Category Archives: Diversity, Race, and Representation

Conversation about diversity, multiculturalism, race, and inclusion.

How to Choose the Best Multicultural Books for Your Collection

choosing multicultural books

At Lee & Low Books, our mission is to publish multicultural books that are “about everyone, for everyone.” We’ve published stories for nearly 30 years that highlight people of different backgrounds, cultures, and abilities, and we make a special effort to work with authors and illustrators of color.

With the increase in diverse books being published, one question that comes up a lot when we’re talking to people is “How do I choose good multicultural books?” It is important to choose not just diverse books, but books that are culturally authentic, engaging, and free from problematic stereotypes.

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Interview: Karen Leggett Abouraya and Susan L. Roth on Malala Yousafzai and Other Women Who Inspire Them

Released this past January in both English and Spanish, Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words is the picture book biography of the amazing Nobel Peace Prize winner and brave, outspoken girl who continues to fight for the millions of children worldwide who are not able to go to school. In this interview for Women’s History Month, we chatted with author Karen Leggett Abouraya and illustrator Susan L.  Roth about their inspiration for the book and the women they look up to:

malala yousafzai covers

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Social Activism Books for First Grade

Books can encourage kids of all ages to enact change in their communities. Because it’s never too early to make a difference, we’ll be sharing a list of social activism books for each grade level. Check out our social activism book roundup for first grade below and for more social activism titles, check out our full printable Social Activism Diverse Reading List!

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Tackling Islamophobia with Children’s Literature

Gauri Manglik and Sadaf Siddique, co-founders of the South Asian book blog KitaabWorld, wrote this guest post on how to tackle Islamophobia with children’s literature.

kitaab world books

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Social Activism Books for Kindergarten

Books can encourage kids of all ages to enact change in their communities. Because it’s never too early to make a difference, each month we’ll be sharing a list of social activism books for each grade level starting with Kindergarten. Check out our social activism book roundup below, and for more social activism titles, check out our full printable Social Activism Diverse Reading List! Continue reading

Illustrator Aaliya Jaleel Takes Us Behind the Art of ‘Under My Hijab’

Released earlier this month, Under My Hijab is a book that provides a friendly introduction to hijabs for all readers, and celebrates the many Muslim women and girls who choose to wear them. Debut illustrator Aaliya Jaleel took us behind the scenes of her creative process. Read on for more!

under my hijab cover Continue reading

Using Diverse Books to Support Social and Emotional Learning in Kindergarten

Social and Emotional Learning in Kindergarten

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a hot topic, but it’s certainly not new. Skills like empathy, cultivating and maintaining positive relationships, recognizing and managing emotions, problem solving, approaching tasks with grit and perseverance, and taking on others’ perspectives have always, and will always, be crucial to kids’ success. Research shared by CASEL reports that SEL programs lead to “immediate improvements in mental health, social skills, and academic achievement,” and “up to 18 years later, students exposed to SEL in school continue to do better than their peers on a number of indicators: positive social behaviors and attitudes, skills such as empathy and teamwork, and academics.” SEL is certainly worthy of time and attention from those who support children’s development.

Books are valuable tools for guiding conversations about SEL topics. Children can examine and learn from characters’ actions and experiences and relate them to their own. Of course, book selection is key. When kids see both themselves and others in diverse books, it says, “You matter. Reflect on your experiences.” and “Others matter. Listen and learn.” Therein lies the heart of SEL. 

As students grow and change, so do their social emotional learning needs. Linking diverse books to SEL goals and challenges across different ages is a powerful way to support students as they navigate each developmental stage. This blog series explores how diverse books can be used to support social emotional learning at different grade levels. Continue reading

Authentic Spanish Books List for Grades PreK-5

Check out our new printable Authentic Spanish Book List that features some of our most popular award-winning bilingual and dual language texts written by authors from the cultures featured in our books.

The read alouds featured in this list will help build a solid foundation to achieve Spanish literacy or bilingualism while also affirming and validating a child’s identity, culture, and home language. These stories celebrate cultures, voices, and experiences of communities historically underrepresented or misrepresented in children’s literature.

Included in this list are culturally and linguistically authentic books that all children can enjoy.

Authentic Spanish Book List Collections:

Authentic Spanish Book List Collection
Authentic Spanish Book List Grades PreK-2 Collection
Authentic Spanish Book List Grades 3-5 Collection

Download, print, and share the Authentic Spanish Book List here.

An Interview with Hena Khan, Author of ‘Under My Hijab’

Today is the official release of Under My Hijabthe new picture book written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel. With cheerful rhyming text and charming illustrations, Under My Hijab provides a friendly introduction to hijabs for all readers, and celebrates the many Muslim women and girls who choose to wear them.

Under My Hijab Interview

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Watch the Webinar: Teaching Social Activism through Children’s Books

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our webinar, “Teaching Social Activism through Children’s Books”! If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), here is a recording of the webinar:

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