Recommended Children’s Books

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The next five weekly blog posts will cover recommended Latin American children’s books. I am starting here with a more inclusive list of books for different age ranges. Please see the list below, and feel free to “reply” with book titles you would add to this list!

These recommendations follow VIBE Movement’s June 2020 webinar “How to Talk to Kids About Race.” I support and collaborate with the founder of VIBE Movement, Tina Medina, as she works to support educators at the intersection of personal, professional, and equity-centered action planning. Scroll to the bottom of this post for links to the webinar and VIBE website.

What are some multicultural books you can add to your child’s library, or your classroom library? Here is a list of books which support and validate the multicultural realities children inhabit.

Ages 3-5 and up

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Think Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison

This Little Artist: An Art History Primer Board Book by Joan Holub, illustrated by Daniel Roode

This Little Dreamer: An Inspirational Primer Board Book by Joan Holub, illustrated by Daniel Roode

Ages 4-8 and up

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael López

Henry’s First-Moon Birthday by Lenore Look, illustrated by Yumi Heo

I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids by Gaby Garcia, illustrated by Charity Russell

A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa by Andrea D’Aquino (Princeton Architectural Press)

Little Cloud and Lady Wind by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison, illustrated by Sean Qualls

My Nana and Me, by Irene Smalls

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihai Muhammad, illustrated by Hatem Aly

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Tito Puento, Mambo King/Tito Puento, Rey del Mambo by Monica Brown, illustrated by Rafael López

Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier

The Word Collector, by Peter H. Reynolds

Ages 6-9 and Up

Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage by Rebel Girls

Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest by Rebel Girls

Junko Tabei Masters the Mountains by Rebel Girls

Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson, illustrated by Frank Morrison

Ages 8 and up

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly, illustrated by Isabel Roxas

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia 

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Ages 10 and up

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Rebel Girls

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World by Rebel Girls

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

Ages 13 and up

Children of Blood and Bone: The Orisha Legacy by Tomi Adeyemi

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Mexican WhiteBoy by Matt de la Peña

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

You can learn more about VIBE Movement here:

You can view VIBE Movement’s June 2020 webinar, “How to Talk to Kids About Race,” here:–v_T03GtKVsgSDB_N-W43oJvis1iIWqfdfxR61VnVWY1WhN-YVN7NIT0726fy22I5pdT6wN7s6?autoplay=true&fbclid=IwAR32bPkxHEnNTVFz36owj2cYRXxl9aSEpLCmYCd_iiQk2b1sx562OajvZCY

Support your local bookshop by purchasing one of the recommended titles from

Published by Clarissa Castaneda, PhD

Clarissa Castaneda, PhD is a scholar of Latine/Chicane American literature and cultures, indigenous literatures and cultures, film/television/visual/material cultures, archive theory, and poetics. Her dissertation, Latinidades and the Repository Function of the Poetic (2020), is available via ProQuest. And, “Indigenous Libretto and Aural Memory in The Sun Dance and El Circo Anahuac” is available in Displaced: Literature of Indigeneity, Migration, and Trauma (Routledge 2020). Dr. Castaneda is a lecturer in English at Cal Poly Pomona and a faculty associate in Film & Television Studies at Arizona State University. In addition to research, academic writing, and teaching, she is a creative writer, poet, and musician.

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