Our eldest daughter has had the chance to meet lots of new and interesting people at school recently as part of diversity week. She’s talked a lot about how everyone is different, and that’s what makes them special. She’s described how some of the people who’ve visited her school have been full of colour, not just in their clothes and appearance, but their personalities too.
Those of you who read any of my reviews will know that I love using books to start discussions with our girls about a whole host of different topics. Books are such a great resource to use to teach our kids about the world we live in.
They help to explain the nice, fun parts of our lives, as well as the difficult and challenging parts. But what I love most about children’s books is that they’re filled with colour.
A World for Me and You (Where Everyone is Welcome)
When I received our gifted copy of “A World for Me and You (Where Everyone is Welcome)” written by Uju Asika and beautifully illustrated by Jennie Poh, I was struck by how vibrant and colourful the front cover of the book is. It made me want to sit down and read the book there and then.
When I started to read the book with my eldest daughter, the inside definitely lived up to the amazing first impression the front cover had given us. The story highlights the fact that the world is made up of so many different cultures, races, colours and characteristics.
And that if it wasn’t, what a boring place it would be. Who would want to live in a world without colour? And without different foods and experiences and beliefs, brought to us by all of the different cultures that make up our world?
My daughter loved reading the book. She agreed that it would be very boring if everyone had the same face. She thought the page about faces keeping secrets was funny as we all know when her little sister has been up to no good, just by looking at her face!
Reading the book started a lovely conversation about diversity. We talked about some of the different cultures she’d learnt about from the visitors to her school. And why it’s important for everyone to know that being different is what makes us unique.
We also talked about kindness and how it’s not kind to point out if someone has something about them that’s different. My daughter said “being different is what makes us who we are” and very much sees our differences as being a positive and what makes the world the colourful place that it is.
The book is beautifully written. It covers some big topics in a gentle way, and is a brilliant resource to use to start conversation about topics like acceptance, diversity, inclusion and kindness.
Our favourite part
I think I enjoyed reading the book just as much as my daughter did. Our favourite part is:
“My favourite colours of all are the colours of you and me. So many wonderful shades that make up our human family.”
This really resonated with me because my girls don’t share my DNA. But they’ve definitely brought colour and happiness into our lives which is something we all share and makes our family what it is.
About Uju Asika
I’m a parenting blogger and the author of Bringing Up Race: How to Raise a Kind Child in a Prejudiced World. My new picture book A World for Me and You (Where Everyone is Welcome) is a joyful celebration of diversity for younger kids.
I wrote this book as a companion piece to Bringing Up Race so that parents could talk to their kids about the importance of being inclusive and learning to appreciate each other in our many skin tones, languages and flavours.
The illustrator Jennie Poh did a fantastic job of bringing my words to life and helping to create a book that draws you in from the very first page and makes you smile throughout. Actually, several adult readers have told me it’s moved them to tears because the playful text is centred around such a sweet yet poignant message about empathy and belonging.
It’s a book that will allow so many kids from different ethnic backgrounds and family makeups to see themselves reflected in the words and pictures. That was crucial to me because, like many Black and Brown people, I grew up reading books that often made me feel invisible.
Representation matters and it’s an honour to have the opportunity to write more people into the story. As I stated in Bringing Up Race: “We should have been there all along”.
A World for Me and You encourages parents to talk about difference and kindness in a really fun and open way.
Picture books are a great conversation starter and here are some more that I recommend:
- A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory
- Hey You: An Empowering Celebration of Growing Up Black by Dapo Adeola
- We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Jane Kates (a Sesame Street book)
- I Am Enough by Grace Byers
- The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad
My Anti-racist Family Manifesto (free download)
This review contains affiliate links. That means if you click on the links in the article to any of the books, and then buy them, I get paid a fee from Amazon or Waterstones.
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