I have purposely omitted the racist remark in this blog post (you can click the above link for more details), but I think it's important to talk about how Handler handled the issue. Here's part of his public apology:
I have seen more race-related hate broadcast on social and professional media than ever before in the wake of yesterday's grand jury ruling in the Michael Brown case. And in efforts of sending some much needed positivity into the world, I think it's important to highlight the proactive actions taken by Handler and to celebrate what makes us difference instead of allowing it to further divide us.
According to The Guardian, "of the 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, only 93 were about black people, 34 about Native Americans, 69 about Asians and 57 about Latinos."
Talk about misrepresentative.
The British newspaper put out a list of the 50 best culturally diverse children's books earlier in October, and I think it's extremely important to share that list with you.
So much of what individuals think today is shaped by what they see and learn as children. When you share diverse books with kids from a young age, you are helping foster a better childhood understanding of what the world is like for other groups of people in other parts of the world. Besides reading, I can think of few things that have that sort of power.
So without any further ado, here are some of my favorites from The Guardian's list that I hope you share with the children in your life. Books can make all sorts of differences for kids, but their ability to help create more understanding when it comes to diversity is possibly one of their most important capabilities.
Over the Hills and Far Away by Elizabeth Hammill
"A stunning collection of 150 rhymes from countries all over the English-speaking world, including Great Britain, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ghana, South Africa and the Caribbean compiled by Seven Stories co-founder Elizabeth Hammill. The collection contains best-loved nursery rhymes, but also new discoveries, and vibrant rhymes from Native American, First Nation, Inuit and Maori cultures," – The Guardian
Azzi In Between by Sarah Garland
"A powerful graphic novel about Azzi and her family who seek refuge, filled with drama and tension it shows just how dangerous some people's home lives can be and the difficult decisions needed to reach a place of safety," – The Guardian
Journey to Jo'Burg by Beverley Naidoo
"A deeply affecting modern classic about a brother and sister who journey through the South Africa of Apartheid in a race against time to find their mother thereby saving their poorly baby sister, Dineo," – The Guardian
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
"This eye-opening graphic novel about author Marjane Satrapi's childhood growing up in Tehran uncovers the way a country's politics, religion, history and traditions, influence a sense of identity." – The Guardian
(Un)arranged Marriage by Bali Rai
"This highly personal story was partly influenced by Bali Rai's own experiences. It looks at the impact cultural traditions can have on young people growing up in modern times and the book will resonate will all who have experienced the pressure of expectation at the hands of their family," – The Guardian