Inside this post: Ten Beautiful children’s books to read to preschoolers and to young kids about race and diversity.
Hey, hey! I am so glad you’re here!
Because you’re here, I know that you’re open to (or at least curious about) having a conversation with your kids about racism, diversity, and how to take action. Woo hoo!! My hope is that by the end of this post, you’ll realize that conversations about race don’t have to be “tough” or uncomfortable.
In fact, you may find that it’s easier to talk to your kids about racism and diversity than you thought.
Let’s dive in!
Honest truth: As a young teacher, I used to get flustered when I talked to my classroom about race…
For years, I was a preschool teacher at a very diverse program. My preschoolers often talked about their differences (as preschoolers do).
My kids talked about how their eye color was different.
About their hair color.
And, their skin.
Annnnnnd, when they talked about skin color, I didn’t know the “right” things to say to them!
((at least at first))
Why was I uncomfortable talking to my preschoolers about skin color??
Honestly, it was because the topic of race and racism felt heavy to me. I kept thinking:
- What if I say the wrong thing?
- What if I hurt one of my kid’s feelings?
- Or, worst yet, what if I upset one of the parents by talking to their kids about skin color?
But, in reality??
I didn’t need to get anything “right” when talking to my preschoolers. I just needed to be honest: yes, we all have different shades of skin color! Thankfully, I had NAEYC guidelines to help me to understand why the conversation was so important, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
The thing is, our kids are thinking about race and diversity earlier than we may have realized, so it’s important that we join them in the conversation!
Fun Fact: Did you know that even babies as young as 6 months notice differences between skin color and hair texture??
Promise: This ISN’T just a book list of the top search results on Amazon!
Which is why this list is short and sweet…
I turned to my old co-worker and friend, Ana Flores, to help me with this list of book recommendations.
Ana works at my old workplace, which is a NAEYC accredited preschool, and she uses almost every single one of these books in her classroom. Rest assured. These books are not only WONDERFUL, but they also meet NAEYC standards for talking to young children about diversity.
But, what if I can’t afford to buy all of these books?
Here’s a couple of options for you:
- You can use an online, digital library program called EPIC! As of right now, parents can get 1-month free subscription to search for books like the ones listed below!
- You can check these books out from your local library.
- Better yet, buy a few with a friend, and then you can swap them!
Those resources should help you get started.
Now, on to the list!
10 BEAUTIFUL Children’s Books About Race & Diversity
Children’s Books About Racism
A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory
Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
Children’s Books About Diversity
I Am Human: A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde
Most People by Michael Leannah
Lovely by Jess Hong
Some People Do by Frank Lowe
Children’s Books About Immigration
Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land by John Coy, Photography by Wing Young Huie
Dreamers by Yuji Morales
Children’s Books About Taking Action
I Am One: A Book of Action by Susan Verde (pre-order only as of June 2020)
Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice by Mahogany L. Browne
Books Open Up Conversation
Remember: your kids have already noticed that people are different and have different shades of skin.
These books are an easy way to open up the conversation about race and diversity in your home.
You’ve got this!
Don’t forget that we’ve got an awesome community over on Instagram! We can’t wait to meet you over there so we can keep the conversation going.
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