• Books

    Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev

    Author Lisa Mantchev discusses inclusion in this thoughtful book about children with pets who are a little different than your fish, cat, or dog.  While the book does not explicitly address diversity and inclusion of people, it focuses on what friends do for each other.  This book should not serve as a replacement for diversity books in your classroom library, but rather as an introduction to teaching about diversity and inclusion.  I have used this book in the beginning of the school year, especially during New Jersey’s Week of Respect (the first week in October), to introduce a discussion on what makes a good friend.  The book follows a young…

  • Books

    Danza! Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México by Duncan Tonatiuh

    Duncan Tonatiuh has done it again!  In his 2017 book, Danza!, he tells the story of Amalia Hernández, founder of El Ballet Folklórico de México, her dance company that combined modern dance and ballet to the traditional Mexican folk dances.  Tonatiuh’s signature illustrations pay tribute to the ancient art of the Mixtec people, who are indigenous to Mexico.  Tonatiuh’s book tells the story of how Amalia became inspired to dance, formed her dance company, and honored Mexico’s history of the art.  The picture book biography provides the reader with new, enriching vocabulary, beautiful illustrations, and the fascinating story of a Mexican woman who set out to reach her dream with…

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  • Books

    Skin Again by bell hooks

    bell hooks is widely known and recognized for feminist theory, examining culture and race, and writing.  Skin Again, which was published in 2004, is one of hooks’ published children’s books.  The book addresses the issue forming opinions or making judgments based on skin color.  The beautiful illustrations done by Chris Raschka compliment hooks’ poetic telling of two people, different by skin color, explaining that while their skin color is a part of them, it is not all of them.   I selected this book for our multi-age preschool classroom library when we were studying the human body.  Students had many questions about our skin, why some of us are lighter or darker…