One thing I especially appreciate about our local libraries is that the staff members take the time to incorporate diversity into their displays. Although I work for the library system, I don't work in a branch, so I don't know how much extra time this takes, but we're grateful. Every time we go into the library, Sprout can see characters on the covers of books who have skin and hair like his, or like his friends. This is such a huge step forward in making everyone feel welcome -- kudos to all librarians, pages, booksellers and other staffers who take the time to do this!
The other day Sprout ran right over to the shelf and pulled down Ron's Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden. No surprise why -- the cover features a gorgeous African American boy with a plane overhead (win win for Sprout!). The illustration style looked familiar, with a rich color palate, careful use of shading and simple details that nevertheless add complexity. As soon as I flipped to the back I saw why, as illustrator Don Tate also did one of our favorite recent reads, Summer Sun Risin'.
Ron's Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden, published by Dutton Children's Books
Sample quote: "At last Ron found some books on airplanes. He took the books and started to walk to the front desk. Ron felt nervous and his hands felt a little sweaty, but he knew what he wanted to do."