a kaleidoscope of cultures…picture books for loving a big world!

If you follow Orange Marmalade, you already know that I have a heart for books that shine the light on the marvelous variety of ways people live, all the places people love to call home, around the world.

You can find a great many of these titles by looking at the World Cultures indexes — they’re tucked into that Subject Index at the top of the blog. Today, I’ve got five more fantastic choices!

all of us cover image

All of Us, written and illustrated by Carin Berger
published in 2018 by Greenwillow Books, Harper Collins

“When your heart is heavy and your step unsure,” remember I am here for you! Love is stronger than the gloom!

all of us interior by Carin Berger

 Carin Berger’s celebration of community is flooded with vibrant, diverse joy. Parades of beautiful people celebrate the fact that “Love wins. Love never fails.”

all of us interior2 by Carin Berger

Oh, I could feel my heart healing as I soaked up this glory of a book. Sweet truths to cling to and make your heart sing, right in these pages, for ages 2 through adult.

hazel and twig cover image

Hazel and Twig: The Birthday Fortune, written and illustrated by Brenna Burns Yu
published in 2018 by Candlewick Press

I’m head-over-heels smitten by this charming story featuring a Korean birthday celebration for little Twig who is just turning One!


Adorable mice, dandelion kimchi, rainbow rice cakes, firefly lanterns, sweet pink hanboks to dress up in, and a doljabi — that’s a special ceremony you’ll learn all about in this darling story.

hazel and twig interior2 by Brenna Yu

Every page is flooded with tender illustrations in this warmly imaginative tale, sprinkled with a few words of Korean for good measure.  Ages 2 and up.

mommy's khimar cover image

Mommy’s Khimar, written by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Ebony Glenn
published in 2018 by Salaam Reads, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

One little girl delights in the swishy, flowing, colorful khimars her Mommy wears each day.

mommys khimar interior by Thompkins-Bigelow and Glenn

They make fabulous dress up accessories for her, and exude sweet fragrances — Mommy’s coconut oil, the “cinnamon in her favorite dessert.”

mommys khimar interior2 by Thompkins-Bigelow and Glenn

Affectionate family relationships and a child’s view of something potentially foreign to your children, but wonderfully familiar to her, help bridge the gap between people of different faiths. Ages 2 and up.

the little red fort cover image

The Little Red Fort, written by Brenda Maier, illustrated by Sonia Sánchez
published in 2018 by Scholastic Press

You’ll love this zesty Latina spin on The Little Red Hen!

the little red fort interior by Maier and Sanchez

Ruby is a busy bee with ideas burbling up continually. Just now she plans to build a fort with some abandoned boards and invites her three brothers to join in. But, “Not me,” “I don’t think so,” and “No way,” they say. So she does it herself (with a lot of loving help from Mom, Dad, and Grandma.)

the little red fort interior2 by Maier and Sanchez

In the end, the three boys figure out a way to pitch in so they can enjoy the smashing fort, too.

little red fort interior2 by Maier and Sanchez

Fabulously illustrated with robust energy, vivid personality, and delicious warmth. Ages 2 and up.

the town of turtle cover image

The Town of Turtle, written by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Cátia Chien
published in 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Finally, venture into wholly imaginative territory, where Turtle lives in a distant, empty, lonely world.

town of turtle interior2 by Cuevas and Chien

Yet Turtle dreams of a better home, and as he ushers in color, delightful additions, even “a Ferris wheel glittering at the top of it all,” folks are drawn to this remarkable place, “laughter moved into the houses, and light moved into the dark.”

town of turtle interior by Cuevas and Chien

Chien dedicates her work to “refugees, immigrants, and dreamers…all who left their countries to find a better home.” Her brilliant artwork steals the show. Effervescent colors, wildly imaginative shapes, and friendly figures flood the pages with warmth, possibility, invention, and the buzz of juicy life.

town of turtle interior3 by Cuevas and Chien

You’ll cheer for Turtle, his dynamite new digs, and the happy community he finds. Astounding, for ages 3 and up.