10 Books to Teach Children about Diversity
December 05, 2022
December 05, 2022
Our differences are what make each of us unique and special, and it is this diversity that should be embraced. At Hopebridge, we know firsthand the struggles that individuals can face when they are viewed as “different” from the rest. We make it our mission to spread kindness and acceptance among all communities, which is why we want to share our favorite books that teach children about diversity beyond neurodiversity.
Representation is a pivotal experience that not all children get to have, but we aim to change that. Books are a great way to introduce children to new topics and ideas in a way that can be entertaining and easy to understand. These books explore some of the differences that children may meet themselves or among their peers. Covering topics like race, gender, identity, family life and culture, these books teach acceptance and kindness, which is something the world could always use a little more of.
This book follows the story of a little girl painting a portrait of herself but after a walk through her neighborhood, she notices that brown skin comes in many different shades. This book is great for teaching about recognizing and embracing the skin that you are in.
This book delivers important messages like acceptance, understanding and confidence through bold bright colors and a variety of different characters. This book will inspire children to celebrate their individuality.
This board book is about a child with gay parents. It follows a child spending the day with his dads and all of the love and fun that they have together. It teaches that there is no limit to what a loving family can do together.
Note: there is a second book called Mommy, Momma and Me about a child with two moms.
This book helps to reframe stereotypical gendered colors and explains that pink can be for boys… and girls… and everyone! It teaches that no matter your gender, you are allowed to enjoy all colors, activities and anything you want!
Different animals are cleverly depicted in this children’s book about the love that a family provides, no matter what it looks like. This book teaches that there are no “traditional” families and that love and kindness is what makes someone family.
Marisol McDonald comes from a mixed-race family. She has brown skin and bright red hair, and she loves things that do not match. This book teaches about the mixed-race experience that many children have in their lives.
Choco is a bird who wishes he had a mother, so he sets off to find one. A kind Mrs. Bear takes him in and gives him all of the love he has been longing for. This book teaches about adoption and that family is about love no matter how different the parent and child may be.
This children’s book teaches about a common experience about how the holidays look a little different for each family. Sadie celebrates by wrapping gifts to go under the sparkling Christmas tree and hanging candy canes on the eight menorah branches. It teaches the celebration of blended families and what it’s like to embrace both cultures.
This children’s book is about a boy who is teased because his skin is darker and his hair is curlier than those around him. His mother helps him see how beautiful he truly is, no matter what others may think. This book teaches about the effects of bullying and the happiness that comes with self-love and confidence.
This book follows the journey of a blue crayon that is mistakenly labeled as red. The crayon struggles to meet expectations no matter how hard it tries and eventually decides to follow its on path, despite obstacles. This book teaches about identity and how to trust your own thoughts and emotions.
Bonus: A Day With No Words, by Tiffany Hammond
Written by an autistic self-advocate and autism mom to two sons, this book (available for pre-order) invites readers into the bond between an autism family. Its colorful, engaging pages share what life can look like for families who use nonverbal communication, utilizing tools to embrace their unique method of “speaking.” The diversity, inclusion and individualism is showcased throughout, from highlighting neurodiversity and differences in communication, to featuring Black characters in a space where nonwhite populations are often underrepresented.
Books like these ensure that children are educated and represented in the activities that they share with their peers. Teaching understanding and kindness to children early on will help them as they navigate friendships and social situations growing up.
At Hopebridge, we’re big fans of learning through books. Want to teach your child more about neurodiversity? Check out some of our favorite books about children with autism and differing abilities.
Blog content courtesy of Kaitlynn Coffman.
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