Books for Kids: Caribbean-American Heritage Month

Celebrate Caribbean-American Heritage Month! Check out this books honoring Caribbean-American Heritage Month available at your local library!

Updated June 15, 2023
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Pla?tanos are love
Reynoso-Morris, Alyssa
A delicious picture book about the ways plantains shape Latinx culture, community, and family, told through a young girl's experiences in the kitchen with her abuela. Abuela says, "plátanos are love." I thought they were food. But Abuela says they feed us in more...
Plátanos go with everything
Norman, Lissette
Paletero Man meets Fry Bread in this vibrant and cheerful ode to plátanos, the star of Dominican cuisine, written by award-winning poet Lissette Norman, illustrated by Sara Palacios, and translated by Kianny N. Antigua. Plátanos are Yesenia's favorite food....
Our roof is blue
Echenique, Sara E.
This heartfelt story of resilience follows two siblings as they work to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Irma destroys their home in Puerto Rico. Before an intense hurricane hits their home in Puerto Rico, Antonio told his sister vibrant stories each night. During the storm,...
Mother of sharks
Maarquez, Melissa Cristina
Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree and globally renowned shark scientist Melissa Cristina Marquez teams up with award-winning illustrator Devin Elle Kurtz to create an informative, powerful picture book. With lyrical writing and gorgeous art, this moving story explores Melissa's personal journey...
Drum dream girl : how one girl's courage changed music
Engle, Margarita.
Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule--until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at...
Big tune : rise of the dancehall prince
Agostini, Alliah L.
An exuberant picture book written by Alliah L. Agostini and illustrated by Shamar Knight-Justice is about a Black boy with big dancing dreams who learns the meaning of courage and community. It's the weekend, first in June; speaker's blasting out big tune!
Miosotis Flores never forgets
Burgos, Hilda Eunice
Best Children's Books of the Year 2022, Bank Street College of Education Perfect for fans of Meg Medina and Barbara O'Connor, this heartfelt novel about family, pets, and other things we hold close is one that you'll never forget. Miosotis Flores is excited about three things...
Aniana del Mar jumps in
Méndez, Jasminne
** Four starred reviews!** A powerful and expertly told novel-in-verse by about a 12-year-old Dominican American swimmer who is diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis by an award-winning poet. Aniana del Mar belongs in the water like a dolphin belongs to the sea. But...
A song of frutas
Engle, Margarita
From Pura Belpré Award-winning author Margarita Engle comes a lively, rhythmic picture book about a little girl visiting her grandfather who is a pregonero--a singing street vendor in Cuba--and helping him sell his frutas. When we visit mi abuelo, I help...
¡Mambo mucho mambo! : the dance that crossed color lines
Robbins, Dean
New York City's desegregated Palladium Ballroom springs to life with a diverse 1940s cast in this jazzy picture-book tribute to the history of mambo and Latin jazz. Millie danced to jazz in her Italian neighborhood. Pedro danced to Latin songs in his Puerto Rican neighborhood. It...
The little house of hope
Jennings, Terry Catasu?s
When Esperanza and her family arrive in the United States from Cuba, they rent a little house, una casita. It may be small, but they soon prove that there's room enough to share with a whole community. "It was a little house. Una casita . . . It was small.
Looking for a jumbie
Baptiste, Tracey
New York Times bestselling author Tracey Baptiste and acclaimed illustrator Amber Ren take readers on a fun, creepy, storytime-ready romp through a forest filled with creatures from Caribbean folklore. I'm looking for a jumbie, I'm going to find a scary one. But Mama...
Anita and the dragons
Carmona, Hannah
A beautifully tender story touching on the range of emotions immigrants may feel when leaving their home countries - excitement and sorrow, fear and courage. Anita watches the dragons high above her as she hops from one cement roof to another in her village in the Dominican Republic. But...
My day with the panye
Charles, Tami
A young girl in Haiti is eager to learn how to carry a basket to market in an exuberant picture book with universal appeal. "To carry the panye, we move gracefully, even under the weight of the sun and the moon." In the hills above Port-au-Prince, a young girl...
Freedom Soup
Charles, Tami
Join the celebration in the kitchen as a family makes their traditional New Year's soup -- and shares the story of how Haitian independence came to be. The shake-shake of maracas vibrates down to my toes. Ti Gran's feet tap-tap to the rhythm. ...
Anna carries water
Senior, Olive
Anna fetches water from the spring every day, but she can't carry it on her head like her older brothers and sisters. In this charming and poetic family story set in Jamaica, Commonwealth Prize-winning author Olive Senior shows young readers the power of determination, as Anna achieves her goal and...
Across the bay
Aponte, Carlos (Graphic artist)
RECIPIENT OF THE PURA BELPRÉ ILLUSTRATOR HONOR Author-illustrator Carlos Aponte takes readers on a journey to the heart of Puerto Rico in this enchanting picture book set in Old San Juan. "A lively and honest story about filling voids and exploring what defines a...
Nightmare island
Bourne, Shakirah
From rising star Shakirah Bourne, author of Josephine Against the Sea, comes a mysterious adventure that explores one of the most chilling tales in Caribbean mythology: the faceless douen children. Twelve year-old Serenity Noah has never told anyone about her recurring...
Pilar Ramirez and the curse of San Zenon
Randall, Julian
The Land of Stories meets Dominican culture and mythology come to life in Julian Randall's Pilar Ramirez and the Curse of San Zenon, the action-packed fantasy duology finale--for fans of the Tristan Strong series and Amari and the Night Brothers. After...
When life gives you mangos
Getten, Kereen
Named to Oprah Magazine's Best Caribbean Books for Your 2021 reading list, imagination and adventure run wild in the most talked about middle grade debut of the year!     A small village on a Jamaican island.  A girl who doesn't remember the...
The year I flew away
Arnold, Marie
In this magical middle grade novel, ten-year-old Gabrielle finds out that America isn't the perfect place she imagined when she moves from Haiti to Brooklyn. With the help of a clever witch, Gabrielle becomes the perfect American--but will she lose herself in the process? Perfect for fans of...
Pilar Ramirez and the escape from Zafa
Randall, Julian
The Land of Stories meets Dominican myths and legends come to life in Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa, a blockbuster contemporary middle-grade fantasy duology starter from Julian Randall. Fans of Tristan Strong and The Storm Runner, here is your next...

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