What does Multicultural Children's Books mean to you?

Multicultural Children's Books

I'll start with a confession. I'm one of those old-fashioned white Americans. Dime a dozen.

Other people know better about the subject matter on this page. I'm going to direct you to some of them.

There's a lot of good stuff out there. My hope is that the visitors to this page won't only be people looking to expose their children to books about their own culture. I'm hoping parents will expose their children to books about other cultures as well.


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Are you looking for African-American children's books or Spanish children's books? Native American? I have separate pages devoted to those cultures.


I think children are best off knowing about the world around them. They should read about other cultures and other countries.

Multicultural children's books are the way to go.

Lee & Low Multicultural Children's Books

Lee & Low is the first publisher I've recommended on this site. They've devoted themselves to the publication of multicultural children's books, and many of their books are award winners.

Their website is huge and helpful, a joy to surf. Whatever culture it is you're looking for children's books on, Lee & Low Multicultural Children's Books is an excellent place to start.

International Children's Digital Library

Wow. This is a growing site of free online multicultural children's books. There is no American bias here. The library features books from all different countries and in all different languages as well.

The site is easy to navigate, and you can search for books by region or by language. The books are read online, so you will have to hand over the computer to your child. (I know that's hard for some of you!)

In fact, that's what I like best about the ICDL - Internet Children's Digital Library. You just hand over the controls to your child. Go do something else, and then be pleasantly surprised when your child develops an interest in, say, Belize. Or starts speaking Danish!

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Here's someone whose middle name should be Multicultural Children's Books! But, alas, she already has a middle name.

Cynthia Leitich Smith is a Native American children's book writer with a site that promotes not only her own children's books but tons from other Native American children's book writers.

In fact, Cynthia covers not only Native American children's books but other multicultural children's books categories as well. Google her! You can explore her specialty sections - not only Native American children's books, but Asian-American, multiracial and multicultural children's books as well.

And speaking of Asian-American children's books...

The Asian/Pacific American Libraries Association (APALA) presents awards for text and illustration.

Award-winners for text in Asian-American Children's Books

2011-2012 Orchards (young adult), by Thompson, Holly

2011-2012 The Great Wall of Lucy Wu (youth lit), by Shang, Wendy Wan-Long

2010-2011 Shooting Kabul (young adult), by Senzai, N. H.

2010-2011 Heart of a Samurai (youth lit), by Preus, Margi

2009-2010 Everything Asian, by Woo, Sung.

2008-2009 Roots and Wings, by Ly, Many.

2007-2008 Hiroshima Dreams, by Easton, Kelly.

2006-2007 Nothing but the Truth, by Headley, Justina Chen.

2004-2006 Kira Kira, by Kadohata, Cynthia.

2001-2003 A Step From Heaven, by Na, An.

Award-winners for illustration in Asian-American Children's Books

2011-2012 The House Baba Built: An Artist’s Childhood in China, by Ed Young

2010-2011 Yasmin's Hammer, written by Ann Malaspina, illustrated by Doug Ghayka

2009-2010 Cora Cooks Pancit, written by Janet S. Wong, illustrated by Kristi Valiant

2008-2009 Wabi Sabi, written by Mark Reibstein, illustrated by Ed Young

2007-2008 Surfer of the Century, written by Ellie Crowe, illustrated by Richard Waldrep

2006-2007 The Legend of Hong Kil Dong: The Robin Hood of Korea, by Anne Sibley O'Brien

2004-2006 Firekeeper's Son, written by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Julie Downing

2001-2003 Apple Pie 4th of July, written by Janet S. Wong, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

And check out some top Asian-American children's poets.

Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.

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