I always love finding new ABC books at the library for the boys. ABC books worked so well in helping Wild Thing learn his letters, and I am hoping they will be just as helpful for Caterpillar as well. I prefer ABC books that feature upper and lower case letters and that are unique and engaging. Some of our past favorites include Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A-Z by Lois Ehlert and the American Museum and Natural History ABC Dinosaurs, though not a book with upper and lower case, unfortunately. However, pair ABC Dinosaurs with alphabet rescue by Audrey Wood, which really features lower case letters and you are all set.
Kids Like Me...Learn ABCs by Laura Ronay has quickly become another favorite ABC book at our house. It uses upper and lowercase letters and also includes the sign language for each letter. Wild Thing really enjoys trying to make each sign language letter as we read it. Caterpillar loves identifying letters as well as objects in the book. I love that my children are reading a book that features exclusively children with Down's syndrome -- all of the children photographed for the book have Down's syndrome (I know I said it twice, but it is important).
My hope is that the book is not being read only by parents and children that have Down's syndrome, but that all types of parents and children will read this book together. It is important that my children see all types of people as much as possible and that they interact with people who are different from them in various ways and that they read books that reflect that diversity as well. I shared previously about the film programs my husband teaches through our business and, specifically, about a film class we have done several times in partnership with a local organization that serves mentally and physically disabled adults and of how I went with my husband to assist with the class with our toddler as well. We both felt that the interactions he had through this experience were very important to raising a child with an inclusive, open and accepting attitude toward others. Books like this help foster that as well. Diversity and inclusion in children's books, unfortunately, is not always that easy to find. When I do find it, I really enjoy and appreciate it. If I want a more inclusive, open and accepting world, I have to be that change. I have to demonstrate inclusion and acceptance through my own actions and through what I select for my children to read, watch and experience. Speaking of inclusion and acceptance (oh and of truly being the change)...
...When my husband finds a book that really resonates with him, he will read it with complete focus and really take his time so that he can appreciate all that the book has to offer. The most recent book that he read from the library was this specific selection of Gandhi's writings: Mohandas Gandhi: Essential Writings Selected and with an Introduction by John Dear. He was inspired to read the book after we, once again, watched the film. If you have not seen Gandhi (the 1982 film directed by Richard Attenborough with Ben Kingsley playing Gandhi and which won 8 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role), you definitely should. Yes the film is long, but it is so worth it. It is a life-changing type of film. Anyway, I digress. Back to the book...
After our most recent viewing of the film, which was followed (as always) by motivation and inspiration for our own lives, my husband decided he wanted to read some of Gandhi's work, so I requested this selection of Gandhi's writings from the library. Of course, my husband was not disappointed. He shared how the book further illustrated the way Gandhi viewed humanity. At the core, humans are honest, accepting, loving and good. Gandhi demonstrated that over and over and did all that he could to be the image and example of love and acceptance (no matter what) with an unwavering knowledge that love would conquer all, that humans will let goodness prevail.
My husband emphasized how Gandhi's writings and life reminded him that life is simple, but that we have a way of complicating it and losing our inner essence, losing our honesty, losing that ability to love and accept others, which is so essential to who we all are and essential for our world to work. Gandhi felt that at the core we all agree that all other beings have the right to live their life with dignity, to be fed, to be clothed, to love, yet sometimes the world gets complicated and this core is lost. Gandhi's life reminds us of the power of love and goodness in the world. He wrote words that remind us of this too. He still inspires many, my husband and myself included, to work harder to Be the Change...
How do you teach inclusion and acceptance to your children? What will you do today to Be the Change? Inspire Me!
I always love it when people share in the comments, but would also love to have you share on The Good Long Road Facebook page so that we can build a discussion around the Be the Change theme. I also have a Be the Change Pinboard, so share your inspiring posts and stories for me to add to it!
Sharing at: The Sunday Showcase, Sunday Parenting Party, Read. Explore.Learn and Kid Lit Blog Hop.
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