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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Fall Sneak Peek: A New Picture Book Biography of Maya Angelou

We couldn’t let Black History Month go by without sharing one of our most anticipated books of Fall 2019: Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya AngelouWritten by award-winning biographer Bethany Hegedus and illustrated by fine artist Tonya Engel, Rise! will be the first in-depth picture book biography of Dr. Angelou and will be published ahead of the fiftieth anniversary celebration of Angelou’s masterpiece, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Continue reading

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!

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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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Tackling the Challenges of Implementing Diverse Libraries at Your School

implementing a diverse library

New year, new goals! If one of your professional goals this year is to add more diversity to your school or classroom library, we’re here with some inspiration to get you started. In the following blog post, originally posted at the Center for the Collaborative Classroom and cross-posted with permission, our Director of Curriculum and Literacy Strategy Jill Eisenberg shares tips and suggestions for how to move forward without becoming overwhelmed:

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Using Diverse Books to Support Social and Emotional Learning in Preschool

In our newest series, educator Lindsay Barrett offers suggestions for using diverse books to teach social and emotional learning at various grade levels, beginning with preschool.

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Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity