Books that will broaden young kids’ perspectives

Among these pages, they’ll find a true representation of the world.

Challenge your kids.Annie Spratt via Unsplash

In this day and age, a lot of stories told through children’s books don’t stand the test of time in terms of appropriateness (see the bloodiness of the original Grimm’s fairy tales and problematic race stereotypes in Curious George). Luckily, there are a number of modern books that teach children about equality and fairness, and portray minorities as heroes. Here are our top picks for forward-thinking books for kids.

How Roland Rolls

How Roland Rolls

A book about consciousness and death written by Jim Carrey.Amazon

This 2012 winner of a Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award tells the story of a wave named Roland who’s afraid of his fate once he hits the beach. As he ponders the end of his existence, he realizes he’s not just a wave, but also the whole ocean. It’s a compelling and beautiful metaphor for how interconnected we all are.

Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere

Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere

It’s never too early to start teaching mindfulness.Amazon

For kids who break out into tantrums or get easily upset, Breathe Like a Bear is an illustrated collection of mindfulness exercises. It includes 30 simple and short breathing exercises to teach kids body awareness and emotional management. They can be done at school, in car rides, and even on stressful homework nights.

Teen Trailblazers: 30 Fearless Girls Who Changed the World Before They Were 20

Teen Trailblazers: 30 Fearless Girls Who Changed the World Before They Were 20

Real stories about real girls who weren’t waiting for princes.Amazon

Before Greta Thunberg there was Joan of Arc, Anne Frank, Cleopatra, and many others. Even though gendered toys and stereotypes are still prominent in society, there’s no shortage of stories of bold and fearless women who are unafraid to challenge the status quo. This book, which tells the stories of 30 of them, is the perfect gift to inspire any tween.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

An adorable story of LGBTQ love that gives back to a charity.Amazon

A very special male bunny, Marlon Bundo (the same name as the real-life pet rabbit of vice president of the US, Mike Pence), falls in love with another male bunny. It’s written by John Oliver and spreads a message of love, tolerance, and acceptance for same-sex marriage and democracy. Naturally, it’s funny as well.

First Generation: 36 Trailblazing Immigrants and Refugees Who Make America Great

First Generation: 36 Trailblazing Immigrants and Refugees Who Make America Great

A book that redefines what All-American means.Amazon

In an era in which immigration is portrayed as a threat, this book does well to tell the extraordinary stories of the lives and achievements of first-generation immigrants who’ve made an irrevocable impact on the US. From diplomats to musicians, scientists to chefs, the book represents people from Somalia, Syria, Mexico, Sweden, and beyond.