Diversity has been one of the main talks of 2020. This also sparked the conversation about what we teach our children, especially at home.
Movements like BLM and open discussions about gender and race equality have certainly opened the eyes of many. As parents we think it’s important to show our kids the important of inclusion and possibilities no matter where or how you are born into this world. Here are ten Children’s Books about Diversity, in both English and Dutch.
Same, Same, but Different
This book is about two boys who live in different parts of the world. Elliot lives in America, and Kailash lives in India. Despite the distance, they are pen pals. By exchanging letters and pictures, they learn that they both love to climb trees, have pets, and go to school. Their worlds might look different, but they were actually similar. Same, same – but different! Buy it here.
At the same time, we love this Japanese children book about tradition and being yourself. By award winning Japanese Canadian author Chieri Uegaki. Get it here.
Good people everywhere
Needless to say that this book is a winner. So much that it has won Mom’s Choice Award, Teacher’s Choice and Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. This colourful picture book that will warm the hearts of children and adults alike, each of its pages contain endearing examples and vibrant illustrations to inspire children to grow into grateful, caring, and giving people. It provides a wonderful way to calm children before sleep, ease their fears, and help them develop an appreciation for good work. Also included are activity pages to help children practice skills for creating gratitude, compassion, and beauty in daily life.
In like manner to Suki’s Kimono, this book is about including and respecting everyone, no matter how you look or what disability you may or may not have. This teaches children from an early age that everyone is different and also explains the types. Order here.
Julian is a Mermaid
This book is available in both English and Dutch and we love it! It’s about a boy that is mesmerised after seeing three women dress up as mermaids. When Julian gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies and making his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Nana think about the mess he makes – and even more importantly – what will she think about how Julian sees himself? Get it here.
Also check out these out: Travel Books That Will Inspire You
Samen Hier (Here We Are)
Oliver Jeffers has written more children’s books that have been translated into thirty different languages but made this loving book right after the birth of his son. His message is universal: “Welcome to Earth. This can be a confusing place, especially if you have just arrived. This book can be your guide at the start of your journey. You will discover much more for yourself. The world can are very complicated, but it is actually all very simple: you just have to be nice. Buy it here. in both Dutch and English.
Waar is mijn Noedelsoep
As well as the nice illustrations, this is a lovely children’s book to read from. It contains food from different cultures: in addition to noodle soup and sandwiches, for example also pom, dolma, pancakes. Nice for children to get acquainted with the differences of culture and food. Order here.
Billen Buikje Benen
Especially for the little ones, this book with cheerful rhymes about bums, tummies and legs and many more body parts. Is your belly brown or white? And do you know where your belly is? Billen Buikje Benen is written by Betty Sluyzer. Get the book here.
Jij tussen vele anderen
A warm children’s book about diversity and similarities between people, with respect for the uniqueness of each individual. The playful illustrations give their own view on races, religions and emotions. There are lovely people, surly people, stubborn and smart people, funny and scary people. And yet not one like you! This book is quite large and a little more pricey than others. Get it here.
Books about Zaza
It’s great to fill your kid’s book cabinet with books where diversity is shown without having to talk about it. I have a few books about Zaza about her daily toddler life. For example, Zaza on the potty or Zaza plays doctor. Written by Mylo Freeman who has also written the Princess Arabella books who are hit in The Netherlands and abroad.
Bonus and upcoming:
Hé, Wie Ben Jij?
This book hasn’t been published yet, but it’s ready to be pressed. Created by Monique Teksten- van Lochem, this Children’s book about diversity needs a crowdfunding to give it that last push to the stores. Monique has travelled the world and wanted to tell her kids all about it but she couldn’t find any children’s books about the different people she had met along the way. Find more information about the book and the crowdfunding.