«Books for Very Young Children to Help Them Grow Up Strong & Healthy in a World of Human Diversity The following books were selected from the ...»
Books for Very Young Children to Help Them Grow Up
Strong & Healthy in a World of Human Diversity
The following books were selected from the Children’s Peace and Anti-bias Library at Cabrillo College in
Aptos, California. You can learn about the Peace Education Project and find more of these carefully
selected books at www.childpeacebooks.org. This list is under copyright. For permission to duplicate
please contact Julie Olsen Edwards at www.julieolsenedwards.net or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Four Goals of Anti-Bias Education
1. Each child will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities.
2. Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity, accurate language for human differences; and deep, caring human connections.
3. Each child will increasingly recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.
4. Each child will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.
Books that Illustrate Culture and Language Bread Bread Bread - Families - Hats Hats Hats - Play - Teamwork - Tools - Weddings Ann Morris (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, NY, 1989) A wonderful series of photo books each one showing how we are all the same and all so different all over the world. (Also shows racial identity and economic class).
Celebrating - Carrying - Smiling:
Gwyneth Swain (Milet Limited, 1999) Another wonderful photo book series, available in many languages, focused on how we are all alike and all different. (Also shows racial identity and disability) Char Siu Bao Boy Sandra Yamate (Polychrome, Chicago,, 1991) Charlie loves to eat Char Sui Bao (pork buns) that his Grandmother makes for him. But the other children think they look yucky. (Also shows racial identity and family structure) The Dancer Fred Burstein (Bradbury Press, 1993) In this U.S. family the mother is Latina, the father Japanese and their bi-racial daughter wants to be a ballerina.
The simple text describes the city in Spanish, Japanese and English as father and daughter walk to ballet class.
This is a lively and delightful book with beautiful clear illustrations which make it appropriate for children as young as 2 1/2 and up through age 7 or 8 (Also shows racial identity) Dumpling Soup Jama Kim Rattigan (Little, Brown & Co., MA, 1993) A little girl in a multi-ethnic Hawaiian family gets to join the aunts and grandmothers in the kitchen to make dumplings for the traditional dumpling soup being prepared for the family New Year's Eve celebration.(Also shows racial identities, family structure, and holidays) Everybody Cooks Rice Norah Dooley (Scholastic, NY, 1992) In one neighborhood, people from many ethnicities cook rice in many different ways. Recipes included! (Also shows racial identity and economic class) The Friday Nights of Nana Amy Hest (Candlewick Books, 1971) A young Jewish American girl helps her Grandma prepare for the Friday night Shabbat dinner. Beautifully written & illustrated. The book evokes the loving labor that brings a family together and a child’s joy in ritual.
Grandma Hekmatt Remembers Ann Morris (The Millbrook Press,Brookfield, Connecticut,, 2003) A photo book about a Muslim family from Egypt who move to the U.S. and make their home here. For older children, but the photos are excellent and you can tell the story rather than read it. (Also shows racial identity and family structure) Margaret and Margarita Lynn Reiser (Greenwillow Books, NY, 1993) Two little girls meet in the park and figure out how to play even though one speaks Spanish and the other English.
(Also shows family structure) One Green Apple Eve Bunting (Clarion Books, 2006) On her first day in school a young Muslim girl experiences a field trip with her class to pick apples. But oh it is so hard not to understand what people are saying and what they expect of her! And then there is the magical moment when she discovers that everyone laughs in the same language.
Swirling Hijaab The Naimh bint Robert (Mantra Lingua Publishing, 2002) A charming four year old Muslim girl imagines all the wonderful things she can "be" while playing with her mother's head scarf. (Available in English with: Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Czech, Farsi, French, German, Gujarati, Italian, Panjabi, Portuguese, Pushtu, Serbo-Croatian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu) To Be a Kid Maya Ajmera (Charlesbridge Publishing, 1999) Clear, colorful photos celebrate children's universal activities from playing ball to being carried on a parent's shoulders. No matter what the culture or the language, the climate or the customs, kids are acting like kids all across the globe.
Totally Uncool Janice Levy (Carolrhoda, 1999) Daddy's new girlfriend is really different, but the observant little girl slowly figures out she's really OK. (Also shows family structure) (Here are a few more, too wonderful not to mention: Dear Juno - Elizabeti's Doll - How My Parents Learned to Eat
- It Takes A Village - Let's Eat! - Mama Do You Love Me? - My Baby - My Name is Yoon - One Child One Seed:
A South African Counting Book – A Ride on Mother's Back - This is the Way We Eat Our Lunch ) For more books, look in the Peace Library database "Global Awareness", "Joy in Diversity" or by the names of specific cultural/ethnic groups.
Books that Celebrate Racial Identity
All the Colors of the Earth Sheila Hamanaka (Morrow Junior Books, New York,, 1994) An exquisitely illustrated story-poem about how all skin colors are "the color of love".(Also shows nonstereotypical gender, disabilities) Amazing Grace Mary Hoffman (Dial Books for Young Readers, NY, 1991) Grace can do anything, even play Peter Pan in the school play, although other children say Peter Pan can't be a Black girl. (Also shows non-stereotypical gender, economic class, family structure) Be Boy Buzz Bell Hooks (Hyperion Books for Children, 2005) A young African-American boy describes who he is as a boy: beautiful, running, jumping, sitting down, laughing, crying, telling his story.(Also shows non-stereotypical gender) Bein' With You This Way W. Nikola-Lisa (Lee and Low Books, New York,, 1994) "Ah huh Ah huh..." an exuberant rap chant for 3 to 7 year olds celebrating human difference. The wonderful illustrations depict a delicious multi-racial group of children playing in the park. This is one you HAVE to read out loud.
Black is Brown is Tan Arnold Adoff (Harper & Row, NY, 2004) Now a classic, this is a beloved story of an African-American mother, a white father and their two "tan" children in a loving, non sexist, extended family. Softly colored pictures with poetic, rhyming text that sing the joys of family life and appreciating the many skin tones in their family. The language is as magical as the message. Still the best book available about bi-racial families. (Also shows non-stereotypical gender roles) Hairs • Pelitos Sandra Cisneros (Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 1994) In this exquisite and loving book, a Latina child describes how each person in the family has hair that looks and acts different; Written in Spanish and English. From Cisneros' "The House on Mango Street".
I Love My Hair!
Natasha A. Tarpley (Little, Brown and Company, New York, 1998) A young African-American girl suffers when her mother combs her hair, but learns to appreciate it when her mother tells her stories about what her corn rowed hair styles represent.
K is for Kiss Good Night Jill Sardegna (Doubleday, New York,, 1994) A goodnight alphabet with gentle pictures of an Asian American, African American and White American family putting their sweet children to sleep. (Also shows family structure and non-stereotypical male) Shades Of Black Sandra Pickney (Scholastic, 2000) This wonderful photo books celebrates the many beautiful shades of Black children's skin, eyes, and hair. A joyful book for all children, and an essential one for African American children.
Two Eyes a Nose and a Mouth Roberta Grobel Intrater (Scholastic, 1995) This rhyming book features close-up photographs of very different human faces, both children and adults. The message is differences are so interesting! "Imagine how dull the world would be if everyone looked like you or me."
Two Mrs. Gibsons Toyomi Igus (Children's Book Press, San Francisco,, 1995) "I once knew two Mrs. Gibsons" begins this true story in which a child compares her African American Grandmother with her Japanese American mother. "They were very different, but they had a lot in common.
They both love my Daddy, and they both love me". (Also shows culture and family structure) What is Beautiful?
Maryjean Watson Avery (Tricycle Press, Berkeley, CA, 1995) A unique book with a mirror at the back to show children and the people who love them that there is beauty in everyone and that everyone is unique and different.
Chris Raschka (Orchard Books, NY, 1993) With the fewest possible words, and the funniest possible pictures, two boys (one white, one African American) approach each other and figure out how to be friends. (Also shows non-stereotypical gender roles) For more books, look in the Peace Library database "Joy in Diversity" or specific racial identity group (e.g.
African American, Asian American, Latino, etc.)
Books that Challenge Gender Identity Stereotypes
Dance Bill T. Jones (Hyperion Books, 1998) In stunning color photos against a white background, African American dancer Bill T. Jones shows the wonderful and joyful things he can do with his body.(Also shows racial identity) Delphine Molly Bang (William Morrow and Co., Inc. NY, 1988) A spunky, independent little girl heads down the mountain to pick up a surprise package from her Grandmother. (Also shows economic class and family structure) Goodbye Mousie Robie H. Harris (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2001) A tender, sweetly illustrated story of a small boy coming to understand the death of his pet mouse and being supported to cry and feel sad.
Harriet You'll Drive Me Wild Mem Fox (Harcourt, Inc., New York,, 2000) Harriet spills, drops things, breaks things, and generally creates chaos while her mother tries and tries not to yell. (Also shows family structure) Liza Lou and the Yeller Bellied Swamp Monster Mercer Mayer (Four Winds Press, New York, 1976) All by herself, smart and brave, Liza Lou outwits all the haunts and goblins in the Yeller Belly swamp. (Also shows racial identity, economic class and family structure) Mama Do You Love Me?
Barbara M. Joosse (Scholastic Inc., NY, 1991) A mischievous, high energy Inuit girl is reassured that no matter what, her Mama will always love her. (Also shows culture, racial identity and family structure) New Moon Pegi Deitz Shea (Boyds Mills Press, Honesdale, PA, 1996) A loving, gentle, older brother hurries home from school each day to show his baby sister the wonders of the moon and teaches her first word, "luna" (moon). (Also shows culture) The Story of Ferdinand Munro Leaf (The Viking Press: New York,, 1936) This is the classic story of the bull who just wanted to sit and smell the flowers.
Tonio's Cat Mary Calhoun (Morrow Junior Books, New York,, 1996) A lonely immigrant boy befriends a street wise tough cat and finds a place for himself in his new country. (Also shows culture) What is a Girl? What is a Boy?
Stephanie Waxman (Thomas Y. Crowell, NY, 1989) This clear and explicit photo book clarifies the differences between gender role and actual gender and challenges stereotypical gender roles. Currently out-of-print, but so good that it's worth searching for in used books stores and on the web. (Also shows racial identity) When Sophie Get s Angry-Really Really Angry Molly Bang (Blue Sky Press, New York,, 1999) When Sophie gets really, really angry, she gets really, really LOUD.
William's Doll Charlotte Zolotow (Harper & Row, 1972) William wants a doll so he can practice being a father.
For more books, look in the Peace Library database "non-stereotypical gender roles".
Books that Illuminate Economic Class