Author Interview with Yuyi Morales

Dreamers is your own story of immigrating to the United States from Mexico in 1994 with your newborn son. What inspired you write Dreamers almost 24 years later?

I was working on a graphic novel when Donald Trump was elected president. My heart sunk. I could not believe that the man who had accused Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists had been elected to lead the United States. I felt unable to work, and that my stories made no sense anymore. I also felt afraid of what would come next for immigrant families like mine, like those of my friends and like those that my books had been written for and about. 

My editor, Neal Porter, saw that I was stuck and offered his support and patience. He reassured me that he was there for me until I was ready to produce a new book, he also told me that he thought the book I should be working on was my own immigrant story.

Read more

MCCBD Feature: Diverse Books with Food (and Recipe)

Aram Kim, author of No Kimchi for Me!, shares her picture book list of “Diverse Books with Food (and Recipe).” Check out the preview below and the full list on the Multicultural Children’s Book Day website.


1. Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji by F. Zia, llustrated by Ken Min

Aneel enjoys his grandparents’ visit, especially his grandpa’s fairytale-like old stories from India. This book intertwines contemporary Indian-American life, traditional Indian lifestyle, great storytelling, and intergenerational bond over stories and food. It is a great mixture of everything! [picture book, ages 4 and up]


2. Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore, illustrated by Kristi Valiant

Cora is the youngest and always stuck doing a “kid’s job” in the kitchen while her big brothers and sisters do a cool job. When Cora is in the kitchen with her mom alone, she finally gets to do a grownup job and plays a big part in cooking a delicious Filipino noodle dish pancit! Readers can feel the excitement of little Cora and follow her delightful journey. *Recipe included. [picture book, ages 4 and up]


3. Jalapeño Bagels by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Robert Casilla

Pablo helps out in the family bakery and picks an item to bring to his International Day at school. The bakery carries his mom’s various Mexican sweet bread and his dad’s Jewish bagels and challah bread. All kinds look delicious to Pablo, but he finally picks jalapeño bagels that seem to represent himself. The story carries multicultural fare effectively and deliciously. *Recipes included. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read the full list here.

14 Books for Children & Teens About the Freedom Summer of 1964

The “Freedom Summer” of 1964 was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark year in American history.  Here is a list of 14 children’s books that deal specifically with the remarkable events of 1964 – and 3 additional books specifically for teachers and librarians. Thank you to the following for their invaluable input:

  • Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • Deborah Wiles
  • Augusta Scattergood
  • And Scholastic’s “Guide to Teaching and Talking about the Civil Rights Movement with Books for Children and Teens”


Picture Books for Young Readers


Freedom Summer 


Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Summer

By Deborah Wiles

Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

Aladdin / Simon & Schuster

Ages 4 - 8

Friendship defies racism for two boys in this stirring story of the “Freedom Summer” that followed the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Now in a 50th Anniversary Edition with a refreshed cover and a new introduction.

Freedom School, Yes!


By Amy Littlesugar

Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Philomel / Penguin

Ages 4 - 8

In this triumphant story based on the 1964 Mississippi Freedom School Summer Project, that celebrates the strength of a people as well as the bravery of one young girl who didn’t let being scared get in her way.

The Other Side


By Jacqueline Woodson

Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Putnam Juvenile / Penguin

Ages 5+

Though not specifically about the 1964 Freedom Summer, this award-winning book also deals with the themes of segregation, friendship, and fairness.

Read more

Guten Tag! My trip with the German Book Office.


Back in April, Riky Stock, director of the German Book Office in New York reached out to me with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—to join a group of children’s book editors on a trip to Frankfurt and Hamburg to meet with German publishers and agents.  The German Book Office hosts this annual trip for editors to experience the wonders of beer, brats, and books in hopes of building a bridge between our two countries, for both American books that could succeed in Germany and vice versa.

My fellow editors for this year’s trip included Stacey Barney from Putnam/Penguin (and one of the founders of CBC Diversity!), Sheila Barry from Groundwood Books in Canada, Grace Maccarone from Holiday House, Ben Rosenthal from Enslow, and Reka Simonsen from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Our group had a great vibe, and by the end of the trip, we had our fair share of inside jokes and insightful discussion about books and, in particular, why foreign translations are so difficult for the North American market.


The CBC Diversity Initiative is committed to bringing diverse experiences to our book market, and this includes stories told from a non-American point of view. After learning some eye-opening numbers about the German book market, it’s evident that while the American perspective is pervasive worldwide, we in turn are reluctant to embrace stories from other cultures.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 24.8% of all new fiction titles in Germany are translations—and more than 70% of those are books from the US and the UK. Meanwhile, in the US, only 3% of all new titles are translations.
  • The biggest bestselling series in Germany mirror the American market:
    • Harry Potter
    • Twilight
    • Hunger Games
  • YA and children’s translations into German have almost doubled in the last five years.
  • In 2011, a total of 46 German translations were published in the U.S.

Read more