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There’s been a great uptick in multicultural children’s books in the last few years but they are still, unfortunately, far fewer in numbers than they should be. It’s so important for kids to identify with the characters in the books they read yet it’s easy forget that not all kids get that chance. And those kids who do identify with the characters featured in the majority of books need a chance to see variety of culture, color, and tradition represented to help them form foundations of acceptance and empathy for those they’ll meet who may be different than they are.
Written and Illustrated by: Vashti Harrison
Number of Pages: 96
Age Range: 4-12
Written and Illustrated by: Nidhi Chanani
Number of Pages: 176
Age Range: 10-14
Next up is a vivid young adult graphic novel about Pri who finds a magical pashmina that transports her to a place where she learns about her Indian culture and finding peace as an Indian-American. The colors are gorgeous and anyone who’s ever struggled to fit in will connect instantly with Pri and her dilemmas.
Written by: Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Illustrated by: Celia Krampien
Number of Pages: 64
Age Range: 8-12
Written and Illustrated by: Paul Owen Lewis
Number of Pages: 32
Age Range: 5-9
Last up is an older release about a boy from an indigenous tribe from the Pacific Northwest. After being caught in a storm he washes ashore in a village inhabited by supernatural beings. Again, excellent back matter gives background on the tribal motifs, culture, and traditions.
Do you have any favorite multicultural stories or characters you think I’d like? I’m always looking for suggestions to add to my “To Read” list. Leave them in the comments below!