The Red Hen by Rebecca Amberley and illustrated by Ed Emberley
In this version of a classic tale, Red Hen finds a recipe for a Simply Splendid Cake and asks her friends the cat, the rat, and the frog to help with the preparations. But it seems as though her friends want no part in the cake until it’s ready to eat. Will they decide to pitch in, or let Red Hen do all of the hard work?
Grade Level: PreK – 2
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan and illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Rubina has been invited to her first birthday party, and her mother, Ami, insists that she bring her little sister along. Rubina is mortified, but she can’t convince Ami that you just don’t bring your younger sister to your friend’s party. So both girls go, and not only does Sana demand to win every game, but after the party she steals Rubina’s prized party favor, a red lollipop. What’s a fed-up big sister to do?
Grade Level: PreK – 3
Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.
Grade Level: K – 3
Friendship defies racism for two boys in this story of the “Freedom Summer” that followed the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Joe and John Henry are a lot alike. They both like shooting marbles, they both want to be firemen, and they both love to swim. But there’s one important way they’re different: Joe is white and John Henry is black, and in the South in 1964, that means John Henry isn’t allowed to do everything his best friend is.
Grade Level: PreK – 3
This children’s book is based on a South American indigenous story about a courageous hummingbird who defies fear and expectations in her attempt to save the forest from fire. The illustrated story is supplemented by a natural and cultural history of hummingbirds, as well as an inspiring message from Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.
Grade Level: K – 5