As a parent or caregiver it is our responsibility to help our children grow and succeed in the world--an ever-changing place with incredibly diverse people within it. Exposing your children to different cultures and people early and often is an important part of their development in becoming a responsible citizen. One way to do this is to expose your children to a myriad of books containing characters (written and illustrated by people) with many different types of backgrounds. The below resources will point you towards books and videos, blogs, and articles that will help you broaden the children in your life's perspectives.
“See Baby Discriminate”
This Newsweek article by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman, excerpted from their acclaimed book NurtureShock, discusses how children learn about race and the necessity of having open, honest, and comfortable conversation on it with children.
“A Girl Like Me”
In this video, sixteen-year-old filmmaker Kiri Davis reflects on and investigates attitudes toward Black female beauty. She also re-conducts the 1947 Kenneth Clark "Doll Test" for the twenty-first century, with results that demonstrate how far we have yet to go.
Book lists and Resources
50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Read
This list, compiled by the renowned Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, is a great launching pad for diverse reading at every age level.
A World Full of Color
Independent bookseller Elizabeth Bluemle has compiled a wonderful database of children's and YA books across all races and ethnicities where race is not the driving factor in the story.
Cynthia Leitich Smith's Children's and Young Adult Literature Bibliographies
This fabulous online bibliography includes links to lists of books about adoption, interracial children and families, and Native American life.
The Brown Bookshelf
As the website says, "The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad of African American voices writing for young readers." The site includes booklists, links to publishers of diverse books, and a frequently updated blog.
PaperTigers.org celebrates diverse books of all kinds, especially those by and about people of the Pacific Rim and Southeast Asia. Their website includes interviews with authors and illustrators, opinion pieces, an art gallery, and a fantastic, highly comprehensive list of links and booklists about people of all ethnicities from countries around the world
A terrific general list of resources about children's books, including award lists, links to online digital libraries and activities, and pointers to homework help.