AD: Diversifying My Children’s Bookshelves
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss
This blog post is sponsored by Childrensalon
I grew up reading. My parents read to me every single evening, and once I was old enough to read by myself, I spent most nights reading “just one more chapter” of whatever book my parents had read to me – and then quickly turning off my bedside light as soon as I heard the creak of their feet on the stairs. A love of reading was something I was determined to instil in my children, and so far, I’m proud of how much they both love books.
Their bookshelves are literally crammed full of books, with books I was read as a child (even some that used to be mine!) to some incredible new children’s books I’ve discovered. As well as entertaining, books are so educational, and I’ve been determined to diversify the books on both my own, and my children’s bookshelves. We have been reading so many incredible books featuring characters from different cultures and races, starring heroes in every shape and size. Reading books with strong female leads has been a great way to start conversations with Dougie on gender equality, and I hope will help show him that both he, and his sister, can be whoever they want to be. I never want either of my children to grow up feeling that they can or cannot do something because of their gender.
There are so many incredible and diverse children’s books available, and I’m always adding new ones to my book orders, but I wanted to share a few that we’ve been reading recently…
Tales of Brave and Brilliant Girls from Around the World
This is a beautifully illustrated collection of eight tales from around the world. From dragon slayers to warriors, these strong women are not only brave, but kind and compassionate. I’ve loved reading this with Dougie – he really enjoys the illustrations and he asked a lot of questions, especially as a lot of the stories were set in places and time periods he hadn’t read about before.
Tales of Brave and Brilliant Girls from Around the World is Childrensalon’s excellent Book Corner pick for March.
Little People, Big Dreams
I absolutely love these books, we have quite a few on our shelves, but Maya Angelou (Lisbeth Kaiser, Leire Salaberria) and Jane Austen (Isabel Sanchez Vegara) are our two most recent reads. The Maya Angelou book especially got Dougie asking a lot of questions, and the extra facts and timeline at the back of the book are brilliant – the stories are so educational, as well as being beautifully illustrated, and I was able to learn new things along with Dougie, which was the loveliest feeling.
An ABC of Equality (Chana Ginelle Ewing, Paulina Morgan)
This board book is brilliant. It’s an amazing introduction to some complex concepts, and while I got it with Evie in mind, Dougie has enjoyed sitting and reading it with us – especially when he was learning the alphabet. The bright illustrations are great for young children and makes complicated ideas accessible and easy to explain – it’s a great first step.
Dream Big, Little Leader (Vashti Harrison)
Beautiful and simple, this board book is designed to inspire – I absolutely love reading it to Evie before she goes to bed – I want her to grow up with big dreams and plans, and this book is perfect. When she gets a little older, I plan to buy the books in the series designed with slightly older children in mind, to continue her learning.
While I am still learning and educating myself, I hope I am raising my children to question and to challenge stereotypes, to be anti-racist, to be bold and brilliant, and ultimately to thrive being whoever they choose to be.