Global Read Aloud Choice 2021: Picture Book Study #GRA21

This year, I am decididng to take things a little more slowly in order to really relish who the choices are. So little by little, the chosen books and authors will be revealed, I hope you don’t mind.

In a world that is upside down, still, I have found myself reaching for fantasy books more and more. As a way to learn about our past and consider our future, the realm of fantasy allows us to escape, dig in, and dream of what can be. While the worlds may be unfamiliar, their messages are not and we can find comfort, hope, joy, even in the darkest parts of their stories. Our Global Read Aloud choices offer up hope in the most human way; tales of overcoming, tales of finding your own strength, tales or relying on community to come together in order to defeat a common enemy. It is what the world has shown us in the past year as well, it is what has kept many afloat, many alive. And so we shall gather around these books and continue to build community. We shall share these read alouds as way to connect across city lines, country borders, and oceans. We shall hopefully find similarities within the heroic journeys of the stories we read that let us see how we, too, can be heroes in our way.


  • Kick off will be October 4th and the project will run for six weeks as usual, ending on November 12th. You can absolutely fall behind or start later, just don’t read ahead.
  • The official hashtag for the year is #GRA21, other hashtags will be announced once the books are.
  • The hashtag for Duncan Tonatiuh will be #GRADuncan
  • For a comprehensive FAQ post, go here
  • To join the main Facebook group, please go here. To join the picture book author Facebook group, please go here. This is where news will be posted for the most part.

So who is this year’s picture book study….

Duncan Tonatiuh: Children's Author and Illustrator - UWM Libraries

This year’s chosen creator is Duncan Tonatiuh!

Duncan was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende. He graduated from Parsons The New School for Design and from Eugene Lang College in New York City in 2008. His work is inspired by Ancient Mexican art, particularly that of the Mixtec codex. His aim is to create images that honor the past, but that address contemporary issues that affect people of Mexican origin on both sides of the border. His book Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale is the winner of the 2014 Tomás Rivera Mexican American children’s book award. It is also the first book to receive two honorable mentions, one for the illustrations and one for the text, from the Pura Belpré Award for a work that best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books. The book was featured in USA Today, The Chicago Sun, The Houston Chronicle among other major publications because it deals with the controversial topic of immigration. His book Diego Rivera: His World and Ours won the 2012 Pura Belpré illustration award. It also won the 2012 Tomás Rivera. His first book Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin received an honorable mention from the Pura Belpré Award in 2011. It was named an Americas Award Commended Title and a Notable Book for a Global Society list.

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

Week 5:

Week 6:

Your Choice

I am so excited to dive into the fantastic world of Duncan Tonatiuh, there is just so much to uncover. Because Duncan has so many incredible books to choose from, you can also feel free to substitute other of his books in for the ones chosen above, some of his picture books are geared a little older so feel free to make the selections work for you. Please consider following Duncan’s work on social media and supporting your local independent bookstores with your book purchases. If you want to support the Global Read Aloud, please consider purchasing your books through the links placed here, the GRA gets a small affiliate percentage whenever books are purchased through – a website that sends orders through local bookstores. If your school requires you to use Amazon to order the books, please consider using this link to place your order and support the GRA.

I hope you like these choices, and if not, that’s okay too, then come back next year.


10 thoughts on “Global Read Aloud Choice 2021: Picture Book Study #GRA21

  1. Shari Dorfman says:

    Love love love your choice!! No need to ask anyone if what you’re doing is okay. Your work is a gift!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    These are so beautiful! I love every single one. You do an amazing job of thoughtfully making choices that will inspire us and our learners.

  3. Mrs. Burack says:


    So happy you are doing GRA again! Hope this message will go through. Is there a middle school read?

    Thanks, Tova

    On Tue, Mar 2, 2021 at 9:15 AM The Global Read Aloud wrote:

    > Pernille Ripp posted: ” This year, I am decididng to take things a little > more slowly in order to really relish who the choices are. So little by > little, the chosen books and authors will be revealed, I hope you don’t > mind. In a world that is upside down, still, I have foun” >

  4. Leanne Dunbar says:

    Thank you so much for continuing on. Your work is a gift and I look forward to sharing your picture book study with all my elementary library classes each fall.

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