By: Ashley Hawes, JLA Volunteer
As the world grows increasingly smaller due to connectivity through the internet and global travel, children’s books should represent the myriad of cultures and faces that exist within a quick search on the internet or a walk through the street in any metropolitan area.
Children, especially those aged 0-5, are vigorously studying the relationships, people, and environments through what is present in their everyday “world” and what is NOT present. It is important for young children to have many different looking people and contexts represented in their everyday literature, so they develop an understanding of those people being equally as valuable and their experiences being equally as viable.
This also reduces fear of what is “other” by introducing the beauty and color of the world that might be beyond their normal household or experiences. Placing the world, literally, in a child’s hands at a young age allows them to be more successful and more aware of the world. With that I’d like to recommend some favorite books from a friend that represent diversity and inclusion that feature different people and cultures from around the world.
This is just a short list of many that are popping up, as you embark on stories within books I encourage you and your child to learn about cultures, people, and places that may be different from the world you see on a day to day basis. Hopefully this is just a start to a new day of literature and conversations of growing up in the ever-changing world.