Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Picture Book 10-for-10 -- Incidental Diversity

I first encountered the term "Incidental Diversity" in the HornBook article "2015 in Review: The Year in Pictures" by Julie Danielson. Incidental Diversity is "the appearance of characters of color whose ethnicities are incidental to the story."

Now I'm actively on the lookout for such books. Here are 9 books that Julie featured in her article, plus 1 more too good not to share:


Narrative nonfiction about space/planets and light pollution.


Leo is a ghost who has a hard time making friends.


A beautifully illustrated collection of "poems for all seasons."
(truth in advertising!)


Sophia wants a pet giraffe, and with every ask,
is required to be less verbose. 
Great mentor text for writing persuasion.


A Classic. Peter goes out and plays in the snow.


"A Book About the Water Cycle" (more truth in advertising!)


The joys and sorrows of raising and keeping chickens.


What James really said and what came back to the main character via the mouths of several friends are two different things.


The trials and tribulations of raising a dinosaur in the city.


Okay, I'm cheating a little on this one. It's a nearly wordless graphic novel, not a picture book per se. But it's so fun, and it goes together with Peter Brown's WILD ROBOT in such interesting ways...robot washes ashore, learns how to be himself, is hunted down by the Robot Corporation to be taken back and made to be
what is expected from a robot.


  1. Mary Lee,
    This is an interesting list. I'm going to have to look through my stacks for books that have incidental diversity. I'm going to have to go read that article. Thank you for sharing so many interesting titles. I had to smile at your list "cheating." This event wouldn't be a #pb10for10 without a lot of rule bending. It's what makes it interesting. Thanks for joining the conversation. I always look forward to the titles you will share.


  2. I love so many of these books. When Green Becomes Tomatoes is one of my favorites form this past year! What James said is so powerful and students love it. Thanks!

  3. Bright Star Starry City is so very lovely. This is a great list!

  4. Thanks for sharing 'incidental diversity', something we all should search for. I know some of these, & others are new, so thanks, Mary Lee.

  5. Great, great list! I dressed as the girl from Little Robot last year for book character dress up day. Thanks for highlighting these great titles for #pb10for10.

  6. You're topic has got me thinking about the books I go to all the time. What an interesting lens to use. Thanks for your list and a few new title for me to look for.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  7. Thanks for sharing the topic of incidental diversity. I want to read that article too. Thanks for sharing the list and the bonus Little Robot! Already on hold at my library!

  8. What James Said is exactly the type of book I need for my sixth graders as they begin those gossipy middle school years!

  9. I love the idea of this list. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I love that term, "Incidental Diversity". Thanks for a great list!

  11. Anonymous5:52 AM

    Reading your post, I was instantly reminded of a Slate post from last week. Maybe you'd enjoy reading it too:

  12. Anonymous8:06 PM

    Incidental diversity is a great theme, Mary Lee. You've included some old favorites, as well as few I'm excited to read, especially One Word from Sophia. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Corduroy is another title with incidental diversity.


Comment moderation is turned on.