There are multiple things that you should consider when choosing literature to include diverse families. You may want to find engaging topics that are relatable and realistic. It is also great to balance human characters with animals or something similar. In addition to these ideas you may want to balance serious subjects with silly topics. Most importantly, however, you will want to choose characters and subjects that closely mirror your community and ultimately the families at your center. You may not be aware of a family that consists of two fathers or a single parent so relying on the community that your center is a part of is usually a great option to choose which topics to include.
Parents will usually have strong opinions about what they would like their child to be reading or have read to them. Because of this you will likely get great information from families if you give them a family literature survey where they can suggest topics, authors, books, and more for your program. You may also find a great deal of helpful information by speaking with fellow ECE professionals. They may provide you with a list of popular books that showcase diverse families or help you prepare for any challenges that they may have faced. Beyond families and colleagues consider contacting a local librarian for help. They will usually be able to point you in the right direction based on their experiences with community members. Overall, don’t be afraid to reach out for suggestions!
Optional Resource for Further Study
- Mothers and More: Books about Families by Reading Rockets
- Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books by Louise Derman-Sparks for Teaching for Change
- Great Books to Read to Infants and Toddlers by NAEYC for Families
- Environment: Books by Children’s Literacy Initiative
- All About Family (This YouTube channel has a ton of fantastic read aloud books about diverse families.)
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