NEW Multicultural Children’s Books February 2022

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New Multicultural Children's Books February 2022


Lots of wonderful new multicultural children’s book releases this month! Our favourites for February 2022 are Peek-a-You! (Babies & Toddlers), Eyes That Speak To The Stars (Preschool), Nigel And The Moon (Elementary School), Omar Rising (Middle School), and Bitter (High School). Enjoy browsing!

NEW Multicultural Children’s Books February 2022

Babies & Toddlers

Peek-a-You! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
by Andrea Davis Pinkney

“Peek-a-you, peek-a-you, can you see? / Here’s the pretty brown face of me?” Cuddle up with your little one and play a happy game of peekaboo! With bouncing, rhythmic text and warm, whimsical illustrations, Peek-a-You is a joyful celebration of perfectly huggable, oh-so-lovable bright brown bundles of joy! ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: Top 10 Multicultural Bedtime Stories for Babies & Toddlers


Marley and the Family Band
by C. Marley & T. Baptiste 

When Marley and her family move from Jamaica to Delaware, she knows life is about to change in big ways. And she’s got the perfect plan to help her and her siblings make friends: an outdoor concert for the whole neighbourhood! But when weather ruins their plans, she discovers help in the most unlikely places as her new neighbours quickly become the kindest of friends. Inspired by the author’s childhood and her iconic father, Marley And The Family Band is a vibrant picture book that celebrates music, love, and family. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 60+ Children’s Books About Legendary Black Musicians

I Am Golden
by Eva Chen

“What do you see when you look in the mirror, Mei? Do you see beauty? We see eyes that point toward the sun, that give us the warmth and joy of a thousand rays when you smile. We see hair as inky black and smooth as a peaceful night sky. We see skin brushed with gold.” Written in the form of a letter from immigrant parents to their child, I Am Golden is a joyful and lyrical ode to the immigrant experience and a celebration of Chinese American identity. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 180+ Asian &  Asian American Books for Children & Teenagers

Olu and Greta
by Diana Ejaita

Olu lives in Lagos, Nigeria; his cousin, Greta, lives in Milan, Italy. Though their lives may be different, their ways of living and playing are quite similar. They both roller skate; they both skip down the street; they both play with toy trains, trucks, and boats… and they both dream of meeting and being together. Referencing the author’s own childhood and heritage, Olu & Greta is a rich, poignant, and authentic portrayal of Nigeria, of Italy, and of the unity of childhood. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Friendship

How to Welcome a New Baby
by Jean Reagan

A new baby is coming! Do you know what to do? This fun and heartwarming new addition to the bestselling How to… series teaches siblings how to get ready for the baby, how to make the baby laugh, and how to help Mom and Dad when things get a little topsy-turvy. Filled with charming role-reversal humor, creative ideas, and sweet moments, How To Welcome a New Baby is sure to delight new siblings and growing families everywhere! ~ African – Preschool

Related: 70+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families

Star Fishing
by Sang-Keun Kim

It’s the kind of night when you just can’t fall asleep. You feel as though everyone in the world is asleep but you. “Oh, I see a light! Is somebody awake?” Brimming with wonder and enchantment, Star Fishing is a dreamy bedtime story that turns a sleepless night into a marvelous adventure through the stars and into sweet dreams. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 11 Multicultural Lullabies

Apple and Magnolia
by Laura Gehl

Though she can’t explain it, Britta is sure her two favourite trees, Apple and Magnolia, are best friends! Then one day, Magnolia’s branches start to droop. Is there anything Britta–or Apple–can do to help? After all, unusual friendships can be the most powerful of all. With lyrical text and vibrant art, Apple and Magnolia unveils the extraordinary connections between trees and the wondrous bonds between all living things. Includes an author’s note about how trees communicate with one another. ~ Diverse – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books for Earth Day

Eyes That Speak to the Stars
by Joanna Ho

When a friend at school creates a hurtful drawing, a young Asian boy turns to his family for comfort. He realizes that his eyes rise to the skies and speak to the stars, shine like sunlit rays, and glimpse trails of light from those who came before—in fact, his eyes are like his father’s, his agong’s, and his little brother’s, and they are visionary. Inspired by the men in his family, he recognizes his own power and strength from within. Companion to the acclaimed Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, Eyes That Speak To The Stars is a lyrical and uplifting picture book that redefines what it means to be truly you. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books To Help Build Self-Esteem

Hey You!: An Empowering Celebration of Growing Up Black
by Dapo Adeola

“Remember to dream your own dreams / Love your beautiful skin / You always have a choice.” Lyrical Hey You! addresses–honestly, yet hopefully–the experiences Black children face growing up with systemic racism, and delivers a message of hope and empowerment to a new generation of dreamers. To mirror the rich variety of the Black diaspora, this book showcases artwork from Dapo Adeola and eighteen more incredible Black illustrators. ~ African – Preschool

Bare Tree and Little Wind: A Story for Holy Week
by Mitali Perkins

Little Wind and the trees of Jerusalem can’t wait for Real King to visit. But Little Wind is puzzled when the king doesn’t look how he expected. His wise friend Bare Tree helps him learn that sometimes strength is found in sacrifice, and new life can spring up even when all hope seems lost. Bare Tree and Little Wind is a lyrical, captivating retelling of the Palm Sunday and Easter story that is sure to become a beloved tradition for families of faith. ~ Diverse – Preschool

Related: 23 Multicultural Children’s Books about Easter

I’ll Always Come Back to You
by Carmen Tafolla

“I might have to visit a very sick friend, / or rescue a sinking canoe, / but I will always, always, always come back to you!” When a mother goes out to work and her daughter stays behind, she reassures her child that nothing can keep her from coming back home again. Mom promises that she would even ride on a whale or fight off a passel of bears, if that’s what it takes to return to her child. With reassuring rhyme and amusing illustrations, I’ll Always Come Back To You is perfect for children struggling with separation anxiety or a change in family life. ~ Diverse – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Mothers

Elementary School

I am Muhammad Ali
by Brad Meltzer

Muhammad Ali was the leading heavyweight boxer of the 20th century and a charismatic, beloved public figure. His objection to the military draft during the Vietnam War made him an icon for a generation, and his impact in sports and the Civil Rights movement is still felt today. Part of the dynamic Ordinary People Change The World series, I Am Muhammad Ali shines a light on the life of the American boxing champ and civil rights activist. Includes timeline and photos. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 44 Children’s Books About Extraordinary Black Athletes

Powwow Day
by Traci Sorell

River is recovering from illness and can’t dance at the powwow this year. Will she ever dance again? Vibrantly illustrated Powwow Day is an uplifting #ownvoices story that follows River’s journey from feeling isolated after an illness to learning the healing power of community. Additional information explains the history and functions of powwows, which are commonplace across the United States and Canada and are open to both Native Americans and non-Native visitors. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Related: 100 Native American Children’s Books

Nigel and the Moon
by Antwan Eady

When Nigel looks up at the moon, his future is bright. He imagines himself as…an astronaut, a dancer, a superhero, too! Among the stars, he twirls. With pride, his chest swells. And his eyes, they glow. Nigel is the most brilliant body in the sky. But it’s Career Week at school, and Nigel can’t find the courage to share his dreams. It’s easy to whisper them to the moon, but not to his classmates—especially when he already feels out of place. Beautifully illustrated Nigel And The Moon is a glowing tale about dreaming big and overcoming fear. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Fear and Courage

Beauty Woke
by NoNieqa Ramos

Beauty is a Puerto Rican girl loved and admired by her family and community. At first, she’s awake to their beauty, and her own—a proud Boricua of Taíno and African descent. But as she grows older, she sees how people who look like her are treated badly, and she forgets what makes her special. So her community bands together to help remind her of her beautiful heritage. Beauty Woke is a powerful story of pride and community, told with bold lyricism and the heart of a fairy tale. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: Pura Belpré Award Winners 1996 – 2022

Love in the Library
by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese American Tama is sent to live in a War Relocation Center in the desert. She works in the camp’s tiny library, taking solace in pages bursting with colour and light, love and fairness. And she isn’t the only one. George waits each morning by the door, his arms piled with books checked out the day before. As their friendship grows, Tama wonders: Can anyone possibly read so much? Is she the reason George comes to the library every day? Beautifully illustrated Love In The Library is a moving love story set in a shameful chapter of American history. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 180+ Asian & Asian American Books for Children & Teenagers

Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas
by Jeanne Walker Harvey

As a child in Georgia, Alma Thomas loved to spend time outside, soaking up the colours around her. And her parents filled their home with colour and creativity despite the racial injustices they faced. After the family moved to Washington DC, Alma shared her passion for art by teaching children. When she was almost seventy years old, she focused on her own vibrant artwork, inspired by nature and space travel, and became one of the most distinguished painters of the 20th century. Told from the point of view of young Alma Thomas, Ablaze With Color tells the incredible story of the first Black woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York City and to have her work chosen for the White House collection. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Fabulous Female Artists

Middle School

Wishing Upon the Same Stars
by Jacquetta Nammar Feldman

When twelve-year-old Yasmeen Khoury and her family move from Detroit to San Antonio, she feels more alone than ever before as she faces middle school mean girls and tries to make new friends. Eventually Yasmeen befriends her neighbour, Ayelet Cohen, a first-generation Israeli American, who understands how she feels. But then Yasmeen’s grandmother moves in after her home in Jerusalem is destroyed, Yasmeen and Ayelet must grapple with how much closer the events of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are than they’d realized. Wishing Upon The Same Stars is a poignant middle-grade novel about family, heritage, identity and friendship. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 180+ Asian & Asian American Books for Children & Teenagers

Just Right Jillian
by Nicole D. Collier

Fifth grader Jillian will do just about anything to blend in, including staying quiet even when she has the right answer. After she loses a classroom competition because she won’t speak up, she sets her mind on winning her school’s biggest competition. But breaking out of her shell is easier said than done, and Jillian has only a month to keep her promise to her grandmother and prove to herself that she can speak up and show everyone her true self. Just Right Jillian is heartfelt middle-grade debut novel about family, friendship, and finding the confidence to break free from the crowd and be who you truly are. ~ African – Middle School

Related: The 50 Best Multicultural Middle Grade Novels of 2021

Omar Rising
by Aisha Saeed

Son of a servant, Omar knows his scholarship to Ghalib Academy Boarding School is a huge opportunity. He can’t wait to experience all the school has to offer, especially science club and the soccer team; but he soon learns that first-year scholarship students aren’t allowed to join clubs or teams—plus, they have to earn their keep doing menial chores. On top of that, the school requires scholarship students to get significantly higher grades than kids who can pay tuition, making it nearly impossible for kids like him to graduate. With the help of his tightknit new group of friends Omar sets out to do what seems impossible: change a rigged system. Omar Rising is the compelling companion to bestselling Amal Unbound. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 180+ Asian & Asian American Books for Children & Teenagers

When the World Turned Upside Down
by K. Ibura

When their school closes due to the virus, Shayla, Liam, Ai, and Ben’s lives are turned upside down. As they each struggle to adjust to life in quarantine, they discover they are not alone: their apartment building is full of people who need their help. Working together, they begin to see that there is power in numbers. It’s a lesson they’ll need when protests explode in the streets. Soon, each friend has to decide what it means to be part of a community―and how much they’re willing to do to make this world safer for everyone. Set against the onset of COVID, When the World Turned Upside Down navigates issues of race and social justice in a heartwarming story of generosity, friendship, and the power of youth. ~ Diverse – Middle School

Related: 100 Children’s Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination

by Amina Luqman-Dawson

Under the cover of night, twelve-year-old Homer flees Southerland Plantation with his little sister Ada, unwillingly leaving their beloved mother behind. Much as he fears for her life, Homer knows there’s no turning back, not with the overseer on their trail. Through tangled vines, secret doorways, and over a sky bridge, the two find a secret community called Freewater, deep in the swamp. In this society created by formerly enslaved people, Homer finds new friends, almost forgetting where he came from. But when he learns of a threat that could destroy Freewater, he crafts a plan to find his mother and help his new home. Deeply inspiring and loosely based on the history of maroon communities in the South, Freewater is a striking tale of survival, adventure, friendship, and courage. ~ African – Middle School

Related: NEW 2022 Black History Books for Children & Teenagers

The View from the Very Best House in Town
by Meera Trehan

Sam and Asha have been friends forever. But when Sam is accepted into snobbish Castleton Academy as an autistic “Miracle Boy,” he leaves Asha, who is also autistic, to navigate middle school alone. Soon Sam is spending time with Prestyn, Asha’s nemesis, whose family owns Donnybrooke, the best house in town. Since a housewarming party gone wrong, Anna has been forbidden to set foot inside. Who is Asha without Sam? And who will she be when it becomes clear that Prestyn’s interest in her friend isn’t so friendly? Told from the points of view of Asha, Sam, and Donnybrooke itself, The View From The Very Best House In Town is a witty and suspenseful debut novel that explores issues of ableism and classism as it delves into the mysteries of what makes a person a friend and a house a home. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 180+ Asian & Asian American Books for Children & Teenagers

A Comb of Wishes
by Lisa Stringfellow

Ever since her mother’s death, Kela feels every bit as broken as the shards of glass, known as “mermaid’s tears,” that sparkle on the Caribbean beaches of St. Rita. So when Kela and her friend Lissy stumble across an ancient-looking comb in a coral cave, with all she’s already lost, Kela can’t help but bring home her very own found treasure. Far away, deep in the cold ocean, the mermaid Ophidia can feel that her comb has been taken. And despite her hatred of all humans, her magic requires that she make a bargain: the comb in exchange for a wish. But what Kela wants most is for her mother to be alive. And a wish that big will exact an even bigger price… Set against the backdrop of Caribbean folklore, A Comb of Wishes is a spellbinding middle grade debut about a grieving girl and a vengeful mermaid. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 36 Children’s Books set in the Caribbean

Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs
by Pam Muñoz Ryan

On the brink of her Quinceañera, and her official coronation, Solimar visits the oyamel forest to sit among the monarch butterflies. The sun shines on her and sends the butterflies humming and swirling around her. After the magical frenzy, she realizes she’s been given a gift―and a burden: she can predict the near future! She has also become a protector of the young and weak butterflies. This alone would be a huge responsibility, but tragedy strikes when a neighbouring king invades while her father and brother and many others are away. The remaining villagers are taken hostage―all except Solimar. Can this princess-to-be save her family, the kingdom, and the future of the monarch butterflies from a greedy and dangerous king? Fans of Esperanza Rising will find a new Mexican heroine to love in Solimar. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico

Dream, Annie, Dream
by Waka T. Brown

As the daughter of immigrants who came to America for a better life, Annie Inoue was raised to dream big. So when she lands an impressive role in the production of The King and I, she’s thrilled . . . until she starts to hear grumbles from her mostly white classmates that she only got the part because it’s an Asian play with Asian characters. Is this all people see when they see her? Is this the only kind of success they’ll let her have—one that they can tear down or use race to belittle? Disheartened but determined, Annie channels her hurt into a new dream: showing everyone what she’s made of. Dream, Annie, Dream is an empowering deconstruction of the so-called American Dream, as a Japanese American girl grapples with, and ultimately rises above, the racism and trials of middle school she experiences while chasing her dreams. ~ Asian – Middle School

Related: 100 Children’s Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination

Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms
by Jamar J. Perry

Cameron Battle grew up reading The Book of Chidani, cherishing stories about the fabled kingdom that cut itself off from the world to save the Igbo people from danger. Passed down over generations, the Book is Cameron’s only connection to his parents who disappeared one fateful night, two years ago. Ever since, his grandmother has kept the Book locked away, but it calls to Cameron. When he and his best friends Zion and Aliyah decide to open it again, they are magically transported to Chidani. But instead of a land of beauty and wonder, they find a kingdom in extreme danger, as the Queen’s sister seeks to destroy the barrier between worlds. The people of Chidani have been waiting for the last Descendant to return and save them . . . is Cameron ready to be the hero they need? Inspired by West African and Igbo history and mythology, Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms is a gripping fantasy novel that celebrates one boy’s journey to greatness. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 50+ Multicultural Middle Grade Novels for Summer Reading

High School

This Woven Kingdom
by Tahereh Mafi

To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.
The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined that the servant girl with the strange eyes, the girl he can’t put out of his mind, would one day soon uproot his kingdom—and the world. Clashing empires, forbidden romance, and a long-forgotten queen destined to save her people—This Woven Kingdom is the first in an epic, romantic trilogy inspired by Persian mythology. ~ Asian – High School

Related: 180+ Asian & Asian American Books for Children & Teenagers

Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions
by Navdeep Singh Dhillon

When Sunny G’s brother died, he left him his notebook, which Sunny is determined to fill up with a series of rash decisions. Decision number one: He stops wearing his turban, cuts off his hair, and shaves his beard. He doesn’t look like a Sikh anymore. He doesn’t look like himself anymore. Even his cosplay doesn’t look right without his beard. He’s skipping the big fandom party —the one where he’d normally be in full cosplay, up on stage playing bass with his band and his best friend, Ngozi— to debut his new look at prom, which he’s stuck going to alone. Enter Mindii Vang, a girl with a penchant for making rash decisions of her own, starting with stealing Sunny’s notebook. When Sunny chases after her, prom turns into an all-night adventure full of rash, wonderful, romantic, stupid, life-changing decisions. Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions is an endearing romantic comedy about a Sikh teen’s search for love and identity. ~ Asian – High School

Related: The 50 Best Multicultural Young Adult Books of 2021

by Akwaeke Emezi

After a childhood in foster care, Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside this haven, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the city of Lucille. Bitter’s instinct is to stay safe within the walls of Eucalyptus . . . but  her  friends  aren’t  willing  to  settle  for  a  world  that’s  so  far  away from what they deserve. Pulled between old friendships, her artistic passion, and a new romance, Bitter isn’t sure where she  belongs—in  the  studio  or  in  the  streets.  And  if  she  does  find a way to help the revolution while being true to who she is, she must also ask: at what cost? Companion to acclaimed Pet, Bitter is a timely and riveting novel that explores the power of youth, protest, and art. ~ African – High School

Related: 100 Children’s Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination

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