Posts Tagged ‘diversity in children’s books’

A Picture Book About Friendship: You by Stephen Michael King

Posted on March 7th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

image of cover art for You by Stephen Michael KingYou written and illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Picture book about friendship published by Greenwillow Books

Light and breezy, You: A Story of Love and Friendship has got it right. The world is more colourful, more musical and more exciting when shared with a true friend.

In this picture book about friendship, Happy and engaging illustrations invite us to watch as a friends work together to transform a drab birdhouse into a bright and inviting home. When the work is done, they joyfully play music together and manage to endure the highs and lows that life brings.

The world is an exciting place, with ups, downs, around and arounds, and far-far-aways. But the most exciting place in my world is with… you.

Well-suited to very young children, You is a picture book about friendship and love. It would be a a great story to share before a parent or friend leaves on a trip.

Be sure to visit the author’s website (link above) and read about Stephen Michael King’s experience as a hearing impaired child and his path to becoming an author-illustrator.

You: A Story of Love and Friendship at Amazon.com

You: A Story of Love and Friendship at Amazon.ca



You may also be interested in our Valentine’s Day printables. Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest – Check out our Valentine’s Day Board

Catherine’s Story – Helping Children Learn About Living with Disabilities

Posted on March 4th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Catherine's Story -  Helping Children Learn About Living with DisabilitiesCatherine’s Story written by Genevieve Moore and illustrated by Karin Littlewood
Picture book about a child with disabilities published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books





Catherine’s story is based upon the experiences of a young girl who, as an infant, suffered from West’s Syndrome, also known as infantile spasms (a form of epilepsy). Catherine wears braces when she walks and she claps her hands very, very quietly. She is not able to talk but she does listen very intently. Catherine’s dad explains to her cousin that many people talk far too much; Catherine is special because she listens so well. Catherine, who needs help throughout the day, is supported by her dad together with her grandmother.

Catherine’s Story is beautilully illustrated with vivid hues. It is a valuable resource for classrooms and families seeking to understand children with disabilities.

Epilepsy Ontario’s Resource “Perfection” – a play and program for classroom use

Catherine’s Story at Amazon.com

Catherine’s Story at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.


Listen As Scully Experiences A Screaming Kind of Day

Posted on March 2nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

A Screaming Kind of Day – written by Rachna Gilmore and illustrated by Gordon Sauve
Winner of the 1999 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature, Text

A Screaming Kind Of Day introduces Scully, a young, hearing impaired girl. She awakens and opens her eyes to her brother’s face, teasing and taunting. A noisy chase begins and is only stopped when mom intervenes. She is studying for a test and has little patience for her children and their screams. The grey weather outside matches Scully’s mood and, when the rain eventually comes, she wants to go outside to experience the rhythm and intensity of the storm. Careful to avoid her mom, Scully sneaks outside to dance, touch, smell and feel the wild weather. Before long, Mom is at her side and is angry. Once inside the house again, Scully resists going to her room and shouts, “I hate you.” Before long, restorative sleep calls and Scully rests. When she awakens, the Screaming Kind of Day has been washed away and harmony has returned to the family.

After dinner I sit by the open window.
No rain.
The sky is silky pink with licks of lavender.
The green smells full and glad.
I sigh and look at Mom. “Can we go outside, Mom? You know, wait for the stars?”

Much more than a story about a deaf child, A Screaming Kind of Day explores family dynamics and provides reassurance at the end of a challenging day. As well, it encourages the reader to appreciate the sensory impact of a rainstorm and to consider conflict from several perspectives. A lovely story to enjoy with children aged four and up.

Rachna Gilmore’s Teacher’s Guide for A Screaming Kind of Day

A Screaming Kind Of Day at Amazon.com

A Screaming Kind of Day at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.



And Tango Makes Three – Celebrate Family Diversity with Roy and Silo

Posted on February 23rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at picture book, And Tango Makes ThreeAnd Tango Makes Three
Written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole





Roy and Silo are male chinstrap penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo. They love each other very much and make a nest together. Sadly, Roy and Silo do not have an egg to keep warm. One day their keeper decides to give them an egg that needs protection. Many days pass, Roy and Silo attend conscientiously to the precious egg. At long last the shell cracks and baby Tango arrives. Together, Roy and Silo become fathers. Based on true events, And Tango Makes Three is charming and thoughtful. Highly recommended.

Best for ages 4-8

New York Times article about Roy and Silo from 2004

New York’s Central Park Zoo

And Tango Makes Three at Amazon.com

And Tango Makes Three at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.


The World is a Better Place – Because of You – Making a Difference

Posted on February 21st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Because of You – written by B.G. Hennessy and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata

From the moment we arrive on earth, each of us has the potential to change the world by loving, sharing, listening and helping others. Lively illustrations and an important and timely message encourage each of us to consider making a difference and how we contribute to the world around us.

“When people from different countries help, care, share, and listen ton one another it is called peace. Even something as big and important as peace begins with something small and precious. It might begin… because of you.”

Because of You would make a cherished gift for new parents or your favourite preschooler.

Suitable for children ages 2 and up

Because of You at Amazon.com

Because of You at Amazon.ca



Kathryn Otashi’s One is an Enlightened Look at Bullying

Posted on February 17th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

One written and illustrated by Kathryn Otashi
Anti bullying picturebook published by KO Kids Books

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

“Red was a hot head. He liked to pick on Blue, “Red is a great color,” he’d say. “Red is hot. Blue is not.” Then Blue would feel bad about being Blue.”

Red is a loud, brash bully while Blue is a quiet, introspective color. When Red relentlessly picks on him, Yellow, Green, Purple and Orange witness the unkind words and are sympathetic to Blue but they fail to act. The don’t tell Red to stop the abuse. When none of the colors speak up for their friend, Red is emboldened. He grows larger and larger until all of the colors are afraid of him. Thankfully, a newcomer appears, “with bold strokes and squared corners…One stood up straight like an arrow and said, “No.”

Featuring bold, dramatic illustrations and a deceptively simple storyline, One delivers a terrific anti-bullying message. A great read aloud, One offers many opportunities for discussion and the inspiring illustrations will encourage artists young and old.

One at Amazon.com

One at Amazon.ca


Disabling bullying is so important

Posted on February 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

For further information, visit Ability Path – Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs

We all have a responsibility to be part of this campaign. Please share this message and be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

You’re Mean, Lily Jean – Transforming a Bully Into a Friend

Posted on February 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

You’re Mean, Lily Jean written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Picture book about a social situations published by North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

I recently received an email from a mom. She was concerned about playground dynamics and she went on to explain that her daughter was having a tough time with another girl. Her daughter’s “friend” was dictating the play experience – deciding which children could be involved and each child’s “role.” I was absolutely delighted to have a book recommendation for her: You’re Mean, Lily Jean. Selected: First and Best by Toronto Public Libraries in 2009 and nominated for a Blue Spruce Award,

You’re Mean, Lily Jean tells the story of a new girl who moves into the neighbourhood. Lily Jean is the same age as Sandy and is domineering and a braggart. She joins Sandy and her younger sister Carly for a couple of playdates. Lily Jean does not want Carly to be a part of their imaginary games and each time the three girls play together, Lily Jean dictates what they will play and how they will play. She gives the younger sister, Carly, the less desirable “parts” in their imaginary world. Lily Jean and Sandy are the king and queen, Carly is told to be the dog. Lily and Sandy are cowgirls, Carly is told to be the cow. “She did not want to moo or eat grass, but Lily Jean said she had to if she wanted to play. So she did.”

Lily Jean’s smug appearance and Carly’s bitter disappointment are depicted beautifully by Ms. Denton. Readers will cheer for Carly when Sandy decides she would prefer to play with her younger sister than with an overbearing bully.

You’re Mean Lily Jean is best suited to children four and up. It offers many opportunities for children to consider each girl’s perspective and ways to resolve difficult social situations.

You’re Mean, Lily Jean at Amazon.com

You’re Mean, Lily Jean at Amazon.ca



How Will You Celebrate Pink Shirt Day?

Posted on February 15th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Our next few posts will include suggestions for celebrating Pink Shirt Day.

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

The Only Boy in Ballet Class – written by Denise Gruska and illustrated by Amy Wummer

Tucker loves to dance and especially likes ballet.

“It feels right to him. Like breathing.”

His unconventional passion means that his classmates view him as weird and he is generally the last person chosen for team sports. Rather than joining other boys for football practice, he rushes to a dance class. Enroute, he endures teasing but, once he arrives at the studio, his heart swells and he feels pride in accomplishment.

At home, Tucker’s mom is very supportive of his involvement in ballet,

“I don’t like that you love to dance. I love that you love to dance!”

A visiting uncle is not nearly as compassionate. He thinks Tucker ought to play football.

An afternoon ballet recital is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate his love of ballet, as Tucker takes on the role of a prince during a performance. Tucker’s mom and sisters are delighted with the show. Unconvinced, Uncle Frank remains committed to the merits of playing a more ‘manly’ sport.

While walking home from the recitial with his family, a member of the neighbourhood football team spots Tucker and asks, “Hey, Twinkle Toes, wanna play football?” With Uncle Frank at his side, Tucker is hard-pressed to say, ‘no.’ Before long he is wearing a football jersey and helmet and suddenly finds himself involved in an important play during a championship game.

“In the point of a toe, he was on the shoulders of every boy who had ever made fun of him, and they were carrying him across the field chanting, “Tuck-er! Tuck-er! Tuck-er” Even Uncle Frank was dancing.”

Although adept at using his dance steps to avoid being tackled, ballet remains Tucker’s joy and he is shocked but pleased when a group of football players decides to join his class.

The Only Boy in Ballet Class website

Best suited for children aged five and up.

The Only Boy in Ballet Class at Amazon.com

The Only Boy in Ballet Class at Amazon.ca

Download our interlined paper for beginning writers

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Paper Pink Shirt Day #2

Storytime Standouts offers interlined paper for (almost) every occasion, check out the entire collection by visiting our Interlined Paper page.

Additional Pink Shirt Day Resources
Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board


Old Bird Reminds Us “Old” Does Not Mean Incompetent or Worthless

Posted on February 11th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Old Bird – written by Irene Morck and illustrated by Muriel Wood

When Papa buys Bird, a gentle mare who will transport Archie and Arnfeld to and from school, he has no idea the impact the horse will have on his farm. Bird follows the children as they do their chores and insists on being allowed into the barn. Bird opens latches and asserts herself until Papa decides she must be sold. Just before the auction, Bird again has her way. This time she shows the family just how she can contribute to the farm. Old Bird is a truly lovely story, beautifully illustrated, that reminds us old does not mean incompetent or worthless.

32 pages, ages 5 and up

Old Bird at Amazon.com

Old Bird at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.


Yong Chen’s A Gift, A Special Chinese New Year Picture Book

Posted on February 1st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

image of the cover art for A GiftA Gift written and illustrated by Yong Chen
Chinese New Year picture book published by Boyds Mills Press



image from the Chinese New Year picture book, A GiftBeautiful, warm illustrations accompany a gentle, heart-warming story in A Gift.

Chinese New Year is usually spent with friends and family but, for Amy’s mom it is a time to feel homesick. Her brothers and sister live in far away China. When a package arrives from China for Amy, she and her mom are excited to open it and read the accompanying letter. The letter explains that, while working in a field, Amy’s uncle found a beautiful stone. Amy’s Uncle Zhong subsequently took the stone to his brother, her Uncle Ming, who spent many days carving and polishing the stone until his work revealed a lovely dragon. The carved dragon, a symbol of China, will be worn by Amy on a red string necklace, symbolizing luck.

Readers will note the contrast between Amy’s western-style family home and her uncles’ rural, Chinese experience. Many important details including an orange tree and a rice cooker in the kitchen, a Buddha statue in the garden, Chinese characters on a wall, sampans in a river, a water buffalo pulling a plow and Amy’s traditional costume will be observed by children and could be explored further.

Best for children aged four to eight.

A Gift at Amazon.com

A Gift at Amazon.ca

image of Chinese New Year Writing Paper for Kids

Storytime Standouts offers all sorts of writing paper for kids. You might be especially interested in our free Chinese New Year early learning printables:

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Chinese New Year #1

Chinese New Year theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Chinese New Year #2 (with Dragon)

Chinese New Year theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Five Chinese Dragons Chant






Please visit Storytime Standouts’ Chinese New Year Pinterest Board

My Sister Gracie Leads to New Tricks for Fabio

Posted on January 30th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at picture book My Sister Gracie
My Sister Gracie – Written and illustrated by Gillian Johnson
Picture book published by Tundra Books




Fabio, an “only” dog, longs for a brother. He dreams of exploring a park, sharing a bone and playing together with his new buddy. Imagine Fabio’s surprise when his new brother is a sister – and not at all like the playful puppy he envisioned. Thankfully, teasing neighborhood dogs help Fabio appreciate and love his newly adopted sister, Gracie.

32 pages, recommended for children aged 3 to 5

My Sister Gracie at Amazon.com

My Sister Gracie at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.

American Library Association Has Announced the Schneider Family Book Award and the Pura Belpré Awards for 2011 (Part 3 of 3)

Posted on January 12th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

This week the American Library Association announced the top books, video and audiobooks for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards for 2011. Following on my posts earlier this week of some award winners, the Schneider Family Book Awards and the Pura Belpré Awards for 2011 are as follows:

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience

The Pirate of Kindergarten, written by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Lynne Avril and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, wins the award for children aged 0 to 10.

The Pirate of Kindergarten at Amazon.com

The Pirate of Kindergarten at Amazon.ca


After Ever After, written by Jordan Sonnenblick and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., is the winner of the award for middle-school readers (aged 11-13).

After Ever After at Amazon.com

After Ever After at Amazon.ca


The teen (aged 13-18) award winner is Five Flavors of Dumb, written by Antony John and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Five Flavors of Dumb at Amazon.com

Five Flavors Of Dumb at Amazon.ca


2011 Pura Belpré Award honoring a Latino writer whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience

The Dreamer, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Peter Sís and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

The Dreamer at Amazon.com

The Dreamer at Amazon.ca

Three Belpré Author Honor Books were named: ¡Olé! Flamenco, written and illustrated by George Ancona and published by Lee & Low Books Inc.; The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba, written by Margarita Engle and published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC; and 90 Miles to Havana, written by Enrique Flores-Galbis and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing.

Pura Belpré Award honoring a Latino illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience

Grandma’s Gift, illustrated and written by Eric Velasquez, is the 2011 Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book is published by Walker Publishing Company, Inc., a division of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.

Grandma’s Gift at Amazon.com

Grandma’s Gift at Amazon.ca

Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books for illustration were selected: Fiesta Babies, illustrated by Amy Córdova, written by Carmen Tafolla and published by Tricycle Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.; Me, Frida, illustrated by David Diaz, written by Amy Novesky and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS; Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

American Library Association Has Announced Coretta Scott King Award Winners For 2011 (part 2 of 3)

Posted on January 11th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Yesterday the American Library Association announced the top books, video and audiobooks for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards for 2011. Following on yesterday’s post of the Caldecott and Newbery award winners, the 2011 Coretta Scott King award winners are as follows:

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults –

One Crazy Summer written by Rita Williams-Garcia is the 2011 King Author Book winner. The book is published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

One Crazy Summer at Amazon.com

One Crazy Summer at Amazon.ca

Three King Author Honor Books were also selected: Lockdown, by Walter Dean Myers and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; Ninth Ward, by Jewell Parker Rhodes and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.; and Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, written by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke and published by Lee & Low Books Inc.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award recognizing an African American illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults –

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, illustrated by Bryan Collier, is the 2011 King Illustrator Book winner. The book was written by Laban Carrick Hill and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave at Amazon.com

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave at Amazon.ca

One King Illustrator Honor Book was selected: Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, written by Gary Golio and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent (Author) Award –

Zora and Me, written by Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon, is the 2011 author winner. The book is published by Candlewick Press.

Zora and Me at Amazon.com

Zora and Me at Amazon.ca

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent (Illustrator) Award –

Seeds of Change, illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler, is the 2011 illustrator winner. The book is written by Jen Cullerton Johnson and published by Lee & Low Books Inc.

Seeds of Change: Wangari’s Gift to the World at Amazon.com

Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace at Amazon.ca

Spork Provides a Shining Celebration of Diversity and Individuality

Posted on January 7th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts shares Spork, a picture book about diversity and individualityStorytime Standouts shares Spork, a picture book about diversity and individuality written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Picture book about family diversity published by Kids Can Press





“Spork was neither spoon nor fork…but a bit of both.” Offering a refreshing and original celebration of individuality, Spork is a thoughtful yet fun look at a youngster who doesn’t look quite like mum or dad. In Spork’s kitchen abode, there are forks, knives and spoons – they each know their places and ‘mixing’ is quite rare. Sparkling illustrations and clever writing encourage the reader to feel empathy for a different sort of kitchen utensil who aspires to be spoonish or forkish but can’t quite manage either.

When The Messy One is plunked in a nearby highchair one day, needing something a little different, there is no better tool for the task at hand.

Very good fun, will be enjoyed by utensils of every colour, size and shape, aged four and up.

Spork is one of Kirkus Reviews’ 2010 Best Children’s Books

Spork at Amazon.com

Spork at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform readers about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.




I’m Not. – Celebrating What You Are

Posted on December 15th, 2010 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at a picture book about individuality and friendship I'm NotI’m Not. written by Pam Smallcomb and illstrated by Robert Weinstock
Picture book about individuality published by Schwartz & Wade



I’m Not is a happy celebration of individuality. When we first meet Evelyn, we hear about all the ways she is special and how different she is from her good friend. Evelyn is fashionable, bold and exciting. Fortunately, Evelyn is also a wonderful friend and she knows that she is not a good speller, great at karate or a talented cookie baker. With exuberance and abandon, Evelyn and her very best friend celebrate each other: ”

A friend who is always by her side. Through thick and thin. A true-blue friend. Evelyn sighs. “Is there anyone in the whole wide world like that?” Everlyn’s friend replies, I am exactly like that!”

Well-suited to reading aloud, this book could be used to elicit a discussion about individuality and what it means to be a good friend. Great for children four and up.

I’m Not. at Amazon.com

I’m Not. at Amazon.ca




Celebrating Individuality and Friendship – Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers

Posted on November 26th, 2010 by Carolyn Hart

Up and Down written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Picture book about friendship and individuality published by Philomel





In Up and Down we meet two friends who do everything together. They enjoy making music and they love a good game of backgammon. All is well until Penguin decides that it is his destiny to fly. Without explanation to his best friend, Penguin embarks on a mission to discover the secret of flight. Boy is bereft – he can’t understand his friend’s sudden disappearance. It is indeed fortunate that Boy sees an advertisement for an upcoming circus performance involving a cannon and a very familiar face. Boy races to be there and to soften his friend’s landing.

With a lovely message about friendship, individuality and celebrating one’s unique abilities, Up and Down will be thoroughly enjoyed by children aged three and up.

Up and Down at Amazon.com

Up and Down at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.




Wasim’s a ‘Rising Star’

Posted on November 27th, 2007 by Carolyn Hart

Having finished reading The Alchemist’s Dream, I decided to take a look at some chapter books for younger readers. this week I read three books and enjoyed them all. Let’s begin with…

Wasim One-Star written by Chris Ashley, illustrated by Kate Pankhurst
Chapter book for primary to middle grade readers published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books





Wasim can hardly wait to pass a school swimming test and become a One-Star swimmer. Unfortunately, on the day of the test, Wasim finds himself in trouble. His concern for a new classmate whose English is not good causes him to speak more loudly than he should. Wasim is heartbroken when he is sent (untested) to the pool changing room because of his loud voice.

Wasim’s concern that Wayne’s poor English could cause him to get into difficulty is justified. Fortunately, Wasim is watching and responds quickly when Wayne gets in over his head.

Wasim is a great character – in fact, I’d call him a ‘rising star.’ His desire to pass the swimming test and his concern for a classmate are both genuine and admirable. I particularly liked the dynamics between the students, the swim instructor and the teachers. Recommended for boys and girls, aged 6 and up.

Wasim One-Star at Amazon.com

Wasim-One Star at Amazon.ca



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