after reaching a certain point.

  • Do not criticize your child for using incorrect grammar, having an accent, or using the wrong word when speaking the HL. It’s natural to make mistakes, and you can gradually correct him or her with gentle reminders.
  • If you have an infant as well, have your elementary school child speak to the baby in the HL only (for the benefit of both children).

Don’t be afraid and don’t get discouraged if the time and effort to implement a plan seems overwhelming at first. It will become part of your routine, just like anything else you’ve established in your home. Reach out to other parents who are in your situation, join online communities of bilingual parents, and do your own research if you have the time. There are many resources out there that can help you! It’s very rewarding when your child can speak to you and to others in your native language.

Guest author Emily Enstice is a former teacher at Willow Creek Academy, a K-8 charter school in Sausalito, California. She received her doctorate in International and Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco.

This blog post is linked with the monthly Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop. Be sure to check out other bloggers’ tips, teaching strategies, and resources!

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

“Facts About Languages” by Elaine Smith via Flickr is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) https://flic.kr/p/VoddCu

8 Great Folktales for Kids – Favorite Folktales from Around the World

World Folktales and Fables Week is celebrated the third week of each March. (This year it’s March 18-24.) Be sure to enjoy a good folktale at home and in your classroom! Use #WorldFolktales on social media, and tell us about your favorite folktales and fables.

World Folktales & Fables: Important Teaching Tools

Every culture has its own way of teaching lessons and sharing how different things came to be. Many do this through the telling of fables or folktales. Here, we look at eight folktales from around the world. Each one explores the origin of different phenomena and reflects important values. These folktales, which are all part of our Multicultural Book Sets, are a perfect way to teach your students or children about different cultures and languages from around the world.  A special discount for World Folktales & Fables Week is offered at the end of the article.

How the Moon Regained Her Shape, By: Janet Ruth Heller and Ben Hodson

This accomplished children’s book is the winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. This Native American folktale follows the story of the moon and her journey to understanding that other people’s words should not define her. Moon lets the Sun’s hateful words get the best of her and it makes her feel inferior and small just like a bully’s tormenting can make a victim feel small and oppressed. The Moon’s true friend, Round Arms, then shows her all the great things that people say about her and that she should not be discouraged by the hateful words of others.

The Empty Pot, By: Demi

This book provides a great vehicle to convey the message that honesty is the best policy. This Chinese folktale about the Emperor looking for a successor shows children that you will be rewarded for your honesty in ways you could never imagine. The Emperor had given all the children seeds and said that whoever returns with the most beautiful plant in one year will be the new emperor.  All the children but one return a year later with beautiful plants. Yet the one boy with an empty pot, Ping, becomes the new Emperor. The Emperor had given everyone cooked seeds so nobody should have been able to grow a plant. Ping claimed his reward for his honesty and became the new emperor of China.

Once a Mouse… By: Marcia Brown

Winner of a Caldecott Medal, this book teaches children to be thankful for what they have as things can change at any moment. In this Indian folktale there is a hermit sitting in the forest when all of a sudden he sees a mouse running away from a crow. The hermit then turns the mouse into a cat and then into a huge dog and many more animals all increasing in size until what was once a mouse is now a tiger. The tiger becomes greedy and wants more power. The hermit spots his greed and turns him into a mouse once again because he is not thankful for what he has. Children will learn from this book that it is important to be thankful for all the good you have in your life and not focus on what you don’t have.

The First Strawberries, By: Joseph Bruchac and Anna Vojtech

This Cherokee folktale about the first man and women teaches children the important lesson to forgive and forget. The story tells of the man coming home one afternoon from hunting and getting angry at the women because she did not prepare any food for him. They fight and then the woman runs away, leaving the man stricken with sorrow and trying to catch up with the woman to win her back. The woman finally stops fleeing when she sees the strawberries, giving the man ample time to catch up with her. They then forgive each other for their mistakes and go back home. Reading this book is a great way to celebrate Cherokee culture and to learn how to forgive someone even if they hurt you.

Toad is the Uncle of Heaven, By: Jeanne M. Lee

This Vietnamese folktale tells the story of the toad and how his determination and strength must be respected regardless of his size and appearance. There was a horrible drought in Vietnam, people and animals were dying and the toad knew that something must be done. He set off on a long journey to find the King of Heaven and ask him to pour rain down on the Earth. Along the way other animals joined him to the Heavens. When they got there, the King refused to speak with them, so the toad and the other animals had to prove themselves. Finally the King listened to their complaints and rained water down over all of the Earth. The King now respected the Toad for his bravery and determination and called him “uncle” which is a sign of respect. The bravery and courage of the toad teaches children that with a little courage of their own they can do anything.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, By: Verna Aardema and Leo and Diane Dillon

This entertaining African story about a pesky mosquito who will not stop buzzing and own up to his faults is the winner of a Caldecott Award. The iguana’s anger towards the mosquito’s foolishness sets off a chain reaction which spirals out of control, and one of the Owl’s children ends up dying because of it. The animal council then tries to find who is at fault until they finally realize it is the mosquito’s fault for telling nonsensical stories. This folktale teaches children that it is more important to tell the truth than to exaggerate facts and be dishonest.

Liang and the Magic Paintbrush, By: Demi

Originating in China, this folktale tells the story of Liang and the paintbrush he was gifted by the old man on the phoenix. It was a magic paintbrush because everything he painted with it came to life! Liang used it to paint things for the poor and the needy, and everyone was very thankful. Until one day the greedy emperor found out about the paintbrush and tried to steal it from Liang. But since the emperor could not paint well, everything turned into something he did not want it to be. The Emperor then freed Liang with the condition that he would paint whatever the Emperor wanted.  In the end, Liang was ordered to paint him an ocean and the Emperor drowned in it. This shows that if you are humble and you do things to benefit the needy then you will be blessed, but if you let greed get the best of you then there will be nobody to save you from drowning.

Rabbit and the Moon, By: Douglas Wood and Leslie Baker

This fable about friendship and giving is of Native American origin and still resonates with many people today. Rabbit has always wanted to go see the moon, and the crane was the only bird willing to fly the rabbit all the way there. The story goes that Rabbit is still on the moon now and anybody looking at the Moon from Earth can see Rabbit hopping around. In return for the trip to the moon, Rabbit gave the crane a red spot on his head. Crane’s legs were stretched out because the rabbit held on to them for so long during his flight. This story teaches that lending a helping hand to others will be a rewarding experience for all involved.

Language Lizard is offering a special 10% discount on some of our favorite bilingual folktales for World Folktales and Fables Week. Use code WFF2018 to get a 10% discount on The Dragon’s Tears, The Giant Turnip and Yeh Hsien: A Chinese Cinderella through the end of March 2018.

Bilingual Books & Multicultural Resources: Worldwide Shipping Available!

little hands making heart over earth drawingLanguage Lizard now offers WORLDWIDE shipping at competitive rates with lots of payment options!

We’re thrilled to announce that we are working with a new international shipping partner to simplify international ordering (outside US & Canada).

Simply add items to your Language Lizard shopping cart and choose the “international checkout” button to see the cost for shipping and duties and taxes. You can even choose to prepay duties and taxes when you check out, so there are no additional funds collected upon delivery.

You can pay with international credit cards, PayPal, bank wire transfers, Alipay or other local payment options. Our partner, GlobalShopex, will process your payment and guarantee delivery.

This is great news for our international customers, as well as those who wish to send bilingual books and resources to family and friends abroad!

Multicultural Book Reviews

Multicultural Children's Books Reviews
We were honored to be a sponsor for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. As part of this process, we shared some of our bilingual multicultural books with bloggers and book reviewers to get their feedback. We were thrilled with their responses! Click on the links below to read reviews of some of our favorite diverse children’s books.

Welcome to the World Baby

Multicultural Children’s Book Day – January 27

multicultural children's books in outline of earthLanguage Lizard is a Proud Sponsor of Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th. Let’s work together to get more books that celebrate diversity into our classrooms and libraries! Check out our previous post on 3 reasons why multicultural children’s books are so very important.

Multicultural Book Sets for Pre-K through 5th Grade

25 Favorite Children's Books About DiversityWe offer numerous Multicultural Book Sets that celebrate diversity and teach children about different cultures. Check out our new, exclusive collections that feature the best multicultural books for preschoolers and kindergartners, grades 1-3, and grades 3-5. We also have sets that focus on cultural holidays and traditions around the world.

#ReadYourWorld with Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Childrens Book Day banner 2018January 27th of each year is Multicultural Children’s Book Day. It’s a day to “not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.”

Use #ReadYourWorld on social media, and share your love of diverse characters and multicultural stories. It’s an easy way to help get more multicultural children’s books out into the world. Or go to the event’s website and find other ways to support this great cause. While you’re there, don’t forget your Free Classroom Empathy Kit and Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents!

Comment and share your recommended reading list for Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

Why Multicultural Children’s Books Are So Very Important

child reading a multicultural bookWe’ve written before about the benefits of bilingual books at home and in the classroom. But what about multicultural books, with characters as diverse as our communities are today? There’s a movement to bring attention to the need for more multicultural children’s books, and to bring more of those books into classrooms and libraries. Here are 3 reasons why it’s so important that kids have access to more multicultural books… and how you can help get more diverse books out there.

1. Kids See Themselves in the Pages

Child reading Chinese Cinderella storyStories touch us most when we see ourselves reflected in the characters. Until very recently, the vast majority of characters in children’s books were white, largely because of what’s known as the “publishing diversity gap.” As recently as 2014, only 10% of children’s books featured non-white characters. This, in spite of the fact that by 2020, more than half of American children will identify as a non-white ethnicity.

It can be disheartening for students to read a never-ending stream of stories featuring characters they don’t relate to. Students in diverse classrooms get a boost of self-esteem when they read or hear books in which their cultures or ethnicities are represented and celebrated. It’s a proud moment to see parts of your own life showcased for an attentive audience made up of your classmates.

2. Kids See Life Through Another Person’s Eyes

child reading a diverse book

Kids are inherently self-centered, and they gradually learn empathy in order to have meaningful connections with other people. Researchers believe empathy may be the key to having a joyful life because it leads to better relationships at home, school, and eventually work. It is certainly key to ending behaviors like bullying and cruelty.

The tricky part is this: You can’t really teach empathy like you would teach a kid to ride a bike. It’s something that must be modeled, nurtured, and kindled. Empathy is more than simply understanding another person’s point of view. Even selfish people can do that. (Con men do it particularly well.)

Empathy involves understanding, respecting and placing value on another person’s perspective. These complex feelings require a multi-faceted, immersive experience. Children’s books are a great way to introduce an entirely new point of view, a different way of life, and also address important life topics with our kids.

3. Celebrate a More Realistic, Diverse World

When books are filled with only white characters, it creates a false impression of the world at large. It can create a sense of “otherness,” or Us vs Them. The reality is that we live in diverse communities, and our population is getting more diverse every year.

If we want our children to truly succeed and flourish in their lives, it’s essential that they understand and celebrate diversity. In this Fast Company article on career skills critical for success, being able to motivate a diverse workforce is #1.  A knowledge of other cultures is #2. In fact, almost the entire list consists of communicating effectively with people with other viewpoints, and having an open mind that can quickly adapt to different ways of thinking.

#ReadYourWorld with Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children's Book Day 2018 bannerJanuary 27th of each year is Multicultural Children’s Book Day.  Its mission is “to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.”

It’s an easy way to help get more multicultural children’s books out into the world. Just use #ReadYourWorld on social media, and share your love of diverse characters and multicultural stories. Participate in their eBook fundraiser, and 100% of the proceeds will be used to gift multicultural books to classroom libraries.

Don’t forget your free Empathy Kit, which includes an immigration and refugee book list, classroom activities, and this colorful poster:

Multicultural Children's Book Day 2018 free poster

Language Lizard is a Proud Sponsor of Multicultural Children’s Book Day. We also offer numerous Multicultural Book Sets that celebrate diversity and teach children about different cultures.

In 2016, Multicultural Children’s Book Day was able to reach 3.6 billion social media shares, and trended at #2 on Twitter. Help them surpass those numbers, and spread the word!

Comment below and tell us about your favorite multicultural book!

Benefits of Home Language Maintenance, From Parents’ Perspectives

Nearly one in three U.S. children live in a household where a language other than English is spoken, but are the same number of children fluent in their home language? Actually, many parents struggle to maintain the home language for a variety of reasons: when spoken to in the home language, children respond in English; some teachers encourage English only at home (the perception that another language confuses children is false); parents, their children and many societal groups view home languages as inferior to English. These examples of parent struggles with home language maintenance resonate with immigrant families across the U.S.

Subtractive & Additive Bilingualism

Despite the fact that many first generation immigrant parents in the U.S. speak their native languages at home, they are noticing that their children are losing fluency and interest in their home language. The 2002 National Survey of Latinos, in which 3,000 Latino adults living in the United States participated, found the following: Almost three fourths (72%) of first generation Latinos speak Spanish as their primary language, but only one in four (24%) are bilingual, and 4% speak primarily English. “In contrast, second generation Latinos are mostly divided between those who are English dominant (46%) and those who are bilingual (47%). Third generation or higher Hispanics are largely English dominant (78%)” (p. 16). In Latino families, second and third generation children are statistically more likely to become English dominant by adulthood, rather than bilingual dual language learners.

After years of teaching young children in the San Francisco Bay Area, several of whom were living in households where Spanish was spoken, I started to notice the broad range of Spanish speaking skills among them. Having researched the problem of subtractive bilingualism in graduate school, I was less surprised to see the erosion of Spanish than I was to see the maintenance of Spanish in some households. Specifically, I wondered how or why parents perceived home language maintenance as advantageous. From a Latino parent’s perspective, what were the perceived benefits of maintaining the home language?

I set out to explore this question in my doctoral dissertation during the 2011-2012 school year.  There are many proven benefits – cognitive, socio-emotional, developmental, cultural, and professional – of raising dual language learners. I, however, was particularly curious about Latino parent perceptions of home language maintenance and its benefits. Most importantly, language maintenance is more likely in an additive bilingual environment where the home language is celebrated and honored. While the following advantages are perhaps somewhat predictable and unsurprising, these tend to be the driving forces for home language maintenance amongst parents.

Speaking from the Heart

Adults and children alike express themselves much more naturally and organically in their native languages. In our study, parents spoke critically to their children about the benefits of building stronger relationships with family members vis a vis communicating in Spanish. It’s never too early to start having these conversations with preschoolers and early elementary aged children, explaining how meanings can get lost in translation when a feeling or sentiment is expressed in a second language. Children are very capable of code switching and understanding context!

A Better Future

Bilingual parents want the same advantages they’ve experienced (or strive to experience) in the workplace for their children. Being valued for their ability to communicate with more people, both locally and internationally, is important to bilingual parents who utilize their language skills in their careers and often in their local communities. Parents can have regular conversations about the value of bilingualism with their children, especially in an increasingly global workplace. Children are always motivated by real world connections!

Bridge Between Culture and Language

When parents express pride in their native languages, children often come to see their bilingualism as not only an asset, but a privilege. Their home language is not always appreciated or even acknowledged in other settings, such as school or extra-curricular activities. Children can become more authentically connected to their family and native cultures and traditions when speaking to and engaging with monolingual relatives who have less exposure to English and/or U.S. culture. Visits to the home country are much more meaningful for children who speak the language, and the native culture is more easily accessible. Language maintenance takes time, effort, and resolve, but the rewards can be life changing.

Emily Enstice is a former teacher at Willow Creek Academy, a K-8 charter school in Sausalito, California. She received her doctorate in International and Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco.

 

“together” by Spirit-Fire via Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/8dLJyi

25 Favorite Children’s Books About Diversity

Best 25 Children’s Books About DiversitySearching around for a really special gift for multicultural families and teachers working in diverse communities? Check out our new, exclusive collection of 25 of the best multicultural books for grades 1-3 that celebrate diversity and teach children about different cultures. (Note: Additional sets targeted to Pre-K through K, and to grades 3-5, are also available on the Language Lizard site.)

New Set of Multicultural Books Makes a Memorable Gift for Teachers & Families

The books portray children from various backgrounds, including Hispanic, Asian, African American, Middle-Eastern, and Native American. The stories help children embrace their unique heritage, better understand the immigrant experience, and enjoy entertaining folktales from around the world.

With this collection, children in diverse communities will appreciate those around them and build selfesteem as they read books in which their cultures and ethnicities are represented.

All books in this set are in English. If you are looking for bilingual multicultural books, click here or visit our language-specific pages.

Multicultural Stories Include:

  • An inspiring book about an immigrant girl from Korea looking to fit into her new life in America. A “Best Children’s Book of the Year” by Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, this story is very relatable to children of all backgrounds moving to the United States, trying to create a new home.
  • A story about a young girl during the holy month of Ramadan who must choose between covering for her brother and doing the right thing.
  • A child is reminded to be proud of her unique and special hair and, more importantly, proud of who she is. Many children and adults alike will relate to this story of self-acceptance and self-love.
  • A folktale from Thailand that teaches a valuable lesson about being thankful for what you have, and the risks of having much more than you need.
  • A girl who has lost her vision is able to overcome adversity to run in her school’s Field Day race. With the help of her friends, teachers and family, she proves that she is able to do all the same things that somebody with sight can do.
  • A heartwarming story showing the hardships an elderly person faces when adjusting to life in a new country, and how a grandmother and grandchild are able to help their family by sharing parts of their culture.
  • The story of two girls, one Jewish and one Muslim, and their beautiful friendship. Both go to great lengths to care for the other’s well-being, providing valuable lessons to all children who read this book.
  • A story about the discrimination African Americans faced in the workplace teaches children about the simple things that were denied to them, and how many people bravely fought to end these unfair practices.
  • A Penn Belpre Honor Book Award winner, this story about relating to your grandparents, who do not share the same customs or language as you, pertains to many second or third generation children in America.
  • A simple chapter book about a young Latino reporter who will do anything to find out how a worm got into her friend Javier’s burger. She hopes this story will be her big break to becoming a distinguished reporter!
  • The struggles of an immigrant Chinese family to settle into their new life in America are relieved when a stranger helps them connect to their past home in a way they did not know was possible.
  • Winner of a Benjamin Franklin Award, Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and the Children’s Choice Award, this Native American folktale shares the important lesson of believing in yourself and not listening to the negative words of others.
  • A Coretta Scott King Award winning story about the hardships of life as an African American girl in the early 1900’s who wants to attend school, her fight to get there, and the ambitious learner she becomes through hard work and dedication.
  • A story about the daughter of migrant workers who feels as if she cannot find her place anywhere since her family is constantly moving according to the harvest. Eventually, she succeeds in making her mark.
  • A young girl living in West Africa wants to be like the other women in her family and wear a malafa, but her family believes she is too young to wear it. She wants to show them that she is old enough to understand the significance of wearing it and respect the sacred act.
  • A Vietnamese folktale about brothers who lead very different lives, one rich and one poor, and how fate always has a way of making things even in the end.
  • An enlightening story about a young boy trying to escape the shadow of his father because they have the same name. He loves his father dearly, but wants to create his own name so he can have a different legacy.
  • A children’s book that teaches the importance of diversity and how it makes us unique. The children in the book learn that being nice to everyone regardless of what they look like is crucial, and that everyone deserves to be treated with the same respect and dignity.
  • A Caldecott Medal winner, this book shares the touching story of a young man who came to America in search of a new life and adventure, and his eventual return to his home country of Japan. The book then shares his daughter’s and his grandson’s story, coming full circle in the end.
  • A classic Chinese folktale about a duck that is taken by a Lord who wants to keep him as a prized possession.  A kind maid releases the bird and faces punishment, but will her deeds be rewarded?
  • A multicultural book that follows a boy going around the world to learn about different cultures and to meet diverse people. The details and friendly illustrations allow readers to travel around the world in a book.
  • A Cherokee legend about a husband and wife who quarrel, and then make up by a field of sweet strawberries, teaches important lessons about the act of forgiveness and gratitude.
  • Two Jim Crow era young African American girls fight discrimination by creating a shoe store of their own where African Americans can try on shoes in the store, which is something they cannot do in any store operated by a white person. This story teaches important historic lessons while also showing children who persevere in the face of adversity.
  • Ganesha, a young elephant child, loves anything sweet and sugary, but he takes his love too far. A humorous twist on a classic tale (with amazing, colorful illustrations) that introduces Indian culture and Hindu literature.
  • A Caldecott Honor Book that shows a community coming together to help a family in need, and celebrates the joy of working hard to save up for something special.

A few reviews of the books in this collection:

– “A sensitive and inspiring portrait of a family’s triumph in the face of adversity.” – Kirkus Reviews

– “Wonderful watercolor illustrations complete this sensitive, sweet story of learning to love yourself without compromise.” – Chicago Tribune

– “The immigrant experience has rarely been so poignantly evoked as it is in this direct, lyrical narrative that is able to stir emotions through the sheer simplicity of its telling… [The illustrations] seem to be moments taken from life, intensely personal and at the same time giving voice to and confirming an experience shared by countless others.” – Horn Book, starred review

“Yoon may be new to America, but her feelings as an outsider will be recognizable to all children.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

– “This one stands tall not just for delving into a piece of labor history not previously covered, but for its ability to relate history with heart in resonance.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

– “..a picture book story influenced by Native American folklore. The stylized artwork and the educational addendum perfectly complement this enchanting fairy tale.” – Midwest Book Review

– “Celebrates the natural world simplified, softened, and sunlit. A delectable choice for reading aloud.” – Booklist

– “A tender knockout… it’s rare to find much vitality, spontaneity, and depth of feeling in such a simple, young book.” – Kirkus Reviews

– “… rich with magic, compassion and love. …elegant watercolor and pastel drawings… are exquisite.” – Publishers Weekly

– “When Shirin helps Ali, it changes their relationship and reveals the meaning of Ramadan.” – Booklist

– “A poignant yet realistic story… stunningly illustrated.” – Choices, Cooperative Children’s Book Center