Studies show that children as young as three years old can identify differences and similarities between people. And let’s face it, kids today are overhearing and absorbing far more than we give them credit for. Discussing diversity and racial injustice may seem overwhelming, but we shouldn’t avoid these crucial conversations. Get started by using some of our favorite books to help you educate your little one on the importance of acceptance and inclusion.
1. An ABC of Equality
A is for Ability, B is for Belief, C is for Class. From A to Z, discover engaging and age appropriate explanations to complicated concepts surrounding social justice. Bonus! Cheerful and diverse characters from a range of backgrounds, ethnicities, and abilities will lead your little through the alphabet.
2. Speak Up!
This vibrant picture book celebrates diversity and encourages children to speak up, collaborate with others, and take action when they see something that is not right, or needs to be fixed. Help kids to understand that one voice can make all the difference!
3. Antiracist Baby
This captivating board book introduces young readers, as well as the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Follow along as Antiracist Baby shares nine easy steps for building a more equitable world.
4. Pink is For Boys
Re-inforce the importance of exploration, free of gender constraint! Too often, kids learn what things each gender “can” explore. This book informs readers that no matter their gender they are free to enjoy all kinds of activities and interests- boys can love pink, girls can love trucks!
5. We’re Different, We’re the Same
Elmo and his Sesame Street friends discuss diversity! Kids will learn to not only celebrate but value the differences around them. As Elmo says, “it’s our differences that make this wonderful world, which is home to us all, an interesting- and special- place.” Young learners will also discover that although we may look different on the outside, deep down we are all very much alike.
6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice
As caregivers, it can be challenging to explain controversial current events with kids. This timely piece follows two families- one White, one Black, as they discuss a recent police shooting of a Black man. Follow along to learn how you can answer kid’s questions about traumatic events, and help them to both identify and counter racial injustice.
7. The Proudest Blue
It’s Faizah and Asiya’s first day of school, and best of all- Asiya’s first day of hijab! Unfortunately, not everyone sees hijab as beautiful. Follow along as these young girls display strength and pride despite hurtful and confusing criticism.
8. Everyone Matters
Written by an experienced psychotherapist and counselor, this engaging story stresses the importance of treating everyone fairly. In kid-friendly language children will discover that everyone, especially those who may feel different from us, deserve politeness and respect.
9. The Skin You Live In
Perfect for your young reader, this rhythmic and colorful picture book delivers an important message of equality and acceptance. “Think how lucky you are that the skin you live in, so beautifully holds the “You” who’s within”.
10. All Are Welcome
Follow a group of kids through a day in their school, where everyone is equal and welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other’s traditions. A school that shows the world as it should be.
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