How can our educational practices support the diversity we see in our early childhood classrooms? How do we teach children about supporting and celebrating diversity? One way in which to start these conversations is through literature. Having literature that reflects the same kinds of diversity that children experience in their daily lives can provide a great bridge to celebrating diversity.
What books are good to promote diversity?
Here are a few suggestions for books that can get you started to promote diversity:
by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison
Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When mommy does Zuri’s hair, she feels like a superhero. But when mommy is away, it’s up to daddy to step in! And even though daddy has a lot to learn, he LOVES his Zuri. And he’ll do anything to make her—and her hair—happy.
Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair—and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.
Pink Is for Boys
by Robb Pearlman and Eda Kaban
Pink is for boys… and girls… and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids – and their grown-ups – to express themselves in every color of the rainbow. Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up.
Vibrant illustrations help children learn and identify the myriad colors that surround them every day, from the orange of a popsicle, to the green of a grassy field, all the way up to the wonder of a multicolored rainbow.
A Family Is a Family Is a Family
by Sara O’Leary and Qin Leng
When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways — but the same in the one way that matters most of all.
One child is worried that her family is just too different to explain, but listens as her classmates talk about what makes their families special. One is raised by a grandmother, and another has two dads. One is full of stepsiblings, and another has a new baby.
As one by one, her classmates describe who they live with and who loves them — family of every shape, size and every kind of relation — the child realizes that as long as her family is full of caring people, her family is special.
And great for the Infant and Toddler group:
Giraffes Can’t Dance
By Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
Gerald the giraffe faces other animals’ relentless teasing about his lanky body when he tries to do the one thing he loves: dance. He soon learns, though, that his confidence and just the right music mean he can dance without a care in the world.
And so many more!
Book summaries above are taken directly from these source sites. Whenever choosing books that are meant to represent a particular culture or group, be sure to check that the author is genuine and not appropriating that culture or group through their work.