Why are Multicultural Books So Important? Here are the top 5 reasons I am filling my home with multicultural books, and a few book recommendations to get you started.
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5 Reasons Multicultural Books Are Important for Every Home
#1 Multicultural Books Broaden Horizons
When we learn about people and cultures who are different from us, we discover new possibilities. So many of the things we love in our twenty-first century world – from food to music to fashion to architecture – have been created through a fusion of cultures and traditions. Reading multicultural books can open our minds to new ways of seeing, experiencing, and transforming our lives.
#2 Multicultural Books Teach Us to Embrace Differences
We all have ways in which we are unique. Sometimes, it is easy to allow our personal differences to become handicaps. It is also easy to be afraid of people who are different and people we don’t understand. Multicultural books help us embrace differences by showing us the strengths of diversity.
#3 Multicultural Books Teach Us That We Are All Alike
There are so many ways in which we are all the same. We all need food and water. We each struggle with challenges. All of us long to connect with others who understand us. Reading multicultural books helps us see these connections with people who, at first glance, may appear to have little in common with us.
#4 Multicultural Books Help Us See the People Around Us
Books help us learn how different characters see and react to their worlds. As we read multicultural books we can see the people around us more clearly. We still make false assumptions, but books about people who are different from us teach us to question these assumptions.
#5 Multicultural Books Develop Empathy
Learning to see the people around us more clearly also helps us develop empathy. Through learning more about the experiences of diverse people and cultures, we begin to understand for the things that make their lives difficult. We need this kind of understanding to make the changes we need to make to leave the world a better place.
New Multicultural Books to Read
Looking to expand your home library with more multicultural books? Here are some great selections to get you started! We were sent these recently-published books to review; they are featured here because my children and I think they are great! Be sure to check out these other multicultural children’s book suggestions as well.
The Barefoot Book of Children
The Barefoot Book of Children is a book that I would love to see in very single home! This beautifully illustrated book is the perfect example of why I believe every home needs multicultural books. The book emphasizes the richness of being both different and the same.
The Granddaughter Necklace
The Granddaughter Necklace is a wonderful celebration of oral histories and passing family history down through the ages. Ten-year-old Emma really enjoyed this book, so she wrote a review for me.
Here is Emma’s review:
The Granddaughter Necklace is a fascinating story about ancestry. What I like about this book is the stories, pictures, and that the book is based on the author’s story.
The Case for Loving
The Case for Loving tells the story of the Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia that race was not a reason to keep a couple in love from getting married. The story is told in a very child-friendly way, and beautifully illustrated. This book is also special because author-illustrator Selina Alko and illustrator Sean Qualls are themselves a married interracial couple.
Save Me a Seat
I thoroughly enjoyed Save Me a Seat, and so did my daughter Emma. Here is Emma’s review:
I like that Ravi thinks at first that Dillon is his friend, but then Joe helps him find out Dillon is just teasing him and that all the bad things that are happening to Ravi are because of Dillon, not Joe, even though Ravi thinks it’s Joe. For example, Dillon tripped Ravi, but he made Ravi think it was Joe who tripped him.
Besides dealing with the broader issues, of bullying and teasing, this book teaches that things are not always as they seem.
This book is written by two authors – one born and raised in India (like Ravi) and the other raised in the United States (like Joe).
Elephant in the Dark
Elephant in the Dark is based on Rumi’s poem, “The Elephant in the Dark”. This picture book emphasizes the theme of things not always being as they seem.
Big News! is the first book in a series of early chapter readers about a little girl named Emma. Emma wants to be famous, and in this book she becomes a news reporter who is also a bit of a detective. Emma’s dad is from the Dominican Republic, and Emma sometimes speaks Spanish in the books. My gluten-free kids were excited to see that there was a character in the book who cannot eat wheat. Four-year-old Anna identified with Emma’s curly hair.
Are You Ready to Celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day?
Multicultural Children’s Book Day is coming up on January 27th, 2017! Come celebrate with us as we share more wonderful multicultural children’s books! Here are some fun ways to learn more about this event:
- Check out these diversity book lists and activities for teachers and parents.
- Sign up for the Twitter party for the chance to win some wonderful books!
What do you love most about multicultural books? Do you have a favorite multicultural books that we should read?
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
7 thoughts on “Why are Multicultural Books So Important?”
Great list! I enjoyed a number of these, but am now totally intrigued by Granddaughter’s Necklace. So important to be able to see the world through other’s eyes.
Thank you for this great list and for all your support of Multicultural Children’s Book Day from being a co-host from the very beginning, to contributing to our ebook fundraiser!
What a wonderful way to broaden perspectives!
Books are such a great way to see the world through someone else’s eyes.
We love multicultural books! Glad to see some new titles here!
You got a bunch of great books, I was gonna comment on my favorite, and then ended up wanting most of those books. I’ll have to see if our library has them.
And I 100% agree picture books let you see what their world is like.
What a fantastic list. You’ve highlighted some great reasons!
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