We all want to teach our children about inclusion. It’s a hot topic in schools these days, rightfully so, and a great way to reinforce these lessons at home is to keep books on hand that deal with diversity, compassion, bullying and more. It’s a great way to foster open conversation with our children about these important subjects. Here are a few kids’ books, based on age, that will help you build a more inclusive bookshelf. —Jennifer Cox
Rain Boy, for kids three and up, is a heartfelt picture book offering important lessons on acceptance, differences and loving yourself for who you are. Wherever he goes, Rain Boy brings wet, which doesn’t make him very popular, but everyone loves Sun Kidd because she brings sunshine everywhere, and only she can see what’s so special about Rain Boy. This is the story about reaching out to those who look different from you, making new friends and learning about self-confidence.
I Am Human: A Book Of Empathy, for kids four and up, was the number 1 New York Times bestselling companion to I Am Love and I Am Peace! Humans are full of possibility: dreams and wonderment, but also sometimes mistakes and fearfulness or sadness. This book is a hopeful celebration of the human family and demonstrates that if we can make good choices based on compassion and empathy, and when we find common ground, we can feel connected to the bigger world around us and put our best selves forward. This book even includes a guided meditation.
You Are Enough – A Book About Inclusion, for all ages, is a beautiful picture book all about celebrating being yourself from Down syndrome advocate and internet sensation Sofia Sanchez, an 11-year-old model and actress with Down syndrome. She explains that, even though it can be hard to be different, it would be boring if we were all the same and being different is what makes you YOU. Not only does it offer an important message, but it includes a short bio on Sofia and her journey so far, as well as information about Down syndrome and how we can all be more accepting, more inclusive and more kind.
Big Feelings, for all ages, is the newest picture book from the creators of All Are Welcome to help children navigate their big feelings. Authors Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman celebrate inclusivity, kindness and diversity while helping kids navigate the emotional challenges that they face in their every-day lives, whether it’s feelings of anger, being overwhelmed, or getting frustrated. By talking it through, they can get a fresh start, which is at the core of this title.