Blog Windows and Mirrors

Windows and Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors: Ensuring Students See Themselves and Others in Literature

by Cathy Potter In 1990, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop published an essay about the importance of providing young readers with diverse books that reflect the “multicultural nature of the world” in which we live. In the essay, Dr. Bishop coined the phrase “Windows, Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors” to explain how children see themselves in…

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12 Children’s Picture Books About Families With Gay Parents

by Marsha Rakestraw In November 2017 California announced that it is adopting “LGBT-inclusive” history textbooks for grades K-8. It is the first state in the US to do so. Some schools may try to ban or discourage talk about homosexuality or about families with gay parents, but the fact is that there are a growing…

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eco-friendly

21 Children’s Picture Books for Exploring Eco-Friendly Actions

by Marsha Rakestraw Earth Day may be every day, but our relationship to the natural world often gets a little extra attention in April. Children are hungry to connect with their world and learn what they can do to make a positive difference. Check out these 21 children’s books that help inspire a desire to…

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Resources for #WeNeedDiverseBooks

by Marsha Rakestraw When I was a child, I read a lot of books. A lot. And other than the occasional title, like The Snowy Day, the people in all those books looked like me. White. Able-bodied. Heterosexual. Despite our growing population of children of color in the US — who now outnumber white students…

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anti-bias teacher resources

Tips for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books

by Marsha Rakestraw Stories are a powerful tool. They teach us about the world and ourselves; they influence our values; and they help shape our worldview. With children’s books, we’re usually looking for a good story to share with our children. Less often are we paying much attention to the kinds of messages those stories…

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bullying

13 Children’s Picture Books about Bullying

by Marsha Rakestraw As information about bullying becomes more pervasive, schools and others who serve children are striving to create anti-bully/pro-hero environments. Since bullying and exclusion can begin as early as preschool, it’s important that we who are helping children become their best selves begin cultivating humane values in our young children. October is Bullying…

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books

9 Resources for Finding Multicultural Books for Children

by Marsha Rakestraw According to the latest figures from the National Center for Education Statistics, “black, Latino, Asian, and Native American students will together make up a narrow majority of the nation’s public school students,” yet the number of children’s books that feature characters of color are shamefully sparse. Studies show that having multicultural literature…

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sharing

12 Children’s Picture Books About Sharing

One of the first lessons we’re taught as young children is about the importance of sharing. Yet examine our actions as adults—the ways we treat each other, nonhuman animals, and the earth—and it may seem like we’ve forgotten how vital sharing is. An important part of raising compassionate, conscientious citizens is introducing humane values such…

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Children wearing handprint t-shirts and raising their arms high

14 Children’s Picture Books Exploring Race and Racism

by Marsha Rakestraw Studies show that children can learn racially-biased behaviors as young as three and learn to categorize people by race (non-verbally) at as young as six months. Yet we’re often reluctant to talk about race, or we pretend that being “color blind” is the least harmful choice. It’s vital that we as parents…

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people and animals

16 Children’s Picture Books About People Helping Animals

by Marsha Rakestraw Modeling a message of compassion for others is a vital part of creating a better world for all. Children’s picture books are a valuable means of sharing with younger children examples of people helping those in need, and of inspiring them to think critically about what it means to be a good…

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