Diverse Books for Children Help Kids Celebrate the World!
Inside: If you are looking to infuse your story time with phenomenal diverse books for children, you’ve come to the right place! Stick around for some amazing book lists, single book reviews and more!
I got a new shirt the other day, and on the chest it has a graphic I love. The shirt is light blue, and in a simple white font, it says:
All Kind. Be Kind.
The second I saw it on the display, I couldn’t help but find my size and take it up with me to the register together with the uniform shorts, polos and baby shark bathing suits I was grabbing for my boys. As I stood in line, I remember thinking, all kind, be kind. I wish it was so easy.
Diverse books for children’s and the power of “all kind, be kind.”
Pickle just began to read this year and the first day I wore my new shirt, he studied it for a moment and then read the words aloud.
“All kind, be kind. What’s that?” He asked.
I told him it simply meant to be kind to everyone, no matter whether they were just like us or entirely different.
“Obviously, mom,” he said. And then he ran to the patio and started to shoot hoops.
I loved his response, but immediately wished that being kind to everyone was such an obvious notion to all. I wish all people could view all the world through the eyes of our youngest children, innocent and blissfully unfazed by our differences.
Unfortunately, though, that’s not the case. And that means it’s up to us — parents and educators — to teach our children to celebrate our differences, rather than fear them.
And there’s a really simple way to do this.
Why read diverse children’s books?
Hate and fear are learned behaviors. Whether it begins at home, in classrooms or on the playground, kids aren’t born fearing others who look or act differently than them. We need to remember this, and we need to run with the notion that children are born inherently kind.
By bringing diverse children’s books into our homes, we are ensuring that children see all kinds of glorious people in books. When we read diverse stories, we are teaching our children in the most organic way that all people should be celebrated, whether it’s people that look like them and hail from similar neighborhoods and cultures, people from the next town over who live dramatically different lives, or people from around the world who celebrate different holidays, have different shaped eyes and different colored skin.
And it doesn’t end there.
Diverse children’s books include those stories conveying that love is love, no matter what form that love takes, that neurodiverse children and kids with physical challenges are to be valued and celebrated, that families come in all shapes and possess no “one size fits all” scratchy label.
It’s all about the windows and mirrors. Window books give children glimpses into the lives of people different from themselves, whereas mirror books are those in which children see themselves reflected in the stores they read. It is vital that children read both.
Diverse books for children nurture empathy and build compassion
When we teach kids from the time they are infants that learning about the beautiful traditions, people, cultures and holidays around the world can be magical — when we show them that these traditions, people, cultures and holidays around the world share so many similarities to us and ours — we help bridge the perceived divides between us.
Sharing diverse children’s books with our kids helps them become more accepting, more compassionate, and less inclined to feel nervous or scared when they encounter others who they perceive as being different from themselves.
So what are you waiting for? Check out these amazing lists of diverse children’s books, and start reading them with your kids. Make storytime meaningful and magical with books that get two trunks up!
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Diverse Books for Children: Amazing Book Lists!
For more fabulous lists of diverse books for babies, check out these great posts:
Growing Book by Book: The Best Multicultural Stories for 2-year Olds
Colors of Us: Multicultural Children’s Books - Babies and Toddlers
The Barefoot Mommy: 16 Culturally Diverse Books for Babies and Toddlers
What Do We Do All Day: 15 Multicultural Books for Babies and Toddlers
For more fantastic books about diverse families, check out these posts from around the web!
New York Public Library: 10 Great Picture Books About Diverse Children and Families
Human Rights Campaign: Six Children’s Books that Celebrate Family Diversity
Books for Autistic Children & Neurodiverse Kids
Finding books for autistic children and neurodiverse kids is not easy, especially when you are looking for stories that are engaging, meaningful, and not entirely didactic. I’ve recently discovered some new books, and I’ve compiled a list of stories new and old I think you and your kids will love!
Check out these posts for more terrific LGBT Children’s books:
No Time for Flash Cards: 32 LGBTQ Children’s Books
We Are Teachers: 30 Children’s Books with LGBT Characters
Huffington Post: 17 LGBTQ-Friendly Books to Read to Your Kid in Honor of Pride
Diverse Books for Children: Single Book Reviews