It’s Empathy Day today, a day when we’re encouraged by the people at Empathy Lab to read to develop empathy and understanding for others. (More details about that here). This is one of the many reasons we set up Little Box of Books. We believe that children reading books about the lives of others teaches them valuable things about the world, their place in it and helps them to understand people who may be a bit different from them.
We’re hearing more stories of gang violence and hearing devastating stories about children losing their lives to knife crime, comments under news articles are full of people pointing fingers at communities that aren’t theirs, at people whose skin is a different colour to theirs. Anti-Semitism, anti-gay attacks, Islamophobia, racism
There are a lot of words for the anger and hatred directed at people who are other to us.
We want to teach kids that difference is normal, diversity is to be celebrated. We do this by finding and sharing children’s books where characters are from all races and cultures, where families might have two Mums or two Dads, where children with disabilities have adventures and where girls and boys are equal and Mums and Dads aren’t living stereotypes.
If you read to your child everyday and through the books you choose they see the world in all its diverse brilliance, it is so much harder to grow up with prejudice towards those who are different.
This Empathy Day we are delighted to announce our partnership with the Gender Equality Collective and their best books list. They have pulled together a list of over 200 books that disrupt gender stereotypes, that feature a hugely diverse cast of characters telling brilliant stories. Choose books from this list and your children will grow in empathy and understanding about the world and will better understand their place in it.
We’ve pulled together some bumper boxes from the list that will diversify any bookshelf in an instant, which you can buy here.
Let us know what your favourite book is underneath, we’d love to hear from you!