A Welcoming Place: Stories for Kids

The Day You Begin

These books highlight the little and big things that can make someone feel welcome in a new place — a smile, a kind word, or learning how to say someone's name. They also highlight and celebrate diversity in different places, including schools and neighborhoods.

All Are Welcome

Illustrated by: Suzanne Kaufman
Age Level: 6-9

Discover a school where — no matter what — young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated. Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other's traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be.

Block Party (Confetti Kids)

Illustrated by: Shirley Ng-Benitez
Age Level: 3-6
Language: English

The neighborhood is having a block party where everyone is responsible for bringing a food dish. Padma is excited about the party until she learns that her mother is planning to bring lentil soup. Padma thinks soup is so boring! Everyone else will bring fun things like pizza or hot dogs. Plus Padma worries that her friends won’t like the soup—but to her delight, she discovers that they not only like the soup, they want to learn how to make it.

I'm New Here

Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Maria, Jin, and Fatimah are new to their American elementary school. The words that they hear around them and see on the page are confusing. They each long for the language that they understand and the friends who understand them back home. They feel as though they don’t fit in—they are alone, confused, and sad in their new school. After observing those around them, each new student slowly gains the confidence to interact with their new surroundings. They realize that their peers and teachers are very supportive, welcoming, and excited to learn what these new classmates have to share.

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: 6-9

What good can a splash of color do in a town that is gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine! Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation—and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration! 

The Color Collector

The Color Collector
Illustrated by: Renia Metallinou
Age Level: 6-9

When a boy notices the new girl at school picking up all manner of debris and litter on their walks home from school, he wants to know why. She shows him the colorful mural she's created that reminds her of the home she left behind and soon he starts helping her collecting new colors to add to her masterpiece.

Your Name Is a Song

Your Name Is a Song
Illustrated by: Luisa Uribe
Age Level: 6-9

Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl's mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. Empowered by this newfound understanding, the young girl is ready to return the next day to share her knowledge with her class. Your Name is a Song is a celebration to remind all of us about the beauty, history, and magic behind names.