Monday, April 1, 2013

Children's Books that Teach Diversity

Just noticed that Sandhya Renukamba compiled a list of books that teach diversity on The Alternative. Our book 'Chuskit goes to School' also gets a mention amongst the other lovely books listed.

Ever watched babies and toddlers reach out to other babies and toddlers? It does not matter if they are poorer or richer, girl or boy, disabled or not, cleaner or dirtier, brown, black, white, yellow, or whatever. Young children have no concept of differences between individuals. It is unfortunate that this utopian state cannot last forever, as children become keenly aware of differences as they grow up, a process of socialization and enculturation.

Teaching children about diversity and the right attitudes towards all of it is the duty of every parent. If everyone did this for a child they are responsible for, it would go a long way towards developing respect for a fellow human being.

Differences due to gender, caste, appearance, race and socioeconomic status can be very tricky to explain to children, but books can help you out.
Pratham Books

Chuskit Goes To School

Written by Sujatha Padmanabhan. Illustrated by Madhuvanti Anantharajan.
Publishers: Pratham Books.
Ages: 5-10 years.

Nine year old Chuskit longs to go to school like her brother. It is almost impossible for her in her home town of Ladakh, as she cannot walk, and has to use the wheelchair to go anywhere. How would it be possible for her to cross the rocky, hilly terrain over the river and up the hill to the school? It becomes possible only because her friend Abdul recognises her need, and ropes in the school and all the children to build a levelled road up to the school.

A cheerful story about recognising and doing what the society needs to do to make life easier for those differently-abled.

Click here to purchase a copy of Chuskit goes to school.

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