Teaching Cultural Compassion

We're excited you want to learn about Cultural Compassion!  Read below for the latest recommendations, but be sure to check out our book search (which now includes over 2000 titles) and our archived by topic blog entries.  Happy reading!

September 19, 2023

Read Them More Fairy Tales

When I was a kid, a few authors took on new versions of fairy tales--but they pale in comparison to some of the latest.  From envisioning traditional fairy tales in a different culture... or totally out of this universe, these authors and illustrators have been up to the challenge!

My favorite authors/illustrators who have taken on multiple tales are:

Deborah Underwood and Meg Hunt who have created Interstellar Cinderella, Reading Beauty, and Jo Bright and the Seven Bots among others.  These not only take place in futuristic, interstellar space,  but they also challenge gender roles and the ideas of good and evil as a simple dichotomy.

Wallace West has also taken on the idea of specific gender roles and stereotypes in Cinda Meets Ella and Mighty Red Riding Hood.  He has decided this will be a series, so watch for more "fairly queer tales" in the future!

Corey Rosen Schwartz has taken on several fairy tales, including several featuring only animals, to update them to a sillier, more fun form with different power dynamics.  So if you want to see Ninja Red Riding Hood or Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears, check out Corey's books!

I also really appreciate retellings that show us non-European characters.  Why shouldn't The Little Mermaid or Little Red Riding Hood be Black girls?  Jerry Pinkney could certainly imagine them that way!

And what about bilingual versions?  Susan Middleton Elya has written La Princesa and the Pea, Little Roja Riding Hood, and Rubia and the Three Osos to help you have a good rhyming time with mixed Spanish and English.

And some of my favorites are the "Islamic Tale" settings by Fawzia Gilani-Williams .  These versions give us a main character who is good and kind, not simply because she's Cinderella or Snow White and that's how the story goes--but because she is a girl of faith.  Make sure to check out her versions of Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel!

These and a few others that I just couldn't leave out can be found here on Teaching Cultural Compassion's Bookshop page.

Reminder that  a small commission for books purchased through TCC's bookshop.org list links go toward furthering the work of Teaching Cultural Compassion.

Latinx & Hispanic Heritage month SALE at bookshop.org!!  
If you're looking for good books featuring Latinx characters, now is your time!  Until October 15, 2023, Bookshop is offering 20% off of THESE BOOKS when you use the coupon code HHM2023

If you use the link above, Teaching Cultural Compassion will also get a small commission from any book you buy!

July 11, 2023

Different Kind of Pride

July is Disability Pride Month!  This month, I want to bring attention to books that feature invisible as well as visible disabilities.  From stutters and color blindness to cerebral palsy and Down's syndrome, these books represent people finding their power and place, no matter their abilities or what others think about them.

Change Sings  is a beautiful poem by Amanda Gorman who found a way to work through her stutter through the spoken word.  It is colorfully illustrated by none other than Loren Long (of Otis the tractor fame) who is color blind.  This book is not about either of those things, but proves to kids that they can be successful in whatever field they love, even if others doubt.

Just Ask  helps encourage kids (and grownups) to ask rather than assume when they see someone whose life experience is different from their own.  As a diabetic herself, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wanted to help people stop whispering and JUST ASK when they are curious.  The diverse kids in the book are brought to life by the illustrations of Rafael López.

I've said before and I'll say again, books as mirrors are important, so if you're a kid with hearing helpers, it's really nice to see them.  Books like Moonlight Zoo, The Wall and the Wild, and Jo Bright and the Seven Bots aren't about the characters' hearing, but they are visually represented.  The same thing goes for vision helpers and mobility aids in books like My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay, Song in the City, Ali and the Sea Stars, and The Way Champs Play.

Finally the list would be remiss without some biographies of those who have been trailblazers for equal rights, understanding, acceptance, and  evening the field of opportunity like the story of Judith Heumann as told in Fighting for Yes!; or Louis Braille in Six Dots; or Temple Grandin in How to Build a Hug; or Judith Scott in Unbound.

All of these and more - featuring kids with autism or Down's syndrome or cerebral palsy and more can be found here on Teaching Cultural Compassion's Bookshop page.

Reminder that  a small commission for books purchased through TCC's bookshop.org list links go toward furthering the work of Teaching Cultural Compassion.

June 9, 2023

History of Pride

If you're paying attention to the new titles of the archives on this site, you'll notice that Pride celebration has been categorized with Assisting Advocacy.  Here are some books that exemplify why that decision was made.

For a well written poetic version of this history for even our littlest kids, read Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick and Juana Medina.  To the rhythm of a famous old poem, this book tells the story of a family getting ready for baby's first Pride Festival and includes the retelling of the history of the movement.

At a slightly higher word count,  Stonewall: A Building, an Uprising, a Revolution by Rob Sanders and Jamey Christoph and Be Amazing: A History of Pride  by Desmond Napoles and Dylan Glynn are both more detailed, but still age appropriate, tellings of the Stonewall Riots and the movement that followed.

And for more insight on how the rainbow flag came about, check out Pride: The story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag and Sewing the Rainbow: A Story about Gilbert Baker

For more recommendations on the history of this fight for equal rights, go to the Pride book list in my book shop!

Reminder that  a small commission for books purchased through TCC's bookshop.org list links go toward furthering the work of Teaching Cultural Compassion.

May 30, 2023

Teaching Cultural Compassion is Growing!

After some silence in the last month, you finally get to see the latest efforts... *drumroll*
You can now subscribe to Teaching Cultural Compassion via Patreon!  With different levels of support, you can give with no extras in return, get more book recommendations each month, or even receive a story time guide to help create conversation with kids while reading together!  It is ready and launched and you can see the details of how to subscribe by clicking this link!  (There are even pictures to walk you through, if it's your first experience of Patreon!)

On the subject of growing, I've picked four books to feature -- with more via Patreon if you subscribe!

I'm Growing Great by Mechal Renee Roe is a great reminder, especially to Black girls, that it's ok to still be growing.  One can be strong and smart and compassionate already, and still be "growing great!"

The Tree in Me by Corinna Luyken reminds us that much like trees, humans are strong and connected and always growing. 

The Wall and the Wild by Christina Dendy and Katie Rewse is a great reminder that we are not only the things we want to plant... but a much more complex and even more beautiful garden of life!

And for our littlest ones, I highly recommend Maple by Lori Nichols which comes in board book form.  It is the story of a little girl, and the tree planted for her when she was born.  (And watch for I'm Growing Great's board book release this winter!

Reminder that  a small commission for books purchased through TCC's bookshop.org list links go toward furthering the work of Teaching Cultural Compassion.

April 24, 2023

National Library Week!

I grew up loving my local library.  I was even a junior librarian, helping make sure everything looked good and learning the Dewey Decimal System!  I have loved books my whole life.  I see a reflection of myself in these books about libraries, and I hope you will, too.  (I've described my favorites below, but in the Bookshop.org links, you'll see there are many more!)

There are two beautiful books that have been released in the last couple of years that show the library as a second (or maybe first) home.  A Library by Nikki Giovanni and Erin K Robinson  and Dear Librarian by Lydia M. Sigwarth and Romina Galotta  both feature girls who see their local library as a place of solace and a place to be themselves.

Stacey's Remarkable Books by Stacey Abrams and Kitt Thomas  and Nour's Secret Library by Wafa' Tarnowska and Vali Mintzi are both about girls who start book clubs... very different book clubs.  However, in peacetime or war, kids who gather other kids around books find escape and belonging in the same place.

And what happens when your library disappears?  Does the town still need one?  In Nia and the New Free Library, Ian Lendler and Mark Pett show us a new version of the legend of Stone Soup and the building of a new library.

I would love for you to buy these books to have them for the future, but I would also like to remind you of WorldCat.  WorldCat.org is a largely inclusive catalog of public (and some private) libraries!  If you go to the Book Search page, you'll notice that there's a little blue library logo to the left of each title.  That link will take you to WorldCat where you can enter your zip code and find the nearest library with that title!  And remember, be kind and appreciative of your librarians.

Reminder that  a small commission for books purchased through TCC's bookshop.org list links go toward furthering the work of Teaching Cultural Compassion.