Last week we offered suggestions for summer reading for children of different ages. This week we wanted to continue our book talk by focusing on diverse and inclusive books for your child. As we wrote last week, summer break offers a nice time to explore and read books with children.
Diverse books are important for children of all ages. “Multicultural literature serves as a powerful tool in enabling students to gain a better understanding of both their own culture and the cultures of others.” (The importance of multicultural literature)
In our classrooms, we learn about and celebrate a variety of cultures, and we often find that our students are incredibly curious and so happy to learn about cultures from all over the world.
Representation matters. This is especially true for children. When they see themselves in the books that they read, they understand that they matter too. When we see people like ourselves in the media, including in fiction, we get a glimpse of who we might become, and we feel validated. We can gain role models and inspiration through literature (Why Children’s Books that Teach Diversity are More Important than Ever). Reading more diverse books is a great way to open the world up for our children.
“Multicultural literature can help students develop global awareness by introducing them to current cultural issues” (The importance of multicultural literature). Reading books with our children about things that are happening in the world with appropriate content is good for them. Adults often think that children cannot handle or understand what is happening in our world, but from what we have seen with our students, they can and their thoughts on these matters are usually incredibly insightful.
In recent years, as more diverse books have been published, we have seen a shift in our classrooms toward more inclusivity and equity among our students. The more we read, talk about, and expose our children to inclusive and diverse books, the more this amazing and wonderful trend will continue to grow.
Below are some recommendations of inclusive and diverse books for children:
- All Are Welcome
- Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
- Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
- June Peters Will Change the World One Day
- I Am Enough
- The Wild Robot
- A Handful of Stars
- Pink is for Boys
- Rosie Revere Engineer
- And Tango Makes Three
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Reader Edition)
- Mixed Like Me
- She Persisted & She Persisted Around the World
- The Name Jar
- Mommy, Mamma, and Me
- Julien is a Mermaid
- A is For Activist
- Rad American Women A-Z
- Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress
What are some of your favorite books that relate to inclusivity and equity?