Diversity Month Reads for Little Ones

By Chelsea Condren, Early Literacy Coordinator
March 29, 2022
collage of three book covers

April is Diversity Month, and the Library has lots of reasons to be excited. Our World Literature Festival runs April 11–30, and we join New Yorkers in celebrating NYC Immigrant Heritage Week from April 11–17. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite picture books that tell stories of immigrants and celebrate different cultures all around the world. 

If you haven’t yet checked out the award-winning Yuyi Morales’s Dreamers, it is a beautifully illustrated new classic in which Morales tells her own immigration story––this title is also available in Spanish and our Read Along format! Tani's New Home: A Refugee Finds Hope & Kindness in America, written by Tanitoluwa Adewumi with Michelle Lord, and illustrated by Courtney Dawson, is the true story of a Nigerian refugee who made headlines for winning the New York State Chess Championship at just eight years old. 

Sometimes we have complicated feelings about our heritage. Where Are You From?, by Yamile Saied Méndez and illustrated by Jaime Kim, is the story of a young girl who isn’t sure how to answer the question “Where are you from?” so she turns to her abuelo (her grandfather) for help and gets an unexpected answer. In Home Is In Between, by Mitali Perkins and illustrated by Lavanya Naidu, a young girl immigrating to America navigates her family’s Bengali traditions and new American ones.

Immigration stories often involve our grandparents and other elders. In Tina Fortuna’s New Home, by Ruth Behar and illustrated by Devon Holzwarth, Estrella learns more about her Jewish and Cuban heritage while helping her aunt move to a new assisted living facility. Moving to new places can also mean leaving beloved relatives behind. I Dream of Popo is the story of a young girl who moves with her family from Taiwan to America and leaves behind her beloved popo (grandmother). The book includes a note about the author and illustrator’s personal experiences, and a glossary of Chinese words connected to the story.

Finally, Ohana Means Family, written by Ilima Loomis and illustrated by Kenard Pak, is a joyful rhyme about a family celebrating Hawai’i during a luau

Visit this link for updates on our World Literature Festival and Immigrant Heritage Week themed programs and to discover free author talks, resources, book recommendations, and more for all ages in world languages.