One of the great things about books is watching kids connect the dots between what they read and what they experience. Embracing diversity and inclusion and acceptance is really important for young kids.
.And, books can help them get there. By reading a book about inclusion, the concept won’t be new to them when they go off to school. Reading diversity books to your toddler is great, but we should continue it even when they can read themselves.
My kids love books. Kevin is prone to making a huge mess of books. I keep all of their books in one toy chest in their room. He loves to look at each of them, one at a time.
And, he never puts them back. This morning, I was cleaning them up and I came across Mikayla’s Voice book. I haven’t looked at it in a while.
I had the pleasure of spending the day with Mikayla and her mom on a lobbying trip to Harrisburga few years ago. They gave Kevin the book then, which was really nice of them. Anyway, I was thinking about what a nice book it is.
And how we really should have more books children’s books about inclusion in our home library.
So, you know what I did–I asked my teacher friends, others who work in the disability community, self advocates and more.
(Update: Unfortunately Mikayla passed away in 2019. My thoughts are with her family and all that they did for inclusion.)
Children’s Books about Inclusion
Ben’s Adventures: Ben uses a wheelchair, but that doesn’t define him. Strong messages of acceptance and inclusion, friendship, and family make the Ben’s Adventures series perfect for introducing the concept of disabilities, and for teaching young kids that people are more similar than they are different.
Leah’s Voice: Through her kindness and devotion, one sister teaches by example the importance of including everyone and showing acceptance.
Our Friend Mikayla: Very sad to report that Mikayla passed away in early 2019. Her classmates wrote this.
Moon Patrol: “Moon Patrol” promotes the “story of us all,” ensuring that children’s bookshelves contain diverse, non-majority narratives of kids of all different races.
Janine: I reviewed this book a few years ago when it was released. A cute and fun book about kids learning to accept a classmate who is different from them.
The Deaf Musicians: A great story book on the power of music, overcoming obstacles, and all the different ways to hear the world. Written by Kennedy Center honoree Pete Seeger, renowned poet Paul DuBois Jacobs, and Coretta Scott King honor winner R. Gregory Christie.
All My Stripes: With careful guidance from his mother, Zane learns that autism is only one of many qualities that make him special.
Why I Laugh: A first-person account of living with autism.
The Name Jar: The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she?
All The Ways to Be Smart: The third project from this dynamic partnership celebrates the myriad talents that each child brings to the world.
The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh: “This simple yet sensitive story about a child coming to terms with things beyond his control will resonate across cultures.” —Kirkus
The Brand New Kid: The Brand New Kid is a heartwarming story about tolerance and the need to give others a chance. It will entertain and inspire children and adults alike.
Strictly No Elephants: The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.
Fur is Only Fur Deep: This story has a clear focus on international adoption, inclusion, and seeing past differences. This beautifully illustrated children’s book is perfect for both the home and the classroom.