Books Promoting Diversity for Young Children: Part 1

At The International Preschools, celebrating diversity and an awareness of how we are all different, yet we are all alike, is the cornerstone of our play-based learning philosophy.  Children as young as age 2 are able to pick up on differences…and the acceptance and reactions of adults around them.

Books are an instrumental way to foster learning and to use as a springboard for discussions, in even our smallest students.  Here are a few books, appropriate for preschoolers, that promote diversity in a tangible, understandable way.  These books also celebrate traditions and everyday activities that look different, yet alike, in each family’s household.

  • Soup Day by Melissa Iwai – A book about the steps of sharing in the creation of a meal.  This book can be used to start a conversation:  What do you like in your soup?  What are the same ingredients that are in the soup in the book?  Which ingredients are different?  Which ones would you like to try?
  • Marta:  Big and Small!  by Jen Arena – Marta notices the differences in size, color, and shape between the various animals in the book, incorporating simple Spanish words into the text.
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena – A book about a trip through a city, where the main character notices differences in himself and in other people around him.  His grandmother acknowledges the differences and points out what makes him special.
  • Penguin and Pinecone:  A Friendship Story by Salina Yoon – Penguin and Pinecone notice, acknowledge, and accept the visual and internal differences between them…and how it makes their friendship special.
  • I Got The Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison – A book celebrating music, and how one can hear rhythm in every day activities, animals, and more.
  • Rap-A-Tap-Tap:  Here’s Bojangles – Think of That! by Leo and Diane Dillon – The story of famous tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and a celebration of dance!

Visit the IPS blog next week for more age-appropriate preschool and kindergarten books celebrating diversity!

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