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1. Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq

Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. She whispers to the dresses in her closet and talks to birds in the treetops. She has wings that take her anywhere she wants to go, but that always bring her home again. She likes to make things — boats out of boxes and castles out of cushions. But more than anything Sadie likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all. For Sadie, the world is so full of wonderful possibilities…This is Sadie, and this is her story.

2. Tiny T. Rex and the Very Dark Dark by Jonathan Stutzman

The adorable and indomitable Tiny T. Rex from the critically acclaimed Tiny T. Rex and The Impossible Hug is back in a tale about friendship and overcoming your fears.

3. When Langston Dances by Kaija Langley

Langston likes basketball okay, but what he loves is to dance—ever since he saw the Alvin Ailey Dance Company perform. He longs to twirl into a pirouette, whirl into a piqué. He wants to arabesque and attitude, grand battement and grand jeté. When he walks, the whole street is his stage.

With his neighborhood cheering him on, will Langston achieve his dream?

4. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend.
With light-footed rhymes and high-stepping illustrations, this tale is gentle inspiration for every child with dreams of greatness.

5. Hot Pot Night! by Vincent Chen

What’s for dinner? A Taiwanese American child brings his diverse neighbors together to make a tasty communal meal. Together, they cook up a steaming family dinner that celebrates community, cooperation, and culture. Includes a family recipe for hot pot!

6. The Starkeeper by Faith Pray

When a girl finds a fallen star, she decides to keep it hidden. But this star encourages kindness and needs to shine, so it comes out from the shadows. At first the glow from the star starts to fade, and the girl worries—maybe she’s not a very good starkeeper. Then a chance gesture of kindness seems to brighten the star, and soon this kindness leads to a chain of good works that light up the once-dreary town.

The art of the book follows the star’s journey and lights up more and more with each act of kindness.

7. Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang

Meet the funny, fierce, and fearless Amy Wu, who is determined to make a perfect bao bun today. Can she rise to the occasion?

Amy loves to make bao with her family. But it takes skill to make the bao taste and look delicious. And her bao keep coming out all wrong. Then she has an idea that may give her a second chance…

8. Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz

Follow Paletero José’s call and rush along with our narrator as he passes through his vibrant and busy neighborhood in search of the Paletero Man. But when he arrives, our narrator’s pockets are empty! What happened to his dinero? It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat now.

Celebrating the strength of community and the tastes of summer, fans of Thank You, Omu and Carmela Full of Wishes will be hungry for what Paletero Man has in store.

9. Usha and the Big Digger by Amitha Jagannath Knight

When sisters Usha and Aarti look up at the stars, they see different things. Aarti sees the Big Dipper, but Usha sees the Big DIGGER. And cousin Gloria sees the Big Kite! Could they all be right? A playful introduction to geometry and spatial relationships, featuring Indian American characters and a note about cultures and constellations.

Storytelling Math celebrates children using math in their daily adventures as they play, build, and discover the world around them. Joyful stories and hands-on activities make it easy for kids and their grown-ups to explore everyday math together. Developed in collaboration with math experts at STEM education nonprofit TERC, under a grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation.

10. Unicorns Are the Worst! by Alex Willan

It’s an undeniable fact that unicorns are the worst!

Magic is serious business, but all unicorns do is frolic around, have tea parties, and leave glitter all over the place! They’re nothing like goblins—practical and hard-working, who can put magic to good use! Unicorns aren’t helpful at all.

Or are they?

11. Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

We are resilience. We are hope. We are dreamers.

Yuyi Morales brought her hopes, her passion, her strength, and her stories with her, when she came to the United States in 1994 with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn’t come empty-handed.

12. Queen of Tejano Music: Selena by Silvia Lopez

This is a moving and impassioned picture book about the iconic Queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla, that will embolden young readers to find their passion and make the impossible, possible!

Selena Quintanilla’s music career began at the age of nine when she started singing in her family’s band. She went from using a hairbrush as a microphone to traveling from town to town to play gigs. But Selena faced a challenge: People said that she would never make it in Tejano music, which was dominated by male performers. Selena was determined to prove them wrong.

Born and raised in Texas, Selena didn’t know how to speak Spanish, but with the help of her dad, she learned to sing it. With songs written and composed by her older brother and the fun dance steps Selena created, her band, Selena Y Los Dinos, rose to stardom! A true trailblazer, her success in Tejano music and her crossover into mainstream American music opened the door for other Latinx entertainers, and she became an inspiration for Latina girls everywhere.

13. Vivi Loves Science by Kimberly Derting

Meet Vivi! In this STEM-themed picture book, part of a series about girls who love science, Vivi and her classmates go on a field trip to the ocean and investigate tide pools. Features a glossary and instructions on how to make your own aquascope and tide pool at home.

Vivi loves science! In the companion to Cece Loves Science and Libby Loves Science, Vivi and her classmates take a field trip to the beach to study tide pools. With help from her teacher and a park ranger, Vivi and her classmates make aquascopes, participate in a marine-inspired scavenger hunt, and learn about different species that call the ocean home. At the end of their trip, Vivi even finds a shark tooth!

Full of fun facts about biology and conservation, Vivi Loves Science is a perfect pick for aspiring scientists, classrooms, and fans of Andrea Beaty’s Ada Twist, Scientist.

14. Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard

Fry Bread is a story told in lively and powerful verse by Seminole Nation member Kevin Noble Maillard, with vibrant art from Pura Belpre Award winner Juana Martinez-Neal.

15. Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers by Juliet Menéndez

Discover how 40 influential Latinas became the women we celebrate today! In this collection of short biographies from all over Latin America and across the United States, Juliet Menéndez explores the first small steps that set the Latinitas off on their journeys. With gorgeous, hand-painted illustrations, Menéndez shines a spotlight on the power of childhood dreams.

From Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to singer Selena Quintanilla to NASA’s first virtual reality engineer, Evelyn Miralles, this is a book for aspiring artists, scientists, activists, and more. These women followed their dreams—and they just might encourage you to follow yours!

HOLIDAY 2021 GIFT GUIDE: PICTURE BOOKS

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