The Books We Read To Children

Why Mindful Purchases Matter

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Diversity & Empowered

As a pre-kindergarten teacher, in both Washington D.C. and San Francisco, I spent years nurturing growth for young students; cognitively, physically and emotionally. To be in the classroom was to enter a place of wonder. One where children discovered the world around them through science, exercised important social-emotional skills amongst new friends, and strengthened their fine and gross motor skills. 

For kids, books become a fun way to absorb new skills, and story time serves as a daily source of joy and creativity. Each year, our classroom fostered a love of books through reading nooks, book fairs, and parent participation. Over time, I became exposed to thousands of children’s books, the time-tested classics, the popular, and the modern. It was during my teaching years that I observed something starkly lacking in children’s literature. Few storybooks portrayed women as bold, confident, and ambitious leaders. As a feminist and an educator, I knew firsthand the impact a book has on a child. A book is an opportunity to inspire, to teach, to love. 

One of my favorite memories as a young child was belonging to a monthly book subscription. The first box included a tote, and each time I received a book, I’d carry them in the tote and walk around the house proudly. I loved reading as a child, and growing up my love and respect for books only grew. I knew with each book I read, a new opportunity was born, to think and discern more clearly, and to live a more complete and whole life. As if that wasn’t enough, books also gave me the opportunity to serve. I now teach new generations of kids literacy skills, and pass on the profound and celebratory experience of reading. 

When I reflect on the types of stories I read as a child, I carry mixed feelings. I am deeply grateful to have been surrounded by books growing up, and yet know, many of the ones I read lacked characters that looked like myself and other minorities. Besides a superhero, I cannot remember a single storybook containing any powerful, and in-charge female characters. While I may not be able to go back in time, and hand a younger version of myself a book with hispanic characters, or brave female leaders, I can do something to bring about change today. Selecting books I read to children with intention, books that have representation of multicultural backgrounds, and stories that portray girls and women as they truly are; intelligent, brave, and empowered. Because I know, that when kids are exposed to stories with bold characters, they feel empowered, and empowered kids are something we need more of. When a child opens a book and sees a character that looks like themself, they feel just a little more loved and celebrated. A book is a powerful tool to give to a child, let’s select them mindfully.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...



    by [email protected]

    Why Is It So Important For Children To Have Hobbies And Interests?

    by Jacqui Preugschat

    Surrounded and Educated by Nature

    by Lucy Crisetig
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.