It can be challenging to start conversations with a 4-year-old about topics such as inequality, race, or the simple fact that not everything in the world is right or fair.
Actually, let me take that back.
It's difficult to start a conversation with a 4-year-old about ANYTHING that does not involve snacks. Am I right?
While I try to take advantage of his short moments of focus and desire for dialogue, it can still be difficult to know where to kick things off. “Hey buddy, what do you think about people who are different than you" might work for some, but not with this one. Fortunately there are incredible storytellers out there who have done the great work of putting these complex realities into story forms that can help ignite small conversations with our little ones. Our bedtime routine usually involves three books, so we've always tried to integrate at least one story with content that goes below the surface of trucks and talking animals (which are still cool by the way).
I've gone ahead and made a list of books that we've read in our family that might be useful for you, plus a few others that have been recommended to me by friends. One of them is the book pictured called, "Wingari's Tree of Peace." It's based on the true story of a woman named Wangari Maathai, who was the founder of the Green Belt Movement and the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
There are, of course, countless more. What ways are you starting small conversations in your home about the struggle for justice? Any other book recommendations?
Recommended books. *Side note: I'm SO guilty of not doing this, but PLEASE check your local bookstore before shopping on Amazon. My links are to Amazon, but your locally owned bookstore can always get it for you. If you are in Sacramento, check out Underground Books.