Story time is part of many otter meetings. Kids just love stories, and picture books can help them relate to others, grasp new ideas and develop empathy for others and our natural world. Amazingly, you can even do a story time over zoom, if your group can’t meet in person. But if you aren’t a children’s librarian, how do you select books to read? Doing a quick google search can help, but those don’t always bring us the diversity we want to show our children as part of our programing.
If we want to be truly welcoming to all, we need to select books that reflect that. This book list is offered as a starting point for reading books with your group that go beyond the animal stories we often choose. The stories are about nature and inclusion and should go nicely with your otter program. The books listed below have a range of themes. length and challenge, so read ahead to see if it works well for your group.
Books with African American Children in Nature
- The Hike by Alison Farrell
- Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal (Illustrator)
- Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
- Hiking Day by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell (Illustrator)
- Joshua by the Sea by Angela Johnson and Rhonda Mitchell (Illustrator)
- Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beard Shaw (Illustrator)
- This book also comes in a Spanish language version.
- Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak
- This is actually part of a series, a book for each change in season.
- Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell
Stories of Modern Native American Children
This is not an exhaustive list, by far. But we hope it is somewhere for you to start. Do you have a suggestion for a book or other media to share? Please post it below!