Preschool / Kindergarten
Literature is a powerful vehicle for helping children understand their homes, communities and the world. Even before young children can read themselves, family members, childcare providers and teachers are reading them stories about other children in far-away places, sometimes from the distant past, or about children whose lives are like their own. The impressions and messages contained in these stories can last a lifetime.
Picture books at this age and at their best, invite children to use their imaginations, expand their vocabularies and gain a better understanding of themselves and others. If the titles reflect the diverse groups of people in the world around them, children can learn to respect not only their own cultural groups, but also the cultural groups of others. Beginning literature serves as both a mirror to children and as a window to the world around them by showing people from diverse groups playing and working together, solving problems and overcoming obstacles. Multicultural children's literature will help a child understand that despite our many differences, all people share common feelings and aspirations. Those feelings can include love, sadness, fear and the desire for fairness and justice.