February is Black History Month in Canada, but here in Vancouver the Lunar New Year is also a big deal. Then at the end of the month we have Pink Shirt Day. So for the next month I will be highlighting books that help us celebrate diversity in all it's many colours and nuances.
I adore Up Home by Shauntay Grant and Susan Tooke. It is one of those picture books where the dance between the words and the illustrations just makes you sigh with contentment. It is the memories of the author growing up in Preston, Nova Scotia.
While not set in Canada, all Mary Hoffman's Grace books are inspiring. Grace is a role model for both girls and boys.
They celebrate the freedom to be who you are.
The Freedom of Jenny by Julie Burtinshaw, is the story of a girl who started life out as a slave in Missouri. Her father managed to buy the family's freedom. They traveled first to California and eventually ended up on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia.
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine reveals part of the history of the integration of black students into white schools during what is known as the "Lost Year" in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a story about the power of friendship, finding your voice, and working hard to make the world a better place.