Culture: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about culture?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to culture. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about culture.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about culture, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like You Hold Me Up to popular sellers like The Snowy Day to some of our favorite hidden gems like Brown Girl Dreaming.

We hope this list of kids books about culture can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Culture

This Little Explorer book
#1
This Little Explorer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learn all about the most influential explorers who searched the world far and wide in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for pioneers-in-training! Little explorers discover a great big world. The follow up to This Little President, now even the youngest adventurers can learn about the greatest explorers in history with this bright and playful board book. Highlighting ten memorable pioneers, parents and young discoverers alike will love sharing this fun historical primer full of age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

The Proudest Blue book
#2
The Proudest Blue
Written by Ibtihaj Muhammad and illustrated by S. K. Ali and Hatem Aly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school—and two sisters on one’s first day of hijab—by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad. With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab—a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong. Paired with Hatem Aly’s beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.

Manjhi Moves a Mountain book
#3
Manjhi Moves a Mountain
Written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by Danny Popovici
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Dashrath Manjhi used a hammer and chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through the mountain separating his poor village from the nearby village with schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if your heart is big enough.

Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott book
#4
Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Written by Dee Romito and illustrated by Laura Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

This stunning picture book looks into the life of Georgia Gilmore, a hidden figure of history who played a critical role in the civil rights movement and used her passion for baking to help the Montgomery Bus Boycott achieve its goal. Georgia decided to help the best way she knew how. She worked together with a group of women and together they purchased the supplies they needed-bread, lettuce, and chickens. And off they went to cook. The women brought food to the mass meetings that followed at the church. They sold sandwiches. They sold dinners in their neighborhoods. As the boycotters walked and walked, Georgia cooked and cooked. Georgia Gilmore was a cook at the National Lunch Company in Montgomery, Alabama. When the bus boycotts broke out in Montgomery after Rosa Parks was arrested, Georgia knew just what to do. She organized a group of women who cooked and baked to fund-raise for gas and cars to help sustain the boycott. Called the Club from Nowhere, Georgia was the only person who knew who baked and bought the food, and she said the money came from “nowhere” to anyone who asked. When Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested for his role in the boycott, Georgia testified on his behalf, and her home became a meeting place for civil rights leaders. This picture book highlights a hidden figure of the civil rights movement who fueled the bus boycotts and demonstrated that one person can make a real change in her community and beyond. It also includes one of her delicious recipes for kids to try with the help of their parents!

What Is Given from the Heart book
#5
What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C McKissack and illustrated by April Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving.

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service— the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack—with stunning illustrations by Harrison—delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

Ten Little Rabbits book
#6
Ten Little Rabbits
Written by Virginia Grossman and illustrated by Sylvia Long
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A counting rhyme with illustrations of rabbits in Native American costume, depicting traditional customs such as rain dances, hunting, and smoke signals. On board pages.

If I Had a Gryphon book
#7
If I Had a Gryphon
Written by Vikki VanSickle and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring … he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, hippogriffs scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet … or is he? If I Had a Gryphon is a raucous rhyming read-aloud about fantastical beasts in everyday situations—and the increasingly beleaguered heroine who has to deal with them.

Yaffa and Fatima book
#8
Yaffa and Fatima
Written by Fawzia Gilani-Williams and illustrated by Chiara Fedele
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Forced to bring her little sister along to a birthday party, Rubina is mortified when her younger sibling demands to win every game and steals Rubina’s red lollipop party favor.

Malala's Magic Pencil book
#9
Malala's Magic Pencil
Written by Malala Yousafzai and illustrated by Kerascoet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Malala’s first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true. This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala’s story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

Cinderella book
#10
Cinderella
Written by Chloe Perkins and illustrated by Sandra Equihua
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

The classic story of Cinderella gets a fresh twist in this vibrant Mexican spin on the beloved fairy tale! Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a little cottage with her stepmother and two stepsisters… The classic tale of Cinderella gets a fresh twist in this debut title of a brand-new board book series, Once Upon a World. With Mexico as the backdrop, and vibrant artwork from Mexican illustrator Sandra Equihua, Cinderella is still the same girl with a fairy godmother and a glass slipper—but she’s totally reimagined. Once Upon a World offers a multicultural take on the fairy tales we all know and love. Because these tales are for everyone, everywhere.

Table of Contents
Jump to books about Culture and...

Books About Culture and Native Americans

This Little Explorer book
#1
This Little Explorer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learn all about the most influential explorers who searched the world far and wide in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for pioneers-in-training! Little explorers discover a great big world. The follow up to This Little President, now even the youngest adventurers can learn about the greatest explorers in history with this bright and playful board book. Highlighting ten memorable pioneers, parents and young discoverers alike will love sharing this fun historical primer full of age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Ten Little Rabbits book
#2
Ten Little Rabbits
Written by Virginia Grossman and illustrated by Sylvia Long
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A counting rhyme with illustrations of rabbits in Native American costume, depicting traditional customs such as rain dances, hunting, and smoke signals. On board pages.

The Rough-Face Girl book
#3
The Rough-Face Girl
Written by Rafe Martin and illustrated by David Shannon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From Algonquin Indian folklore comes one of the most haunting, powerful versions of the Cinderella tale ever told. In a village by the shores of Lake Ontario lived an invisible being. All the young women wanted to marry him because he was rich, powerful, and supposedly very handsome. But to marry the invisible being the women had to prove to his sister that they had seen him. And none had been able to get past the sister’s stern, all-knowing gaze. Then came the Rough-Face girl, scarred from working by the fire. Could she succeed where her beautiful, cruel sisters had failed?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Stolen Words / Kimotinaniwiw Pikiskwewina - The dual language edition, in Cree and English, of the award-winning story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in Cree, he tells her that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families. The story recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared.

  2. I Am Sacagawea - “A biography of Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who served as a translator for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.”

  3. The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito - Timely, Fun, Challenging and Wise! Tomson Highway’s musical cabaret, The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, couldn’t be more vividly presented unless you were sitting in the middle seat of the front row watching the Cree playwright, performer, musician and poet himself. The story of a wingless little mosquito from Manitoba has all the whimsy and wise humour any audience could ask for. The ageless theme of a misfit, who finds her voice through song and who learns to make friends by communicating directly with her audience, is a timely treat for anyone who has felt like an outsider, dealt with bullying, moved to a new place, or was different from the rest of the pack. The entire script is here, complete with song lyrics, stage directions, Cree vocabulary, and challenging tongue twisters to delight all ages. A perfect book for drama students, teachers, and theatre enthusiasts, this beautiful full-colour volume serves as an interactive read-aloud for the young, or a great way to introduce students to the joys of staging a musical production.

  4. Sacajawea of the Shoshone - One minute she was picking berries and the next her tribe was under attack. Running for her life, Sacajawea was scooped up and taken far away from her village and family—and into history. From her mountain home to the banks of the Missouri River, over the majestic Rockies to the pounding waves of the Pacific, Sacajawea would travel farther than any American woman of her time. Richly illustrated and smartly narrated, this book brings to life the story of the real and remarkable Shoshone princess who helped Captains Lewis and Clark navigate their way across the American West.

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Books About Culture and African Americans

Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott book
#1
Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Written by Dee Romito and illustrated by Laura Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

This stunning picture book looks into the life of Georgia Gilmore, a hidden figure of history who played a critical role in the civil rights movement and used her passion for baking to help the Montgomery Bus Boycott achieve its goal. Georgia decided to help the best way she knew how. She worked together with a group of women and together they purchased the supplies they needed-bread, lettuce, and chickens. And off they went to cook. The women brought food to the mass meetings that followed at the church. They sold sandwiches. They sold dinners in their neighborhoods. As the boycotters walked and walked, Georgia cooked and cooked. Georgia Gilmore was a cook at the National Lunch Company in Montgomery, Alabama. When the bus boycotts broke out in Montgomery after Rosa Parks was arrested, Georgia knew just what to do. She organized a group of women who cooked and baked to fund-raise for gas and cars to help sustain the boycott. Called the Club from Nowhere, Georgia was the only person who knew who baked and bought the food, and she said the money came from “nowhere” to anyone who asked. When Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested for his role in the boycott, Georgia testified on his behalf, and her home became a meeting place for civil rights leaders. This picture book highlights a hidden figure of the civil rights movement who fueled the bus boycotts and demonstrated that one person can make a real change in her community and beyond. It also includes one of her delicious recipes for kids to try with the help of their parents!

What Is Given from the Heart book
#2
What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C McKissack and illustrated by April Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving.

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service— the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack—with stunning illustrations by Harrison—delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut book
#3
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR, the Huffington Post , Publishers Weekly , Kirkus Reviews , the Los Angeles Times , the Boston Globe , the Horn Book Magazine , the News & Observer , BookPage , Chicago Public Library, and more

The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother’s hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices.

A fresh cut makes boys fly.

This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair—a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That’s where it all begins.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Am Rosa Parks - Recounts Rosa Parks’ daring effort to stand up for herself and other African Americans by helping to end segregation on public transportation.

  2. Bippity Bop Barbershop - In this companion book to the bestselling I Love My Hair, a young boy, Miles, makes his first trip to the barbershop with his father. Like most little boys, he is afraid of the sharp scissors, the buzzing razor, and the prospect of picking a new hairstyle. But with the support of his dad, the barber, and the other men in the barbershop, Miles bravely sits through his first haircut. Written in a reassuring tone with a jazzy beat and illustrated with graceful, realistic watercolors, this book captures an important rite of passage for boys and celebrates African-American identity.

  3. Brown Girl Dreaming - In vivid poems that reflect the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, an award-winning author shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South.

  4. Grandmama's Pride - While on a trip in 1956 to visit her grandmother in the South, six-year-old Sarah Marie experiences segregation for the first time, but discovers that things have changed by the time she returns the following year.

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Books About Culture and Mythology

If I Had a Gryphon book
#1
If I Had a Gryphon
Written by Vikki VanSickle and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring … he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, hippogriffs scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet … or is he? If I Had a Gryphon is a raucous rhyming read-aloud about fantastical beasts in everyday situations—and the increasingly beleaguered heroine who has to deal with them.

Viking Myths: Volume Two book
#2
Viking Myths: Volume Two
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Journey to the frozen north for this second spellbinding anthology of Viking myths! Enter the world of Norse mythology, where you’ll find sea monsters, shape-changers, dark forests, and cunning, gold-hoarding underground dwarves. This second volume of Viking tales features more fantastical, entrancing adventures, including Thor’s journey in the land of the giants, and Ragnarok, the apocalyptic battle of the gods, retold in a way that will engage very young readers. Different illustrators bring their distinctive styles to each story.

Mini Myths: Be Careful, Icarus! book
#3
Mini Myths: Be Careful, Icarus!
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

After little Icarus and his dad make a bird-shaped kite, Dad warns Icarus to hold on to the string and not let it fly too high. But Icarus disobeys, and soon the kite gets caught in the trees! Dad helps him repair the kite so they can play with it again, and Icarus learns the importance of being careful. Joan Holub’s carefully crafted text is brought to life by Leslie Patricelli’s famously humorous illustrations. Includes a summary of the original Icarus myth.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mini Myths: Make a Wish, Midas! - Midas wants everything to be his favorite color—yellow! He chooses yellow clothes, eats yellow foods, and uses only the yellow paint at his easel. But when he impulsively paints his beloved green Dinoboo, Midas discovers that too much of a good thing is a big mess! Joan Holub’s carefully crafted text is brought to life by Leslie Patricelli’s famously humorous illustrations. Includes a summary of the original Midas’s Wish myth at the end.

  2. Good Job, Athena! - After Athena ties Arachne’s shoes for her, Arachne takes the credit for Athena’s hard work. But when their friends ask Arachne to teach them how to tie their shoes, Arachne must admit the truth. So Athena comes to the rescue and teaches everybody this important skill. All is forgiven, and the girls are friends again. Conceived and crafted by Greek-mythology expert Joan Holub and illustrated by the bestselling Leslie Patricelli, this book also includes a summary of the original Arachne myth.

  3. Don't Get Lost, Odysseus! - When Odysseus goes shopping with his mom, she tells him to stay close, and he does—until he is tempted by The Odyssey-inspired play area in the mall and wanders off. He has fun at first, but when he can’t find Mom, he gets scared. Not to worry: Mom was always close behind, and, reunited, they make their way home together. Conceived and crafted by Greek-mythology expert Joan Holub and illustrated by the bestselling Leslie Patricelli, this book also includes a summary of the original journey of Odysseus.

  4. Dragons Are Real! - This Mythical Creatures board book offers babies and toddlers a glimpse into the colorful, whimsical world of dragons. Discover what makes them so magical! Moonlight and courage and sparks, oh my! That’s what dragons are made of. Did you know that dragons don’t just breathe fire…they sneeze it? Or that they love to barbecue—even their vegetables? Fantasy lovers will be tickled to learn all sorts of “facts” about these Mythical Creatures in Holly Hatam’s (#1 New York Times bestselling illustrator) unique new series. Look for Unicorns are Real, too!

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Books About Culture and Holidays

Día de los Muertos book
#1
Día de los Muertos
Written by Hannah Eliot and illustrated by Jorge R. Gutierrez
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

At the end of October each year, it’s time to celebrate an ancient tradition: Dia de los Muertos! With vibrant illustrations by Golden Globe–winning Mexican illustrator Jorge Gutierrez, this festive board book teaches that Dia de los Muertos honors ancestors and loved ones who have passed. From sugar skulls to papel picado, this is a holiday that truly commemorates the cycle of life.

The Day of the Dead/ El Dia De Los Muertos book
#2
The Day of the Dead/ El Dia De Los Muertos
Written and illustrated by Bob Barner
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Now even the youngest children can enjoy the ghosts, skeletons and treats of this spirited holiday. With sugar skulls, sweet-smelling marigold petals, and joyful songs, a family welcomes back their beloved ancestors. This lively and colorful (and not too scary) tribute to a unique holiday is in English and Spanish.

What Do You Celebrate? book
#3
What Do You Celebrate?
Written by Whitney Stewart and illustrated by Christiane Engel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Discover a world of celebrations! This entertaining book introduces kids to 14 holidays, from Brazilian carnival, Chinese New Year, Bastille Day, and the Cherry Blossom Festival to Purim, Holi, Eid al-Fitr, Day of the Dead, and Halloween. As in the popular What’s On Your Plate?, each spread showcases a different holiday, offering background, cultural context, vocabulary words, photographs, and instructions for festive projects.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Night of the Moon - Now in paperback, this sweet tale follows Yasmeen, a seven-year-old Pakistani-American girl, as she celebrates the Muslim holidays of Ramadan, “The Night of the Moon” (Chaand Raat), and Eid. With lush illustrations that evoke Islamic art, this beautiful story offers a peek into modern Muslim culture—and into the ancient roots of its most cherished traditions.

  2. Lunar New Year - Learn all about the traditions of Lunar New Year—also known as Chinese New Year—with this fourth board book in the Celebrate the World series, which highlights special occasions and holidays across the globe. After the winter solstice each year, it’s time for a celebration with many names: Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, and Lunar New Year! With beautiful artwork by Chinese illustrator Alina Chau, this festive board book teaches readers that Lunar New Year invites us to spend time with family and friends, to light lanterns, and set off fireworks, dance with dragons, and to live the new year in harmony and happiness.

  3. Thread of Love - Three siblings enjoy the Indian festival of Raksha Bandhan—a celebration of the special relationship between brothers and sisters—in this vibrant reinterpretation of the classic song Frère Jacques (Are You Sleeping) from New York Times bestselling mother/son duo Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal. It’s time for the Indian festival of Raksha Bandhan, the celebration of the special lifelong relationship shared by brothers and sisters everywhere. Join two sisters as they lovingly make rakhi—thread bracelets adorned with beads, sequins, sparkles, and tassels—for their brother. And then see their brother present them with toys and sweets and special gifts! New York Times bestselling authors Surishtha and Kabir Sehgals’ irresistible text, set to the tune of the classic song Frère Jacques (Are You Sleeping), will have little ones singing along while they learn about Indian culture. And the vibrant illustrations by Zara Gonzalez Hoang will have readers wishing they could step right into the characters’ colorful crafting world. This enchanting picture book includes instructions for making rakhi!

  4. Together for Kwanzaa - Kwanzaa is Kayla’s favorite time of year. But this year, it looks as if a heavy snowstorm will keep her big brother, Khari, from getting home in time for the festivities! Will Khari miss the celebration completely? Or will Kayla and her brother somehow find a way to be together for Kwanzaa? A perfect introduction to Kwanzaa, this book will teach children all about the traditions and practices that make it a special winter holiday.

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Books About Culture and Nature

Good Night Outer Banks book
#1
Good Night Outer Banks
Written and illustrated by Mark Jasper and Adam Gamble
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Good Night Outer Banks highlights the Duck Town Boardwalk, North Carolina Aquariums, Jennette’s Pier, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Carova Beach and wild horses, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Currituck Beach Lighthouse, pirates, ghost crabs, and more. This book is part of the bestselling Good Night Our World series, which includes hundreds of titles exploring iconic locations and exciting, child-friendly themes. Many of North America’s most beloved regions are artfully celebrated in these board books designed to soothe children before bedtime while instilling an early appreciation for the North America’s natural and cultural wonders. Each book stars a multicultural group of people visiting the featured area’s attractions as rhythmic language guides children through the passage of both a single day and the four seasons while saluting the iconic aspects of each place. This charming and educational board book takes young readers on an unforgettable tour of the Outer Banks. From beaches and lighthouses to fishing and sea turtles, no seashell is left unturned!

Child of St Kilda book
#2
Child of St Kilda
Written and illustrated by Beth Waters
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

Norman John Gillies was one of the last children ever born on St Kilda, five years before the whole population was evacuated forever to the British mainland. People had lived on these islands for over four thousand years, developing a thriving, tightly-knit society that knew nothing of crime or money, and took care of its weakest members without hesitation. At the mercy of the seasons and the elements, a unique lifestyle evolved, based around resilience, mutual trust and caring. What was it like to grow up in such harsh conditions? Why and how did this ancient way of life suddenly cease in 1930? Where did the islanders go, and what became of them? And what became of Norman John, child of St Kilda?

Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Science book
#3
Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Science
Written by Bob Cooper and illustrated by Greg Paprocki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Little Leonardo s Fascinating World of Science introduces kids to the vast and varied areas of science and the different types of scientists they can aspire to become. Whether it s ancient dinosaur bones unearthed by paleontologists, anthropologists studying different cultures around the globe, or new planets discovered by astronomers, there s bound to be something here any child will find fascinating and appealing.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Juna's Jar - Juna and her best friend, Hector, love to go on adventures in the park, collecting things to put in Juna’s empty kimchi jars. But then one day Hector unexpectedly moves away, and Juna is left wondering who will play with her. With the help of her special jar, Juna searches for her friend the world over. What Juna finds is that adventure—and new friends—can be found in the most unexpected places. Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, Juna’s Jar is a heartwarming and whimsical celebration of friendship and the power of imagination.

  2. A Canadian Year - Meet Liam, Ava, Oki, Chloe and Noah - Canadian kids representing a multicultural blend of culture and race that typifies our amazing country. They’ll take you through a year in the life of Canada’s kids, from celebrations, traditions and events, to our everyday way of life and the little things that make childhood so memorable. A Canadian Year is a picture book bursting with national pride. It’s a snapshot of who we are as Canadians, blending our modern-day culture and lifestyle with past traditions and native heritage. Its pages feature meandering text, dates and gorgeous illustrations showcasing our five Canadian kids at play, at school, at home, and enjoying the sights and sites of our nation. From the frozen glaciers of our north to the sweeping prairies, rocky mountains and great lakes, from vibrant cities to tiny towns, this is our Canadian childhood.

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Books About Culture and Food

Proud to Be Latino book
#1
Proud to Be Latino
Written by Ashley Marie Mireles and illustrated by Edith Valle and Ashley Marie Mireles
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Did you know that there are over 5000 types of potatoes sold in South America? Or that in Honduras, a song about conch soup reached the Billboard Top 100 Charts? Latino culture spans Southern and Central America as well as the Caribbean, but often when we think of Latino foods, we think tacos, burritos, and other common Mexican dishes. Proud to Be Latino: Food/Comida teaches children how different Latino countries use similar ingredients to create unique regional dishes. The dishes and their descriptions are given in both English and Spanish, and parents will enjoy the sidebars with additional fun facts about Latino food and culture. This bilingual board book takes the reader beyond a basic language primer and dives deep into the heart of Latino culture . . . which is the food, of course!

Food Trucks! book
#2
Food Trucks!
Written and illustrated by Jeffrey Burton
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

This truck-shaped, lift-the-flap board book combines food with things that go for a novelty that has more than gears under the hood. Go on a culinary adventure with this exciting new lift-the-flap book that serves as an amuse-bouche introduction to different types of food from around the world. From the standard burger and taco truck to Japanese, Italian, Indian, and Chinese (with a health food and ice cream, too), this parking lot is filled with good eats for readers to find under every flap. With inviting truck characters on each page, little ones will love flipping through the visual menus hidden in each spread as they learn more about food…and about trucks—two things that go, go, go great together to make a well-balanced book.

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns book
#3
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns
Written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Magnificently capturing the colorful world of Islam for the youngest readers, this breathtaking and informative picture book celebrates Islam s beauty and traditions. From a red prayer rug to a blue hijab, everyday colors are given special meaning as young readers learn about clothing, food, and other important elements of Islamic culture, with a young Muslim girl as a guide. Sure to inspire questions and observations about world religions and cultures, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns is equally at home in a classroom reading circle as it is being read to a child on a parent s lap.

Honorable Mentions
  1. My First Thanksgiving - Tomie dePaola’s simple text and bright illustrations perfectly capture the joy of this special holiday. Young readers will love learning more about the traditional celebrations of the day.

  2. Yasmin the Chef - Yasmin’s family is hosting a big party, but Yasmin is worried that the traditional food her family is cooking is too spicy—so her family challenges Yasmin to come up with a dish of her own.

  3. Pancakes to Parathas - Breakfast varies from country to country, but it’s how all children begin their day. Explore the meals of twelve countries in this playful approach to the world! From Australia to India to the USA, come travel around the world at dawn. Children everywhere are waking up to breakfast. In Japan, students eat soured soybeans called natto. In Brazil, even kids drink coffee—with lots of milk! With rhythm and rhymes and bold, graphic art, Pancakes to Parathas invites young readers to explore the world through the most important meal of the day.

  4. Light the Menorah - Light the menorah and celebrate eight days of fun with this interactive book! It?s time to celebrate Hanukkah! From learning the story of the Macabees to making potato latkes and playing dreidel, kids will love reading along with this fun book. A pull-tab on each page allows children to “light” the candles of the menorah.

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Books About Culture and Family

A Different Pond book
#1
A Different Pond
Written by Bao Phi and illustrated by Thi Bui
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls “a must-read for our times,” A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event - a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son - and between cultures, old and new. As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Thi Bui’s striking, evocative art paired with Phi’s expertly crafted prose has earned this powerful picture books six starred reviews and numerous awards.

Diwali book
#2
Diwali
Written by Hannah Eliot and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Learn all about the traditions of Diwali with this third book in the delightful board book series Celebrate the World, which highlights special occasions and holidays across the globe. Each autumn we gather with our friends and family and light our brightest lanterns. It’s time for Diwali, the festival of lights! In this lovely board book with illustrations from Archana Sreenivasan, readers learn that the five days of Diwali are a time to pray for a bountiful season, celebrate the special bonds between siblings, and rejoice in the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.

You Hold Me Up book
#3
You Hold Me Up
Written by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Danielle Daniel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This vibrant picture book, beautifully illustrated by celebrated artist Danielle Daniel, encourages children to show love and support for each other and to consider each other’s well-being in their everyday actions. Consultant, international speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Up to prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers and educators about Reconciliation and the importance of the connections children make with their friends, classmates and families. This is a foundational book about building relationships, fostering empathy and encouraging respect between peers, starting with our littlest citizens. Orca Book Publishers is pleased to offer this hardcover picture book as a dual-language (English and Plains Cree) edition.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bronze and Sunflower - A beautifully written, timeless tale by Cao Wenxuan, best-selling Chinese author and 2016 recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. Sunflower is an only child, and when her father is sent to the rural Cadre School, she has to go with him. Her father is an established artist from the city and finds his new life of physical labor and endless meetings exhausting. Sunflower is lonely and longs to play with the local children in the village across the river. When her father tragically drowns, Sunflower is taken in by the poorest family in the village, a family with a son named Bronze. Until Sunflower joins his family, Bronze was an only child, too, and hasn’t spoken a word since he was traumatized by a terrible fire. Bronze and Sunflower become inseparable, understanding each other as only the closest friends can. Translated from Mandarin, the story meanders gracefully through the challenges that face the family, creating a timeless story of the trials of poverty and the power of love and loyalty to overcome hardship.

  2. The Thundermaker - The Thundermaker is based on Mi’kmaw artist Alan Syliboy’s spectacular mixed-media exhibit of the same name. In the book, Big Thunder teaches his son, Little Thunder, about the important responsibility he has in making thunder for his people. Little Thunder learns about his Mi’kmaw identity through his father’s teachings and his mother’s traditional stories. Syliboy’s spectacular, vibrant artwork brings the story of Little Thunder to vivid life.

  3. Hamid's Story - This is the real-life story of 10-year old refugee Hamid, who flees Eritrea with his mother to escape the war and threats to his family from the government. Told in Hamid’s own words, this story describes the hardship experienced by immigrants who are rebuilding their lives with little understanding of the language and culture of their new country.

  4. Love You More Than Anything - Colorful picture book about the many kinds of love between people. This book crosses cultures and generations, social change and tradition. It exudes warmth and playfulness, sharing whimsical images and sweet memories. Each colorful page depicts a different couple enjoying their time together: two grandparents, two teenagers, a girl and her granny, a boy and a girl, two men, young girlfriends, a child and parent. Love can happen between anyone of any race, religion or size, anywhere. Love You More Than Anything is a simple, beautiful celebration of love in all its forms.

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Did you enjoy our culture book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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