Diversity in Picture Books

I want to focus on the article How Cross-Racial Scenes in Picture Books Build Acceptance.  It makes me mad to see or hear that in this world we are still having problems with race and how kids are not accepting of everyone, and I don’t mean just race, but kids that have developmental delays are still not accepted fully in life, kids that have same sex parents are shunned, and religious affiliation.  It is the 21st Century people wake up!  These things are going to happen in life and we can not change that and you can’t “protect” your children from the things in life that will not harm them.  Anyway, back to the article.  Around here we are probably not as culturally diverse as say any state on the coast but that is not ever a reason for students not to be accepting of others.  When you read a book or look at the pictures you want the students to see themselves in that book.  If they see themselves as a character in that book having fun and doing good with another child that does not look like them then they will be more apt to be that way outside of reading.  I want to bring that out in my classrooms, all my students need to know it is ok to look the way you do, come from where you come from, and that it is ok to be friends with kids that don’t look like you.  All in all I really liked this article and feel like it speaks volumes to me and it should do that to others as well.

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5 thoughts on “Diversity in Picture Books”

  1. It really chaps my khakis when I hear about parents trying to “protect” their kids and therefor they don’t talk to them about these types of issues. Talking is the only way to prepare your children for the outside world. Talk to them about race, sex, other religions and cultural traditions. A well rounded child means that they will be well rounded adults which are critical for any society. I understand that there a lot of extreme conservatives out there, but isn’t it kind of a losing battle?

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  2. I think that your anger is very justified! It is a fact of life that we interact with people who are different from us. I grew up in a very diverse neighborhood and honestly never thought about it once. People are people.
    Like you said, we live in a part of the country where diversity is not really present. I believe it is important for us to have diversity in our classroom libraries.
    I also really liked how you bring up the fact that diversity is not just race, but also ability, health conditions, glasses/no glasses, etc. I really think it comes down to honoring the differences between people and celebrating the similarities. How do we do this in our classroom libraries? We can use our classes to create a culture of acceptance, but what can we model for our students in our reading?
    I know there are no easy answers. However, the more we discuss the issue, the further we will get in changing how it is dealt with.

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  3. “…you can’t “protect” your children from the things in life that will not harm them.” Thank you!!! I agree with all of your points! It’s almost 2016 and we can’t have a book for kids with a same-sex couple without the world exploding?? Educating kids about all different kinds of people is so important and would help make issues not be issues anymore! We can’t shun these “problems” when they are just a part of normal life that doesn’t harm anyone. Awesome post!

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