Books, books, books! So many to choose from and so little time! Or at least that’s my issue with adult books, which seems to have transferred onto my daughter! Over the past few years and especially with the influx of more and more Black voices being given the platform and their over due space, many more tools for encouraging diversity have come to the surface. That being said, sometimes when we’re inundated with a lot of newness or suggestions, it’s hard to sift through or even relate to what we see. This blog post is to share the books we have come across and have enjoyed and hope that you find some you like and can open up conversations in your homes, but also to help create a more diverse, decolonized bookshelves in your respective homes. Read along!
The beauty of the world, lies in the diversity of its people.
We all know that our kids are the way of the future and sometimes we are the ones learning from them (most of the time), in my household books, reading and learning is a major part of our day to day, sometimes I have to pry books away from her in order to ensure she gets to bed on time. But sometimes it can be difficult to sift through the piles and piles of books out there to find ones that are impactful, diverse and cover the vast array of culture, language, traditions, genders, family structures (the list goes on), which reflect the realities of the world we live in. I for one, want to make sure the books I buy for my little one not only aid to foster her imagination, but that it also allows her to see herself reflected on the pages as well as fuels her individuality. Another thing I want to ensure is that she sees a variety of people reflected, especially if she may not see it in her day to day; as an only child. I wasn’t able to bring a lot of her books back from the UK, so we have been rebuilding her collection here, because of that I thought it might be fitting to share some of the books we’ve been able to get our hands on.
Our diversity in faiths, colour and creeds. That is not a threat to who we are. It makes us who we are.Michelle Obama
– A Family is a Family – Sara O’Leary
– The Proudest Blue – Ibtihaj Muhammad
– Salam Alaikum – Harris J
– Blackflies – Robert Munsch
– The World Needs More Purple People – Kristen Bell & Benjamin Hart
– Parker Looks Up – Parker Curry & Jessica Curry
– Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls 1 & 2 – Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo
– Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed The World – Elena Favilli
– One Love – Cedella Marley
– Happy In Our Skin – Fran Manushkin
– I Promise – Lebron James
– Of Thee I Sing – Barack Obama
– One Day In The Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Tree – Daniel Bernstrom
– The Boy Who Lived With The Bears And Other Iroquois Stories – Joseph Bruchac
– Sedna – Isabelle Crépeau
– Niblet and Ralph – Zachariah Ohora
– 1 2 3 Suddenly in Mexico – Cristina Falcón Maldonado
– Zookeeper Zoe –
– Freedom Bird – Jerdine Nolen
– Sulwe – Lupita N’Ongo
– 1 2 3 Suddenly in Brazil – Cristina Falcón Maldonado
– Invisible String – Patrice Karst
– Trailblazers: The Black Pioneers Who Shaped Canada – Tiyahna Ridley-Padmore
– Little Leaders: Bold Women In Black History – Vashti Harrison
– When I Was Young In Nunavut – Deborah Kigjugalik Wbster
– My Friend MeiJung – Anna McQuinn
I think it’s important to add that this list was compiled by Neveah, theses were books she felt should be included in the list and books which spoke to her about diversity, whether directly in their content or in having diverse characters within the story, which I think is important to mention. She has said it herself that seeing diversity helps you learn more about people and their cultures, it also helps to make you feel less alone, because you are reading a story about one you can relate to.