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5 Books to Support Acceptance and Belonging

At New Horizon Academy, teachers use our character education curriculum to teach children important concepts such as respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, self-discipline, trustworthiness, diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Our anti-biased curriculum is weaved into daily activities to help children accept, value, and celebrate diversity and to respect and build empathy and compassion for others.

Acceptance and belonging are important concepts for children to learn. By reading books and engaging in meaningful conversations, you can teach essential lessons of acceptance, universal values, diversity, respect, kindness, empathy, and compassion for others to your child. Here are a few books to get you started.

Families Belong by Dan Saks

Your family will enjoy this rhyming, light-hearted celebration of families being together. From singing songs together, to sharing food together, your family will celebrate what it means for a family to be together.

Reflection Questions to Ask While Reading

  • What do you enjoy doing with our family?
  • What is your favorite song to sing with me?


It’s Ok to be Different by Sharon Purtill

This book celebrates the uniqueness of every child. Whether you are short or tall, like to swim or dance, you are special and should be celebrated for whom you are.

This book helps children appreciate themselves and others and learn the important lesson of kindness.

Reflection Questions to Ask While Reading

  • What do you like to do?
  • Discuss how you and your child are alike and different. For example, you love to sing along with music, and I like to dance to music.


Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman

This board book is perfect for your toddler. Toddlers are interested in practical, daily aspects of life, so your family will enjoy reading this board book about a toddler spending the day with loving same-sex parents.

Your toddler will enjoy this rhyming and beautifully illustrated story.

Reflection Questions to Ask While Reading

  • What do you enjoy doing with our family?
  • What is your favorite thing about our family? Mine is… (share your favorite, too.)


I’m NOT Just a Scribble by Diane Alber

In this story, Scribble never thought he was different until he met his first drawing. Then, he was left out because he did not look like everyone else. With Scribble’s help, the drawings learn to accept one another for who they are, and once they do, they create amazing art!

Reflection Questions to Ask While Reading

  • How do you think Scribble felt when others didn’t want him in their drawings?
  • What did Scribble do to help others learn about acceptance?
  • What happens when they all work together?


Sock and Shoe and Kindness Too by Oakley Splitt and Eric Splitt

A father and daughter authored this delightful story. Seven-year-old, Oakley, was feeling ill and was home from school. She began rhyming with her dad, and they authored the book Sock and Shoe and Kindness Too.

Your family will enjoy the playful rhyming and counting in this story and learn lessons about compassion and kindness.

Reflection Questions to Ask While Reading

  • How did bear help kangaroo?
  • Share three ways you can show kindness to others.

Empathy and compassion are learned at an early age, and reading books help children develop these important skills. Also, as your child learns more about themselves and others, they help create an inclusive classroom and community. Thus, resulting in a better world for everyone.

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