As we’ve witnessed protests from around the world in the name of justice and equality, it has become evident there is plenty of conversation to be had about the way society treats one another and what we can do to help make things better. It isn’t always an easy conversation to have, and it can be even more challenging when you’re faced with explaining our current state of affairs to children and teens.
While we don’t have all of the answers, we have hope; and we’ve compiled a list of books to share with young readers to help initiate conversations about race relations in America as well as instill confidence and love when those conversations are difficult. You can find these books at your local library as well as on our shelves.
A is for Activist by Innosanta Nagara
A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki
Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj
Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara Continue reading
If you’re asking yourself, “When should I start reading to my baby?” the answer is today. It’s never too soon. Reading to your infant contributes to early development as they observe your mannerisms, listen to your speech, build motor skills and soak in all the colors and shapes. Trust me – you’ll blink, and your infant will soon be a toddler who can hardly sit still. But if you’ve started the routine of sitting down together to read, you’ll be able to carry this over into the preschool years and get a nice cuddle while you read new books together each day.
For little ones who can’t yet read on their own, illustrations in books are the heart of engaging imagination and captivating attention. Children’s literature is rich with beautiful art that can help a child develop a love of books (just as soon as they pass the stage in infancy where nibbling on the book is the primary intrigue).
As adults who are reading aloud to your kids, I believe it’s important that you enjoy the book, too, if for no other reason than it means you’re more likely to read it over and over again, making story time a cherished ritual with your kiddos. While there are some amazing classic children’s books which classic children’s books which every child should read, here are some children’s picture books you may not have heard of before that will inspire and get you (and your babes and tots) hooked on reading more books. What a perfect way to celebrate Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week. I’ve opened up 12 of my daughter’s recent favorites so you can see a peek at the delicious illustrations inside.
Bunny Roo, I Love You, written by Melissa Marr (@melissa_marr) and illustrated by Teagan White (@teaganwhite), is a playful and sweet book about how parents keep their little ones feeling safe and secure. The enchanting illustrations add to the warmth of the story, perfectly placed with the hand lettered words on each page. I also appreciate the whimsy of the pattern on the flyleaf. And should you ever lose the book jacket, have no fear, because the darling illustrations appear on the hardbound cover, too.