Just finished reading a stack of children's books that Diane Weech and Amy Anderson loaned me for one of my classes. I've reading thousands of books during my life and many children's books are included in that. We're a family of readers. We read to the boys and they're readers still.
I asked Amy and Diane for some books that reflected diversity and multiculturalism. If that sounds dull, you could not be farther from the truth. They were really, really good.
Pink and Say, by Patricia Polacco is a book set in the Civil War that tells the story of two Union soldiers, one black and one white, as they make their way back to their units. Not a happy ending - but a true one. Great story.
One Candle, by Eve Bunting, is a Hanukkah story. Beautifully illustrated, it tells one family's tradition set in the bigger observance of Hanukkah.
Knots on A Counting Rope, by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, tells the story of a blind Navajo boy. I got to watch the Reading Rainbow dramatization of it while I was observing a 5th grade class, and was enthralled by the story. Highly recommended.
Just Plain Fancy, by Patricia Polacco, is a story about an Amish girl who is growing up and learning where she fits among their traditions. Really good.
David Goes to School by David Shannon is just awesome. The illustrations are so compelling that I would think any child would love (and maybe identify with the little boy) the book.
Skippyjon Jones, Lost In Spice by Judy Schachner is in a class by itself. It's just funny. I'd watch the series if they brought it to TV. The website is interactive and I would think that kids would love it.