The children who are visiting our libraries now will be growing up in a society that is more and more multicultural. They will need to feel comfortable interacting with people from around the world in a variety of settings. As parents, it’s never too early to introduce your children to the idea that not everyone will speak the same language, look the same or have the same experiences that we do. Books can help introduce the concept of diversity. At the same time, books help us understand that people everywhere have much in common. For example, all children have a need for food and safety and friends. Where can you find books that do all of this? Why, at your Public Library, of course!
This first book is a favorite of Mary Alice Horton, our director. We love to share this with school groups because of the great message. No matter what our hair and our clothes and our skin look like, we all have the same range of feelings and the same need for love. Thank you, Mem Fox, for the timeless book Whoever You Are.
Norah Dooley wrote a group of books about a diverse neighborhood, using food to highlight differences and similarities:
Peter Sis used a similar theme in Madlenka as the heroine of the story takes a trip around her New York City neighborhood.
I have always found that children enjoy learning about different cultures, especially about other children in far-away countries. We have a new series of books by Nancy Loewen that will open up lots of possibilities for discussion.
Singing is an important part of getting a child ready to learn to read. Songs can soothe, can comfort, and can also be part of a child’s play. Here are two great books with rhymes and songs from a variety of countries. Try some of these along with the songs you normally sing with your children. Have fun with your kids as you prepare them to become global citizens!