I am pleased to introduce Maria L Hughes, a children’s book enthusiast and online publisher for Children’s Bookstore. She enjoys blogging about reading and children’s books. Today she’s sharing 4 simple books, teaching tolerance and compassion through endearing stories.
It’s never too early to begin instilling positive attitudes about acceptance and teaching tolerance in your children. The important thing is to expose your child to those who might be different than him or her, and children will often sympathize with others that they’ve become familiar with. It’s also important, however, to simply encourage the idea that accepting differences is important and that hateful behavior is not beneficial for anyone. Here are some books that do both: exposing children to differences in others that they might not even know exist, and teaching tolerance while showing that kindness can benefit not only the one who needs it, but also the one who gives it.
Full of lovely, full-page watercolors, How Willy Got His Wheels, by Deborah Turner, is the funny and inspirational children’s book about a disabled Chihuahua and the woman who tries to help him walk. Based on a true story, the book is an easy but touching way to introduce children the value of helping others, and how fun helping others can actually be. It is important when teaching tolerance to expose kids to physical differences.
Little Blue and Little Yellow, by Leo Lionni, is a highly imaginative, inventive work, full of stark, solid colored shapes that tell a surprisingly complex and appealing story. This simple picture book is a wonderful way to introduce very young children to the idea that people are different, that there’s value to our differences, and that when our strengths are combined, we can become something more than we were by ourselves, something special.
I Wish I had Glasses like Rosa, by Kathryn Heling, Deborah Hembrook, is a bilingual book with cute, humorous watercolor illustrations, that shows the bond between two young friends that goes beyond skin color. As they try to emulate each other and play together through the simply written book, the reader can learn what is important about friendship, and what is not.
In her delightfully illustrated book, Leslie Helakoski and illustrator Lee Harper tell the story of Woolbur, a “black sheep” who runs into trouble when he wants to play with the dogs and refuses to cut his wool. A book that encourages being yourself and accepting the differences of others, Woolbur is a great book for any mother or father teaching tolerance to their children tolerance, creativity, and kindness.
Whether you’d like to teach your child that disabilities do not mean a person can’t do things like everyone else, or that it’s okay (and good!) to be different, or the importance of friendship, there are many lovely children books that will help you with the task, of which these four are just a few of my personal favorites.
Thanks Maria! These are such great ideas- I can’t wait to look for them at our library! I truly believe that teaching tolerance to kids will help us raise compassionate adults. Are there any books you like to use when teaching tolerance and empathy?