Kid’s books teach acceptance and diversity

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Reading with your children every night will supposedly make them into more interested and interesting people who read. The lessons in life learned from these books can stick with kids their whole life. It’s the perfect time to teach about acceptance of other people and families. 

“Be Who You Are” by Jennifer Carr is a delightful picture book about a boy, Nick, who sees himself as a girl. Nick’s parents are completely supportive of him and love him anyway. They allow him to be who he is, whether girl or boy. As for most children with the same gender confusion, Nick’s problems come at school. When asked to draw a self portrait, Nick draws a picture of a girl rather than a boy, causing concern among his classmates and teacher. Nick tells his parents that his teacher didn’t understand. Nick’s parents have a chat with the teacher to clear any confusion. After the incident, Nick goes to a gender counselor who helps Nick and his family become at ease with Nick’s new gender. This book is the perfect way for young children to learn that about transgendered people and what gender is.

Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell have created child’s storybook version of the famed homosexual penguins at New York Zoo in their book “And Tango Makes Three.” The book is based upon the true story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins at the New York Zoo who paired for mating season. Despite the physical impossibility of their relationship bearing any offspring, the couple tried. First, they took an egg-shaped rock and tried to hatch it like a real egg, then they stole eggs from other couples. Zookeepers noticed their behavior and gave them an abandoned egg, which eventually hatched Tango, their daughter. This book is great way to teach children that homosexuality is natural and normal. If penguins can do it, why can’t humans?

Noah is a boy who loves to make up bedtime stories with one of his mothers, Go-Ma, in the “The Different Dragon” by Jennifer Bryan. Noah, in his story time with his mother, decides that he wants to have a story about a dragon that no longer wants to be fierce. Noah befriends the dragon and they learn that you can be what you want to be, fierce and ferocious or not. The book is published by Two Lives Publishing, a company that produces storybooks specifically for children of LGBT parents. In this story, Noah’s two moms are not the focus of the story. Rather, they live a normal life and have a story time before bed much like any other family. The story reinforces the image that families, though they may look different from the outside, they love each other the same.

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