Increasing Diversity in the Book and Toy Aisles...At Home!

Talking about diverse cultures and races brings a level of discomfort to many parents. Despite best intentions, many are unsure of what is appropriate to say; in our post Why Talking About Diversity is Important for Parents of Every Race we addressed the importance of moving beyond the discomfort and creating normalcy around these important discussions. 

It doesn't have to be difficult to ensure multiculturalism is represented in the home and can be as simply as diversifying your child's toys and books. For instance, Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella will retell your child another version of the classic Cinderella story with text full of Creole and West Indian imagery. There is also Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China, which tells the story of a mythical Chinese figure whose story was being told 1,000 years before the European Cinderella story. These diverse stories are so important and should be in every home in order to teach children about and to appreciate our diverse world. Having a wide array of books and products that highlight a multitude of cultures will allow children to not only have an understanding of people from diverse backgrounds but to admire them. 

Here are our current top ten favorite products and books that will help you promote diversity and multiculturalism in your home! 


1.) Breadcrumbs

The winner of numerous awards and recipient of four starred reviews, Anne Ursu's Breadcrumbs is a stunning and heartbreaking story of growing up, wrapped in a modern-day fairy tale.

Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go in after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a stunningly original fairy tale of modern-day America, a dazzling ode to the power of fantasy, and a heartbreaking meditation on how growing up is as much a choice as it is something that happens to us.

Breadcrumbs - Paperback

2.) The Colorful Adventures of Cody & Jay: A Coloring and Activity Book

Tired of the lack of diversity in children's coloring books? Meet Cody & Jay, two adventurous boys who just love to have fun! Follow them throughout over 40 fun-filled coloring and activity pages that inspire creativity, promote self-confidence, and celebrate diversity.

The Colorful Adventures of Cody & Jay: A Coloring and Activity Book

3.) Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella

A Caribbean Cinderella story, told from the godmother's point of view and brought to life by Pinkney's distinctive scratchboard illustrations. Based on West Indian versions of the story, the narrative is full of French Creole words and phrases. It tells of a poor washerwoman who is left a magic wand by her mother and discovers its power to help her beloved goddaughter.

4.) Indian Children's Favorite Stories

Indian Children's Favorite Stories is a charming selection of eight Indian tales that provide an insight into traditional Indian culture. Retold for an international audience, the beautifully illustrated stories will give children of all ages a glimpse into the fables and folklore of India including tales of how the Lord Krishna escapes the evil Kamsa's repeated attempts to kill him, and how the elephant keeper's daughter, Rani, humbles an unwise and unjust king by emptying his storehouses of rice.

Indian Children's Favorite Stories Hardcover

5.) Filipino Children's Favorite Stories

Filipino Children's Favorite Stories presents thirteen well-loved myths and tales from the Philippines. These stories will enchant six to ten year old readers around the world with their wit and charm. Many of the tales have been transmitted from mother to child over centuries, and cover classic childhood themes such as the forces of good triumphing over evil, children rebelling against adults and the weak prevailing over the strong.

Filipino Children's Favorite Stories

6.) Duke the Cowboy

Duke is a plush go-anywhere-attachable-to-anything Cowboy. Convenient plastic attachment link on back. Floppy and friendly, sized right for little hands to grasp. Crinkle in his vest. Rattle in his hat. Super soft body. Magnets to Giddy Up's saddle.


7.) Chinese Children's Favorite Stories

Chinese Children's Favorite Stories is a delightful selection of thirteen Chinese folktales as told by author-illustrator Mingmei Yip. Inspired by her father's nightly story-telling adventures when she was a child, Yip hopes that by "retelling some of these thousand-year-old Chinese stories," she can pass along Chinese folklore and fables to many readers.


Chinese Children's Favorite Stories



8.) Tales Alive!: Ten Multicultural Folktales with Activities

In her warm, uplifting style, Susan Milord brings each tale to life with a myriad of exciting, relevant hands-on activities.

* India: "A Drum" plus all about chain stories, retelling a story in rhyme, and making a waisted drum from flower pots.

* Scotland: "The Blue-Eyed Hare" plus Halloween fun spiced with a bit of Macbeth, creating a hare puppet, and making honeybutter.

Plus more tales--from Russia, Ghana, Argentina, Canada, Australia, Italy, Japan, and Turkey. A virtual feast of fun and cultural awareness!

Tales Alive!: Ten Multicultural Folktales with Activities

9.) Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China

Over 1,000 years before the first European Cinderella story appeared, the tale of Yeh-Shen was part of China's storytelling tradition. "Executed with chromatic splendor--a unique combination of brilliance and restraint".--The Horn Book. Full-color illustrations.

Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China

10.) 11-Inch Asian Washable Soft Body Play Doll

Looking for a way to introduce a child, 18 months older, to a newborn baby? If so, then you and your child will fall in love with the La Baby 11-inch play doll! This baby doll is̴ perfect for toddlers, and a favorite for preschoolers.

11-inch Asian Washable Soft Body Play Doll


Changing the face of our toy and book aisles begins with each of home. Check out the Little Proud Kid marketplace to see all of our books and products that promote diversity and multiculturalism! 

April 16, 2016 by Georgia Lobban
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