Reading List: Heritage Pride
Every culture in the world has its own heritage and history. No matter where one lives, their unique heritage remains important and deserves to be celebrated! Whether or not it is officially recognized in a national month or day, heritage is vitally important to the complexity and depth of human society. Learning about different cultures and why they are special prepares children to interact with others who may come from different backgrounds and do so from a place of respect and understanding. This book list is designed to help with this learning and includes books from a variety of cultures that celebrate each one’s unique heritage. These books are best suited to readers ages 4-7.
Contributed by: Mary Lanni
|Dim Sum for Everyone!
By: Grace Lin
A child describes the various little dishes of dim sum that she and her family enjoy on a visit to a restaurant in Chinatown.
By: Yuyi Morales
An illustrated picture book autobiography in which award-winning author Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story.
|First Laugh: Welcome Baby
By: Rose Tahe and Nancy Bo Flood
Illustrated by: Jonathan Nelson
A Navajo family welcomes a new baby into the family with love and ceremony, eagerly waiting for that first special laugh. Includes a brief description of birth customs in different cultures.
|Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
By: Margot Lee Shetterly
Illustrated by: Laura Freeman
Explores the previously uncelebrated but pivotal contributions of NASA’s African American women mathematicians to America’s space program, describing how Jim Crow laws segregated them despite their groundbreaking successes.
|Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-Ji
By: F. Zia
Illustrated by: Ken Min
Aneel and his grandfather, Dada-ji, tell stories, use their imaginations, and make delicious roti, a traditional Indian flatbread.
By: Junot Díaz
Illustrated by: Leo Espinoza
Lola was just a baby when her family left the Island, so when she has to draw it for a school assignment, she asks her family, friends, and neighbors about their memories of her homeland and in the process, comes up with a new way of understanding her own heritage.
|Lin Yi’s Lantern: A Moon Festival Tale
By: Brenda Williams
Illustrated by: Benjamin Lacombe
When his mother sends him to the market to buy necessities for the upcoming festival, Lin Yi is certain his bargaining skills will get him the best prices, and he will have money left over for his coveted red rabbit lantern.
|Peekaboo the Poi Dog
By: Wendy Kunimitsu Haraguchi
Illustrated by: Kat Uno
One rainy day, Peekaboo, the poi dog, is feeling restless and is looking for a new game to play. She asks her mother for guidance, leading her on an unexpected imaginary journey across the state of Hawaii. Along the way, Peekaboo encounters wonderful people and creatures while visiting many well-known Hawaiian landmarks: From the Pali lookout to the snowy mountain top of Mauna Kea, Big Island’s highest volcano, her adventures are filled with excitement, discoveries, and enjoyment.
|Pepe and the Parade: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage
By: Tracey Kyle
Illustrated by: Mirelle Ortega
Pepe wakes up energized to attend his first Hispanic Day parade. With new food to taste, music to dance to, and a parade to watch, Pepe couldn’t be more excited to celebrate and share his Hispanic heritage. Many of Pepe’s friends also attend the festival, celebrating their own Hispanic ties. Mexican, Dominican, Panamanian, Colombian, Honduran, Nicaraguan, Chilean, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Cuban cultures are all represented in the parade. A day filled with joy and pride, Pepe and the Parade is a jubilant celebration of culture and identity.
By: Chieri Uegaki
Illustrated by: Stéphane Jorisch
After a wonderful summer spent visiting her grandmother, Suki decides to wear her blue cotton kimono on her first day of school, where she also shares with her class tales of going to the street festival with her beloved obachan.
|This is the Rope: A Story of the Great Migration
By: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated by: James Ransome
A rope passed down through the generations frames an African American family’s story as they journey north during the time of the Great Migration.
|Thunder Boy Jr.
By: Sherman Alexie
Illustrated by: Yuyi Morales
Little Thunder wants a name that separates him from his father, Big Thunder, and considers such options as “Touch the Sky” and “Drums, Drums, and More Drums” before his father helps him find the perfect alternative.