10 Children's Books and Puzzles To Engage Your Children In Honoring Black History

While February marks Black History Month, it goes without saying, Black History is American History and can neither be contained to one month, nor to one group of people.

Little Proud Kid exists to close the gap on access to books (and Toys) that reflect diverse people, cultures and stories. 

We've compiled 10 books and puzzles, that honor Black History Month to add to your child's collection.

Helping Children Embrace Diversity

The key to a peaceful world is the ability to embrace differences. Children are ladened today with bullying, depression, anxiety, low esteem and a slew of other burdens placed on their "too young for this" shoulders. These problems are rooted in their (lack of) exposure to a norm that might differ from their own.  Educators, parents and anyone responsible for raising children all have a role to play in exposing them to different people, cultures, places and things. And what better way than through storytelling and books. We've compiled a list of 5 books for ages 3-9 that share stories of children with diverse interests, personalities, abilities and cultures as a starting point to embracing diversity.

Sparkle Boy

Sparkle Boy

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4

Casey loves to play with his blocks, puzzles, and dump truck, and he also loves things that shimmer, glitter, and sparkle. Casey’s older sister, Jessie, thinks this is weird. When Casey and Jessie head to the library for story time, Casey proudly wears his shimmery skirt and sparkly bracelet. His nails glitter in the light. Jessie insists that Casey looks silly. It is one thing to dress like this around the house, but going outside as a “sparkle boy” is another thing entirely. What will happen when the other kids see him? This sweet and refreshing story speaks to us all about acceptance, respect, and the simple freedom to be yourself. Shimmery, glittery, sparkly things are fun—for everyone!

The Invisible Boy

Invisible Boy

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4

The story of Brian, the invisible boy, that no one seems to notice. He is never included him in groups, games, or invited to birthday parties. But, something changes when a new child joins his class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine. The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource in teaching how a simple act of kindness supports inclusion and help quiet or introverted children flourish. The book includes discussion questions and resources for further reading.

 

Wonder

Wonder

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school―until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can blend in when you were born to stand out.

 

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match / Marisol McDonald no combina

  • Age Range: 4- 8years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3

Marisol McDonald has flaming red hair and nut-brown skin. Polka dots and stripes are her favorite combination. She prefers peanut butter and jelly burritos in her lunch box. To Marisol, these seemingly mismatched things make perfect sense together.

Other people wrinkle their nose in confusion at Marisol—can’t she just choose one or the other? Try as she might, in a world where everyone tries to put this biracial, Peruvian-Scottish-American girl into a box, Marisol McDonald doesn’t match. And that’s just fine with her.

The Name Jar

The Name Jar

  • Age Range: 4- 8years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3

Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name and helps everyone pronounce it Yoon-He

 

Little Proud Kid, one of the largest retailers of multicultural book and toys aimed at teaching children to embrace their own differences and that of others.

Little Proud Kid is a creation of Georgia Lobban, who, experienced firsthand with her own daughter how difficult it can be to find books and toys that reflect the stories and images of ethnic and multicultural children and decided it's time for a change.

www.littleproudkid.com

August 31, 2017 by Georgia Lobban

5 Ways to Celebrate Diversity with Your Child During the Holidays

The holidays provide a wonderful opportunity for parents to celebrate and teach children about diversity. Since your child's classmates may have different customs than those you and your children practice, it allows you to talk about traditions and culture. Your child  can ask questions about the celebrations of others, as well as their own holiday traditions. From what meals are served at the holiday table to gift giving practices, celebrate diversity with your child during the holidays to provide them with  a deeper appreciation for all practices and beliefs. This is the perfect time to reassert that difference is not only OK but beautiful!

Why Talking About Diversity is Important for Parents of Every Race

Race is a concept that minority children cannot avoid; simply becoming aware that they do not look like their favorite television characters will inevitably make a child wonder why they look different. This can spark a conversation and awareness on the part of parents of minority children regarding diversity and make the topic unavoidable. White children and their parents, however, do not have this blatant “opening” and so oftentimes it is never addressed. Furthermore, white parents may simply think that topics such as diversity, race or multiculturalism are not even relevant to them.  
November 01, 2015 by Georgia Lobban

Children's Book Gatekeeper: The Key is in Our Hands 

It is obvious the power publishers have in deciding what content, and whether diverse content, makes it to the marketplace. However, librarians, parents, grandparents, book store owners and teachers are also gatekeepers. Librarians can decide where to direct visitors, parents can choose to purchase books with multicultural characters and teachers can expose their students to ethnically and culturally diverse material. Each of these roles either perpetuates the lack of diversity in children's literature or transcends it by promoting a variety of books that celebrate diversity.

Breaking the Cycle: Why is Our Increasingly Diverse World Not Reflected in Our Children’s Toys?

The 2014-2015 school year was the first time that non-white students outnumbered white students and the likelihood that the next person you meet will be of a different race or ethnicity stands at 55% (USA Today Diversity Index). That is set to increase to 71% by 2060 according to the same study, meaning the next generation, will have more than a 7 in 10 chance of encountering a different race or ethnic group. We are rapidly moving into a more multicultural world and yet, the toys that line the aisles of big box stores like Target and Walmart don’t reflect that diversity.  

Our Diverse World Invisible in Toy Market

The 2014-2015 school year was the first time that non-white students outnumbered white students and the likelihood that the next person you meet will be of a different race or ethnicity stands at 55% (USA Today Diversity Index). That is set to increase to 71% by 2060 according to the same study, meaning the next generation, will have more than a 7 in 10 chance of encountering a different race or ethnic group. 

Ten Quotes about Cultural Acceptance

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” - Marcus Garvey

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” - Maya Angelou

“Diversity means understanding.” - Stuart Scott

5 Tips for Talking to Your Children About Race and Culture

As precarious as racial sensitivity is today, it seems almost taboo to talk about the topic of race and the role it plays in our society, let alone magnifying the extent to which it exists.

We’re afraid that even broaching the topic of race, and highlighting dissimilarity in culture and color, will somehow distort the lens our children see differences through, banning their perspective to a ditch of racism that they will never be able to dig their way out of.