12 CHILDREN’S BOOKS FOCUSED ON DIVERSITY

In Evergreen, Family, Parenting, by Healthy Family Living TeamLeave a Comment

We have been deeply affected by the killing of George Floyd and the demonstrations and conversations that have been happening over the past few weeks. As parents, we are taking this opportunity to speak with our children about racism, privilege, challenge and inclusion. These are very difficult but important conversations that bring up questions that we do not have all the answers to, but one place we can start is sharing books with our children that show more diverse characters and stories.  We know that these conversations are important and that we need to do more to ensure that our children's lives are as inclusive and diverse as possible, and to continue to educate ourselves and have ongoing conversations about privilege.

I WANT TO EXPAND THE DIVERSITY IN THE BOOKS I READ WITH MY CHILD BUT WHERE DO I START?

We've pulled together a list of books featuring racially diverse characters, authors and subject matter. We hope that this will expand the characters that all of our children see every day and continue important conversations on community, love and cooperation.

We have included links to purchase most of these books from two Canadian multicultural bookstores:

  • Knowledge Bookstore: An Afrocentric bookstore located in Brampton Ontario that sells African Canadian, African American, Caribbean and Children books.
  • A Different Booklist: A Canadian multicultural bookstore specializing in literature from the African and Caribbean Diaspora and the Global South.

I Am Enough by Grace Byers (Author), Keturah A. Bobo (Illustrator)

Skin Like Mine Paperback by Latashia M Perry (Author)

An entertaining yet creative way to address and celebrate diversity among young children. Guaranteed to make you smile.

Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor (Author), Rafael López (Illustrator)

United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges -- and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. 

Get Up, Stand Up by Bob Marley (Author), Cedella Marley  (Author), John Jay Cabuay (Illustrator)

A heartfelt and meaningful book that brings Bob Marley's music to life in a new way: As a young girl goes on with her day in school, she comes across several instances of teasing and intimidation. But with loving action and some help from her friends, she's able to make things right for herself and others.

A culture-rich picture book that proudly showcases the beauty of diversity while celebrating all the wonderful things we have in common.

Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke (Author), Paul Howard (Illustrator)

For the youngest member of an exuberant extended family, Sunday dinner at Grannie’s can be full indeed — full of hugs and kisses, full of tasty dishes, full to the brim with happy faces, and full, full, full of love. 

We're Different, We're the Same (Sesame Street) by Bobbi Kates (Author), Joe Mathieu  (Illustrator)

The colorful characters from Sesame Street teach young children about racial harmony. Muppets, monsters, and humans compare noses, hair, and skin and realize how different we all are. But as they look further, they also discover how much we are alike.

Dream Big, Little One Board book by Vashti Harrison (Author)

Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn't always accept them.The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.

An important book for readers of all ages, this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of black men in history. Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and artists, politicians and pop stars, athletes and activists.

Teach Your Dragon About Diversity: Train Your Dragon To Respect Diversity by Steve Herman (Author)

Fun, cute, and entertaining with beautiful illustrations, this is a wonderful book for children, parents and teachers to teach kids diversity and difference.

A World of Kindness by Ann Featherstone (Editor)

In a series of simple yet evocative questions, this impactful book asks children how they will show kindness and consideration for others.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold (Author), Suzanne Kaufman (Illustrator)

Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students grow and learn from each other's traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

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