Children’s Literature and Guided Questions


Picture Books for K-3

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Folktale by John Steptoe (Scholastic, 1987)


Two beautiful daughters with different personalities are potentially the next queen in this African tale.


1.       What makes someone beautiful?  Is it different depending on what your gender is? How old you are?

2.       How are the two sisters different and alike? Could they each have been picked as a leader?   What makes someone a good leader?

3.       Is Beauty a good word to describe someone?  What things besides people could you describe as beautiful?

4.        Can a person be loud and strong and be beautiful to others?  Can a person be quiet and polite and not be beautiful to others?

5.       If a queen were to look for a king from a group of villagers,  what should she look for in a potential king?  How is this different from story? What would make a king beautiful to the people of his country?


For Grades 4-7

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore (Lee and Low Books, 2013)


 The story of beautiful parrots native to Puerto Rico and how they nearly became extinct and brought back from extinction.


1.       What makes an animal like a parrot beautiful?  How is beauty different for people than animals?

2.       How is a book about endangered species and extinction also a book about beauty?

3.       How could you bring more beauty into the world?

4.       What makes a person beautiful?  How is that different around the world?  Is there one standard of beauty?  What else can beautiful besides animals or people?

5.       What in this story is not beautiful?  Give some examples outside of the story of things that aren’t beautiful?  Is there a difference between the meanings of the words “pretty” and beautiful?


Other worthy books:

 Ada’s Violin by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Wen Comport (Simon and Schuster, 2016)  Grades 2-8 The story of how beautiful music was made from recycled materials in Paraguay

Wump World by Bill Peet (HMH Books for Young Readers, 1981)  Grades K-4  A beautiful world is transformed by aliens called the Pollutians

Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker  (Candlewick Press, 2012)  Grades 3-7  An African-American Sharecropper’s daughter becomes a manufacturer and role model for all women, and discovers a solution to her own hair loss, creating hair products

Making Something Beautiful by Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell and illustrated by Rafael Lopez  (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2016)  Art brightens a community

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (Balzer + Bray, 2015)   Grad