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3 stories to connect children with empathy, diversity and inclusion

By: Deepali Bajaj*, Based on weekly series on Ginny’s Planet: What Ginny Reads

Understanding empathy and diversity are the key pillars for building an inclusive world. Teaching children about empathy and diversity from an early age helps in doing so. This could be done in various ways and reading books with children is one such way. Books introduce children to new places, cultures, and experiences while nurturing curiosity and connection with characters in books. In this article, we suggest some books to begin reading with children.

1. Clumsy!

Author: Ken Spillman; Illustrator: Manjari Chakravrti; Tulika Publications

This is the perfect book to begin exploring the world of diversity with your child. The protagonist is a little girl who is called names- like clumsy, owing to her disability. The book explains her journey in finding solace in drawing art. The book uses minimal text. It is filled with illustrations that fit greatly with the narrative which helps us visualize alternate realities with the protagonist. Know more about the book here

2. When God First Made The Animals, He Made Them All Alike

Written and illustrated by K. G. Subramanyan; Seagull Publications

Well, fables are always a hit among children! Thus, the second recommendation is a fable accompanied by beautiful collages. The book brings forth the sense of power one feels in being different. The story begins with God making every animal alike and then the animals adapting to the various externalities and ending up different from how they were. This book beautifully captures the theme that being different is okay, which is the tagline of Ginny’s Planet as well. Know more about the book here

3. Fledolin Upside Down

Written by Antje Damn in German, Translated by Katha Publications

Our third recommendation is a story that involves the only egg-laying mammal: Bats! The story revolves around an unusual bat named Fledolin who loves to stand firmly on the ground rather than being upside down. His parents and others in the bat community, hope that one day he would hang with his head down like other bats. But Fledolin makes no attempts of fitting in and is happiest the way he is. This book has great illustrations as well. Know more about the book here

This Blog post is based on recommendations in ‘What Ginny Reads’, a weekly conversation on books for children. We hope these books help you explore the concepts of empathy and diversity with children.

About Ginny’s Planet:

Ginny’s Planet is a social enterprise Co-founded by Dr. Shweta Verma in 2019. The brand runs on the core value of helping our teachers and parents to teach their children to become independent, smart and better leaders by equipping them with a deep understanding of empathy, diversity, disability and inclusion. Dr. Shweta and the team design events, workshops and products to help guardians & schools to develop kids’ mindset and evolve as adaptive and flexible human beings. They work with schools to organise workshops for children and teachers.

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*Deepali Bajaj, Intern- Content Design, Ginny’s Planet