The Cot In The Living Room

Night after night, a young girl watches her mami set up a cot in the living room for guests in their Washington Heights apartment, like Raquel (who’s boring) and Edgardo (who gets crumbs everywhere). She resents that they get the entire living room with a view of the George Washington Bridge, while all she gets is a tiny bedroom with a view of her sister (who snores). Until one night when no one comes, and it’s finally her chance! But as it turns out, sleeping on the cot in the living room isn’t all she thought it would be.

111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates The Birth Of Every Girl

In a small village in India, a boy grows up to make a huge difference in his community by planting trees to celebrate the birth of every girl. Based on a true story, this book celebrates environmental sustainability, community activism and ecofeminism. This is the story of Sundar Paliwal, who is from a small Indian village ruled by ancient customs.

Hot Pot Night!

In this version of the classic Stone Soup tale, nobody in the apartment building has enough ingredients for dinner, so a Taiwanese child suggests that they have a community hot pot night. Everybody contributes something, bringing their diverse community together for a delicious meal. Includes a recipe for hot pot.

The Wolf in Underpants

In this witty graphic novel, a community of forest animals trades scary rumors about a nearby wolf. Some critters have even gone into business selling wolf traps and anti-wolf fences. But when the wolf appears in a pair of striped underpants, everyone rethinks their fears. This is a heartwarming story about understanding differences, told with an oddball sense of humor.

The Pencil

Susan and her sister, Rebecca, love watching their mother write letters to people in other camps. Their mother has one precious pencil, and she keeps it safe in her box for special things. One afternoon, their mother leaves the iglu to help a neighbour, and Susan, Rebecca, and their brother Peter are left with their father. They play all their regular games but are soon out of things to do―until their father brings out the pencil! As Susan draws and draws, the pencil grows shorter and shorter. What will their mother think when she comes home? Based on author Susan Avingaq’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu, this charming story introduces young readers to the idea of using things wisely.

And Then The Seed Grew

In an ordinary garden full of flowers and plants, little Jack and Mr. Gnome live above the ground, while Yvonne the mole, the Field Mouse family, Paulie the earthworm and Colette the ant live below the ground. Everybody is happy in the garden. Until one day, a new seed arrives, which soon sprouts into a plant. As the plant begins to grow (and grow, and grow), its stalk and leaves get in the way of those aboveground, and its roots disrupt the homes and passageways of those underground. Before long, the plant has gotten so large, it has become a huge problem for the garden’s residents. So, the friends decided they must chop it down. Unless … wait! What’s that growing on the plant?

Mi papi tiene una moto

Cuando Daisy Ramona recorre su barrio en motocicleta con su papi, ve a la gente y los lugares que siempre ha conocido. También ve a una comunidad que está cambiando rápidamente a su alrededor. Pero mientras el sol azul púrpura y dorado se va poniendo a sus espaldas, Daisy Ramona comprende que el amor que siente por su ciudad nunca cambiará. Con brillantes ilustraciones y un texto lleno de sentimiento, Mi papi tiene una motocicleta es un mensaje lleno de amor de una niña a su padre, esforzado trabajador, y a los recuerdos que todos guardamos de nuestro hogar a pesar de los cambios o la distancia.

Me, Toma and the Concrete Garden

Bestselling author Andrew Larsen brings a light touch and gentle humor to this picture book story about several kinds of growth — of the boys and their friendship, the flowers in the newly thriving lot, and the community that comes together around it. Award-winning artist Anne Villeneuve’s illustrations add a visual layer to the storytelling as they show the transformation from mostly gray to vibrant color, both literally, in the blossoming garden, and figuratively, in the now engaged neighborhood. This book highlights the value of connecting to nature, even in urban areas, and the sense of community that comes from civic engagement. It’s an excellent choice for character education lessons on kindness, generosity and citizenship.

Africville

When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the stories she’s heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires. Coming out of her reverie, she visits the present-day park and the sundial where her great-grandmother’s name is carved in stone, and celebrates a summer day at the annual Africville Reunion/Festival.