Here are four ideas for how you can add more multicultural books to your family's bookshelves:
1. Learn About Your Family Heritage
Gather books about countries that are representative of your heritage. It's important for your kids to see themselves in books. Where did your ancestors live? Find books about those places or traditions that your family celebrated. Every Christmas Eve, my family pulls out our copy of Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto from the shelf. After reading the story, we begin our annual all-day project of making pork tamales to enjoy and celebrate our own heritage.
2. Read Your World
Challenge your family to add a book about every continent to your home library all year. Each month pick a book that represents a different region. You might enjoy Tree of Cranes by Allen Say for Asia, Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter for South America, or Galimoto by Karen Lynn Williams for Africa. Explore fiction as well as non-fiction titles. For more multicultural book recommendations, search using the hashtag #ReadYourWorld on social media.
To spice up your cultural experience, check out from the library one ethnic cookbook each month. As a family, chose a recipe and prepare a new dish to enjoy with your evening meal. This read-and-feed experience will definitely broaden your horizons!
3. Celebrate Award Winners
Each year, awards are given to notable multicultural titles. Add a Pura Belpré Award-winning book to your library. This award is given to Latin writers and illustrators who highlight and celebrate the Latino culture. Or, pick up a Coretta Scott King Award winner. This award is given to outstanding African American books written and illustrated by African Americans. Adding exceptional titles to your bookshelf provides another layer of great reading material and enhances choices for your children.
4. Learn About Friends and Neighbors
What cultures are represented by your friends and neighbors? Help your children learn more about the people in their lives through books. Need a recommendation? Ask the people around you to recommend their favorite books about their cultures and traditions. You are sure to find some new favorite read-alouds.
Add a little diversity to your shelves today and enjoy exploring the many people who make up our world. Have you tried any of these ideas? Share how you encourage diverse reading on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.
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