Diversity education is essential to giving children equal opportunity to succeed and to become culturally-aware, accepting people. Language Lizard’s new series of Living in Harmony books makes it easy to build diversity education into your classroom and home. This series is also a wonderful resource for language learners.
I’m writing about Language Lizard as we’re getting ready to celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 29th. The publisher sent me these books so I could share my impressions with my readers as part of the MCBD celebration.
Language Lizard and Diversity Education
Language Lizard is an independent publisher of bilingual books and educational materials in over 50 languages. The company creates culturally responsive teaching materials as well as providing free multicultural lesson plans for schools and homeschooling families.
Be sure you check out all their wonderful bilingual books and diversity education resources on the Language Lizard website. The Living in Harmony series is coming in February!
Diversity Education Picture Book Series
Living In Harmony is a series of three picture books focusing on diversity, kindness, and friendship. All the titles have simple sentences supported by bright, multicultural illustrations. In addition, all the books engage young readers with inclusive text and content.
Be Kind – Sé amable
Be Kind / Sé amable shows children helping others with simple acts of kindness. Young readers will identify with the examples in the book and think “I do that too!” The specific, everyday activities represented in the book also make it easy for teachers and parents to personalize the conversation.
Who Are We? – ¿Quiénes somos?
Who Are We? / ¿Quiénes somos? helps children appreciate diversity. The book is in the first person plural, and I love this inclusive narration because it makes the reader part of a group and creates a feeling of belonging. Of course, the book is inclusive, with representations of all kinds of diversity. As they read, children will think “Yes, that is who I am. That is who my friends and family are.”
We Can All Be Friends – Todos podemos ser amigos
We Can All Be Friends / Todos somos amigos is about what we all have in common. Like Who Are We? / ¿Quiénes somos?, the book pulls children in by using a first person plural narration.
The text uses todos with general verbs like todos comemos, todos creamos, todos jugamos and supports the words with lovely illustrations of children. The general vocabulary makes it easy for parents and teachers to ask about more specific activities: ¿Qué comes? ¿Qué te gusta jugar?
The tone of this series complements and enhances the content. The honest, direct narration speaks to children, so kids see their best selves in the books. They will want to identify themselves as part of these stories.
Living in Harmony Series and Spanish Learners
This is a wonderful set of bilingual books to read with Spanish learners. All three texts use simple, patterned structures in the present tense. In addition, they have useful, high-frequency vocabulary.
One of the things I appreciate most about these books is that although the sentences are simple, they are not in the least condescending. These don’t feel like baby books. The tone is respectful and positive, something that young readers definitely appreciate.
You can learn more about the Living in Harmony series in the trailer below and on the Language Lizard website.
Find more books for Spanish learners on our Spanish Books for Kids page.
Diversity education is not always easy, but it essential. Like many aspects of teaching, good materials make all the difference. The books in the Living in Harmony series from Language Lizard communicate respect and appreciation for diversity and serve as springboards for valuable conversations. They are an excellent addition to a school, classroom or home library.