At Home Learning Book Collections

If you’re a parent, caregiver, or homeschooler and you’re looking for ways to supplement your child’s learning materials at home, help your young students as they embark on remote learning this school year with our book collections.

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Upcoming September Tea Time Talks: Meet Our Editors and Authors

Tea Time Talks

Curious about the ins-and-outs of the editorial process? Join us for our September Tea Time Talks  between our authors and editors!

In these short, casual conversations, get a behind-the-scenes look at our publishing process as our Lee & Low editors share a (virtual) cup of tea with their authors. Hear them describe the initial inspiration and the development process, discuss questions that came up during the editing, and reflect on decisions they made.

Join us live, or register for a link to watch the recordings later!

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How Labeling Books as “Diverse” Reinforces White Supremacy

In this guest post, librarian Alexandria Brown discusses the issues with labeling books as “diverse” and other ways we can build and promote a more equitable library collection. 

Every so often, the question of whether or not to add a spine label designating “diverse” books makes the rounds. Many condemn the practice, but lots of library staff persist in labeling. Like most diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues in librarianship, many of my colleagues are still operating within a white (and cisgender and heterosexual) supremacist framework. It is an understandable predicament to be in – after all, many library degree programs are not as strong as they could be in advocating for DEI and decolonization. So let’s examine the question of diversity labeling and see if we can’t get to a better understanding of why it’s problematic.

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Watch the Webinar: Strategies for Building an Inclusive Bookshelf

Thank you for joining us for our webinar, “Representation Matters: Strategies for Building an Inclusive Bookshelf.” If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), you can access the webinar here. Keep reading for links to the resources and books that were shared during the webinar.

Lee & Low Books Classroom Library Questionnaire:
Classroom Library Questionnaire- English (Interactive version here)
Classroom Library Questionnaire- Spanish (Interactive version here) Continue reading

6 Books by Black Creators for Middle School and High School

A couple weeks ago, we shared a list of 12 Picture Books by Black Authors and Illustrators. In this blog post, we’re continuing to highlight books with Black characters by Black creators, but this time for middle school and high school.

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Out Now: Nacho’s Nachos: The Story Behind the World’s Favorite Snack

Nacho's NachosToday, we’re excited to celebrate the release of our new picture book biography, Nacho’s Nachos: The Story Behind the World’s Favorite Snack, written by Sandra Nickel and illustrated by Oliver Dominguez.

This delicious picture book biography sheds light on Ignacio Anaya, who is credited with inventing nachos! Ignacio, nicknamed Nacho, was born in Mexico in 1895, and became head waiter at the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, right across the Rio Grande river from Eagle Pass, Texas.

One afternoon in 1940, during the Victory Club’s quiet hours between lunch and dinner, a regular customer walked in with three friends. They wanted a snack–something new, something different. Nacho rushed to the kitchen and improvised with what was on hand: corn tortillas, cheddar cheese, and jalapeño peppers. In that moment, Nacho’s Special, the dish that later became known simply as “nachos,” was born!

Check out the Nacho’s Nachos Story Time Activity Kit and find activities to do with kids like:

  • Draw your dream nachos. What ingredients would you include
  • Create a banner declaring your love of nachos.
  • Follow Nacho Anaya’s original nachos recipe to get a taste of “Nacho’s Special”

Celebrate with us by eating nachos this week on Instagram. Post a photo of your nachos with the hashtag #nachosnachos and tag @leeandlow to be entered to win a copy of the book!

Listen to debut author Sandra Nickel talk about creating Nacho’s Nachos, and explore additional activities to go with the book at TeachingBook.net.

 

Join Our Webinar: Strategies for Building an Inclusive Bookshelf

How do we build a book collection that reflects our children, our values, and our world? In difficult times, books offer an important outlet to young people—but making the right books available is essential. If you’ve ever wondered how to take action in diversifying your library but don’t know how or where to start, you’re not alone.

Join us for a webinar on Tuesday, August 18th at 4:00 PM EDT as we walk through some of the steps to creating a truly inclusive collection. We will use our newly updated Questionnaire as a guide for identifying gaps in our shelves, and share resources for finding and evaluating diverse books. We are also proud to announce the launch of a Spanish version of the questionnaire just in time for the start of the school year.

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Out Today: She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm

Today, we’re so excited to celebrate the release of our new picture book biography, She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm, written by Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrated by Eric Velasquez.

Shirley Chisholm, a woman of many firsts, was an unforgettable political trailblazer, a candidate of the people and “catalyst of change” who opened the door for women in the political arena and for the first Black president of the United States.

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Watch our Webinar with EmbraceRace: Finding and Reading Great Stories with Kids

In this webinar, Literacy Specialist Katie Potter joins EmbraceRace in conversation about how to find and share books that develop kids’ racial and social justice sensibilities and help them become the community members our increasingly multiracial democracy needs. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.

Not sure where to begin your search? Start with these booklists featured in the webinar:

Books that inspire resilience in kids of color
Books that encourage kids of all colors to be inclusive and empathetic
Books that support kids to think critically about racial inequity
Books that animate kids (and adults!) to be racial justice advocates for all kids

About EmbraceRace: EmbraceRace is a multiracial community of parents, teachers, experts, and other caring adults who support each other to meet the challenges that race poses to our children, families, and communities.

Have additional questions or comments? Please leave them below in the comments!

12 Picture Books by Black Creators

The news may have shifted from highlighting ongoing protests across the country, but it’s amazing to see that the momentum hasn’t stopped in the fight for Black lives.

As books and anti-racism resources continue to be shared, it’s important to not only highlight books with Black characters but to celebrate and uplift the work of Black creators.

Here are 12 picture books by Black authors and illustrators to add to your book shelves:

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Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity