NOTE: While new carpeting is being installed at the Oshtemo Branch Library, access to some materials may be unavailable. Thank you for your patience.

“All In” Books-in-Bags Kits


Help Children Appreciate Diversity and Deal with Bias

Research tells us that between the ages of two and five years old, children become aware of race, gender, culture, ethnicity, disabilities, family differences, and economic class. Many adults feel uncomfortable talking about difference. Sharing great picture books together, and early on, helps us to start to talk about bias.

The All In collection at Kalamazoo Public Library provides parents and caregivers with tools to help children to resist bias. Each of the bags contains excellent picture books and, in some of the bags, a toy or activity based around a theme. There is also useful information included about how to talk to young children about difference. 

Check out All In bags at the Central Library Children’s Room and Oshtemo Branch Library.


A copy of this NAEYC brochure, “Teaching Young Children to Resist Bias: What Parents Can Do,” is included with each kit.
National Association for the Education of Young Children


“Being Friends” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (five books)


Being Friends by Karen Beaumont

Two very different girls find that the joy of being friends enables them to share their various likes and dislikes.

My Friend Jamal by Anna McQuinn

Joseph’s best friend Jamal is Somali and his family has different customs and traditions from Joseph, but through their shared interests, they remain close friends.

Lottie Paris and the Best Place by Angela Johnson

Relates a day in the life of a little girl who lives with her Papa Pete in a house across from a park.

My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best

Zulay is a blind girl who longs to be able to run in the race on Field Day at her school. 

More-igami by Dori Kleber

Joey, who loves anything that can fold, learns origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, but it takes lots of time and practice before he can perfect the craft.



“Celebrating the Skin You’re In” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (four books)


Shades of People by Shelley Rotner

Explores the many different shades of human skin, and points out that skin is just a covering that does not reveal what someone is like inside.

We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Jane Kates

Illustrations and simple rhyming text show that while the body parts of various human and Muppet characters may look different, they have similar uses.

Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin

Bouquets of babies sweet to hold: cocoa-brown, cinnamon, and honey gold. Ginger-coloured babies, peaches and cream, too—splendid skin for me, splendid skin for you! A delightfully rhythmical read-aloud text is paired with bright, bustling art from the award-winning Lauren Tobia, illustrator of Anna Hibiscus, in this joyful exploration of the new skin of babyhood. A wonderful gift book for new mums and toddlers; all children can see themselves, and open their eyes to the world around them, in this sweet, scrumptious celebration of skin in all its many, many, wonderful forms.

All the Colors We Are / Todos los colores de nuestra piel by Katie Kissinger

Explains, in simple terms, the reasons for skin color, how it is determined by heredity, and how various environmental factors affect it.


“Everybody Counts” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (five books)


Feast for Ten by Cathryn Falwell

Numbers from one to ten are used to tell how members of a family shop and work together to prepare a meal.

One Family by George Shannon

In this story that introduces numbered groups from one to ten, we realize that families can be many things.

Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara

Counting up from one stuffed piñata to ten hefty hens—and always counting on each other—children are encouraged to recognize the value of their community, the joys inherent in healthy eco-friendly activities, and the agency they possess to make change. A broad and inspiring vision of diversity is told through stories in words and pictures. And of course, there is a duck to find on every page!

Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang

Numbers from ten to one are part of this lullaby, which observes the room of a little girl going to bed.

Grandma’s Tiny House by JaNay Brown-Wood

In rhyming text, when the whole family and guests show up for the big dinner at Grandma’s house, it becomes clear that the house is much too small to hold them all.



“Everywhere, Everyday Babies Are Loved” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (four books + two baby dolls)


Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers

Describes babies and the things they do from the time they are born until their first birthday.

More, More, More, Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams

Three babies are caught up in the air and given loving attention by a father, grandmother, and mother.

Little You by Richard Van Camp

Celebrating the joy babies bring into the world.

Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora

A toddler plays peek-a-boo throughout the day.



“For the Love of Food” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (four books + six food toys)

Picture books that portray a diverse variety of foods and how people enjoy them.


Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

The story of former basketball star and current urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, whose vision of gardening from abandoned urban sites led to a grassroots feeding craze.

Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin

A little girl thinks her mother’s garden is the ugliest in the neighborhood until she discovers that flowers might look and smell pretty but Chinese vegetable soup smells best of all. 

Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie by Robbin Gourley

From the whippoorwill’s call on the first day of spring through the first snowfall, Edna and members of her family gather fruits, berries, and vegetables from the fields, garden, and orchard on their Virginia farm and turn them into wonderful meals. Includes facts about the life of Edna Lewis, a descendant of slaves who grew up to be a famous chef, and five recipes.

Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

Having to take her younger sister along the first time she is invited to a birthday party spoils Rubina’s fun, and later when that sister is asked to a party and baby sister wants to come, Rubina must decide whether to help.



“For the Love of Libraries” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (four books)


Please, Louise by Toni Morrison

On a gray, rainy day, everything seems particularly frightening and bad to Louise until she enters a library and finds books that help her to know and imagine the beauty and wonder that have been there all along.

Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn

Every Tuesday Lola and her mother visit their local library to return and check out books, attend story readings, and share a special treat.

Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue

One summer day in 1959, nine-year-old Ron McNair, who dreams of becoming a pilot, walks into the Lake City, South Carolina public library and insists on checking out some books, despite the rule that only white people can have library cards. Includes facts about McNair, who grew up to be an astronaut.

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux

Nelson Relates the story of the National Memorial African Bookstore, founded in Harlem by Louis Michaux in 1939, as seen from the perspective of Louis Michaux Jr., who met famous men like Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X while helping there.



“Girl Power” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (five books + action cape)


Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio

When Grace discovers that there has never been a female U.S. president, she decides to run for school president.

Firebird by Misty Copeland

American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own, by telling her that she, too, had to learn basic steps and how to be graceful when she was starting out, and that some day, with practice and dedication, the little girl will become a firebird, too. 

Princess Grace by Mary Hoffman

Grace wants to participate in her community festival’s princess float, but first she must decide what sort of a princess she wants to be—from an African princess in kente cloth robes to a floaty pink fairy tale princess.

A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream by Kristy Dempsey

A young girl growing up in Harlem in the 1950s, whose mother cleans and stitches costumes for a ballet company, dreams of becoming a prima ballerina one day, and is thrilled to see a performance of Janet Collins, the first “colored” prima ballerina.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Ada Twist is a very curious girl who shows perseverance by asking questions and performing experiments to find things out and understand the world.



“Grandparents Are Great!” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (five books + one plush handbag)


Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, her granddaughter cannot wait to see what treasures she has hidden in her purse.

The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster

Shows how much fun it can be to visit the grandparents.

Wild Berries / Pikaci-Minisa by Julie Flett

Clarence and his grandmother pick wild blueberries and meet ant, spider, and fox in a beautiful woodland landscape.

Max and the Tag-along Moon by Floyd Cooper

When Max leaves his grandfather’s house, the moon follows him all the way home, just as Grandpa promised it would.

Abuela by Arthur Dorros

While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the sights of New York City.



“Make Your Own Fairy Tale” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (four books)


Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

Mufaro’s two beautiful daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife.

Yeh-Shen: a Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louie

This version of the Cinderella story, in which a young girl overcomes the wickedness of her stepsister and stepmother to become the bride of a prince, is based on ancient Chinese manuscripts written 1000 years before the earliest European version.

Sootface: an Ojibwe Cinderella Story by Robert D. San Souci

Although she is mocked and mistreated by her two older sisters, an Indian maiden wins a mighty invisible warrior for her husband with her kind and honest heart.

Who Will Bell the Cat? by Patricia McKissack

After barn mice make a collar with a bell to warn them when Marmalade the cat is approaching, Smart Mouse must devise a way to safely put the collar on her in this retelling of an Aesop fable.


“Marvelous Me!” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (five books + play mirror)


Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald

An award-winning photographer asked several children “What is the best part of you?”, and presents their answers in this sometimes funny, sometimes moving, deeply personal book that includes striking black-and-white photographs taken by the author. Ideal for parents and teacher to use to discuss body image, self-esteem, and diversity with children.

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald No Combina by Monica Brown

Marisol McDonald, a biracial, nonconformist, soccer-playing pirate-princess with brown skin and red hair, celebrates her uniqueness.

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

Princess Hair by Sharee Miller

Little girls pretending to be princesses celebrate the different shapes, textures, and styles of their black hair.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.



“Native Voices” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (five books)


Saltypie: a Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle

Choctaw author Tim Tingle tells the story of his family’s move from Oklahoma Choctaw country to Pasadena, Texas. Spanning fifty years, the book describes the problems encountered by his Choctaw grandmother from her orphan days at an Indian boarding school to hardships she met at her new home on the Texas Gulf Coast. It is the story of one family’s efforts to honor the past while struggling to gain a foothold in modern America.

Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Jenna, a member of the Muscogee, or Creek, Nation, borrows jingles from the dresses of several friends and relatives so that she can perform the jingle dance at the powwow. Includes a note about the jingle dance tradition and its regalia.

All Around Us by Xelena Gonzalez

Finding circles everywhere, a grandfather and his granddaughter meditate on the cycles of life and nature.

Fall in Line, Holden by Daniel W. Vandever

At a very strict school in Indigenous Nation, everyone but Holden stays in line until they reach the door at the end of the school day.

Mission to Space by John Herrington

Go on a Mission to Space with Chickasaw astronaut John Herrington, as he shares his flight on the space shuttle Endeavour and his thirteen-day mission to the International Space Station. Learn what it takes to train for space flight, see the tasks he completed in space, and join him on his spacewalk 220 miles above the earth.



“Stories of Family Legacy” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (five books)


A Different Pond by Bao Phi

As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam.

Ellen’s Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons 

Ellen has always known that the broom hanging on her family’s cabin wall is a special symbol of her parents’ wedding during slave days, so she proudly carries it to the courthouse when the marriage becomes legal.

Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper

Little Mazie wants the freedom to stay up late, but her father explains what freedom really means in the story of Juneteenth, and how her ancestors celebrated their true freedom.

These Hands by Margaret H. Mason

An African American man tells his grandson about a time when, despite all the wonderful things his hands could do, they could not touch bread at the Wonder Bread factory. Based on stories of bakery union workers.

This Is the Rope: a Story from the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson

A rope passed down through the generations frames an African American family’s story as they journey north during the time of the Great Migration.



“Stories of Journeys” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (four books + one pair of binoculars)

Picture books that portray different families traveling under a variety of circumstances from trips to visit family or family migrations to start a new life in a new place.


Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin A. Ramsey

When Ruth and her parents take a motor trip from Chicago to Alabama to visit her grandma, they rely on a pamphlet called “The Negro Motorist Green Book” to find places that will serve them. Includes facts about “The Green Book.”

In the Land of Milk and Honey by Joyce Carol Thomas

A young girl journeys by train from Oklahoma to California in 1948 to begin a new life with her family, and finds there people of all ages and races, new tastes and sounds, and a joyous welcome.

Bigmama’s by Donald Crews

Visiting Bigmama’s house in the country, young Donald Crews finds his relatives full of news and the old place and its surroundings just the same as the year before.

Two White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago

A young child describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north toward the U.S. border.



“We’ve Got Rhythm” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (four books and one tambourine)


I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison

On a trip to the park with her mother, a young girl hears a rhythm coming from the world around her and begins to move to the beat, finally beginning an impromptu dance in which other children join her.

Squeak! Rumble! Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! by Wynton Marsalis

Takes readers (and listeners) on a rollicking, clanging, clapping tour through the many sounds that fill a neighborhood. 

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown

A biography of African American musician Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century.

This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt

Presents an introduction to jazz music and nine well-known jazz musicians, set to the rhythm of the traditional song, “This Old Man.”



“Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?” | Reserve this “All In” kit »

  (four books + two action figures)


Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrik D. Barnes 

Celebrates the magnificent feeling that comes from walking out of a barber shop with newly-cut hair.

Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day by Tameka Brown

A young girl makes her way through an urban neighborhood filled with children playing, men debating, women cooking, and jazz music playing as her community gathers to celebrate “Neighbors’ Day.”

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

A young girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming all she sees for herself and her family. Based on the author’s quilt painting of the same name.