Books have always been a wonderful resource to share with our children not just for entertainment but also for providing them with a rich learning experience.
I have treasured books for as long as I can remember and have made them a central part of my own child’s life. Imagine my disappointment when I recently took a good look at our home library to discover that the majority of our books are filled with animals and characters that look nothing like our family. There were important lessons in our books, but they lacked the diversity and realistic representation of the world we live in. I did a major rehaul of our library and decided to start by focusing on books around diverse families- just like our own.
Diverse representation in books not only impacts our children’s sense of self but also helps them to understand, respect and celebrate different cultures, experiences, and perspectives. If we strive to raise open-minded children, then we must allow them to have a wide and varied experience of the many differences that exist all around us. What better place to start than in your home and with your own family?
Here I share with you ten books that celebrate diversity and uniqueness of different families.
- The Family Book by Todd Parr is a great book to start with if you’re looking for an opportunity to introduce your child to the many wonderful and different kinds of families.
- Families by Shelley Rotner beautifully illustrates the old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The diverse photos in this book do a great job of realistically illustrating in real life how diverse every family can be.
- Who's In My Family? All About Our Families by Robie H. Harris does a great job representing all types of unique families. My little one’s favorite part was the different kinds of foods that families eat.
- And That's Why She's My Mama by Tiarra Nazario is a wonderful representation of a non-traditional family filled to the brim with love. Not all mamas look the same, but their love is boundless.
- Family Means... by Matthew Ralph is a beautifully illustrated book that celebrates all kinds of families doing everyday things. I enjoyed that the illustrations were inclusive of diverse families and individuals. There is also a great extension activity for you and your child to illustrate your own family right in the book!
- My Family, Your Family by Lisa Bullard did a great job with the representation of a mixed family as well as different kinds of families. I especially enjoyed the discussion prompts that encouraged further discussion and connection.
- Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olsen has quickly become one of our favorites! My son loves talking about his friends in preschool all the things they do together- just the same as the things that we do as a family at home. This is a great book that celebrates diversity and encourages empathy and respect for all.
- I Am Whole by Shola Oz is an outstanding book for mixed race families that represents diversity of many cultures in its illustrations and really honors the beauty of being a part of a mixed family with rich
- Families: A lift-the-flap book about families (Find Out About) by Pat-a-Cake is one of our recent favorites that we discovered during story time at our local library. Filled with interactive flaps, even the youngest of readers will no doubt be engaged as they explore different families and cultures.
- Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer is one of our favorites showing the beautiful variety of families doing everyday things.