The #kidlitfriends prompt for today is "a favorite story." This is hard: there are so many incredible kids' books! However, the Marisol McDonald picture books by Monica Brown are some of my favorites.

I discovered these bilingual books in the Spanish section of our local library and quickly fell in love with this spunky, bicultural family. Marisol's Mami is Peruvian and her Dad is a Scottish-American. They speak Spanglish as a family. Marisol learns to love herself, with her bright red hair and brown skin, in the first book, "Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match."

Though the next two books are stories with bicultural characters, they are fun, interesting stories that are not just focused on the family's culture.

This is something I loved, as there are many wonderful books that focus specifically on cultural aspects at the expense of really developing the characters and stories.

As my oldest moved into reading chapter books, I was inspired to write books with characters that look like my family. Like Marisol McDonald, these books talk about culture but do not dwell on it. The Martinez kids are multidimensional characters who have everyday struggles, exciting, magical adventures, and learn important lessons.

As the number of bicultural families grows, I hope that these kids can appreciate their value as bilinguals, but also embrace their unique interests, skills, and identities as whole people.

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Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match

Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash

Marisol McDonald and the Monster