Diversity is Key
It’s diversity week at Amelia’s school, and she has no clue what it means or why it matters. Every day, she’s introduced to cultures, cuisines and customs that push Amelia outside her comfort zone and test her preconceived notions about people and places. Is Mei really asking me to bow when I introduce myself? Is Rosa really celebrating toes, and how the heck do I eat something wrapped in a corn husk? And why is Malia’s mom gyrating in a grass skirt? Amelia has lots of questions (and a few concerns), but the more she experiences, the more she realizes how diversity makes life more fun. She also discovers that differences shouldn’t divide people because everyone shares something in common. Diversity is Key! was penned by Bryan Smith whose Without Limits book series celebrates children with character. 32 pgs.
Download the Diversity is Key poster for your classroom!
Published by Boys Town Press
Full disclosure: I was hesitant about this one. Many times when the word ‘diversity’ is used, the author pushes a specific narrative that may be against my own religious beliefs. I am SO relieved that Bryan Smith had more integrity than that!
In fact, he did an amazing job CELEBRATING diversity. He nailed the reasons why it’s a good thing and left out all the PC narrative nonsense too many of us have to listen to on media. It isn’t a risqué book in any way. Instead, we have 3 students who bring 3 separate identities to their classroom. Do’s and Don’ts in regards to politeness are discussed, but the children aren’t forced into participation or controversial topics. Even the mention of the Day of the Dead is handled beautifully. While it could’ve been presented in a Halloween-type way, our author takes the high road and specifies that it’s a celebration of the deceased loved one’s life. Well done!
The illustrations are spot on as are the multiple messages. Respect each other. Be polite to those who are different. Try new things. Respect those in authority and those older than you. Great messages. I enjoyed Amelia and her class. I give this one 5 stars.
I read this book with our 8 year old and it was a great conversation starter about cultural differences. It was easy to read and the illustrations were bright and engaging. I would have liked to see a little more depth and range of diversity for this age group but I think it was a great introduction to talking about how our differences make us unique and can also help bring us together. I really appreciated the strong emphasis on respect even when things seem very different at first.
I'm really glad that books like Diversity is Key by Bryan Smith and illustrated by Lisa Griffin exist. We need more of them, plain and simple. There's far to much intolerance in the world to justify not having an ample supply of books that support diversity as well as understanding, accepting, and respecting others for their differing cultures. And I couldn't be more thrilled to have gotten a chance to read this book here. If you've not had a chance, you should definitely make it a point to get yourself a copy because even adults could benefit from reading this book.
Diversity is Key follows several different characters as they share their cultures with their classmates, almost in a class project/science fair kind of way. Each student is able to teach their classmates key factors in their lives that others might not experience growing up. It's a wonderful book that celebrates people for being different and really pushes the idea that we need to be compassionate and appreciative of others. And I cannot support the message this book sends more.
Please read it.
Great storybook for kids on cultural diversity. Loved the pictures and the writing. It shows kids the importance of respecting differences and discovering different foods and customs. A definite must buy for all kids!
This is a great children's book about cultural diversity, looking specifically at the cultural practices of Japan, Mexico, and Hawaii. This book is a great tool for introducing children to the benefits of cultural diversity, and I think it would be an excellent book to use in schools or at home.