8 Children’s Books to Help Introduce Diversity into Your HomeSeptember 7, 2020
Reading to your children, starting at infancy, is one of the best ways to help with literary skills and language acquisition. There are an endless amount of children’s books that you can choose from about various different topics and storylines. Reading together is also a great way to help integrate diversity into your kids’ daily routine by selecting books that show different families and circumstances from your own.
Whether introducing same sex relationships, highlighting how different cultures and families live around the world, or even sharing stories that include people with disabilities as the focal point, these books can help start conversations that are essential to help children understand empathy and realize that just because someone is different from them does not mean that they are any less important. Here are 8 examples our favorite diverse books:
All Are Welcome
All Are Welcome, written by Alexandra Penfold and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman, is a New York Times Bestseller that follows a classroom of diverse children during their day and shows how each child is welcomed with open arms. All of the children’s backgrounds are celebrated, and each character learns from each other’s unique experiences. This school is a model to how the world could operate if we were all respectful and open minded, which are traits we can help instil in our children with this picture book.
The Family Book
The Family Book by Todd Parr is a book for young children that highlights how many different kinds of families there are. Whether you have two moms or two dads, a big or small family, a family that lives close to each other or one that is farther away, this book shows children that families come in many different shapes and sizes, and that every family is special (and loves to hug!).
A Different Little Doggy
A Different Little Doggy, written by Heather Whittaker and illustrated by Scott Alberts, is a book recommended for children ages 4 to 8 that helps children see that even though a dog may be different, that does make them any less lovable! “Being different in life doesn’t have to be an obstacle,” says the author! This story follows a small dog named Taz who brings a message of acceptance and friendship.
She Persisted, written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, is a great story that follows thirteen American women who changed the world, including Harriet Tubman, Hellen Keller, Claudette Covin, Oprah Winfrey, and many more! Having strong and powerful women as examples for young children is so important in a society where so much history revolves around men. This book can help young people remember to follow their dreams while using adorable illustrations along the way.
A Different Dragon
A Different Dragon, written by Jennifer Bryan and illustrated by Danamarle Hosler, is a story about a dragon, a little boy named Noah, a singing cat, and their adventure. Noah has two moms who appear from time to time, which can help any child see that all families are different. And the dragon makes the story very exciting as well for the little ones.
We Can Do It!
We Can Do It! by Laura Dwight, recommended for ages 3 to 6, features real children who are all preschool age and have real disabilities. All of the children featured in the picture book highlight what they are capable of doing, like pouring their own juice, or riding their bikes, or reading their names in braille. Raising awareness in young children will help with how they socialize with individuals who are different from themselves, which is a powerful tool in the world today.
A Map into the World
A Map into the World, written by Kao Kalia Yang and illustrated by Seo Kim, is a heartfelt story that follows a little girl, Paj Ntaub, as she navigates through birth and death, loss and grief, and how just one child’s actions can help make a difference. This story is full of sadness and hope at the same time—something many families all around the world are feeling in the state of the world today. This story may also inspire your children to do their part to make someone’s day a little bit brighter.
Sometimes People March
Sometimes People March by Tessa Allen is an extremely relative book for 2020. This book is designed for young children to help them better understand why people participate in social movements, both recent and historical, but many adults can learn from this book as well. Using general language and examples of bands and ants, this story shows that people are stronger when they march together. Focusing on the human emotions and causes for concern can allow your children to ask questions and start to learn more about what makes us, as human beings, so interesting and unique. Showing compassion for our fellow man and working together towards a greater goal is something that is so inspiring for young and old readers alike.
Do you have any favorite stories that you read to your children? Tag SmartSitting in Facebook and Instagram posts so we can see and share your book suggestions on our channels. Want to know more about our recommendations? Make sure you sign up for our newsletter for all the latest info coming from our team!