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From the Publisher:
When it comes to explaining physical, cultural and religious differences to children, it can be difficult to know where to begin.What Makes Us Unique?provides an accessible introduction to the concept of diversity, teaching children how to respect and celebrate people’s differences and that ultimately, we are all much more alike than we are different. Additional questions at the back of the book allow for further discussion.
Child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts designed the Just Enough series to empower parents/caregivers to start conversations with young ones about difficult or challenging subject matter. Other books in the series deal with birth, death, separation and divorce. For more information, visit www.justenoughseries.com.
Just like the other titles in the Just Enough series, this book is a tool to help parents, teachers, and other caregivers discuss a challenging subject with children ages 3-7. In this title, the topic of diversity (physical, cultural, and religious) is explored. Dr. Jillian Roberts is a child psychologist, so concepts are applied at a cognitively appropriate level. Differences within the human race are compared to the colours of the rainbow and differences on the outside and inside of people are explored. Emphasis is made on the positives, rather than the negatives.The colourful illustrations lend a storybook quality to the book. Some of the language introduced will need explanation and repetition, so this would be best used a one-on-one read aloud or with a small group of children. It would be a perfect “just in time” book after a distressing event such as experiencing a racial slur in the playground, or to help explain some of the negative stories from the news.
Some of the language used was above my (mature-for-her-age) three-year old. I had to do a lot of extra explaining, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The book is broken down into easy-to-follow chunks, allowing for discussion along the way. My daughter responded well to the illustrations, which contain enough diversity to readily support the point of the text. Anything I had trouble explaining at her level was helped by the pictures on the page. The extra questions at the end were helpful, too. This is a very important book to have to help explain and dissect an upsetting event that a child experiences, witnesses, or hears about on the news. It helps make a difficult subject approachable for kids.
- intended audience is kids – rare to find something like this!
- author is a child psychologist, so points are developmentally and cognitively appropriate
- illustrations are eye-catching and support the text – especially helpful for younger kids
- a few sections got a bit wordy and confusing, but this is very minor
Why/How Use it with kids:
- use it to help discuss an upsetting event or news event that involves diversity or racism
- extend the book by asking children to relate their own experiences – good and bad
- draw a picture of what acceptance looks like