Guest post from Cardinal Rule Press, Read Your World’s 2023 Silver Sponsor
Children are constantly learning about the life around them as they grow up. They will attain many values to grasp onto and carry with them into the future. One of the most important values to teach a child early on is loving yourself for who you are. By a child being able to embrace their identity, the child will have a newfound confidence that can be used when faced with potential bullies. A special Cardinal Rule Press book, Dazzling Travis: A Story About Being Confident And Original by Hannah Carmona, is just one of many comforting stories that teach this value. This story, as well as the other multicultural stories in this list, is perfect for children to understand that their identity, as well as their heritage, is something to love and be proud of.
Dazzling Travis by Hannah Carmona, illustrated by Brenda Figueroa
Travis is a one-of-a-kind boy. He has many hobbies that make him happy, like dancing, shopping, playing basketball, and even dressing up! When a few bullies come over to pick on him for the things he likes, he stands up for himself and breaks down stereotypes. This story teaches the reader that what you like is what makes you unique and to always be proud and confident in yourself.
The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali, illustrated by Hatern Aly
This wonderfully illustrated book takes us through the school day of two sisters, Faizah, and her older sister Asiya, who just started her first day wearing a hijab. Faizah has admiration for her sister’s ocean-blue hijab, but she soon learns that not everyone feels the same way. When Asiya is confronted with bullies, Faizah learns about the importance of finding your inner strength and showing pride for who you are. This story teaches the reader to always be true to yourself and not let the harsh words of others bring you down.
Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Mendez, illustrated by Jaime Kim
This comforting story focuses on a little girl who faces confusion when continuously asked where she is from by her peers and adults. She seeks the answer to this question from her grandfather, who dives into a story about her expansive family heritage and the beauty within it. With themes of promoting a positive self-image and having pride in one’s identity, this book is a great one for kids who come from different backgrounds and want to see the uniqueness of their culture.
Eyes That Speak To The Stars by Joanna Ho, illustrated by Dung Ho
This story is spoken in a poetic style and centers around an Asian boy, who, after facing a hurtful picture drawn by a friend showing his eyes as slits, goes to the male figures in his life for solace. He learns about how his eyes have been passed down for generations, which helps him to find admiration for his own. This story teaches how to recognize the power you hold within and to be proud of not only yourself but of those who came before you.
Beautifully Me by Nabela Noor, illustrated by Nabi H. Ali
This book focuses on body positivity and self-worth through a Bangladeshi girl named Zubi. She excitedly starts her first day of school but finds herself confused when she witnesses her family and classmates complaining about their weight. Zubi is happy with her size until she sees other people’s unhappiness which makes her doubt herself. She decides to announce her going on a diet that night at dinner. This springs up a discussion that teaches the reader the value of loving yourself just as you are, no matter your size.
Taylor is a recent graduate from Central Michigan University where she received her bachelors in English Literature and Language with a specialization in Children’s and Young Adult Literature. In her free time, she loves reading and writing, photography, traveling, and attending concerts with friends and family.