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5 Diverse Children's Books Releasing in 2021

Although I am not in the classroom this year (thanks a lot COVID) I am still checking out book releases for 2021 and seeing which books I'd eventually like to add to my collection. I thought it would be nice to share my finds for teachers, parents who are home schooling, if you're looking for gift ideas, etc. These 5 books are specifically diverse titles because I believe in sharing diverse stories with children. That way as they grow up they understand the world and people around them.

Home For A While by Lauren H. Kerstein, illustrated by Natalia Moore

Expected publication: February 2nd, 2021 by Magination Press

not available for pre-order

Synopsis: Calvin is in foster care, and he wants to trust someone, anyone, but is afraid to open his heart. He has lived in a lot of houses, but he still hasn't found his home. When he moves in with Maggie, she shows him respect, offers him kindness, and makes him see things in himself that he's never noticed before. Maybe this isn't just another house, maybe this is a place Calvin can call home, for a while.

Laxmi's Mooch by Shelly Anand, illustrated by Nabi H. Ali

Expected publication: March 2nd, 2021 by Kokila

pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis: A joyful, body-positive picture book about a young Indian American girl's journey to accept her body hair and celebrate her heritage after being teased about her mustache.

Laxmi never paid much attention to the tiny hairs above her lip. But one day while playing farm animals at recess, her friends point out that her whiskers would make her the perfect cat. She starts to notice body hair all over--on her arms, legs, and even between her eyebrows.

With her parents' help, Laxmi learns that hair isn't just for heads, but that it grows everywhere, regardless of gender. Featuring affirming text by Shelly Anand and exuberant, endearing illustrations by Nabi H. Ali, Laxmi's Mooch is a celebration of our bodies and our body hair, in whichever way they grow.

Fatima's Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

Expected publication: March 30th, 2021 by Kokila

pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis: An immigrant family embarks on their first camping trip in the Midwest in this lively picture book by Ambreen Tariq, outdoors activist and founder of @BrownPeopleCamping

Fatima Khazi is excited for the weekend. Her family is headed to a local state park for their first camping trip! The school week might not have gone as planned, but outdoors, Fatima can achieve anything. She sets up a tent with her father, builds a fire with her mother, and survives an eight-legged mutant spider (a daddy longlegs with an impressive shadow) with her sister. At the end of an adventurous day, the family snuggles inside one big tent, serenaded by the sounds of the forest. The thought of leaving the magic of the outdoors tugs at Fatima’s heart, but her sister reminds her that they can keep the memory alive through stories—and they can always daydream about what their next camping trip will look like.

Ambreen Tariq’s picture book debut, with cheerful illustrations by Stevie Lewis, is a rollicking family adventure, a love letter to the outdoors, and a reminder that public land belongs to all of us.

Bracelets for Bina's Brothers by Rajani LaRocca, illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat

Expected publication: April 20th, 2021 by Charlesbridge Publishing

pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis: Bina wants to make bracelets with special patterns for her brothers for the Raksha Bandhan holiday. She wants to do it all by herself, but it’s harder than she thought. Will she have to ask Mom for help after all?

A part of the Storytelling Math series, this story involves simple patterns, family gifts, and the love between sisters and brothers.

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho, illustrated by Dung Ho

Expected publication: January 5th, 2021 by HarperCollins

pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis: This lyrical and stunning picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate your Asian-shaped eyes, in the of spirit of Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry 

A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.

Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self love and empowerment. 

This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages and is a celebration of diversity.