The Snowy Day: A classic for over 50 years, Ezra Jack Keats broke literary color barriers in children’s books, for bringing to life-Peter, an African American boy, who explores his neighborhood after the season’s first snowfall. Peter wakes up to the season’s first snowfall. In his red snowsuit, he goes outside and makes footprints and trails through the snow. Peter is too young to join a snowball fight with older kids, so he makes a snowman and snow angels and slides down a hill. He returns home with a snowball stashed in his pocket. Before he goes to bed, Peter is sad to discover the snowball has melted. The next day, he wakes up to more falling snow. With a friend, he ventures outside again.
Don’t Touch My Hair: An entertaining picture book that teaches the importance of asking for permission first as a young girl attempts to escape the curious hands that want to touch her hair. It seems that wherever Aria goes, someone wants to touch her hair. In the street, strangers reach for her fluffy curls; and even under the sea, in the jungle, and in space, she’s chased by a mermaid, monkeys, and poked by aliens…until, finally, Aria has had enough! Author-illustrator Sharee Miller takes the tradition of appreciation of black hair to a new, fresh, level as she doesn’t seek to convince or remind young readers that their curls are beautiful–she simply acknowledges black beauty while telling a fun, imaginative story.
Love Like Sky: Award winning Author, Leslie C Youngblood brings to life the story of G-baby and her younger sister, Peaches. Both are still getting used to their “blended-up” family. They live with Mama and Frank out in the suburbs, and they haven’t seen their real daddy much since he married Millicent. G-baby misses her best friend back in Atlanta, and is crushed that her glamorous new stepsister, Tangie, wants nothing to do with her. G-baby is so preoccupied with earning Tangie’s approval that she isn’t there for her own little sister when she needs her most. Peaches gets sick-really sick. Suddenly, Mama and Daddy are arguing like they did before the divorce, and even the doctors at the hospital don’t know how to help Peaches get better. It’s up to G-baby to put things right. She knows Peaches can be strong again if she can only see that their family’s love for her really is like sky.
Esperanza Rising: Pam Munoz Ryan eloquently portrays the Mexican workers’ plight in this abundant and passionate novel that gives voice to those who have historically been denied one. Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico, and that she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstance; Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.
A Chair for My Mother by acclaimed author/illustrator Vera Williams, tells of a young girl, who along with her waitress mother, saves coins in a big jar in hopes that they can someday buy a big, new, comfortable chair for their apartment, the kind of chair her mother deserves after being on her feet all day in the Blue Tile Diner. Into the jar also goes the money Grandma saves whenever she gets a bargain at the market.
There hasn’t been a comfortable place to sit in the apartment since a fire in their previous apartment burned everything to “charcoal and ashes.” Friends and neighbors brought furniture to their new apartment downstairs, but no one brought anything big or soft or comfortable. Vera Williams enhances this heartwarming story about the values of saving and working together towards a common goal, with her own pleasant, folk-art inspired paintings. Each illustration is bordered with natty patterning, foreshadowing the family’s eventual acquisition of their new, magnificent chair.