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Peace and Diversity Children's Book Collection: Suggestions

In conjunction with the Early Childhood Education program at American River College the ARC Library has created a Peace and Diversity Collection for children. There are over 150 books in the collection and it will be continually added to.


Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace: Gives examples of ways in which people bring about peace by doing things to help and care for one another and their world.

Story of Ferdinand: The 1936 classic tale of the great big bull who didn't want to fight and be fierce but wanted to sit and smell the flowers!


Cool Drink of Water: This beautiful book shows photographs of people all over the world and their relationship with WATER. Wonderful discussion book.

Aani and the Tree Huggers: Based on a true story in India, this book follows a young girl as she alerts the women in her village to the arrival of men from the city who are cutting down their beloved forest on which they depend for survival. Although written for school age children, the story is compelling enough to work with fours and fives.

The Bear That Heard Crying: A true story which takes place June 1783 in the New Hampshire Woods of a three year old girl who wandered from her family. Little Sarah thought thought she would follow her parents who were walking to visit a neighbor's new baby. Into the woods she walked. It grew darker and darker and Sarah became scared. A "big black dog" came to her and washed her face and snuggled up to her to keep warm. Meanwhile, the neighbors gather forces to search for the missing Sarah, expecting the worst. Until a man comes to her mother's door saying he had a dream of a little girl sleeping with a bear. Beautiful foresty watercolor illustrations. The authors really bring life to this unbelievable true story.

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: "This is the great Kapiti plain, all fresh and green from the African rains" begins this chantable story poem. But one year the drought comes, dries up the plains and threatens the animals until a herder boy named Ki-pat brings down the rains with an arrow tipped with an eagles feather. This is an exquisite book with wonderful illustrations. Children will memorize it after the second reading!

Everything Grows: Beautiful photos of nature and happy children accompany words to the song "Everything Grows", by Raffi. The musical score is included in the back of the book. A wonderful way to support literacy and music with children.

A River Ran Wild: The story of how the Nashua people and English settlers lived off the river, and how later it was polluted to the point of being ecologically dead. The book ends with the revitalization of the river so that it again runs fresh and wild.

Salmon for Simon: Description: A young Haidu boy goes fishing and hopes to catch a salmon. After hours of fishing, he doesn't catch anything. So he decides to dig for clams. While doing so, an eagle catches a salmon. The young boy is so excited he jumps up and down which causes the eagle to drop the fish. The young boy saves the fish by digging a trench so it can swim back to the ocean.

Song for the Whooping Crane: A poetic celebration of the whooping crane, one of the rarest and most beautiful birds in North America. Their habitat, flight, rest and dance are all captured in delicate watercolors. Breathtaking!

Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe: A young girl notices a red canoe for sale. She and her mom, aunt Rosie and cousin Sam all put their money together and buy the canoe and prepare for a trip together. Pencil and pastel colored illustrations depict details of the planning, supplies and travel involved for their women-only adventure.

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story From Africa: This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman's passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.

The Water Hole: As ever-growing numbers of animals visit a watering hole, introducing the numbers from one to ten, the water dwindles. Each page represents a different part of the world, such as: Africa, India and South America. Exquisitely and vividly illustrated.

We All Went on Safari: We join Arusha and friends on a safari, counting animals found in Tanzania. Each number up to ten is translated into Swahili. Additional pages included describe the animals of Tanzania, the Maasai people who live in northern Tanzania, meanings of Swahili names of characters in the book, and various facts about Tanzania. This is so much fun to read!

What To Do About Pollution: This exemplary piece of children's literature addresses the challenges facing our society in the 20th century. The thought provoking question of "What to do about pollution?" is answered very simply and in perfect preschool fashion.

Diverse Families

ABC: A Family Alphabet Book: Introduces the alphabet with whimsical illustrations portraying gay and lesbian parents and racial diversity.

All Families Are Different: Discusses differences in today's society, and what makes each family special.

Beginnings: Parents and children discuss how their families came to be, covering birth families, adoptive families, two-parent families, and single-parent families.

Black is Brown is Tan: Describes in verse a family with a brown-skinned mother, white-skinned father, two children, and their various relatives.

Two Mrs. Gibsons: "I once knew two Mrs. Gibsons" begins this true story in which a child compares her African American grandmother with her Japanese American mother. One Mrs. Gibson cooks pots of rice, the other cooks pots of greens. One catches fireflys with the girl, the other makes paper cranes. A lovely, well written story about family life, the book ends with "I once knew two Mrs. Gibsons. They were very different, but they had a lot in common. They both loved my Daddy, and they both loved me."

Diverse People and Cultures

All the Colors of the Earth: Poetic, beautifully illustrated book about children being \"all the colors of the land and the sea\". Includes multi-racial families, nicely non-stereotypical gender play. One of the few \"message\" books that really works. Absolutely lovely.

The Day of Ahmed’s Secret: A young Egyptian boy describes the city of Cairo as he goes about his daily work and waits for the evening to share a special surprise with his family.

Dia’s Story Cloth: The story cloth made for her by her aunt and uncle chronicles the life of the author and her family in their native Laos and their eventual emigration to the United States.

Dumpling Soup: A young Asian American girl living in Hawaii tries to make dumplings for her family's New Year's celebration.

Erandi’s Braids: In a poor Mexican village, Erandi surprises her mother by offering to sell her long, beautiful hair in order to raise enough money to buy a new fishing net.

Family Pictures: Paintings and Stories: This is the story of Carmen Lomas Garza's girlhood: celebrating birthdays, making tamales, finding a hammerhead shark on the beach, picking cactus, going to a fair in Mexico, and confiding to her sister her dreams of becoming an artist. These day-to-day experiences are told through fourteen vignettes of art and a descriptive narrative, each focusing on a different aspect of traditional Mexican American culture. The English-Spanish text and vivid illustrations reflect the author's strong sense of family and community.

My First Ramadan: A boy observes the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with his family.

The Keeping Quilt: A homemade quilt ties together the lives of four generations of an immigrant Jewish family, remaining a symbol of their enduring love and faith.

Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan’s Chinese New Year: Describes six-year-old Ernie Wan's preparations, at home and in school, for the Chinese New Year celebrations and his first public performance of the lion dance.

Masai and I: Linda, a little girl who lives in the city, learns about East Africa and the Masai in school, and imagines what her life might be like if she were Masai.

One Child, One Seed: A South African Counting Book

Pinata Maker: Each photo of the process of making a pinata is accompanied with a brief description of the pinata making process. The story ends with a photograph of a pinata party.