There was a meme floating around social media a few months ago that said:
Give your male kids books about girls.@LeilaSalesBooks (Twitter)
Give your white kids books starring people of color.
Give your able-bodied kids books with disabled characters.
Don’t think “these books are important for people who need to see themselves represented.” These books are important for all of us.
My son already had a few books that met this “criteria” of sorts, but none of them were purchased with intention. But luckily, this is such an easy thing to do! Books are cheap, easily accessible and kids love them. So I began the search for toddler-friendly books that addressed some topics of importance to Chandler and me.
Here are a few of our favorites:
This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer by Joan Holub and Daniel Roode (available on Amazon; $8)
My review: This is such an awesome, empowering book about bad ass women in history. It’s a short read, which is a perfect match for my toddler’s attention span. I also love that it doesn’t really call out that it’s all about women. It’s about trailblazers in history – their sex isn’t the focus, which I feel is important to raise a little human who sees women and men as equals.
Good Night, World by Nicola Edwards (available on Amazon; $11)
My review: This book tells the story of kids from all over the world getting ready for bed and saying good night to loved ones, in many different languages. It gives parents an easy-to-follow pronunciation for each one. Every time I read this book I feel more connected to other parts of the world and am reminded that we’re all more alike than different.
Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman (available on Amazon; $7)
My review: Brecken is lucky to have 5 grandparents, two of whom are gay. This book does a great job of showing kids that same-sex couples raise their children just like any other couple does. This one is a bit too long for my son right now, meaning sometimes we only get about halfway through it. But I know we’ll cherish it for years to come!
We Are All Welcome by Alexandra Penfold (available on Amazon; $14)
My review: This book is a must for everyone. It follows a group of students as they learn and play together, and encourages a spirit of acceptance and inclusion that we desperately need in today’s world. It’s not a board book, but the pages are filled with big, colorful illustrations and there aren’t too many words per page.
The Not In Here Story by Tracey Zeeck (available on Amazon; 14)
My review: This is the story of a couple’s infertility journey and how it leads them to the child they were meant to have all along — their adopted son. It’s told in an easy-to-understand format and will help kids understand adoption– whether they themselves were adopted or they have an adopted friend. This one is a bit too long from Brecken right now, but I had to have it in our collection.
We obviously can’t control everything our children are exposed to. What we CAN do is make sure they have a foundation of knowledge about love and acceptance of all people, regardless of race, religion, ability, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
Do you have other favorite books you want to share? Drop a line below!