Books are an influential agent for helping children understand their homes, communities and the world. As a mother of three multiracial kids, I know how important it is to for children to see characters that resemble them in books. As a professional that works with children daily, I know it is also important for children to see people who do not look like them also. This helps them to develop an appreciation for the beauty of the cultures of others. I believe that it is important that books reflect the diversity that exists in today’s world.
Reasons to read culturally diverse books to your children are:
- They can improve a child’s cultural competence. This will help the child develop empathy towards others and facilitate acceptance of cultures different from one’s own. They can also inspire learning of other cultures and over-all cultural awareness.
- They can open up discussions about cultural roots between you and your children. They can also strengthen their individual cultural identity
- Bilingual books are a fun way to learn new languages. They also encourage multilingual and literacy development.
- I believe that it is important for immigrant, biracial and bicultural,multiracial and multicultural children to read about characters with similar experiences and emotions.
- I am always saying that books can take us anywhere we want to go. What better, not to mention cheaper way, to travel to a faraway place than in a multicultural story?
As a part of your child well-balanced reading régime please expose them to diverse cultures, people and places. I believe that this helps the child develop into a person that is culturally competent. Unfortunately, we live in a world where children are increasingly exposed to hatred and intolerance of cultural diversity; so remember to carefully choose and read your multicultural books before sharing them with your children to make sure that they are without misconceptions, stereotypes, ignorance and prejudices. There are many books that convey the beauty of the diverse cultures.
It is February, so let's celebrate Black History Month by reading children's books by Black American Authors. In honor of Black History Month, I thought I'd share a link of some book written by Black American Authors. Inside the Books Yes, I said Black American not African American but that is a post for another day.
Remember to read culturally diverse books regularly not just on cultural holidays. Now that I've said that let me shamelessly plug one of my books. You can find it on Amazon, B&N etc.