In light of the recent events in Boston, and here in Watertown, Massachusetts, we have heard from many teachers, librarians, and parents looking for books that will help open a line of communication with children about how to deal with these tragic events. While Charlesbridge does publish books that help young children learn to discuss loss, they don't touch upon the themes of the recent events and why someone would cause so much pain.
However, one thing that Charlesbridge does very well is publish books about community, humanity, and the beauty in diversity. We want to share these books with you here.
Please share your suggestions in the comments. Perhaps we can build a huge book list and through books we can build a bridge to a better world.
Global Baby Girls
From Peru to China, from Russia to Mali, this board book
features captivating photographs of baby girls to share a simple, yet
powerful message: no matter where they are born, baby girls can grow up
to change the world.
I'm in Love with a Big Blue Frog
A huge hit for Peter, Paul and Mary in 1967, this song has
been a favorite in classrooms, camps, and at sing-alongs ever since. Not
only do children delight in the playful tune, but adults also embrace
its lyrics, which gently send a message of tolerance in the most
light-hearted, humorous way.
Camille loves to build sand forts at the beach. But it's hard to build a
big fort alone. Camille and her friends make a plan. They find that
they can get more done--and have more fun--when they work together.
Percy helps his dad hang signs for the Neighborhood Fun
Run. Along the way, Percy meets the community helpers who make See and
Learn City a better place to live, work, and play. Percy is excited to
tell the gang about the new friends he met in the neighborhood.
Kenya’s homework is to pick her favorite song and share
it with her class. Sounds simple, but for Kenya, it’s anything but. With
all that beautiful music in the world, how can she possibly choose?
Over the Rainbow
Leading into the song's familiar chorus is a lesser-known verse
describing the world as a "hopeless jumble," portrayed in Puybaret's
acrylic paintings as a rain-soaked, windblown cityscape. Giving a nod to
the film, the setting shifts to a farm, where a rainbow appears at a
girl's window to lead her to "a place behind the sun, just a step beyond
the rain." When she returns to her barnlike home, the
creatures and celestial objects from her magical journey remain, turning
the wistful tenor of the closing lines ("Why, oh, why can't I?") into a
statement of defiance that speaks to the power of imagination. Grammy-winner Judy
Collins sings the title track and two other songs on an accompanying CD.
-- Publishers Weekly
I Am Different!
This clever picture book presents sixteen visual puzzles. On every
page, readers must pick out the one item that is different from the
rest--a different color, a different shape, reversed from left to right,
or just asleep when others are awake!
The phrase "Can you find me?" is shown in a different language on every page.
Children from Australia to Zimbabwe
Celebrate the many faces of children around the world.
Vibrant color photographs portray positive images of children that help
foster a sense of global citizenship. With an abundance of information
about cultures, languages, and environment, this fascinating journey
around the world will inspire both young and old alike. Readers will
also discover Xanadu, an ideal imaginary land described and illustrated
by elementary school children.
Children of the U.S.A.
Celebrate the diversity of the United States!
There is no typical American child. Children may share similar
activities and pastimes, but they represent a variety of ethnic,
cultural, and religious backgrounds. Striking photographs showcase
fifty-one cities -- one from each state, as well as our nation's
capital, Washington, D.C. The photos and facts feature common activities
and interests, as well as varied foods, languages, entertainment,
sports, and other examples of daily life throughout the country.
Families around the world celebrate faith in many different ways—through
praying, singing, learning, helping, caring, and more. With stunning
photographs from many cultures and religious traditions, Faith
celebrates the ways in which people worship around the globe.
Be My Neighbor
Around the world, children live in community with others, sharing homes,
resources, and experiences with their neighbors. This book celebrates
what it means to be a neighbor the whole world over -- from Vietnam to
the United States, Austria to Kenya and everywhere in between.
With Words of Wisdom
from Mr. Fred Rogers.
To Be a Kid
Unquestionably, to be a kid is the most exciting thing to be. Filled with beautiful photographs, To Be a Kid
celebrates kids as they play and learn, as they spend time with their
friends and family, and as they discover their environment and the
world. Kids, no matter where they are from, share this same wonderful
adventure and at the heart of it a kid is just a kid.
Somos un arco iris/We Are a Rainbow
We Are a Rainbow
helps young readers begin building the cultural bridges
of common human understanding through simple comparisons of culture
from breakfast foods to legends. Colorful cut-paper art and gentle
language deliver this universal message eloquently.
The ABC Book of American Homes
Houses in trees, houses on water, houses with wheels! America is a
country of diverse people who live in all types of homes--homes
made of wood, metal, glass, even snow! In the desert, on a farm, or by
the beach, American houses have only one thing in common--they provide
shelter and comfort to those who live in them. No matter the size,
shape, or location, they are places to call home.
When an act of bigotry scars the sidewalk in front of the candy shop and
frightens the store owner, Daniel knows he must do something to fight
back. A tender story of a young boy's courage in the face of prejudice.
Different Just Like Me
This celebration of a world of difference is sure to make every reader
appreciate the distinctive qualities in themselves and everyone around
Don't Say Ain't
In the 1950s, Dana struggles to live in two worlds—her Harlem
neighborhood and the advanced school she attends—while staying true to
herself. Irene Smalls and Colin Bootman team up in this heart-warming
story of friendship, integration, opportunity, and hard choices.
The Flag We Love
This spirited tribute to Old Glory will inspire readers, young and old,
to take a new look at the greatest emblem of the United States of
America. With patriotic verse and historical facts, The Flag We Love
explores how our flag has become an enduring part of our nation's proud
history and heritage. From its earliest designs to its role in
peace-time and war, the Star-Spangled Banner will take on a whole new
meaning for all readers.
Hats Off To Hair!
Hair is our most versatile feature and kids everywhere have created
their own unique styles. Exquisite paintings of kids from many cultures
show us the beauty, splendor, and wonder of our hairstyles.
offers strong themes of working together, the power
of art, and the importance of inspiring community--especially kids--to
affect action. The Heidelberg Project is internationally recognized for
providing arts education to children and adults and for the ongoing
development of several houses on Heidelberg Street. Not only does the
Heidelberg Project prove that when a community works together it can
rebuild itself, but it also addresses the issues of recycling,
environmentalism, and community on a global level.
A Path of Stars
Dara's grandmother, Lok Yeay, is full of stories about
her life growing up in Cambodia, before she immigrated to the United
States. Lok Yeay tells her granddaughter of the fruits and plants that
grew there, and how her family would sit in their yard and watch the
stars that glowed like fireflies. Lok Yeay tells Dara about her brother,
Lok Ta, who is still in Cambodia, and how one day she will return with
Dara and Dara's family to visit the place she still considers home. But
when a phone call disrupts Lok Yeay's dream to see her brother again,
Dara becomes determined to bring her grandmother back to a place of
Priscilla and the Hollyhocks
Priscilla is only four years old when her mother is sold to another
master. All Priscilla has to remember her mother by are the hollyhocks
she planted by the cow pond. At age ten, Priscilla is sold to a Cherokee
family and continues her life as a slave. She keeps hope for a better
life alive by planting hollyhocks wherever she goes. At last, her forced
march along the Trail of Tears brings a chance encounter that leads to
A story of how love overcomes hate.
A fantastical journey introduces young readers to subway travel. Five
children pay the fare, pass through the gates, and zip through the
tunnels of subway stations in ten cities around the globe. The trip
around the world underscores how travel and cultural connections create
The Searcher and Old Tree
Beloved author-illustrator David McPhail crafts a simple, yet powerful,
allegory about the safety of home and the strength of unconditional
This Is America
What is America? It's the special places that remind us of important
events. It's the people who have dedicated themselves to improving our
country. And most of all, it's the ideals and beliefs that we share.
Informative text and bold scratchboard illustrations pay homage to our
country's past and present.
The Ugly Vegetables
The neighbors' gardens look so much prettier and so much more inviting
to the young gardener than the garden of "black-purple-green vines,
fuzzy wrinkled leaves, prickly stems, and a few little yellow flowers"
that she and her mother grow. Nevertheless, mother assures her that
"these are better than flowers." Come harvest time, everyone agrees as
those ugly Chinese vegetables become the tastiest, most aromatic soup
they have ever known. As the neighborhood comes together to share
flowers and ugly vegetable soup, the young gardener learns that
regardless of appearances, everything has its own beauty and purpose.
At a busy street market, kids eating ice cream exclaim, "Yum!" in
English, "Geshmak!" in Yiddish, and "Nam-nam!" in Danish. But disaster
strikes when a little dog overturns a spice cart, showering pepper on
everyone's ice cream. Will the kids end up crying, "Hai hai," or
cheering, "¡Yupi!"? energetic art and a lift-the-flap feature make
exploring languages fun.
You See a Circus
A young acrobat shows his friends around the big top, but all is not as
it seems. His uncle, the strongman, always manages to lose their
wrestling matches. The scary-looking tattooed man is a regular Joe who
likes to pull funny practical jokes. And the daring trapeze artists make
their son do homework just like everyday parents! Lively watercolors
capture the excitement of the circus and the coziness of home.
In 1908 Mohandas Gandhi spoke to a crowd of 3,000. Together they
protested against an unjust law without guns or rioting. Peacefully they
made a difference. Gandhi’s words and deeds influenced countless others
to work toward the goals of freedom and justice through peaceful
"Perkins seamlessly blends cultural, political, religious, and
philosophical context into her story, which is distinguished by humor,
astute insights into human nature, and memorable characters."
War has broken out in the Middle East and all foreigners are fleeing.
Instead of escaping with his neighbors, Adam sneaks off to save his dog,
which has been left behind. Lost in the desert, Adam meets Walid, an
abused camel boy who is on the run. Together they struggle to survive
the elements and elude the revengeful master from whom Walid has fled.
Cultural and language barriers are wide, but with ingenuity and
determination the two boys bridge their differences, helping each other
to survive and learn what true friendship is.
After World War II the United States and Britain airlifted food and
supplies into Russian-blockaded West Berlin. US Air Force Lieutenant
Gail S. Halvorsen knew the children of the city were suffering. To lift
their spirits, he began dropping chocolate and gum by parachute.
Michael O. Tunnell tells an inspiring tale of candy and courage,
illustrated with Lt. Halvorsen's personal photographs, as well as
letters and drawings from the children of Berlin to their beloved "Uncle
Flying the Dragon
"A quiet, beautifully moving portrayal of a multicultural family."