Diversity in Children’s Books

A few weeks ago I was guest appearing on Otterly Rad, a parenting podcast. The topic was about diversity in children’s books. What do our children’s book libraries look like? What has our experience been trying to create diversity for our kids? And then, how do we create more diversity in kid lit in our communities? DID YOU KNOW that you can just…. make suggestions to libraries? And they will probably, most likely, actually hear you and follow through? MIND BLOWN.

I was also really inspired by Hayley’s book break down. Taking a look at the media we are consuming and “feeding” to our kids is always a good thing.

You can listen to the entire episode here. 

To accompany this conversation I wanted to post some of Gabe’s favorite books that are bilingual and/or highlight latino/latina culture.

The first book I have read over and over again is Cuckoo/CuCu by Lois Ehlert.

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How crazy beautiful is this book? I love that it is both in english and spanish. I love that it is a traditional story and I love the art. I think I read this book on repeat for at least 3 weeks straight until I … hid it under the bed just to take a break. Ha!

Second book on my list is Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales.

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This book is so fun and ridiculous and Gabe loves loves loves it. I also got this book at an amazing independent book store in Minneapolis! (Margaret! Remind me of the name in comments!)

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This story mixes cultural myths/pretend play/spanish and I love it. Reading it is goofy. Lots of sound effects and ridiculousness.

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This book is just FUN and shouldn’t reading with your kids be super extra special sound effect, play time, FUN? I think yes.

The third book on my favorites list is Green is a Chile Pepper by Roseanne Greenfield Thong.

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Another book I got in Minnesota because I asked the independent book sellers about their spanish book section. Talking to people is key. If you just go to Barnes and Noble, you’ll only get a bunch of classic books in spanish, but nothing with real diversity.

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My only critique of this book is there isn’t more spanish. So when I’m reading it I do all the spanish I can and for sure I say all of the colors in spanish every time. Gabe, thankfully, doesn’t at all know the difference.

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And how crazy are these illustrations?? So crazy! So beautiful! So perfect!

And finally! For littles, this book is my favorite. De quien es esta cola? is super cute and when gabe was 1-2 he loved this book. I made up a little song for it and he would just love it when he got to flip the page back and when I asked him to find the animals in spanish. It’s great.

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So what are you reading your kids? What does your kid-book diversity look like? Check out Otterly Rad and join the conversation! 

Episode 6: Parenting – Surprise!

In this episode of the podcast I break down my top parenting shockers.

This is a series that will pop up occasionally. Just some parenting chitter chatter from time to time.

If you have kids, feel free to share the things that surprised you the most. If you don’t have kids and want kids, what kinds of things are you expecting?

Episode 5: Shacking Up

Episode 5 is about the difference between living together and being married. We also have our first guest! Margaret! Who has been living with her boyfriend turned manfriend for a long time now.

Questions for the audience:

  1. Do you also feel like there is some kind of age threshold for when it’s way less financially/emotionally risky to move in with someone?
  2. Have you ever lived with someone and then had it not work out? Who moved? What was that like?
  3. For those who are married – what’s different about married life vs living together life? Is there a difference for you?

Episode 4: Adulting

On a recent trip to Chicago I realized that I need my family more at this point in my life than I need my independence. Is this what it feels like to be a grownup? Is this where the shift lies? Mild codependency?

Today on the podcast I explore (with the help of many readers who responded to my questions on facebook) what it means to be an adult, when being a grownup actually it happens, and which moments pop out to me and others as successful adulting.

When does being a grown up happen for you? Is it only during the hard parts? The successful life parts? Or when you can feel the acute sensation of the crushing responsibility of our lives?

**As a note, sometimes we turn the mic on when we’re all hanging out in the kitchen and just let it run. Today during the break, you’ll get a smidge of what dinner time sounds like in the Duprez household.

Elsewhere – Otterly Rad

If you are getting a kick out of the podcasting existence of BIRL, you have even more to listen to this morning! I was very lucky to be a guest on Otterly Rad, a parenting podcast. On this episode Hayley, Nathan and I discuss colors and how to navigate the gendered expectations of having boy or girl children… which just happens to be how it mostly works out.

Happy Friday!

Episode 3: Cheaters

Welcome to the first official episode about relationships with guest contributor, Kamel. He also happens to be my husband. This week we are talking about cheating! Specifically: Can someone actually go a solid amount of time without knowing that they are being cheated on? Can that actually happen?

Let me know what you think and who you agree with more by using the hashtags #teamLauren or #teamKamel.

Episode 2: Expectation vs Reality

This week’s episode is just me, talking about 1 specific topic. This time it was inspired by a bad parenting judgement call. An instance where I thought, “Wow, this really did not go like I thought it would…” to my dismay and slight panic.

All of my best stories, whether I suffer for them or not, have come about because my expectations did not match reality.

This phenomenon is incredibly common, for better or for worse.

**Thank you to everyone who contributed personal stories for today’s episode, and everyone who responded to my questions via Facebook and twitter!

Episode 1: This Is Better In Real Life, The Podcast

I am taking this blog-show one step further and adding a weekly podcast! Welcome to I’m Better In Real Life.

In this first episode I’ll give an introduction and talk about what this whole podcast thing will be about.

Publishing every Wednesday, you can subscribe to The I’m Better In Real Life podcast at http://betterinrealife.com/feed/podcast. It will also be available on iTunes and elsewhere very, very soon.

Here we go!