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My top picks for children’s books about diversity and inclusion.

As I sit and watch what is unfolding in our world today, a dozen emotions rush over me. How do I explain what is happening to my daughter? Sure I can straight up be honest with her. That is my usual approach. But how do I make her understand? The reality is that she never will. While we won’t teach her to apologize for who she is and who she was born to be, we will do everything in our power to make sure that she doesn’t expect others to. The best way I know how to help her understand is with books about diversity and inclusion, and acceptance. Not only an acceptance of yourself but acceptance of others.

Related: Kids’ Emotions During Tough Times

Many years ago I had an unlikely friend. We were from different parts of the country, held different beliefs, and were born into almost completely different generations. Yet still, we were friends and our friendship made sense to us. One year she gave me a card with an excerpt from Maya Angelou’s poem which I have posted below.

As fitting as this poem was then, it is even more fitting now.

Human Family, by Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

books about diversity and inclusion for kids

Children’s Books About Diversity and Inclusion

Kids are taught, either with direct action or inaction, that people are different and different is not always okay. As parents, we must be sure that we are modeling love and acceptance of others in our own lives. These books about diversity and inclusion will help children begin to understand this concept. But, as the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” We cannot teach kids to understand what it is like to be another race. That simply isn’t possible. What we CAN and SHOULD is teach our kids is to appreciate, embrace, value, include, accept, and love those who are different from us. Humans, we have to do better for our kids.

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