NLU Assistant Professor Toby Rajput appeared on FoxChicago’s “Good Day Chicago” television show Monday to offer holiday gift suggestions of diverse children’s books.
She explained to WFLD Channel 32 interviewer Corey McPherrin that diverse books, i.e., books that show the diversity of people, help children both see and affirm themselves while also developing empathy for others.
That helps children build their confidence and grow their understanding of the different types of people in this world and the challenges they may face, said Rajput, assistant professor in National Louis University’s Reading and Language program and Youth Literature Librarian of National Louis University’s Center for Teaching through Children’s Books.
Diverse books function as mirrors so children can see reflections of their own lives, windows so they can see the lives of others, and sliding glass doors for readers to walk through in imagination and become part of the world in the book, she explained.
Rajput asked viewers to check out the 2015 Holiday Diverse Book Gift List from National Louis University’s Center for Teaching through Children’s Books, which she compiled. It has suggestions for gifts books for children in different age categories, from preschool through Grade 3, Grades 4-7 and Young Adult.
The books will help children fit into an increasingly diverse world, and better understand their classmates who have unique identities and cultures.