BOOKS WE'RE READING: Diversity, Inclusion + World Peace
"Peace on earth is easier said than done. It is not something that can be achieved overnight, or even in our lifetime. However, by raising our children gently, through teaching kindness and compassion, we bring the world one generation closer to peace"
- Sujai Johnston
In choosing books for my son, one of my key aims, since his infancy, has been to normalise images of different children around the world: children who often participate in the same activities he does, many of whom just happen to have different skin colours. As my approach thus far has been to plant seeds in his young mind, it is by conscious design I group themes of diversity, inclusion and peace together. I hope you enjoy the titles below. They truly are a celebration of children and the beauty of diversity, and several are firm favourites in our home and hearts.
'Can you say Peace?' Karen Katz
For babies and very young children, for whom often hearing a loved ones' voice reading to them is enough. A simple introduction to peace and the beauty of diversity.
'Peace is an Offering' LeBox + Graegin
If raising future generations of peace-makers begins in our homes, then our everyday moments and connections with others provide us with vast opportunities to embody peaceful living. Feeling gratitude for warm sunshine and friendships, and processing difficult experiences, this book is a heartfelt homage to connectedness and showcases just how beautiful life can be when we reach out to others.
'The Story of People' Barr, Williams + Husband
Fellow history buffs (especially those hoping to raise fellow history buffs) gather round. I adore child-friendly introductions to history and this book doesn't disappoint. Beginning with our evolution from primates through to our modern day; the first 'humans', early farming and trade, human slavery, the industrial revolution and scientific developments, and environmental conservation. Informative and factual, and perfectly apt for children to begin exploring our complex, and often tragic, global history.
Adults never quite appreciate the little things, or experience joy the way children do, and this book perfectly surmises how simple daily tasks can be an adventure on their own. The gentle rhythm of childhood is explored through open questions; fostering playful child-led dialogue. It’s beautiful and fun, and just what we need to reset at the end of the day.
'The Last Stop on Market Street' De La Pena + Robinson
Without giving away the ending of this sweet story, the key take home messages for me highlight the importance of perspective, humility and gratitude, and the joy found within each. And Nana is an absolute gem. Gorgeous.
Exquisitely illustrated, ‘Home’ is a journey around the world, lightly peppered with a little bit of history and some folklore. Like many of the books featured here, it’s an incredibly child-friendly introduction to anthropology.
'The Barefoot Book of Children', Strickland, DePalma + Dean
Of all the books my son and I have read together, this is an enduring favourite. It collates a vast amount of different identity markers, such as skin colour, religion, countries lived in, food, play, and more. The magic of this book is the way it honestly depicts the ‘sameness’ of children around the world, and calls to mind the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. I cannot praise this book enough!
'The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales', Casey + Wilson
A collection of ancient tales from eight different countries (including one from my home land, Australia!) exploring our relationship to Mother Earth, and the importance of caring for her.
Have I missed any of your favourite titles that celebrate diversity and hopes for peace? Please share your thoughts with me below.
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