Here are some of our favorite picture books featuring diverse protagonists! All titles are available for checkout from the Cape May County Library.
The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker: “Ibb, curious about the lone castle in her town, forms a long-distant friendship with the guard and, despite warnings there is something fearful inside, accepts his invitation to enter.” From the very first page, readers will support Ibb in her quest - and learn an important lesson about welcoming others in the process.
Tomorrow Most Likely by Dave Eggers: “Told in rhyme, a little boy, tucked into his bed, thinks of all the wonderful and ordinary things he will see and do tomorrow.” The narrator’s imagination is both beautifully written and illustrated - readers will quickly be dreaming of a day just like his!Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora: “When the aroma of Omu's homemade stew fills the air, her neighbors arrive, one by one, for a taste until all is gone except for her generous spirit.” This Caldecott-winning title will inspire readers of all ages to share and be their best selves.
How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps by Nicola Winstanley: “A little girl and her cat make an escalating mess while respectively trying to follow and resist the cat-bathing instructions of a bossy narrator.” Trying to follow the five steps, readers will be howling with laughter!
Under My Hijab by Hena Khan: “As a young girl observes that each of six women in her life wears her hijab and hair in a different way, she considers how to express her own style one day.” A beautifully illustrated book, children of all belief systems will appreciate this celebration of differences and female empowerment.
Two Problems for Sophia by Jim Averbeck: “Sophia is happy to have Noodle, her One True Desire, yet her new pet comes with two giraffe-sized problems.” Readers will love helping Sophia find the solutions to her newest pet problems!
Hip-Hop Lollipop by Susan McElroy Montanari: “Follow a little girl as she moves, swings, and grooves her way through her bedtime routine, dancing all the while, until she finally closes her eyes and dances through her dreams." Move and groove all the way to bed with this fun title!
Lights, Camera, Carmen by Anika Denise: “In pursuit of a film career, Carmen enters a commercial contest and enlists her little brother, Eduardo, as her cinematographer, but her plan takes a surprising turn.” Kids with big dreams will be inspired by Carmen’s dedication and ambition as she marches to the beat of her own drum.
Off & Away by Cale Atkinson: “Jo fears what lives in the ocean but when her father is too ill to deliver messages in bottles, she courageously takes on the job, making new friends along the way.” After reading, kids will feel empowered and emboldened to face their own fears. Like Jo, they’ll learn that maybe they’re not so scary after all.
Kitten and the Night Watchman by John Sullivan: “As he makes his rounds, a night watchman hears birds calling, insects buzzing, and vehicles roaring by, while a stray kitten keeps him company.” This one checks all the boxes - construction site, nightly rounds, and an adorable furry companion.
Loretta’s Gift by Pat Zietlow Miller: “Loretta tries hard to come up with the perfect gift for her beloved baby cousin, Gabe, but on his first birthday she learns she has already given him something special.” Miller presents a lovely perspective on self-esteem and family in this relatable work.When the Cousins Came by Katie Yamasaki: “Even though Lila's cousins do some things differently, Lila loves when they come to visit.” A wonderful acknowledgement and celebration of differences, even between family members.