Staff Picks

Multicultural: One Town, Many Cultures

A booklist for all ages about the many different people that make up a community.

Children's Services Staff

African Culture

Elizabeti's Doll     Elizabeti's Doll    
Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej St)

When a young Tanzanian girl gets a new baby brother, she finds a rock, which she names Eva, and makes it her baby doll.

Mama Panya's Pancakes : A Village Tale from Kenya     Mama Panya's Pancakes : A Village Tale from Kenya    
Mary Chamberlin
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Cha)

Mama Panya has just enough money to buy ingredients for a few pancakes, so when her son Adika invites all their friends to join them, she is sure there will not be enough to go around.

Indian Culture

Same, Same, But Different     Same, Same, But Different    
Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Kos)

Pen pals Elliott and Kailash discover that even though they live in different countries--America and India--they both love to climb trees, own pets, and ride school buses.

Elephant Dance     Elephant Dance    
Theresa Heine
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej He)

Grandfather tells many stories about his native India in answer to Ravi and Anjali's questions, such as the tale of a procession of elephants on the feast of Divaali when he was a boy. Includes facts about life in India, a list of cooking spices, and descriptions of Indian animals.

Jewish Culture

A Mezuzah on the Door     A Mezuzah on the Door    
Amy Meltzer
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Mel)

Noah has not gotten a good night's sleep since moving from a noisy apartment in the city to a quiet house in the suburbs, but that changes after his parents invite former neighbors to celebrate the dedication of their home as a Jewish home.

Molly’s Pilgrim     Molly’s Pilgrim    
Barbara Cohen
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Co)

Told to make a Pilgrim doll for the Thanksgiving display at school, Molly is embarassed when her mother tries to help her out by creating a doll dressed as she herself was dressed before leaving Russia to seek religious freedom.

The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales     The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales    
Shoshana Boyd Gelfand
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.208 Gel)

This collection includes eight delightful tales from the Jewish tradition. Each story has been chosen for its appeal to families and each has a simple yet powerful, message.

The Keeping Quilt     The Keeping Quilt    
Patricia Polacco
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Pol)

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

African-American Culture

Aunt Flossie's Fats (And Crab Cakes Later)     Aunt Flossie's Fats (And Crab Cakes Later)    
Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ho)

Sara and Susan share tea, cookies, crab cakes, and stories about hats when they visit their favorite relative, Aunt Flossie.

Black is Brown is Tan     Black is Brown is Tan    
Arnold Adoff
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ad)

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

Fishing Day     Fishing Day    
Andrea Davis Pinkney
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Pi)

When Reenie and her mother, who are African Americans, go fishing, Reenie decides to share the secret of their success with their needy white neighbors.

Sleeping Cutie     Sleeping Cutie    
Andrea Davis Pinkney
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Pi)

Cutie LaRue is perfect in nearly every way, but her sleeplessness causes problems for her parents until they send for a new toy that introduces Cutie to the Dreamland Nightclub.

The People Could Fly     The People Could Fly    
Virginia Hamilton
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 People Could Ham)

In this retelling of a folktale, a group of slaves, unable to bear their sadness and starvation any longer, calls upon the African magic that allows them to fly away.

Korean Culture

Bee-bim Bop!     Bee-bim Bop!    
Linda Sue Park
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Pa)

A child, eager for a favorite meal, helps with the shopping, food preparation, and table setting.

Behind the Mask     Behind the Mask    
Yangsook Choi
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Cho)

Kimin, a young Korean-American boy, has trouble deciding on a Halloween costume, but as he looks through an old trunk of his grandfather's things, he suddenly unlocks a childhood mystery.

Chinese Culture

Cleversticks     Cleversticks    
Bernard Ashley
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej As)

Wishing he had something to be clever at like each of the other children in his class, Ling Sung unexpectedly and happily discovers the others admire his prowess with chopsticks.

Dim Sum For Everyone!     Dim Sum For Everyone!    
Grace Lin
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Li)

A child describes the various little dishes of dim sum that she and her family enjoy on a visit to a restaurant in Chinatown.

Little White Duck: A Childhood in China     Little White Duck: A Childhood in China    
Andrés Vera Martínez
    (Juvenile Graphic Novels - J Martine)

A young girl describes her experiences growing up in China, beginning with the death of Chairman Mao in 1976.

Long-Long's New Year : a Story About the Chinese Spring Festival     Long-Long's New Year : a Story About the Chinese Spring Festival    
Catherine Gower
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Go)

A little Chinese boy named Long-Long accompanies his grandfather into the city to sell cabbages in order to buy food and decorations for the New Year.

The Rainbow People     The Rainbow People    
Laurence Yep
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.208 Ye)

A collection of twenty Chinese folk tales that were passed on by word of mouth for generations, as told by some oldtimers newly settled in the United States.

Islamic Culture

Deep in the Sahara     Deep in the Sahara    
Kelly Cunnane
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Cun)

An Arab girl of the Sahara who wants to wear a malafa, the veiled dress worn by her mother and older sister, learns that the garment represents beauty, mystery, tradition, belonging, and faith.

Muslim Child: Understanding Islam through Stories and Poems     Muslim Child: Understanding Islam through Stories and Poems    
Rukhsana Khan
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 297 Kh)

A collection of stories and poems about Muslim children from a variety of backgrounds, focusing on the celebration of holidays and practices of Islam.

Native American Culture

Fire Race: A Karuk Coyote Tale     Fire Race: A Karuk Coyote Tale    
Jonathan London
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 Fire Race Lon)

With the help of other animals, Wise Old Coyote manages to acquire fire from the wicked Yellow Jacket sisters.

Gluskabe and the Four Wishes     Gluskabe and the Four Wishes    
Joseph Bruchac
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 Gluskab Bru)

Four Abenaki men set out on a difficult journey to ask the great hero Gluskabe to grant each his fondest wish.

Peboan and Seegwun     Peboan and Seegwun    
Charles Larry
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 Peboan Lar)

An encounter between Peboan, Old Man Winter, and Seegwun, the Spirit of Spring, marks the transition from one season to another.

Trickster : Native American Tales : A Graphic Collection     Trickster : Native American Tales : A Graphic Collection    
Matt Dembicki
    (Juvenile Graphic Novels - J Trickst)

Collects over twenty trickster stories, in graphic novel format, from various Native American traditions, including tales about coyotes, rabbits, ravens, and other crafty creatures and their mischievous activities.

Japanese Culture

Fish for Jimmy     Fish for Jimmy    
Katie Yamasaki
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Yam)

When brothers Taro and Jimmy and their mother are forced to move from their home in California to a Japanese internment camp in the wake of the 1941 Pearl Harbor bombing, Taro daringly escapes the camp to find fresh fish for his grieving brother.

Grandfather’s Journey     Grandfather’s Journey    
Allen Say
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Sa)

A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather's journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.

Latino Culture

Speak English for Us, Marisol!     Speak English for Us, Marisol!    
Karen English
    (Juvenile Picture Books - Ej En)

Marisol, who is bilingual, is sometimes overwhelmed when her Spanish-speaking family members and neighbors need her to translate for them.

Yes! We are Latinos     Yes! We are Latinos    
Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Ada)

A collection of stories about young Latino's immigrant experiences in the United States.