Why are multicultural children’s books so important?

Different–A Great Thing to Be!

By educating children about different cultures from an early age, we’re teaching them to be accepting of others so they grow up to be inclusive individuals who will thrive living in a multicultural society, like Australia.

At its best, multicultural children’s literature helps children understand that despite our many differences, all people share common feelings and aspirations. Those feelings can include love, sadness, fear and the desire for fairness and justice.

The Uniting Church seeks to be open to changes that the Holy Spirit will bring to the Church
because of the creative contributions of people of different racial and cultural groups to its life.

 In our contexts, supporting our children with an understanding of themselves, their community and the world around them, which lays strong foundations for them to grow, develop and find their space in the world. Our Young people are so many questions to help them figure out their identities and identities of others around them! We live in such a diverse communities, so having children’s books that can help them know through pictures or different people can help them know that difference is good and difference is something great we can embrace and love.

“Learning and discussing different cultures, values, and races teaches your child that it is OK to notice differences, and more importantly, it teaches them that it’s good to talk about them,” Peoples says.

Acknowledging that we are all special and that God creates us unique helps young people know they have great gifts, talents and especially stories that can help as they journey meeting new people culture and different traditions.

Check out these websites and books that may help in encouraging multiculturalism with your young people.

“We are all different and no one is the same. There is no one else in the world like you.”
Lupe is a young Pasifika girl who was born in the heart of the South Pacific. She is now living with her family in Australia, but she has noticed that, with her beautiful brown skin and curly black hair, she looks different from the other children in her school. Curious about her cultural background and where she comes from, the other children begin to ask her questions like “what are you?” Unsure of how to answer, Lupe turns to her mother for advice but does not receive the answer she was expecting. Instead, Lupe’s mother begins to list all the wonderful qualities that make her who she is.



Created due to so many different authors having books based on their cultural backgrounds, Colours of Us is great resource that many can search and read stories of why these authors have decided to write children’s books on diversity and multiculturalism.
Nic is nervous about his first day … but with the help of his mum and a whole class of new friends, it might just be the best day ever. ‘I wrote this for tots, teens and all human beings. Let’s embrace our differences and celebrate our diversity!’ – Nic Naitanui

With themes of self-acceptance, self-love, and diversity, these powerful picture books will resonate with young readers from all backgrounds and of all colours-especially anyone who has ever felt different or that they don’t belong. Loving to embrace other with their different traditions, cultures and backgrounds can help young people be confident and proud to share Gods love with everyone.

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Joyce Tangi is the Children’s/Family Ministry Lead and Field Officer (South) within the PULSE team.

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