Teaching Cultural Compassion

We're excited you want to learn about Cultural Compassion!  Read below for the latest recommendations, but be sure to check out our book search (which now includes over 1700 titles) and our archived blog entries!  Happy reading!

February 2, 2023

Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, Bookshop is honoring some Black authors by offering 20% off of certain titles by using the code "BlackHistory" when you check out.  I have the compiled list of picture books that qualify for the discount linked here!

I'll highlight some of my favorites from the list for you!

The ABC's of Black History by Rio Cortez and Lauren Semmer is a great primer for your youngest kiddos, but has enough info to grow with them when they are old enough to tak in more info.  Another historical story with great illustrations is The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard and Oge Mora.  This book gives the inspiring story of a woman born into slavery who would never back down. 

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi and Ashley Lukashevsky has received a lot of attention in the last few years, not always positively, like in congressional hearings.   I believe it is a great start for those of us who want to create not only inclusive, but antiracist homes.

Just Like Me written and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton and The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López are both lovely books about being proud to be yourself, even when you feel different.  The former full of poems about kids in varying situations, the latter about unique kids in the same classroom.

The story of Sulwe  was written by Lupita Nyong'o  (yes, the famous actor) and beautifully illustrated by Vashti Harrison (honestly one of my favorite illustrators.  It is a story in which a young girl learns to appreciate the deep color of her skin (as compared to her sister).

If you'd like to check out their Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult books that qualify, you can see those lists and find a local Black Owned Bookstore near you to benefit from your purchase here.

Reminder that  a small commission for books purchased through TCC's bookshop.org list links go toward furthering the work of Teaching Cultural Compassion

January 24, 2023

Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which happens this week is the yearly remembrance of those who suffered (and especially those who died) during the Holocaust.  As survivors get older and older and there are fewer and fewer, the charge to Always Remember, Never Forget relies on our next generations.  In order to help you start talking about the Holocaust with kids, here are some picture books to read together.

One of the newest additions to this topic of books is Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued by Peter SísThe story of a young man from England who helped resettle over 700 children in his native country.  Not many words per page makes this a good choice for young readers. 

Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story  by Ken Mochizuki and Dom Lee is an award winning book of the true story of a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania who helped thousands of Jews escape through Japan.

Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust by Loïc Dauvillier is a graphic novel about a fictional French-Jewish girl whose story is like many told, hiding with neighbors until the end of the war.  A graphic novel based on a true story of a family who was able to leave is Maurice and His Dictionary by Cary Fagan.  It is his father's story of running from the Nazis from Belgium, through France, Spain, Portugal, and eventually Jamaica before being allowed to go to university in Canada.  And if you like graphic novels, be sure to preorder Hour of Need: The Daring Escape of the Danish Jews During World War II: A Graphic Novel by Ralph Shayne and Tatiana Goldberg coming later this year.

If you have older children at home who would like to read personal accounts on their own, I would always recommend Night by Elie Wiesel and The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition by Anne Frank.  Also recommended for older kids are Parallel Journeys by Eleanor H. Ayer, I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson, and Tutti's Promise by K. Heidi Fishman.

I realize there are several others in the bookshop.org list that are on backorder currently and even more that are no longer in print.  I have created a longer suggested list with library links here.

Special thanks for the recommendations in this post that came from Amanda Friedeman, Associate Director of Education at Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

On this day may we remember, and may these stories and the memories of those who inspired them be a blessing.


Reminder that  a small commission for books purchased through TCC's bookshop.org list links go toward furthering the work of Teaching Cultural Compassion. 

January 18, 2023

The Year of the Rabbit

Lunar New Year is almost here and to ring in the Year of the Rabbit, I thought I'd recommend some books about Lunar New Year and a book or two that involve rabbits.

I very rarely include board books in my recommendations, which I am working on, but I found two great board books on this topic!  I highly recommend Chinese New Year Colors by Rich Lo (a simple bilingual color book), The Animals of Chinese New Year by Jen Sookfong Lee (featuring beautiful photographs and descriptions of the zodiac animals' traits) and Lunar New Year  by Hannah Eliot and Alina Chau.  Alina Chau also illustrated another of my favorites, The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang.  Both books feature jubilant drawings of celebration!  Another great re-telling of that tale is Nian: The Chinese New Year Dragon by Virginia Loh-Hagan and Timothy Banks.

My newest favorite is Friends are Friends, Forever by Dane Liu and Lynn Scurfield, the story of two best friends in China celebrating the new year, knowing one of them will be soon moving to the US.  After the move, Dandan learns about her new country and finds a new friend... who would like to understand her traditions!

Because it's the Year of the Rabbit, I thought I'd also include The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (an excellent book on grief and queit presence) and the classic Knuffle Bunny trio by Mo Willems (together, the full childhood experience of a kid and their stuffy).

Reminder that  a small commission for books purchased through TCC's bookshop.org list links go toward furthering the work of Teaching Cultural Compassion.