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kids' books that show diversity (part 2)...

kids' books that show diversity (part 2)...

As a follow-up to our first post in 2017 about diverse kids' books, here's an updated version with a few of my family's favorites right now. Ranging in ages from 0-10, these books focus on authors and characters of color, characters who break the traditional molds of what was expected of them, stories of real life people who broke through barriers to accomplish great things, and stories that speak to kids even at a young age.

1. Look Up with Me by Neil deGrasse Tyson is a biography on the beloved astrophysicist and great for ages 4 to 6 and especially for kids who love science and exploring the stars.

2. Queer Heroes by Arabelle Sicardi celebrates the achievements of LGBTQ+ people through history and from around the world with a diverse selection of 53 inspirational role models accompanied by short biographies that focus on their incredible successes. Great for ages 6-10 and especially for those who are starting to do school book reports on notable people in history!

3. Little People, Big Dreams has a whole series (this one is on Rosa Parks) that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This one is great for toddler to little kid ages.

4. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty champions STEM, girl power and women scientists in a rollicking celebration of curiosity, the power of perseverance, and the importance of asking “Why?” I love this one for older toddlers to little kids.

5. Another by Christian Robinson is great picture book from baby to toddler that allows the reader to explore all the possibilities the world brings. He also just came out with You Matter which I've recently added to our library as well.

6. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. This one is great for ages 6-10...my oldest read through this with a few biographies every night until she finished.

7. Work It, Girl: Oprah Winfrey by Caroline Moss helps us discover how Oprah became a billionaire CEO and media mogul in this true story of her life. I love how you can also learn 10 key lessons from her work to apply to your own life. Great for bigger kids to tweens.

8. The Wall: A Timeless Tale by Giancarlo Macri and Carolina Zanotti is about the benefits of diversity and encouraging kids to see how helpful it can be to work together. This is a very visual book on what can be a serious topic that makes it easy for smalls kids to understand.

I will keep adding to my list, and you can always find more of my favorite kid's books right here.

how to talk to kids about racism...

A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory

The other night, we found ourselves explaining to our kids what happened to George Floyd and so many other Black Americans recently. It’s a story we didn’t expect to tell because it’s a story that shouldn’t have happened. But it did happened and incidents like these have been happening for centuries.

Maybe you know we are all equal, and you know that these actions are horribly wrong. But have you consciously sought out to be anti-racist? Have you attempted to make sure that you don't allow for it in your communities, in your speech, in your family, or in your future? Maybe now, you are in a place that you are angry and you're really trying to understand. Maybe you have never known how bad things are because you grew up in a neighborhood where everyone looked like you and therefore never experienced it. Maybe you did grow up in a diverse area but because your skin is light, you never experienced racism.

If you haven't started yet, today is the day to implement anti-racism in your home. Although you may have wished you knew more earlier or you did more sooner, it's never too late to start. I don't have all the answers to fix this, and I am not a certified teacher. But what I do know and what I can share with you is how we have been active about introducing anti-racism into our household at an early age and how we actively teach our kids about racism.

Here are eight ways to start...

1. Introduce the topic of racism early. Often with topics that are controversial, uncomfortable, or serious, parents assume that they need to wait until their kids are older to talk about it. I have found that around 5 years old, a real conversation about topics like race can be understood on some level. Every child is different, so if you feel you can have a conversation with a younger child, then do it.

2. Don’t shy away from these conversations. Your kids can understand more than you think. If you've ever been sitting casually at home when one of your kids ask about sex, why two men can get married, how a man can change to become a woman, or why our skin color is different than someone else's, don't put off having those conversations. You and your partner may look at each other awkwardly wondering who will take the lead on answering the questions, but now—in that moment—is the time to do it. Don't brush it off, don't wait until another time. And definitely don't tell them you'll talk about it when they are older. Everyday that is pushed off is a missed day for your child to become a better human with your help. You’re adding to their lack of awareness by not telling them when they ask.

3. It's ok if you are not an expert. It feels easy to deflect conversations about racism when you’re uncomfortable and you aren’t prepared and don’t know what to say. Often parents think they need to have read a plethora of books on a topic to say everything exactly right. Sure, you should read books, read articles, and do as much as you can to educate yourself. But you don't need to be an expert. Speak to your child in a way they can understand and learn best. Does your child do well with visuals or pictures? Get kids books to help them and you. Do they learn well from examples? Tell them stories. Also, you are an expert at your own life. Have you personally experienced racism? If so, tell them what happened. You can also use stories from history to help give examples.

4. Walk in other people's shoes. Ask children how they would feel if someone was racist towards them. Children are naturally empathetic people. Giving them analogies, examples, or asking them to put themselves in someone else's shoes is the easiest and quickest way to start explaining this topic to a child that may have no idea that racism exists. Kids start learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks as early as pre-school and kindergarten. These are stories from history you can have at home, too. While you're at it, remind them that some of these injustices STILL happen today.

5. Don't assume that kids are colorblind when it comes to race. It's not enough to say there is no color or "we don't talk about skin color because we don't want our kids to see the difference". It's true that small children often don't see their friends by their skin color. I remember having a conversation with Ruby when she was 4 or 5 and referenced her being Asian. She said, "I'm Asian?" She didn't know she was any different than her friends until she was told in pre-school by a girl with blond hair that "light hair is better".

6. Surround your kids with diversity. Actively seek communities, schools, play groups, and friends where your kids are surrounded by families and kids that are different than your own. If you already live in a non-diverse neighborhood and cannot easily change this, you can also expose them through food, cultural institutions, museums, books, toys, and more. They need to see more to learn more. This is helpful also for kids under 5 who may not be old enough to have meaningful conversations just yet. Actively seek art for your walls, books for kids to read, and toys that show kids and people of color... not just your kid's color.

7. Kids watch who you are to understand who they should become. This is the time to check in with your own bias, actions, privilege, judgements, and way of being that your kids might pick up on. Having these conversations with them will help you reconnect with yourself. But remember, if you want your kids to become anti-racist, you have to truly be anti-racist yourself. There are so many resources right now that people are sharing on social media, so start with your own education to be better equipped for your children as well.

8. The bottom line is—you have to have uncomfortable conversations. We all have to be better to help support Black Americans and to help create REAL CHANGE. We have to do everything we can which includes educating the future of America so that one day they can live in a country and world where people treat others appropriately, kindly, peacefully, and worthy of all the same things.

If you personally have any other tips or resources you would like to share, please leave them in the comments below. I don't have all the answers, and we can all learn from one another.

PS. Some other book lists and resources shared by readers:
Books for Diversity
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Kojo for Kids
Librarian Annette
Embrace Race

(Photo above A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory)

hopeful gifts that support small businesses...

Hopeful-gifts-blog

It's no question that businesses of all sizes are seeing major losses in income right now. Small businesses, especially, need all the help they can get to keep their businesses open and employees working. So, I wanted to gather a few of things I'm loving that might bring a smile to you or a loved one right now that also helps to support a small business...

1. People I've Loved pin from Broome St. General ($12), 2. Optimism Necklace from Ban.do ($38), 3. Me & My Fear book ($18), 4. My Someday is Now print by OK! (from $25), 5. Quarantine Cookie Box by Delight Patisserie ($20), 6. Happy Signet Ring by Ban.do ($98).

Valentine's Day Inspo...

Valentine's Day Inspo... / via Oh Joy!

We love celebrating Valentine's Day! From sweet cards to tasty treats and everything in between, here are our ALL-TIME FAVORITE valentine ideas. If you're looking for some inspiration to tell all your family and friends just how much you love them, or if you need a fun idea that your little one can hand out to their classmates, keep reading... 

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book review: make your kid a money genius (even if you're not)

Book Review: Make Your Kid a Money Genius by Beth Kobliner

Last week, I mentioned that this book—Make Your Kid a Money Genius by Beth Kobliner—was on my list of reads for 2020. Well, I started and finished last weekend, and I can't recommend it enough! So I thought I'd do a slightly more in detail book review. Now that I've finished it, I can tell you why every parent should read this book...

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5 books to start off the year...

5 books to start off the year... / via oh joy!

Last year was the year I started reading books again! I know, you're probably like..."What do you mean, Joy?!" Yes, folks..for several years, I stopped reading books. I mean, I skimmed books from time-to-time, and when I needed help on a topic (like parenting), I would gander through a book about it. But I mostly read articles—and with a rare exception—parenting books. But last year, I dove deeper...I read business books, mental health books, and mémoires. I just starting enjoying picking up a physical book again after a pretty long hiatus. I'm still not into fiction books, but I'll take it one step at a time. So here are five books I have on my list right now to start the year with...

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how to shop vintage on pinterest...

How to Shop Vintage on Pinterest... / via Oh Joy!

Wearing vintage is one of my all-time favorite things. I love that each piece has a story attached to it (it's fun to imagine who owned the piece before me and what their life was like). I love the idea that I'm reusing clothes and also getting to hand them down over the years. Vintage pieces also incorporate so much color, personality, and amazing details that make an outfit one of a kind.

So...I created a "Vintage" Pinterest board with lots of my favorite styles. Pinterest recently rolled out a feature where you can SHOP items similar to ones in the image. That means that even though a lot of the pieces on the board will be one-of-a-kind and not something you can find now. But, with this new feature, you can find vintage pieces that are similar...or new pieces that have a similar look and feel. Here's a crash course in how to use the feature...

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an on-the-go park bag!

2019_03_14_Park-Bag-2-blog

Happy Friday! With spring all around, we're trying to spend as much time outside as possible to soak up that sun that's back. To be prepared for that last-minute trip to the park or playground, we created this ever-ready bag that's packed with everything you'll need for a day outside with the kids. So whenever the weather is just right, grab this bag, your kids, and hit the park! Here's what you need for an on-the-go park bag with lots of affordable items you can grab from the dollar section...

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Oh Joy! Team Gift Guide: $50-100

Oh Joy Team Gift Guide: $50 to $100: Joy, Traci, Kim, Jess, Julia, Courtney, Nicole / via Oh Joy!

We're back today with our fourth gift guide of the season! This time we have Oh Joy! team picks from $50 to $100...when you want to spend a little more for that special someone on your list! 

01. Kristin Ess curling iron ($60) from Joy, 02. Kaleido Pink Breeze Convertible Tote Bag ($64) from Traci, 03. Instax Mini 9 ($56) from Kim, 04. CASTLE YEAH sweatshirt ($84) from Joy, 05. Poketo coasters ($68) from Jess, 06. Ok! by Angie Stalker Happy Myles framed print ($99) from Courtney, 07. Glamorous furry stripe coat ($70) from Julia, 08. Meri Meri Space Twin Sheet Set ($100) from Nicole.

Oh Joy! Team Gift Guide: $50 and under

Oh Joy! Team Gift Guide $25 to $50: Joy, Jess, Julia, Kim, Nicole, Traci, Courtney / via Oh Joy!

Happy Monday! We're back today with our second holiday gift guide of the season! Last week we shared the Oh Joy! team picks under $25, and this time we're sharing our favorites in the $25 to $50 range. These are great gifts for family, friends, and co-workers who you want to spend a little more on. These gifts are thoughtful, but won't break your budget!

01. Poketo Themis Prism Mobile ($49.50) from Julia, 02. bkr Glass Water Bottle ($48) from Kim, 03. Sugar & Cloth Melamine Condiment Cup set ($25) from Jess, 04. Shashi Golden Sunrise Beaded Bracelet ($44) + Shashi Color Lovers Beaded Bracelet ($42) from Courtney + Traci, 05. Free People Skin Gym Rose Quartz Facial Roller ($28) from Nicole, 06. Ban.do Initial Stud Earrings ($25) from Kim, 07. Herbivore Botanical ROSE QUARTZ Illuminating Body Oil ($48) from Traci, 08. Little Market Personalized Candle ($30) from Courtney, 9. Society6 This Is A Good Day To Have A Good Day Framed Art Print ($50) from Julia, 10. Xenia Taler Marina Dessert Plate - Set of Four ($42) from Joy + Jess, 11. Oh Joy! for CALPAK Power Luggage Tag ($32) from Joy + Nicole.