15 Best Books About Prejudice Update 05/2022

In the last few years, there has been a lot of institutionalized bullying from leaders and a lot of racism from police against black Americans. People don’t like people who aren’t in the dominant culture like BIPoC. (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). To help you teach kids about prejudice, racism, acceptance, inclusion, and tolerance, teachers and parents have asked me for picture books that you can use with kids ages 2 to 8. I’ll show you how to use them. These picture books aren’t enough for you. You need more. Clearly. People say that young children should not talk about race, culture, or other things like that. But you can use these things to start conversations with your kids about these things.

Because the only way we can make a big difference in the world is to get educated and teach our kids. Listen to each other, especially if you’re white like I am with BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) people. Then, do something about it.
Before, during, and after you read these anti-racism books with preschoolers and elementary-age kids, you can talk about both questions and topics that you can talk about before, during, and after you read.
See if you can find examples in the books of people being excluded or judged. Ask kids where they see stories that show how to deal with their fears. Most of all, talk.
If we don’t talk about these things with our kids, we fail them.
Racism and social justice are important topics, but if we don’t talk about them, we raise a generation that won’t be better than the ones we have now. Even more important, if we don’t change how we act every day, nothing will get better.
The following are some picture books about prejudice, inclusion, and kindness that you might want to read.

One of These Is Not Like the Others by Barney Saltzberg

ages 2 – 6

So, even though one of them isn’t like all of them. This is how these friends rock and roll, so it’s fine with them. Cute drawings show groups of friends with one person who looks different from the rest. Three pigs and a wolf, for example, three dogs and a cat, or three snails and an alien. Saltzberg uses only a few words and pictures to make a big point to young kids about friendship, inclusion, and diversity. As long as we are different and it’s OK to talk about it.

One of These Is Not Like the Others by Barney Saltzberg

ages 2 – 6

A great story for bedtime, classrooms, or any time that celebrates our similarities and differences with playful kids and animals. This is a great book for kids and animals. “I like to be silly. You, too, are. I can’t hide as well as you can, though.

Antiracist Baby Picture Book by Ibram X. Kendi, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky

ages 4+

Your kids will learn how to be antiracist in a picture book and a board book. They will learn about 9 ways to be antiracist, people who work to stop racism. When you read this book, you’ll see that it’s full of guiding principles and rhyming explanations that are easy for kids to understand, as well as colorful and fun art. She always learns and grows. Antiracist Baby is never the same.” Anti-racist Baby is curious about everyone and doesn’t think she knows everything. As a start for learning and discussion, start with this important book.

Colors by Arree Chung

ages 4 – 8

Red tells Yellow and Blue that RED is the best color. That’s when these three main colors separate into groups that don’t mix. But when Yellow and Blue fall in love and have a child, Green, the groups come together and make something beautiful.

We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Kates, illustrated by Joe Mathieu

ages 2 – 8

Noses look different, but they’re also the same because they breathe and smell. They show kids that no matter how things look on the outside, we’re also the same inside. Our muscles and bones are just two examples of things that we all have, but we also need and feel.

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

ages 4 – 8

When the Pet Club doesn’t allow elephants, the boy is sad and takes his elephant and leaves. He meets a girl who has a skunk, and soon, other people with unusual pets who aren’t allowed in the Pet Club become his friends. The new friends work together to make a club for all animals in a beautiful tree house. To teach about racism, inclusion, and acceptance, this is one of my favorite books. It shows what we can do instead of giving up.

Together We Grow by Susan Vaught, illustrated by Kelly Murphy

ages 4 – 8

The courage to make a difference and include everyone is told in a simple way with beautiful illustrations. “Lightning cut! Last night was windy. Rain and thunder broke up our home. The drenched fox family won’t be able to get into the barn because it’s full of animals. In this case, a yellow duckling leaves the barn to help the fox family that lives outside. Soon, other animals will start to follow the ducklings’ lead. “Learn and show how we grow together.” Many different kinds of animals are now welcome to stay in the barn, which is warm and safe. A screech or a song. Slow or fast, lumpy or smooth, there’s room for us all.

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët

When a classmate is being bullied, what can you do to help him or her This wordless picture book shows that you help your classmate and show them that they are not alone. Actions! The little girl is kind and walks the classmate home.

A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory

Memory wrote this book to help adults and kids start talking to each other about things that are important to them. The word “racism” means to be mean to someone because of their race or skin color. Memory says that racism, big and small, hurts him and happens a lot, so he wants to tell people about himself and how much it hurts. It’s the most mean someone can be, he says. And it’s good to be different!

Race Cars by Jenny Devenny, edited by Charnaie Gordon

The white car is treated differently than the black car, who has different rules and even a different track. The two best friends are in a race together and learn this. As soon as the white car realizes what’s going on, he goes back to his best friend and says sorry for not paying attention. The back of the book has ideas for adults and kids to talk about. This book will be a good way to teach about bias and racism.

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano PhD, Marietta Collins PhD, and Ann Hazzard PhD,  illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

ages 4 – 12

This book is great because it talks about police violence and racism in a way that is appropriate for kids. This is what we hear when a black man is killed by the police: white people talk to black people about how they feel. There is a long history of racism, and Emma and her sister learn about it from their white parents. They call the way black people are treated now a “unfair pattern.” Josh asks his dad if the police can go to jail in the conversation the black family is having. Josh’s dad talks about how some police officers make good decisions, and some don’t make good ones. These people talk about social justice leaders and how to make changes in the world by being angry and coming together. Ending: A new boy named Omad comes to school and the kids use what they’ve learned from their parents to treat him well.

Imagine a Wolf by Lucky Platt

ages 4 – 8

I love this book because it makes us think about things in a new way. A pack of wolves. But, the important lesson can be used in every part of our lives, which is what the world needs right now. We’re told to picture a wolf at first. Then, we’re asked what we thought about. A bad wolf was it? This story: Is the wolf in this story knitting? Thoughtful questions help the reader think about and question assumptions and judgments.

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester, illustrated by Karen Barbour

ages 4 – 8

Lester talks about how everyone has a story, and race is just one chapter in that story. He talks about why some people think their race is better than other races. Use this book to make you think and talk about things.

The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco

ages 6 – 12

based on the author’s own real-life experiences, this picture book is about prejudice and inclusion. I love it. She shows how it feels to be judged by other people because of how her and her classmates’ brains work. Her class at school is called a “special” class or a “junkyard” class because it has a lot of kids. When they go to school, they have a great teacher named Mrs. Peterson. She helps each child find their own talents and gifts. When they go to school, it makes a big difference in their lives. Teachers, go now!

Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Mendez, illustrated by Jaime Kim

ages 4 – 8

When people ask the little girl where she’s from, she’s surprised that her answer, “here,” isn’t OK. How can Abuelo help? She wants to know because he knows everything and “like me,” “looks like he doesn’t belong.” In her story, Abuelo says she comes from strong gauchos and high mountains. She also comes from “my love,” “the love of all those who came before us, and you are from all of us,” but if she wants a place she comes “from my love.” Children and adults should not ask this silly question because it makes people feel unwelcome, different, and other. Play with someone instead!

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