Culturally Diverse Picture Books

When my 10 year old son confided that he identified more as a Mexican-American because no one in his school was Cuban—or even knew where Cuba was—I gasped. My mind traveled back to the future. 

Growing up as a Cuban-American, I felt culturally confused. My family was from this country that I did not know much about.

As a young girl, I loved books and never saw a Cuban-American character portrayed in literature. I longed to see a protagonist that symbolized my culture’s representation—especially since I had never been to Cuba and almost all my family lived there. I desperately longed for something to connect through my love language—reading. How I wish I would have had All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle as a child to get a glimpse of the sights, people and life on the island. Read More

“Make every mistake a new mission to grow.”

I was overjoyed to receive a copy of Being Me from A to Z  by Lauren Kukla and Aviel Basil. This book not only teaches the alphabet, but “inspires kids to be their best selves.”

Letter M was one of our favorites! “M is for mistakes—yes, make them you will, missteps and missed chances and milk that you spill. You’ll hurt someone’s feelings, you’ll step on a toe. Make every mistake a new mission to grow.” Read More

When I Pray for You

I cannot even begin to describe how magnificent and heavenly Matthew Paul’s Turner new book truly is. My children and I love all of his books and read them daily, but this one—oh, my heart! I was in tears as I read it to my boys and Abby (currently in my womb).

The text is a profound prayer that rhymes. It carries words that hug not only the heart of a child, but the hearts of parents. I tend to look for children’s books based on a dual metaphor—stories young children can easily connect to and a more profound one parents can interpret.

The illustrations by Kimberley Barnes convey a message of compassion, tolerance, empathy, and social awareness—all are key in order to enrich our children’s lives and add to the value of humanity through what God’s word teaches. 
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