Multicultural Books for Younger Children

Anaya, R. A. (1995). The farolitos of Christmas. New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children.
With her father away fighting in World War II and her grandfather too sick to create the traditional luminaria, Luz helps create little farolitos, little lanterns, for their Christmas celebration instead.
Call# J P A

Barber, B. E. (1996). Allie's basketball dream. New York, NY: Lee & Low Books.
Determined in her effort to play basketball, a young African American girl gives it one more shot with the support of a special friend.
Call# J P B

Bateson-Hill, M. (1996). Lao Lao of Dragon Mountain. New York, NY: Stewart, Tabori & Chang.
A greedy emperor demands an impossible task from Lao Lao, a peasant woman who makes beautiful shapes from paper. Includes instructions for making traditional Chinese paper-cuts.
Call# J P B

Bishop, G. (1996). Maui and the sun: A Maori tale. New York, NY: North-South Books.
The Maori people of New Zealand tell this version of the Polynesian folktale in which a trickster uses magical powers to slow the movement of the sun.
Call# J 398.2 B

Bruchac, J. (1995). Gluskabe and the four wishes. New York, NY: Cobblehill Books/Dutton.
Four Abenaki men set out on a difficult journey to ask the great giant Gluskabe to grant each his fondest wish.
Call# J 398.2 B

Byrd, L. M., & Castro, A. (2003). The treasure on Gold Street = El tesoro en La Calle Oro. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.
Denise describes her neighbors on Gold Street, especially Isabel, who is an adult but still plays with the young children and holds her mother's hand to cross the street, just as she has since Denise's mother was small.
Call# J P B

Caraballo, S., Cruz, D. N., & Brammer, E. C. (2004). Mis abuelos y yo. Houston, TX: Piñata Books, Arte Público Press.
Illustrations and rhyming text describe all the special things a Puerto Rican boy enjoys doing with his grandparents throughout the year. Call# SP J P C

Carr, J. (1995). Dark day, light night. New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children
Manda's Aunt Ruby helps her to deal with some angry feelings by making lists of all the things that they like in the world.
Call# JPC

Cruz, B. (2004). Alvin Ailey: Celebrating African-American culture in dance. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers.
Profiles the life of one of the most popular and acclaimed dancers and choreographers in the world.
Call# JB Ailey

Daly, N. (2004). Where's Jamela? New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
When Mama gets a new job and a new house, everyone is excited about moving except Jamela who likes her old house just fine.
Call# J P D

Day, N. (1995). The lion's whiskers: An Ethiopian folktale. New York, NY: Scholastic.
In this tale from the Amhara people of Ethiopia, a patient woman uses her experience with a wild lion to win the love of her new stepson.
Call# J 398.2 R

English, K., & Steptoe, J. (2004). Hot day on Abbott Avenue. New York, NY: Clarion Book.
After having a fight, two friends spend the day ignoring each other, until the lure of a game of jump rope helps them to forget about being mad.
Call# JPE

Goss, L. (1995). It's Kwanzaa time! New York, NY: G.P. Putnam's.
Stories, recipes and activities introduce the holiday of Kwanzaa and the ways in which it is celebrated.
Call# J 394.2 G

Hall, B. E., & Low, W. (2004). Henry and the kite dragon. New York, NY: Philomel Books.
In New York City in the 1920s, the children from Chinatown go after the children from Little Italy for throwing rocks at the beautiful kites Grandfather Chin makes, not realizing that they have a reason for doing so.
Call# J P H

Heo, Y. (1996). The green frogs: A Korean folktale. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
A folktale about two green frogs who always disobey their mother, explaining why green frogs cry out whenever it rains.
Call# J 398.2 H

Igus, T. (1996). Two Mrs. Gibsons. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press.
The biracial daughter of an African-American father and a Japanese mother fondly recalls growing up with her mother and her father's mother, two very different but equally loving women.
Call# J P I

Joosse, B. M., & Christie, G. (2004). Hot city. New York, NY: Philomel Books.
Mimi and her little brother Joe escape the city's summer heat to read about princesses and dinosaurs in the cool, quiet library.
Call# J P J

Krull, K. (1996). Wilma unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph became the world's fastest woman. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
A biography of the African-American woman who overcame crippling polio as a child to become the first woman to win three gold medals in track in a single Olympics.
Call# J B R

Manushkin, F. (1995). The matzah that Papa brought home. New York, NY: Scholastic.
A cumulative rhyme in the style of "The House That Jack Built" describes the traditions connected to a family's celebration of the Passover seder.
Call# J P M

Myers, T. B., & Han, O. S. (2004). Basho and the river stones. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.
Tricked by a fox into giving up his share of cherries, a famous Japanese poet is inspired to write a haiku and the fox, ashamed of his actions, must devise another trick to set things right.
Call# J P M

Myers, T. B., & Roth, R. (2003). Tanuki's gift: A Japanese tale. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.
One winter a priest takes in a furry tanuki and the two become friends, but when the tanuki tries to repay the priest, they both learn a lesson.
Call# J 398.2 M

Pitre, F. (1995). Paco y la bruja: Cuento popular Puertoriqueño. / Paco and the witch: A Puerto Rican folk tale. New York, NY: Lodestar Books.
A young boy is trapped by a crafty witch who will not free him unless he can guess her name.
Call# SP J 398. 2 P also Call# J 398.2 P

Ringgold, F. (1995). My dream of Martin Luther King. New York, NY: Crown.
The author recounts the life of Martin Luther King in the form of her own dream.
Call# J B R

Roberts, B. C., & Morrison, F. (2004). Jazzy Miz Mozetta. New York, NY: Farrar Straus Giroux.
On a beautiful evening, Miz Mozetta puts on her red dress and blue shoes and dances the jitterbug just like she did many years before.
Call# J P R

Rothenberg, J. (1995). Yettele's feathers. New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children.
Yettele, who loves to gossip, is finally taught a lesson by the Rabbi.
Call# J 398.2 R

Sandoval, D. (1996). Be patient, Abdul. New York, NY: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
With the help of his younger sister, seven-year-old Abdul raises money to go to school by selling oranges in the marketplace in Sierra Leone.
Call# J P S

Shea, P. D., & Weill, C. (2003). Ten mice for Tet. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books.
A village of mice prepares for Tet. Includes an afterword with facts about the holiday.
Call# J P S

Smalls-Hector, I. (1996). Louise's gift: Or what did she give me that for? Boston, MA: Little, Brown.
Louise is disappointed in Nana's gift and prediction for her future, but later comes to understand just how special she is.
Call# J P S

Soto, G. (1995). Chato's kitchen. New York, NY: Putnam's.
To get the ratoncitos, "little mice," who have moved into the barrio to come to his house, Chato the cat prepares all kinds of good food: fajitas, frijoles, salsa , enchiladas, and more.
Call# J P S

Soto, G., & Guevara, S. (2004). Chato goes cruisin'. New York, NY: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
Chato and Novio win a cruise but are disappointed to find that everyone on board is a dog, and things go from bad to worse when the dogs party themselves sick and it is up to the cats to find help.
Call# J P S

Souhami, J. (1995). The leopard's drum: An Asante tale from West Africa. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.
Osebo the leopard has a magnificent drum that he won't share with anyone else, so Nayme, the Sky-God, offers a reward to the animal who will bring him the drum.
Call# J 398.2 S

Torres, L. (1995). Saturday sancocho. New York, NY: Farrar Straus Giroux.
Maria Lili and her grandmother barter a dozen eggs at the market square to get the ingredients to cook their traditional Saturday chicken sancocho. Includes recipe.
Call# J P T

Wells, R. (1996). The farmer and the poor God: A folktale from Japan. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
A poor god living in the attic of an unsuccessful family prepares to move with them and causes a reversal of their fortunes.
Call# J 398.2 W

Woodson, J., & Lewis, E. B. (2004). Coming on home soon. New York, NY: Putnam's.
After Mama takes a job in Chicago during Word War II, Ada Ruth stays with Grandma but misses her mother who loves her more than rain and snow.
Call# J P W

Yolen, J., & Colon, R. (2003). Mightier than the sword: World folktales for strong boys. San Diego, CA: Harcourt.
A collection of folktales demonstrating the triumph of brains over brawn.
Call# J 398.2 Y

Yoo, P., & Lee, D. (2005). Sixteen years in sixteen seconds: The Sammy Lee story. New York, NY: Lee & Low Books.
A biography of Korean-American diving champion Sammy Lee, focusing on how his childhood determination and his father's dreams set the stage for a medical career as well as his athletic achievements which earned him Olympic gold medals in 1948 and 1952.
Call# J B Lee

Youme. (2004). Sélavi, that is life: A Haitian story of hope. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.
A homeless boy in Haiti joins other street children, and together they build a home, and a radio station where they can care for themselves and others.
Call# J P Y