5 Books To Buy To Diversify Your Child's Bookshelf - YUMMommy

5 Books To Buy To Diversify Your Child's Bookshelf


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How do you talk to your child about diversity and equality?  My children are still young.  Therefore, I've found books to be to a great and helpful conversation starter and teaching tool when it comes to tackling these two subjects.  Here are 5 important diverse reads we recently added to our personal library.

Religious Tolerance



Religion is a topic that has been a bit touchy to discuss since the beginning of time almost.  However, I don't want to raise Moo and JJ thinking that our way is the only right way to worship.  Hats of Faith is a picture book shows how many cultures can worship in similar ways, specifically through wearing hats and head coverings.


Short and easy to read, this beautifully illustrated book is a great way to talk to our children about the importance of religious freedom and giving others the right to worship in their own way.  After reading Hats of Faith, Moo asked if I would be okay if she decided to cover hair as a sign of worship and honor to God.  We also talked about how some of her friends and their moms wear a hijab.  It was something she always noticed, but didn't want to offend them by asking them what is was and why they were wearing it.  I love that reading this book has opened up the door for her to learn something new about her peers.

Racial Equality



Rosa Parks is one of the most talked about Civil Rights activist in American history.  She took a stand against racial inequality and won.  However, who was Rosa Parks before she become Civil Rights icon?  When Rosa Parks Went Fishing gives children (and adults) a look at what Rosa's early years as a child were like.


We get to see how family, education and the mistreatment of Blacks in the South all helped to lead Rosa Parks refusal to move the back of the bus.  Reading this book not only taught my children about equality but it showed them that when it comes to bringing about change, you have to be willing to be the one to take the stand for what's right.

Cultural Appreciation



Rice & Rocks is a book about a boy named Giovanni.  He's invited his friends over for Sunday but gets embarrassed when he finds out that his grandmother is cooking a traditional Jamaican dish instead of something less weird.  Giovanni's friends aren't Jamaican and he's afraid they won't want to eat his grandmother's rice and beans.


His aunt and magical pet parrot Jasper, take Giovanni on journey around the world where he visits different countries.  It's in these countries that he finds out how not weird rice and beans aka rice and rocks are.  What I love about this book is that it not only teaches kids about culture similarities but it reminds them of the importance of embracing and appreciating the uniqueness and differences of their cultures.

Courage



McKenzie's New School Blues is a book that teaches young readers the importance of finding the courage to face their fears.  McKenzie Mason is the new kid in school.  Like most kids, on her first day of school she's worried about fitting in and making new friends.



However, McKenzie soon finds out that those are the least of worries when she lands a lead role in the school play.  You see, McKenzie has stage fright and she has decide whether she's going to sink or swim.  What I love about this first book in the Meet McKenzie Mason series is that it features a female main character of color that other young girls of color will be able to relate to.  Also, this easy to read chapter book is perfect for talking to children about why it's okay to step outside of their comfort zone and how to find the courage to overcome their fears.

Gender Equality




Having a daughter and a son, gender equality is something I've become more passionate about.  In fact, it's something that I'm encouraging my children to be passionate about as well.  When Hillary Rodham Clinton Played Ice Hockey chronicles young Hillary's life and some of the adversities she faced being a woman.



This book is an important read because it shows children that they don't have fit into the molds others have laid out for them because of their gender.  Also, I think this is a great book because it shows children that success isn't as instantaneous as the media can make it seem.  They will have failures like Hillary Clinton did.  However, those failures should serve as encouragement to continue dreaming big and putting in hard work.

I have to admit that while there is still a ways to go, I'm proud of how much the world of children's books has evolved.  I love that there more books featuring main characters of color and that there are more books that are highlighting important issues on level in which our children can understand.  I hope that you will consider adding a few of these to your child's library.

How do you help your children seek out diversity?

20 comments

  1. Seeing all these diverse books featuring inclusion is so awesome. I'm happy kids will get to experience this. Everyone wants to see themselves represented.

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    1. Agreed! I'm beyond happy that my kids have a bookshelf that is way more diverse than mine was able to be when I was their ages.

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  2. What an interesting collection of books! I really like the Rice & Rocks title.

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    1. Rice & Rocks was a great a read. We loved the message of teaching kids how to love their culture even when it's different from their peers.

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  3. Great tips and great post. We have many of these books gracing our shelves and it is a wonderful thing.

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  4. Great selections, I need to pick up a few for my daughter. She is 6 and we read at least 4x a week. I love to stock her library with quality reading.

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    1. That's awesome! I hope guys will enjoy these reads as much as we did.

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  5. I have a couple of tbese for my lil one. We both liked Rice and Rocks so much ,I had to cook some for my family!

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    1. My kids love Rice & Rocks, the book and the meal. LOL.

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  6. OMG!!! This is right on time. I just bought a bunch of DVDs for the kids to watch in the car that were about African Americans, as well as cartoons that featured mainly AA characters. I'm so tired of SpongeBob

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    1. We parted ways with SpongeBob a while back for the time being. Definitely share some of the DVDs you picked up. We're looking to grow our movie collection to include more movies with African American characters.

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  7. These seem like some really great children's books! It'll be really beneficial to address all of these topics when kids are young and impressionable.

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    1. Agreed! And it really breaks things down to their level and in ways that they can grasp.

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  8. I am definitely going to check out the McKenzie Mason books. I love all of these and will surely gift a few to younger kids that I know.

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    1. The McKenzie Mason series is going to be great. We're anxiously awaiting the release of book 2.

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  9. I pinned this. I want to have an extensive book collection!

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    1. Thanks for pinning! These will definitely make great additions to your book collection.

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  10. I love that there is a greater selection of diverse children's books now. If you're interested in finding more there's a free app called We Read Too that is a directory of diverse children and young adult books.

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    1. Me too! I could have used these books when I was growing up. Thanks for sharing the app. I'll definitely check it out. We're always on the lookout for more books featuring characters of color and written by authors of color.

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