Looking to expand your picture book collection? Here's a list of books featuring cultures from across the country and the world to get you started!
(Look for staff reviews in purple.)
The textual and visual imagery is absolutely exquisite in this moving story of family and learning about your roots. A young girl's family is out for a ride when they see watercress growing on the side of the road and stop to gather it for dinner. The girl is embarrassed, but soon learns about what it means to her family. Simple but absolutely heart-filling, this quiet book will leave you lingering over every line and page. --Tildy
A picture book debut by an award-winning author about a boy's life on the U.S.-Mexico border, visiting his favorite places on The Other Side with his father, spending time with family and friends, and sharing in the responsibility of community care.
This is absolutely stunning. With a powerful story and spectacular illustrations, both by Native creators, this important book will resonate with readers of all ages. Adults will recognize the references to the recent pipeline conflict, and children will be enchanted by the passion of the protagonist. I can't wait to see this on our shelves! --Tildy
This is just the sweetest book. A boy who loves his colors and wears them to match his emotions feels lost after his move across the country. Until he makes a new friend and finds his colors again. A great story that blends friendship, culture, and finding yourself again, along with some educational information on Sikh culture in the back.
Introduce children to the wonderful ways love is expressed in different cultures and countries across the globe.
A beautiful story of perseverance and strength, no matter how small you are. Soe-In's small size, but ability to do great things and help those larger than herself echos "The Lion and the Mouse," and illustrations are lovingly rendered, conveying both emotion and energy. — Tildy
Probably the sweetest ghost story ever. Gustavo just wants to make friends, but being shy makes it very difficult. He gathers up his courage, and invites every ghoul and monster in town to his violin concert. But what will happen if no one shows up? The illustrations in this are absolutely adorable, and perfect for the season without being too spooky. You too will want to be Gustavo's friend by the end! — Tildy
This winning debut picture book from Mexican artist Flavia Z. Drago about finding the courage to make friends is perfect for the spooky season — or anytime.
A Korean American girl celebrates food and family in this cheerful book about cooking a special meal by Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park.
In bouncy rhyming text, an excited and hungry child tells about helping her mother make bee-bim bop: shopping, preparing ingredients, setting the table, and finally sitting down with her family to enjoy a favorite meal.
I love love love this book. In the tradition of Kevin Henkes's Chrysanthemum, this is a celebration of those kids with long names. Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela hates how lengthy her name is. But as her dad walks her through the history of each part of her name, she realizes how special it really is. Alma is also a celebration of immigrants, their journeys, and their sacrifices.
New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith's lyrical text is paired with the warm, evocative watercolors of Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu in this affirming story of a contemporary Native American girl who turns to her family and community.
2020 EUREKA Excellence in Nonfiction Awards - Gold Winner 2020 Feather Quill Reviewer's Choice Award Mei hates springtime. Why? Because it's only in the spring that Nian, a fierce dragon, is able to leave his mountain prison under the sea to terrorize the local village. When the villagers hear the rumblings of Nian's hungry stomach, they know that winter has ended and spring is coming.
The inspiring biography of the incredibly talented Rita Moreno, actor in and executive producer of Steven Speilberg's upcoming West Side Story.
"An inspirational title for young elementary children. This energetic, illustrated biography honors her determined spirit with colorful exuberance."—School Library Journal (starred review)
This high-quality Spanish-language book can be enjoyed by fluent Spanish speakers as well as those learning the language, whether at home or in a classroom.
Winner of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal
A 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Picture Book Honor Winner
“A wonderful and sweet book . . . Lovely stuff.” —The New York Times Book Review
This New York Times bestseller recounts the true story of the touching gift bestowed on the US by the Maasai people in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
A Junior Library Guild Selection!
Del exitoso autor en ventas según el New York Times y ganador del Premio Pulitzer, Junot Díaz, nos llega su primer álbum ilustrado acerca de la magia de los recuerdos y el poder infinito de la imaginación, ¡ahora en español!
A celebration of the love between a father and daughter, and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, by an award-winning author and illustrator duo.
When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she's always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her.
Un homenaje al amor entre un padre y su hija, y a un dinámico barrio de inmigrantes, del galardonado dúo de Isabel Quintero y Zeke Peña.
Cuando Daisy Ramona recorre su barrio en motocicleta con su papi, ve a la gente y los lugares que siempre ha conocido. También ve a una comunidad que está cambiando rápidamente a su alrededor.
Winner of the Pura Belpré Medal!
A Pura Belpré Award Honor Book
Explore the marketplace of a buzzing Mexican-American border town in ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market, a paper-over-board picture book from New York Times bestselling, three-time Pura Belpré Award-winning author-illustrator Raúl the Third.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019
Meet the funny, fierce, and fearless Amy Wu, who is determined to make a perfect bao bun today. Can she rise to the occasion?
Amy loves to make bao with her family. But it takes skill to make the bao taste and look delicious.
In this sweet and brightly illustrated picture book, Amy Wu must craft a dragon unlike any other to share with her class at school in this unforgettable follow-up to Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao.
Amy loves craft time at school. But when her teacher asks everyone to make their own dragon, Amy feels stuck.
A lyrical and heartwarming celebration of a mother's love for her children by the award-winning author of Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.
Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award and the National Jewish Book Award, Welcoming Elijah by celebrated author Lesléa Newman, unites a young boy and a stray kitten in a warm, lyrical story about Passover, family, and friendship.
In an unforgettable story that subtly addresses the refugee crisis, a young girl must decide if friendship means giving up the one item that brings her comfort during a time of utter uncertainty.
Winner of the 2017 Pura Belpré Author Award
Fans of Judy Moody and Clarice Bean will love Juana, the spunky young Colombian girl who stars in this playful, abundantly illustrated new series.
When her mami meets someone new, Juana worries that everything will change in a humorous, heartwarming follow-up to the Pura Belpré Award–winning Juana & Lucas.
RECIPIENT OF THE PURA BELPRÉ HONOR
* A Today Show's Best Kids' Books of 2019 * Indie Next List Pick * Junior Library Guild Selection *
An absolutely beautiful, heart-wrenching story about one family's experience with a Mexican-American tradition at the US-Mexico border, and the persistence and hope of children. Perfect for the holiday season, or any time of year, for readers of any age.--Tildy
* 4 Starred Reviews *
* An Indie Next List Pick *
“Playful, bold, and, much like its subject, full of grace.” —Jillian Tamaki, Caldecott Honor winner for This One Summer
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school--and two sisters on one's first day of hijab--by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad. With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special.
The Snowy Day meets Last Stop on Market Street in this heartwarming classic in the making about a young boy who is in a new town and doesn’t have much, but with the help of a loving community discovers the joys of his first snowy day.
On the day it snows, Gabo sees kids tugging sleds up the hill, then coasting down, whooping all the while.
Do you remember hot pot? You know, a delicious, communal meal enjoyed in the beforetimes? Sharing food with my friends and loved ones is something I deeply miss and this brightly illustrated book captures that joy and shared experience. A new take on the classic Stone Soup story, Hot Pot Night! shows a young boy gathering his neighbors together, each one bringing their own special ingredient to add to the pot. While it may not feel the same as the hot pot restaurant experience, reading this book aloud is a good excuse to then have your own hot pot night! --Amanda
This beautifully written and illustrated picture book just captures the special relationship between a child and her grandmother. This bond transcends distance and age and how strong the bonds of love are. --Audrey
A gorgeous picture book that tells a whimsical origin story of the phases of the moon, from award-winning, bestselling author-illustrator Grace Lin
Pat, pat, pat...
Little Star's soft feet tiptoed to the Big Mooncake.
Master of the cut and paste art technique, Giles Laroche takes readers on a storytelling journey around the world that celebrates the diversity of homes and the people who are shaped by them.
Step into unique homes from around the world and discover the many fascinating ways in which people live and have lived.
Africa is not a country.
From the tiny island nations of Comoros, Seychelles, and S o Tom and Pr ncipe, to its largest country, Africa is the only continent with land in all four hemispheres. Unlike any other continent, it is divided into two almost equal lengths by the equator, and it is nearly as wide as it is long.
The epic story of two Chinese brothers who became art-world legends, illustrated with stunning paintings by the artists themselves
This lyrical, whimsical picture book, set in the old city of Istanbul, celebrates kindness and generosity of spirit.
An amazingly gorgeous book that is a window for young readers about what first days of school can look like for kids around the world. Not only does our protagonist have to be brave for school, but his journey too. This is a book that will help children face their first day of school, and maybe even let their imaginations run wild on their way to school too.--Tildy
This joyful picture book introduces the Cuban culture of vendors singing their wares in the streets, told through the eyes of a young Cuban American. She is visiting her grandfather, the fruit vendor, and as she joins him we are introduced to other vendors. The conflict between the US and Cuba is also hinted at towards the end, as the girl writes letters to her grandfather. The back matter is fantastic, with information about this cultural tradition, its history, and age-appropriate information about the conflict. The illustrations are a delight and feel as lively as the marketplace and the songs heard there.--Tildy
Dora the Explorer meets No Reservations in this delicious picture book debut! Follow Kalamata and her alligator sidekick on the first of many exciting food adventures in a charming story about facing fears and overcoming back-to-school jitters.
An absolutely necessary and beautiful book. Reading Areli's story opens a window for readers not only to learn immigrant stories, but to know that kids who are Dreamers are just like they are. The illustrations shine with boldly with color that is inviting and engaging. The author's note at the beginning of the book allows for further discussion with children of what it means to be a Dreamer, and our current political landscape. This is not a book to skip, but one to read, teach, and enjoy.--Tildy
A Sikh father and daughter with a special hair bond proudly celebrate and share a family tradition in this charming story perfect for fans of Hair Love and I Love My Hair!Every morning Papa combs through his daughter's waves like he does his own—parting it down the middle, using coconut oil to get all the tangles out.
Some days he braids her hair in
A heartfelt picture book based on the author-illustrator's own experiences, about a boy who moves to the U.S. mainland from Puerto Rico and realizes that New York City might have more in common with San Juan than he initially thought.
A beautiful book that shows the strength and urge to learn among young women and girls in Afghanistan. Illustrated with warm, curvy lines and colors, reader will go along with Pari and her mom on the library bus through Afghanistan to help teach girls who don't have access to school find their way to education.--Tildy
With warm and beautiful illustrations, Sugar in Milk is story within a story that opens a window for young readers into both a Persian fairytale, and an important understanding of how immigrants not only are vital to our communities, but make them sweeter too, but told in an accessible, sweet, and lovely way. --Tildy
“Gorgeously inviting illustrations and a joyful theme…the consummate first day read.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review)
A heartwarming picture book following a group of boys from different backgrounds throughout the school year as they become the best of friends.
Musa’s feeling nervous about his first day of school.
Around the world, little ones are carried in many different ways: in slings, on shoulders, in backpacks, on hips, in baskets, and in loving arms. Up depicts ten places around the world, from Afghanistan to northern Canada, Peru to West Africa. In each place, a mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or sibling lovingly carries a baby.
A New York Times Notable Children's Books selection. The moving story of one boy's refugee experience in the Syrian Civil War and the birds who help him on the road to emotional healing
Carmelita loves to greet everyone in her colorful neighborhood. There are people from so many different cultures! They all like to say hello too, so now Carmelita can say hello in Spanish, English, French, Japanese, and many other languages. And her dog, Manny?