These books are the perfect way to celebrate diversity and are brilliant conversation starters for any questions they may have.
Books are a great way for kids to learn about a lot of things, such as empathy, kindness or friendship. We even turn to books when we want to teach children about their parents having a new baby or about grieving for a lost relative. Storytime is also a great place for teaching children about diversity through representation in books.
Books are fantastic conversation starters as well as important places where representation seriously matters.
According to theconversation.com:
Research on prejudice shows that coming in contact with people who are different – so-called “others” – helps to reduce stereotypes. This is because when we see people who initially seem different, we learn about them and get closer to them through their story. The “other” seems less far away and, well, less “otherly”.
As well as that, they found that:
"Research suggests that over 80% of characters in children’s books are white – which clearly doesn’t reflect the reality of our world.
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Here are five children's books that celebrate diversity.
COLOUR OF PEOPLE MAURICIO NEGRO
This is a beautiful, wordless picture book that celebrates difference while showing us that while we may look different on the outside, we are all human beings who deserve to be loved and respected equally.
WHY ARE PEOPLE DIFFERENT COLOURS? written by DR EMMA WADDINGTON and DR CHRISTOPHER MCCURRY illustrated by LOUIS THOMAS
Kids are going to ask uncomfortable questions - it's just in their nature to be curious about the world around them and there's nothing wrong with that. This brilliant book written by Dr Emma Waddington and Dr Christopher McCurry addresses questions children may have as they grow up in a diverse and multicultural world.
COME ALL YOU LITTLE PERSONS written by JOHN AGARD illustrated by JESSICA COURTNEY-TICKLE
This book is a beautiful celebration of the natural world and all that lives in it. However, it carries the important message of tolerance, kindness and an understanding that there is room for all kinds of people in the world.
LOOK BOTH WAYS written by JASON REYNOLDS
This is a fun, thought-provoking read for both kids and adults. It's set after school when a group of kids are walking home - without parents and teachers around, they can chat about whatever they like, leading to some interesting topics of conversation.
HERE COMES LOLO by NIKI DALY
Lolo is a happy, fun-loving little girl who leaves behind her a trail of laughter and smiles. Lolo's character also gives a fantastic insight into the life and culture of contemporary South Africa. Children's Books Ireland says:
"The South African setting and cultural details running through the stories add interest and diversity to Lolo’s tales, giving the reader an insight into a different society while all the time reflecting the common universal threads of family, friends and neighbours. "