by Sharon H Chang
It's that time of year again. Crisp is weaving its way into the air. Edges of leaves are hinting at turning yellow, red, brown. Halloween merch is already dripping off the shelves at your local pharmacies and department stores. We may be exhausted, the transitioning is crazy till we get used to new schedules, and everyone might be on the verge of getting sick but it's happened - our kids (or at least the ones who are old enough) are back in school. This fall in honor of our mixed, multiracial, and Asian children treading out of home and over those classroom thresholds to learn again, I've assembled a very special book list. Eight great picture books about mixed-race and Asian children exploring the joys and challenges of who they are at school and celebrating mightily who they can become...
by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Ruth Jeyaveeran
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Meena is excited about her class play but when she gets cast as a tree, her excitement turns to dread. She's too clumsy and awkward to stand still and steady on a stage! But a loving auntie does not agree and convinces Meena to join her yoga class to learn centering and strength. Despite the other children getting frustrated and impatient with her, through the loving support of family and the wisdom of an over five thousand year old tradition, Meena navigates through self-doubt to empowerment to become the happiest tree in the forest.