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Books about Celebrating Differences

Here are some of our favorite books, new and old, about celebrating differences! Each title acknowledges unique appearances, habits, hobbies, lifestyles, and beliefs amongst us. All of these books are available for checkout from the Cape May County Library system.


1) Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev

“A boy is excluded from joining his friends' pet club because of his unusual pet.”


2) The Barefoot Book of Children by Tessa Strickland

“Despite different clothes and homes and languages, we are all more alike than different.”


3) You are Stardust by Elin Kelsey

“Introduces readers to the extensive and surprising ways in which they are connected to the natural world around them.”


4) All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

“Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce a school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, and talents are shared.”


5) Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

“While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself?”


6) Princess Hair by Sharee Miller

“Little girls pretending to be princesses celebrate the different shapes, textures, and styles of their black hair.”


7) Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse by Marcy Campbell

"Adrian Simcox brags about owning a horse, and Chloe just knows he's making stuff up...until she learns an important lesson in empathy."


8) Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

“Chrysanthemum loves her name, until she starts going to school and the other children make fun of it.”


9) The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

“Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.”


10) We All Look Different by Melissa Higgins

"Simple text and full-color photos celebrate differences in appearances."


11) Mixed: A Colorful Story by Arree Chung

“Each believing that their hue is the best, the three primary colors live in separate parts of the city until Yellow and Blue meet, fall in love, and decide to mix.”


12) Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh

“Rashin is an Iranian immigrant girl living in New York, excited by her first trip to Coney Island, and fascinated by the differences in the beach customs between her native Iran and her new home--but she misses the saffron flavored ice cream that she used to eat.”



Top Children's Books of 2018


The checkouts are in! Here are the most popular children's books from 2018:


Picture Books

  1. Clifford Goes to Hollywood by Norman Bridwell

  2. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

  3. Let’s Go for a Drive! by Mo Willems

  4. The Pigeon finds a Hot Dog! by Mo Willems

  5. Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin

  6. Little Dog Lost: the true story of a drave dog named Baltic by Monica Carnesi

  7. The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! by Mo Willems

  8. Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems

  9. Llama, Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

  10. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

  11. The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt

  12. The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems

  13. Coco by Malin Alegria

  14. Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds

  15. Disney Frozen. 5 Minute Stories


Juvenile Books

  1. The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale

  2. The Unfairest of Them All by Shannon Hale

  3. Fairy Tail Ending by Suzanne Selfors

  4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway by Jeff Kinney

  5. Next Top Villain by Suzanne Selfors

  6. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

  7. Truth or Hair: a School Story by Suzanne Selfors

  8. The BFG by Roald Dahl

  9. Kiss and Spell by Suzanne Selfors

  10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney

  11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

  12. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

  13. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

  14. Tales from a Not-So-Secret Crush Catastrophe by Rachel Russell

  15. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal by Jeff Kinney



  1. Licensed to Drive: a Comic Reader by Mary Tillworth

  2. Fly Guy and the Frankenfly by Tedd Arnold

  3. I Really Like Slop! by Mo Willems

  4. Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl! by Tedd Arnold

  5. My New Friend is so Fun! by Mo Willems

  6. Race for the Stars by Jennifer Liberts

  7. The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

  8. Waiting is Not Easy! by Mo Willems

  9. Watch Me Throw the Ball! by Mo Willems

  10. I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems

  11. There is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems

  12. A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo WIllems

  13. I’m a Frog! by Mo Willems

  14. Pete the Cat and the Lost Tooth by James Dean

  15. Today I Will Fly! by Mo Willems



  1. Minecraft: Redstone Handbook by Nick Farwell

  2. Minecraft: Essential Handbook by Stephanie Milton

  3. Minecraft: Construction Handbook by Matthew Needler

  4. Minecraft: Combat Handbook by Stephanie Milton

  5. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

  6. Coco: the Essential Guide by Glenn Dakin

  7. The Disney Princess Cookbook by Cindy Littlefield

  8. Great LEGO Sets: a Visual History by Daniel Lipkowitz

  9. Animal Atlas by James Buckley Jr.

  10. Frozen: the Essential Guide

  11. Minecraft: the Survivors’ Book of Secrets by Stephanie Milton

  12. Star Wars. The Last Jedi: Incredible Cross-Sections by Jason Fry

  13. Guinness World Records 2018

  14. LEGO: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by Simon Hugo

  15. Look and Find: Paw Patrol


Board Books:


  1. Little Blue Truck’s Springtime: a lift-the-flap book by Alice Schertle

  2. Little Dinos Don’t Push by Michael Dahl

  3. Paw Patrol

  4. Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alice Schertle

  5. Meet Pete by James Dean

  6. Pony Brushes His Teeth by Michael Dahl

  7. Shake It Up, Baby! by Karen Katz

  8. Cars Go by Steve Light

  9. Curious George’s Day at the Farm

  10. Let’s Find Momo!: a hide-and-seek board book by Andrew Knapp

  11. One Lonely Fish by Thomas Flintham

  12. Penguin Says “Please” by Michael Dahl

  13. Barbie by Kathy Broderick

  14. Hippo Says “Excuse Me” by Michael Dahl

  15. Mouse says “Sorry” by Michael Dahl

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, and the Cape May County Library would like to invite you to read these excellent books by Native American authors and illustrators

Bowwow Powwow by Brenda J. Child is about an Obijwe girl named Windy Girl, who is attending a powwow with Uncle and Itchy Boy.  She listens to Uncle’s stories, watches the dancing, and admires the outfits, and soon she falls asleep under the stars and dreams of all that she has seen. Author Brenda Child and illustrator Jonathan Thunder are both members of the Red Lake Obijwe tribe, making this an #OwnVoices picture book about Obijwe culture.  It is highly recommended by the founder of American Indians in Children’s Literature, Debbie Reese.  (Recommended for ages 4+)

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III is a chapter book about a boy named Jimmy McClean, who is half Lakota.  Through his grandfather, Nyles High Eagle, Jimmy begins to learn more about his Lakota heritage, including the famous Lakota warrior Crazy Horse.  Author Joseph M. Marshall III is a member of the Sicangu Lakota tribe, and the illustrator, Jim Yellowhawk, is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux.  This book also comes highly recommend by the AICL founder, Debbie Reese.  (Recommended for ages 9+)

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Jake Swamp is a children’s version of Iroquois Thanksgiving Address.  It’s a beautiful, simple picture book about giving thanks to the earth around us, and should be a part of any Thanksgiving story time.  The late author Jake Swamp was a member of the Mohawk tribe. This book is available through the library’s BookFlix database. (Recommended for ages 3+)

Spooky Halloween Reads

Are you or your child in the mood for a spooky story?  The Cape May County Library has three new scary chapter books that are sure to deliver the spine tingles.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden is about a girl named Ollie, who one day saves a book from being thrown in a river, and begins to read about mysterious disappearances, bargains with an entity known as the Smiling Man, and a warning to keep to the small spaces after dark.  On a school field trip to a local farm that is said to be haunted, Ollie discovers that the farm is the same one from the book she grabbed at the river.  Her surprise turns to horror as the school bus breaks down on the way back to the school, and her digital wristwatch flashes one word:  RUN!  Small Spaces is equal parts ghost story and mystery, and it’s a guarantee that you will never again look at a scarecrow without feeling a bit creeped out. (Recommended for ages 10+)

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab is about a girl named Cassidy who is able to see and communicate with ghosts.  When her parents are invited to film a paranormal television show in Edinburgh, Scotland, she’s hauled overseas to one of the most haunted places on the planet.  Her ability attracts the unwanted attention of a particular nasty character.  City of Ghosts is a fun, spooky story, and you’ll want to have an Edinburgh guidebook beside you to help visualize the twisty streets and the gloom of the Greyfriar Kirk.  (Recommended for ages 10+)

Ghoulia by Barbara Cantini is about a young zombie who wants to make new friends.  However, she’s very obviously undead, which scares everyone she meets.  It seems hopeless, until Halloween rolls around, and she fits right in!  This book has a great bit of dark humor that’s perfect for fans of Nightmare Before Christmas! (Recommended for ages 8+)


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