This fall my 4-year-old son began a French-track dual-language Pre-K program at a public school in North Texas. In addition to a rigorous language component, the school focuses on cultural diversity! My interest in children’s literature has always been shaped by my personal journey as a mom and I’ve been adding more books about cultural diversity to our library over the last few months.
I’ll be reviewing some of our favorite books here as well as tagging relevant past reviews. I have always very intentionally reviewed diverse books, but this category will focus less on social justice themes and more on books that help young readers become familiar with various religious, ethnic, and regional cultural practices. I hope my readers find this new dimension of the blog informative!
A Church for All (2018), written by Gayle E. Pitman and illustrated by Laure Fournier, is a charming tale about LGBTQ spirituality that is influenced by one church’s social justice approach to religion. In an informative end note, Pitman describes attending Glide Memorial Church, the church that inspires the book, at the suggestion of a friend. She writes: “For the first time I found a spiritual community that fully accepted and embraced LGBTQ people.” Continue reading
Under My Hijab, written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel, is a celebratory picture book that highlights the diversity of Muslim women and girls. The story unfolds from the point-of-view of a pre-adolescent girl who does not often wear a hijab, likely due to her age. The reader is introduced to women in her world who do wear a hijab, all of whom the narrator admires. Continue reading