Friday, January 4, 2019

These Are a Few of My Favorite 2018 Picture Books

2018 is over, so it's time to look back at all of the awesome books I read last year and reflect on which ones had the lasting impact to have me still thinking about them and considering them some of the best of the year. (some may have been published in 2017, but I didn't read them until 2018.) . For non-picture books, see this post.

I really need to up my game with incorporating more nonfiction picture books into my reading plans and piles, as I know there were many more out this year that would be worthy of this list, but these are the standout memorable ones from what I read.

Edit 1/6/19 - Correction: Why did I need to make a correction? Because I messed up. Native tribes are recognized sovereign Nations, thus any informational book about a Nation's culture would clearly be categorized as a nonfiction book. I know this, and I still missed it. When looking through my list to pull out the nonfiction books, I glossed right over We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga as my mind didn't even flag that it would be nonfiction. And that right there is a problem. It's a problem for all of us because too often our society reinforces an inaccurate and stereotyped viewpoint that Native Nations only existed in the past. But there are currently 573 federally recognized tribes in the United States and each one is its own sovereign Nation whose enrolled members have dual citizenship in their Native Nation and the USA. We need to start thinking of Native Nations are contemporary thriving cultures (because they are), and we need students to hear books about them - both fiction and nonfiction - written by #ownvoices writers and illustrators. We learn from what we read and see, and that's part of why We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga is a valuable book to share. I've read the book, I love the book, and I know it is telling the a real-life explanation of an important part of the Cherokee Nation's cultural viewpoints, yet I still missed it. Thank you Traci Sorell for the reminder. And thank you Debbie Reese for always providing important viewpoints on twitter that remind us all what to keep in mind when reading books about Native Nations.



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