I look at the shelf with my childhood books and see the world. By the time I was ten years old, I’d made friends with children living in Scotland, Africa, and Tibet, among other countries. Some introduced me to everyday lives that were both different and the same as mine. Others, showed me that not getting along with people who are different is a global problem.
Wee Gillis in Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf brings his lowland-highland family together…
Marcel in All Alone by Claire Huchet Bishop brings a French village together…
and fighting koala bears in The Bear Party by William Pene Du Bois get along when they dress up in costumes from around the world.
In Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden, I felt Nona’s loneliness as she struggles to adapt to living with her English relatives, missing the life she knew as an only child in India. Together we built a Japanese dollhouse and navigated sibling relationships.
At a young age I absorbed concepts many adults still haven’t grasped. If all children grew up with these or similar books, we might live in a world in which all people are welcome and treated with respect.
Here are a few more books that made me who I am:
Post a comment with the title of a multicultural children’s book that made a lasting impression on you…or send me an email!