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20 children’s books to spark important discussions about race and tolerance

The events of the last few weeks have many of us wondering when and how to start talking to our children about race and tolerance. We might be overwhelmed by the idea: How do I start the conversation? What if I say the “wrong” thing? Can a very young child even benefit from these kinds of discussions?


The answer is a resounding yes, so if you’re wondering when the “right” time is to begin having these talks—it’s now.

Having honest and open discussions about race, tolerance, and acceptance from a very early age can set the stage for a much broader and deeper understanding of these issues as your child grows.

Here are 20 books that can help spark these conversations.

1. Skin Again by Bell Hooks, illustrated by Chris Raschka
This poetic ode to celebrating our differences is a gentle way to introduce young children to the concepts of race and identity.

2. Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
An inspiring story about one family’s efforts to desegregate California schools in the late 1940s. A 2015 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book.

3. Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
The stunningly illustrated, heartwrenching tale of a slave who mailed himself to freedom.

4. The Color of Us by Karen Katz
A celebration of the many shades of skin color, as told through the eyes of a seven-year-old girl trying to paint a picture of herself. Perfect for introducing the concept of race to even the youngest readers.

5. Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
A sweet lesson in tolerance, acceptance, and inclusion for even the youngest readers.

6. Martin’s Big Words by by Julius Lester, illustrated by Karen Barbour
A beautiful, accessible introduction to the life and words of Martin Luther King, Jr. Winner of the 2002 Caldecott Medal.

7. Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
A funny, clever story that will help little ones down the path of finding joy in staying true to who you really are.





8. One Family by George Shannon, illustrated by Blanca Gomez
A playful look at diversity and the many ways to form a family.

9. A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
A primer for social justice perfect for even the littlest activist.

10. Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester, illustrated by Karen Barbour
The perfect conversation starter for any discussion about race, this lively picture books celebrate what makes us different yet all the same.

11. We March by Shane W. Evans
A critical moment in the civil rights movement— the 1963 March on Washington—told in clear, concise prose.


12. The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
A longstanding classic about bridging the racial divide between two young friends, told through powerful prose and gorgeous watercolor illustrations.

13. A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
The inspiring story behind the groundbreaking classic A Snowy Day, the first mainstream book to feature an African American hero.

14. Be Who You Are by Todd Parr
The ultimate celebration of self and a vibrant, playful reminder to be proud of who you are and where you come from.

15. The Adventures of Beekle: An Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
A charming, endearing friendship story that reminds us all there’s a place for everyone in this big, wide world. Winner of the 2015 Caldecott Medal.

16. The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
The story of the youngest known civil rights protester in history will teach children that you’re never too small to stand up for what you believe in.

17. I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow
A silly, joyful celebration of being true to who you are. Catchy rhyming text makes this a perfect read-aloud.









18. The Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson
This bus ride through a busy city showcases people of different skin colors, ages, and classes, and takes readers on a journey that will help them appreciate the beauty all around. Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal and the 2016 Caldecott Honor.

19. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Caroline Binch
Ideal for sparking conversations about race and gender with young children, the story of spirited Grace remains as important today as it was when it was first published 25 years ago.

And, 20. Keep an eye out for Malala's Magic Pencil, the first picture book from Nobel Prize winning Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, releasing this fall.


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After the tears have dried, this unique story, inspired by the overflow of love in a mother's heart, stays with you for a loooong time and is bound to resonate in your heart fas long as a mother's love remains for her child, long after they've left home. That's motherly. And, that's Motherly.

"To the person who falls in love with my son" went viral.

This video, more than the sum of its parts, has provided an overall experience that has transcended its concept, writing, execution, quality of craft—and heart.

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This video elevates what is in plain sight to something timeless, universal, and memorable. Bound to live in the heart of anyone who views it, this video is destined for legend in the parenting community online. Our innovative strategy, tactics and creativity combine to succeed at truly engaging our community.

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FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS VS. ENGAGEMENT RATE

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With a clean and direct design aesthetic, our content does not get lost in the overload that is so endemic to other brands. Our unique sense of honesty and our authentic and emotional content connect with our community of engaged Millennial moms across channels to deliver results that empower and inspire. Through the powerful lens of motherhood, our content generates mom-to-mom sharing and valuable conversation, unlike any other brand.




Meet Motherly.
We are a community–driven lifestyle brand redefining motherhood. Motherly occupies a unique position in the media landscape, sitting at the intersection of parenting, lifestyle and women's interests to address her entire life and connect her more fully.

At Motherly we have a voice.

We are the only positive, encouraging parenting site reaching and influencing Millennial moms when they are looking for and absorbing more information, products and services than during any other life transition. How we think, act, and express ourselves is why we have built such a strong community of mamas.

Our community engages across all platforms, at Motherly, on Instagram and on Facebook, because mamas are on the move.

Motherly supports mamas through their entire parenthood journey, delivering women-centric content that addresses her whole lifestyle through thousands of articles, images, videos and classes each month with Mom-to-mom insights, inspiration and empowerment.

Our innovative strategy, tactics and creativity combine to succeed at truly engaging our community.

With a clean and direct design aesthetic, our content does not get lost in the overload that is so endemic to other brands. Our approach to content and how it is presented crosses all platforms for a cohesive and truly branded aesthetic that is fresh, clear and direct, always light and enlightening.

With a unique sense of honesty, our authentic and emotional content connects with our community of engaged Millennial moms across channels to deliver results that empower and inspire. Through the powerful lens of motherhood, our content generates mom-to-mom sharing and valuable conversation, unlike any other brand.

Motherly not only has over 3X the engagement of competitors in the parenting space but also across women's interest and lifestyle categories.


FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS VS. ENGAGEMENT RATE

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Sources: Facebook Analytics 2018


The synergy of our compelling content, pure aesthetic and fully engaged community has afforded us staggering fan growth.

In October, 2017, we doubled down on our engagement strategy to reach our community with our innovative approach to content and realized a stunning fan growth of 442% over the following twelve months.



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Vacationing with a baby isn't for the faint of heart. But while it typically means more luggage (hello, travel-friendly bassinets, clothes for all seasons, and more diapers than you can shake a boarding pass at!), it's still possible to have a fun, memorable adventure with your little ones―especially with the right equipment.

Our favorite family vacation saver? The right baby carrier, like BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air. The breathable, mesh design is perfect for a variety of climates, while the supportive construction will help you stay comfortable while you trek across your favorite destination.

One of our favorite family-friendly locales? Los Angeles. That's why we teamed up with LA mama extraordinaire Magin Birrenkott to share the best places to play in La-La Land when you have little ones in tow.

DO

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Perfect for your little dinosaur lovers, the famous Tar Pits and art museum feature something for everyone. Take the tar pit tour to learn more about excavation, or simply let the little ones run around the park to see the variety of sculptures. The museum features a Fossil Lab, atrium, and even a 3D theater to learn more. "You can have lunch and play on the grassy areas around the tar pits and fossil areas, as well as grab a coffee and stroll through the different art exhibits around the park," Birrenkott recommends.

Kidspace Children's Museum
Who says vacation can't also be educational? This incredible children's museum helps your little ones learn about everything from physics to biology―all through the power of play. Babies can face out in the Baby Carrier One so they'll have plenty to look at while staying snuggled up to you. Bigger kids will love experiencing the indoor and outdoor exhibits. Note: Several attractions feature water play, so pack a spare outfit for any kids who like to get messy.

Magin navigating a day out in LA with two little people and one free hand, thanks to the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air.

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Lions, tigers, bears...and more! The LA Zoo is home to a variety of animals from around the world―all of which your kiddos will love to admire. The bird show and giraffe feedings are especially popular hits. "Make sure to plan the short trek to the giraffes between 11:00-12:00 and 2:30-3:30. For $5 you get three branches and are able to feed them up close and personal!" Birrenkott says.

Move your little one to your back in the Baby Carrior One Air so they can get close to the action too. "We like to go at the very beginning since they can get full and sometimes walk away if there were too many people in front of you." After letting the kids run out their energy in the zoo, the Botanical Gardens make the perfect spot to relax and have lunch. "There's a beautiful grassy area that's quiet where you can set a blanket and enjoy the beautiful LA weather. And for us struggling tired mamas, there's a coffee shop that has the most amazing lattes and cappuccinos. Huge win."

SEE

The El Capitan Theatre

More than just a must-see on your tour of Hollywood, the El Capitan Theatre is an excellent spot for family memories. There are "Tiny Tot Tuesdays" for families with younger children (AKA, no one will give you a dirty look if your kiddo wants to sing along...or just throws a tantrum mid-show), and all of the family-friendly movies feature something extra, whether it's live Disney cast members, gift bags, or extra effects like confetti. Check the website to find out what is showing during your trip.

Aquarium of the Pacific
If your kids are fans of Finding Dory, they're going to love the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. With everything from penguins to sea otters to sharks (not to mention millions of fish in every shape, size, color), there's something to catch the eye of everyone in your family. The aquarium also features seasonal festivals and events, so check the calendar during your visit to make sure you don't miss their best shows. As for your littlest family members, they'll enjoy a comfy ride through the aquarium in their carrier.

"Our weather is all over the place sometimes, but in the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air, he didn't get sweaty at all!" Birrenkott says. "Plus, after two days of activities, my back is in one piece. I can babywear him all the time now!"

Traveling Tikes
Forget something at home? Traveling Tikes on Santa Monica Boulevard is the perfect spot to scoop up any baby gear that didn't make it into your suitcase―including the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air for easier travel around town. One other store we love? KIDSLAND on Wilshire Boulevard.


Making the time to explore is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family―and yourself. And thanks to BabyBjörn, now everyone can come along for the ride.

This article is sponsored by BabyBjörn. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

If there's anything better than dressing your kids up in adorable holiday outfits, it's gotta be matching them.

We rounded up seven of our favorite looks for this season. 🎁

1. Classic Christmas for kids

Go crisp, clean, classic and Christmassy with a Short Sleeve Smocked Holiday Dress from Feltman Brothers.

Short Sleeve Smocked Holiday Dress, Feltman Brothers, $67.95

BUY

Classic Christmas made modern for mama

Match your cotton cutie in a crisp and modern shirtdress that can last you far beyond Christmas.

Kowtow Monologue Shirt Dress, Garmentory, $93.00

BUY

2. Nordic-themed sweater set

Get cozy + complimentary with black and red family sweaters that you can wear all winter long.

Oh Sno Happy Christmas Collection, Hanna Andersson, $68 - $92

BUY

3. Matchy matchy mommy

A super-affordable option for the matchy matchy mama.

Emmababy Mommy and Me Matching Plaid Long Sleeve Shirt Dress + Princess Tulle Tutu Dress, $14.99

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4. Mommy + me tutus

Tutus make everything, including the holidays, a bit more magical. Grab a matching set to enjoy a twirl with your girl.

Mommy and Me Tulle Tutus, Etsy, $110.00

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5. The perfect plaid dress

Quick! This one is perfect, grab it fast.

Ruffle Trim Babydoll Dress for Toddler Girls, Old Navy, $20.00

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Mama's plaid

Mama deserves ruffles and plaid, too.

Relaxed Plaid Twill Classic Shirt, $24.00, Old Navy

BUY

6. Best sweater set yet

Moms and sons can play match-up, too. Grab a sweater set you can return to the entire season.

Festivewear Sweater Sets, Boden, $55.00-$130.00

BUY

7. Big blue

Light up the night with Santa's sleigh and a sleek little number for mama.

Festive Big Applique Dress, Boden, $48.00

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Blue for you, too

The perfect LBD (little blue dress).

Flippy Pencil Dress, Boden, $170.00

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