Are you looking to introduce your early learner, baby through PreK, to literature that discusses the diversity of people here and abroad? Check out these five (it was so hard to choose!) wonderful books concerning multiculturalism and acceptance of differences.
The Global Babies series, produced by the Global Fund for Children, begins with the simply-titled Global Babies. This board book will introduce your early learner to seventeen different babies from seventeen different cultures from all over the world. While every baby is dressed differently, and looks slightly different, the one theme that your child will see repeated throughout is that all babies are loved the same, no matter what part of the world they live in. Your child will love the vibrant colors on each page. The Global Fund for Children also offers books titled Global Baby Girls, Global Baby Boys, American Babies, and Global Baby Bedtimes.
A Beautiful Rainbow World, by Suzee Ramirez and Lynne Raspet, is a paperback book that appeals primarily to toddlers to PreK early learners. Based on what the authors call a “profound truth,” the book communicates through colorful pictures and simple lyrical text that assists with learning about diversity and acceptance. The book comes with a free song download by Daria, a children’s singer, so that you and your early learner can follow along with the text in the book.
Whoever You Are, a board book written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Leslie Staub, may remind parents of multicultural books that they read as children due to the drawing and rhyming style. Each page is beautifully framed by art deco gems. Early learners will appreciate the strong message that the hearts of children are the same all across the world.
All Families Are Special, written by Norma Simon and illustrated by Teresa Flavin, is available in hardcover on Amazon. A favorite of many parents I’ve worked with, it is a book that displays the many families that your early learner might encounter when they first go to school. Adoption, foster families, single parents, multigenerational parents, same sex couples, remarriage, and more are discussed through the eyes of the children living in these diverse and happy families.
For older early learners, The Name Jar, by Yangsook Choi, is a beautifully-illustrated (text-heavy) paperback that will introduce your child to the concepts of acceptance and welcoming students from other cultures. Unhei is a student who has recently arrived from South Korea and struggles with adapting to her new environment and communicating her name to her peers. Unhei temporarily surrenders her name in an effort to fit in more, but she, and her classmates, ultimately realize that her name is beautiful and should be kept (and pronounced correctly!). This book is a little bit long, so we recommend breaking it up into 3-4 sections.
What are your favorite multicultural and diversity books for early learners? Let us know in the comments!