Posts Tagged ‘racial diversity’

Children’s Books to help explain our pandemic

Posted on April 25th, 2020 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts shares free, downloadable books to help explain a pandemic to children.

Free picture book downloads for parents and caregivers who are trying to explain the current pandemic and the need for social distancing to children.

It is important to note that all of these picture books are meant to be read aloud and discussed with children by a parent, teacher or caregiver. These stories are not intended for children to read independently. We strongly recommend that adults read the books before sharing them with a child.

We will update this article as more books are published digitally. Please contact us or leave a comment if you are aware of books that should be included. Thank you.

I will be Patient... written and illustrated by Jose Fraguso

I Will Be Patient written and illustrated by José Fragoso

Advisor: Dr. Castrejón, Gregorio Marañón Hospital, Madrid.

Picture book to help explain a pandemic published digitally and free of charge by NubeOcho.

#IWillBePatient

Also available in Spanish.

Appropriate for preschool children, I Will Be Patient shares a reassuring message that healthcare workers and scientists are working hard to help us. Briefly acknowledging “armchair quarterbacks” who complain, the author quickly transitions to positive, child-appropriate messaging about how each one of us can make a difference.

  • Washing hands
  • Physical distancing
  • Staying home
  • Staying in contact with family members, especially grandparents
  • Doing homework

Bright, colorful illustrations are a highlight of this story for young children. Sharing factual information and a message of hope and encouragement, we especially liked the frothing handwashing bubbles and the (eventual) return to the fun and friends found at playgrounds around the world.

Download a copy of I Will Be Patient from the publisher’s website here


Coronavirus A Book for Children will help parents explain a pandemic to children.

Coronavirus A Book for Children written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson and Nia Roberts and illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Consultant: Professor Graham Medley Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Picture book to help explain a pandemic published digitally and free of charge by Nosy Crow

Listen to the audiobook, read by Hugh Bonneville

Appropriate to share with children aged 5 years and up, Coronavirus A Book for Children provides detailed information about how viruses are spread, symptoms experienced by people who are infected by a coronavirus, why people are worried about the disease and why we need to physical distance.

Detailed, engaging illustrations feature a racially diverse community and individuals with mobility impairments.

Extensive afternotes provide additional resources for children and adults.

Download a copy of Coronavirus A Book for Children from the publisher’s website here


The Mystery of the Missing Soap written by Geeta Dharmarajan and illustrated by Suddhasattwa Basu and Charbak Dipta

Picture book to encourage hand-washing during a pandemic published digitally and free of charge by Katha. Katha is based in India and serves children and their families who are living in poverty.

Katha uses a framework of “THINK, ASK, DISCUSS, ACT and ACTION.” (TADAA) to share important information and to foster learning.

Suitable for late primary and older children, the book includes instructions for making soap using reetha berries. Afternotes provide facts about Coronavirus and handwashing.

The Mystery of the Missing Soap has been published in five languages: English, Hindi, Tamil, Marathi and Assamese.

Read a copy of The Mystery of the Missing Soap and/or download a copy here.


My Hero is You was developed by the (UNICEF) Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, and supported by global, regional and country-based experts, in addition to parents, caregivers, teachers and children in 104 countries. It was illustrated by Helen Patuck

Picture book to help explain a pandemic published digitally and free of charge by IASC

Also available in Arabic, Chinese French, Russian, and Spanish

Appropriate to share with children aged six and older, My Hero is You is a metaphorical picture book that sees Sara discover ways to make a positive difference while travelling to destinations around the world on the back of a dragon.

“Remember our story. You can keep those you love safe by washing your hands and staying home. I am never far away. You can always be with me when you go to your safe place.” “You are my hero,” she whispered. “You are my hero too, Sara. You are a hero to all those who love you,” he said.

from My Hero is You

My Download a copy of My Hero is You or read it online.


Right now, I am Fine written by Dr Daniela Own and illustrated by Bulce Baycik

Right Now, I am Fine written by Dr. Daniela Owen and illustrated by Gülce Baycik

Picture book to help children manage anxious thoughts published digitally and free of charge on the author’s blog

#rightnowIamfine

A narrated copy is available on YouTube and an accompanying coloring book is also available for download

Written specifically for children who are experiencing worries, fears, discomfort, or nagging thoughts during challenging times, Right Now, I am Fine will give children (and adults) very specific steps to take when experiencing troubling emotions, especially anxiety.

Simple, straightforward language and easily-implemented suggestions make the ideas shared in this picture book accessible to children of all ages. We can almost hear the author’s soothing voice and recommendations, helping us to cope with our worries and fears.

“It is important to remind ourselves that we are fine, right now.”

Dr. Daniela Owen

Download a Copy of Right Now, I am Fine


A Kids Book About Covid-19 by Malia Jones

a kids book about COVID-19 written by Dr. Malia Jones

Children’s book to help explain Covid-19 published digitally and free of charge by A Kids Book About, Inc.

Dr. Malia Jones is a social epidemiologist

Also available in Spanish

a kids book about COVID-19 relies on text and graphics to share information and is best suited to children aged 5 years and up. It includes a thoughtful, reassuring introduction for parents, a fact sheet and recommendations for follow-up questions and discussion.

We especially liked the author’s reference to “cocooning” and encouraging children to about other creatures that live (for a while) in a cocoon. Families who choose to print a kids book about COVID-19 could suggest that children color it as an extension activity.

This book publisher requires an email address.

Request a link to download/print a kids book about COVID-19 here.

LIVE with epidemiologist Malia Jones

Ask your COVID questions to Dr. Malia Jones of Dear Pandemic! Get Malia's FREE e-book, A Kids Book About COVID-19, here: akidsbookabout.com/pages/covid-19To play with the computer models from this chat, head to: ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/For at-home hands-on STEM activities, download our NEW Lesson Plans:sciencewithsophie.com/guides

Posted by Science With Sophie on Tuesday, April 7, 2020


Talking about COVID-19 with young children

Talking About Corona Virus-19 with Young Children prepared by UNICEF LACRO Early Childhood Development team and reviewed by the Health, Child Protection, and Education in Emergencies areas

Illustrated by Sol Diaz

Available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

An interactive book that includes cut and paste activities and an opportunity to draw or have an adult scribe. The content in Talking About Corona Virus-19 with Young Children is most appropriate for preschool-age children.

Choose your preferred language and download Talking About Corona Virus-19 with Young Children here


The Big Alone written by Alex Avendaño and illustrated by Jan Avendaño

Picture book about physical distancing and feeling lonely published digitally and without charge on the sisters’ website

Available in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Tagalog

#TheBigAlone

An absolute delight, The Big Alone captures the loneliness and sadness experienced by children and adults who are physical distancing. Charming, black and white digital illustrations beautifully convey emotions through facial expressions, especially eyes.

The realization that being physically separate does not have to mean “alone,” is uplifting and inspiring.

Download The Big Alone here


Oaky and the Virus by Athol Williams and Taryn Lock is a picture book about staying well during the CoronaVirus pandemic

Oaky and the Virus written by Athol Williams and illustrated by Taryn Lock

Children’s book to help explain viruses published digitally and free of charge by Theart Press

#OakyFun

Theart Press is a South African publisher specialising in inspirational books. All book profits go to READ to RISE which is a non-profit organization that promotes youth literacy in South Africa.

​Oaky and Oaket are brother and sister. They love to play with their friends. When a virus threatens their community, they are determined to stay well. They can’t trap the virus because it is too small to see. Instead, they learn a song that reminds them to wash their hands, wear a mask and stay home. They are both disappointed that they can’t see their friends but they resolve to read, play with toys and bake a cake.

Suitable for preschool-age children, Oaky and the Virus is part of a series of books about Oaky and Oaket. Afternotes include questions about the story and ways to extend learning.

Download a copy of Oaky and the Virus here


Seven Special St. Patrick’s Day Picture Books for Children

Posted on March 3rd, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts shares Seven Special St. Patrick's Day Picture Books for Children



For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way –
Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.

~Author Unknown

Link to our free St. Patrick’s Day Free Printables for Children ~

Explore all St. Patrick's Day Theme Printables and Picture Books



A Fine St Patrick's day is a fable for childrenA Fine St. Patrick’s Day written by Susan Wojciechowski and illustrated by Tom Curry
St. Patrick’s Day fable published by Dragonfly Books,Random House Kids



Each St. Patrick’s Day, rival towns, Trala and Tralee compete, and year after year Tralah wins the competition and is declared “Best Decorated.” When one young resident of Tralee proposes a way to win the upcoming event, her suggestion is embraced by the residents of the town. Everyone gets involved in the project until a small man arrives in the town and asks for help.

He crossed the field into Tralee. At the first house he came upon, he asked, “Beggin your pardon, can you help me? I was leading my cows across the river and, sure and begorra, they are stuck in the mud.”

Folk art style illustrations beautifully enhance a terrific story that explores themes of social responsibility, community and kindness. A Fine St. Patrick’s Day is highly recommended for children aged four years and up.

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day at Amazon.com

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day at Amazon.ca

St Patrick's Day picture books including Hooray for St Patrick's DayHooray for St. Patrick’s Day written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Paul Meisel
Rhyming lift-the-flap book published by Penguin Putnam



Best for very young children, Hooray for St Patrick’s Day shows a racially diverse group of children trying on costumes, playing with puppets, doing crafts, dancing, parading and snacking as they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day together. Just fifteen pages plus a glossary, it is a suitable introduction for children aged two years and up.

Hooray for St. Patrick’s Day! at Amazon.com

Hooray for St. Patrick’s Day! at Amazon.ca

St Patrick's Day picture book, Let's Celebrate St Patricks DayLet’s Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day written by Peter and Connie Roop, illustrated by Gwen Connelly
Non fiction picture book about St. Patrick’s Day published by Millbrook Press



Part of a series of “Let’s Celebrate” books, Let’s Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day answers questions children in the primary grades might ask. Who was Saint Patrick? Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in America? Why is everything green on St. Patrick’s Day? Young readers will have fun with the Irish-theme riddles featured on the end papers.

Lets Celebrate St Patrick’s Day at Amazon.com

Let’s Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Amazon.ca

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.

~Irish Blessing

Picture books and printables for St Patricks DaySt. Patrick’s Day written and illustrated by Gail Gibbons
Non fiction picture book about St. Patrick’s Day published by Holiday House



As one might expect from Gail Gibbons, St. Patrick’s Day is thorough look at traditions associated with Saint Patrick and ways people celebrate March 17th. Clear, bold illustrations are well suited to a read aloud setting and compliment the text nicely. The treatment of Saint Patrick and his life is more complete than in other comparable non fiction titles and legends association with him are briefly touched on.

Suitable for children aged four years and up.

St. Patrick’s Day at Amazon.com

St. Patrick’s Day at Amazon.ca

St Patricks Day picture books and printables for childrenSt. Patrick’s Day written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell



Part of a series of “Mrs. Madoff” books, St. Patrick’s Day follows a young boy as he goes to school on St. Patrick’s Day. He and his racially diverse classmates are working on reports and they present their discoveries dramatically, musically, pictorially and in written form. Once the school day ends, Delicious soda bread awaits at home where the family’s Irish heritage is celebrated. Suggested for children aged five years and up.

St. Patrick’s Day at Amazon.com

St. Patrick’s Day at Amazon.ca

St Patricks Day in the Morning and other picture books for childrenSt Patrick’s Day in the Morning written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Jan Brett
St. Patrick’s Day picture book published by Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin



When Jamie is told that he is too young to walk in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, he takes matters into his own hands. He starts out before the rest of his family awakens. He dresses in his mother’s raincoat and his father’s hat. He takes his brother’s flute and the family sheepdog and, with great determination, heads to Acorn Hill.

They marched down the street. None of the chimneys was smoking yet. Milk bottles stood on front steps, waiting to be let in.

Encounters with neighbors are just one highlight of this gentle story of independence and growing up. Highly recommended for children aged four years and older.

St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning at Amazon.com

St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning at Amazon.ca

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, May good luck pursue you each morning and night.
~Irish Blessing

That's What Leprechauns Do and other St Patricks Day picture booksThat’s What Leprechauns Do written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully
Picture book published by Sandpiper Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt



Boys and Girls will delight in this look at St. Patrick’s Day from the perspective of a trio of playful leprechauns. Boo, Col and Ari have important work to do but it is fun to make mischief and they can’t resist temptation.

Och, sure, but I couldn’t help myself. Mischief’s what leprechauns do,” Ari said. “Along with our more important duties.” He glanced up at the tatters of clouds in the sky. “And we better not delay, for we’ve delayed enough already.”

As rain clouds gather above gorgeous green fields, the leprechauns rush to place a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Great fun, That’s What Leprechauns Do includes some repetitive text and will appeal to children aged four years and up

That’s What Leprechauns Do at Amazon.com

That’s What Leprechauns Do at Amazon.ca


Very glad to be part of this week’s Kid Lit Blog Hop ~

Willow Finds a Way, a picture book about dealing with a classroom bully

Posted on December 12th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at Willow Finds a Way, an anti bullying picture bookWillow Finds a Way written by Lana Button and illustrated by Tania Howells
Anti-bullying Picture Book published by Kids Can Press


We originally met Willow in Willow’s Whispers. She is a soft spoken young girl and, in her first picture book, she finds a way to make herself heard.

In Willow Finds a Way she is facing a different challenge. Willow and her classmates are excited when Kristabelle invites them to her birthday party but the invitation has ‘strings attached.’

At snack time, Kristabelle waved the birthday list in the air and said, “If you want to stay on my birthday list, come sit at my table!”

Initially, complying with Kristabelle’s demands seems okay but before long Kristabelle is dictating outdoor play and who gets to stand at the front of the line. Eventually one of the party invitees dares to contradict Kristabelle. His name is crossed off the list of party guests. Willow thinks about standing up for her friend but she can’t quite bring herself to say the words. Before long she is worrying that her name will be crossed off the list too.

It is clear that Kristabelle’s threats and controlling behavior are a problem for Willow. She knows that Kristabells is treating her classmates badly. Eventually Willow finds a way to make her opinion known. She is no longer a bystander – she has taken a stand. When Willow’s classmates decide to take the same approach, Kristabelle rethinks her position.

Ms. Button’s depictions of Kristabelle, Willow and their classmates are pitch-perfect. We know children like these – those who make friendship conditional and who threaten exclusion (both forms of ‘relational bullying’) and those who know what is right but have difficulty speaking up. Simple, colorful illustrations are an excellent match for the text and feature a racially diverse classroom.

An excellent discussion-starter for preschool and kindergarten classrooms, highly recommended for children aged four and up.

Willow Finds a Way at Amazon.com

Willow Finds a Way at Amazon.ca

Read our review of Willow’s Whispers

Awards
2013 – Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
2012 – Publisher’s Weekly’s Selected Listing for Bullying Resources

Bully by Patricia Polacco – Anti Bullying Picture Book for Older Readers

Posted on August 2nd, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts recommends Bully by Patricia Polacco, a thoughtful examination of middle grade bullying and cyber bullying. Bully is an excellent anti bullying picture book for older readers and a valuable resource for middle grade classrooms.

Bully by Patricia Polacco - Anti Bullying Picture Book for Older ReadersBully – written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco 
Anti bullying picture book for older readers published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons An Imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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

When Lyla’s family moves house, she and her brother each switch to new schools. Lyla feels anxious about the transition but soon meets a new friend and is very happy to discover that he is in her homeroom class. Jamie and Lyla get along well so Lyla is not isolated but before long she discovers the many cliques at her new school: Geeks and Nerds, Toughs, Skateboarders, Athletes and the Celebrities.

As Lyla gains confidence at her new school, she starts to earn some very good grades and a spot on the cheerleading team. Jamie warns her, “That’s Gage, Maeve and Kenyon’s territory, Lyla. Be careful!”

Lyla settles in to her new class and appears content but she does notice that almost all of her classmates have cell phones. Jamie urges her to get a cell phone, a laptop and a Facebook account. Soon Lyla and her brother are trying to convince their parents to allow them to have phones. Their parents agree but warn that, if not used properly, the online privileges will be lost.image of Bully spread an anti bullying picture book for older readers

Jamie helps Lyla and her brother to set up their Facebook accounts and Lyla takes pride in their friendship and his position of trust at school.

Gage, Maeve and Kenyon were actually starting to be nice to me. I wasn’t good enough to sit at the celebrity table, though, until the Mid-Year Awards Assembly…Gage usually got this award, but she seemed really happy that I got it. That’s when she invited me to sit with them at the celebrity table at lunch..

Initially, Lyla finds the attention from the coolest girls exciting – she so wants to enjoy their popularity. The friendship sours, however, when the girls spend time surfing Facebook and commenting on classmates’ pages. They call this “scum dumping.” Lyla knows the bullying behavior is wrong and is especially upset when horrible comments are made on Jamie’s Facebook page. Lyla’s friendship with the Celebrities ends when she stands up for Jamie but the girls warn her, “No one dumps us, Lyla. We do the dumping.”

Sadly for Lyla the bullying does not end there. When an important test is compromised at school, Lyla is wrongly accused of stealing it and she becomes a victim of cyberbullying.

Bully is an excellent anti bullying picture book for older readers and a valuable resource for middle grade classrooms. Ms. Polacco’s depicts a racially diverse student population. As well, she presents a realistic and complex social situation without lecturing. She invites her readers to consider the question, “What would you do?”

Bully at Amazon.com

Bully at Amazon.ca

PDF Curriculum Guide to Ms. Polacco’s books (does not include Bully)


Ella May and the Wishing Stone – wishes, friendship and imagination

Posted on November 30th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Ella May and the Wishing Stone - a picture book about wishes, friendship and imaginationElla May and the Wishing Stone written by Cary Fagan and illustrated by Geneviève Côté
Picture book about friendship, problem solving published by Tundra Books





While on a trip to the beach, Ella May is fortunate to find an extra special stone – a stone that has a white line all around it. Certain that her extra special stone has the power to grant wishes, Ella May decides that her first wish should be to show the stone to all of her friends. Before long, Ella May’s friends have gathered ’round her, hoping to touch the magical stone. When Ella May refuses to let them hold it, they decide to find their own special stones. Although the children find all sorts of interesting stones, none is equal to Ella May’s.

  • “You’re not nice,” Manuel said. He put his stone in his pocket and tromped down the sidewalk to his own house.
  • Ella May watched him go, “Hey,” she said, “I wanted Manuel to go home and he did. Thank you again, wishing stone.”
  • Unable to find their own wishing stones, Ella’s friends come up with a creative but short-lived solution to the problem. Unfortunately, nothing resolves the conflict amongst the children; Ella May wants to be the only person with a wishing stone and she wants to keep her friends. The other children are resentful of the stone and of Ella May.

    When Ella May finally realizes that having a wishing stone is not nearly as special as having friends, the stage is set for a happy and imaginative solution that reunites the group.

    A great choice for children aged four and up, Ella May and the Wishing Stone is a (32 page) story that invites readers to think about what it means to be a friend, how best to share treasured items and imaginative ways to solve problems.

    Note – illustrations and children’s names depict a racially diverse group of friends.

    Ella May and the Wishing Stone at Amazon.com

    Ella May and the Wishing Stone at Amazon.ca



    Two Delightful Picture Books: Guess Again and Violet

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


    Two Delightful Picture Books including Guess Again written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex
    Guess Again written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex
    Picture Book published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers





    Phonemic awareness is a key to early reading success for young children. It is the understanding that words are made up of sounds and the ability to pick out and manipulate those sounds. When we read rhyming books to young children, we help to develop their phonemic awareness.

    Guess Again is nothing at all like a “typical’ rhyming book – there are far too many surprises in store – especially if you listen carefully to the clues. Really good fun!

    Guess Again! at Amazon.com

    Guess Again! at Amazon.ca

    Two Delightful Picture Booksincluding Violet written by Tania Duprey Stehlik, illustrated by Vanja Vuleta JovanovicViolet – written by Tania Duprey Stehlik, illustrated by Vanja Vuleta Jovanovic
    Picture book about an interracial family published by Second Story Press




    When Violet attends her first day at a new school, she meets red, yellow and blue children but she doesn’t see any purple children. Upon returning home, her mother explains, “I am red and daddy is blue and you, my beauty, are a bit of us both.” Together, they play with paints and discover that many beautiful colours are created through mixing. Simply told, Violet is a lovely story about an interracial family. It reminds us of the richness and splendor of a diverse community.

    Violet at Amazon.com

    Violet 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.



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