The bestselling book NurtureShock discusses the importance of parents talking about race with their children. Furthermore, the book indicates that the earlier these conversations occur the better–“At one moment a study was conducted between first graders and third graders…‘The researchers found this worked wonders on the first-grade children. Having been in the cross-race study groups led to significantly more cross-race play. But it made no difference on the third-grade children. It’s possible that by third grade, when parents usually recognize it’s safe to start talking a little about race, the developmental window has already closed.’”
Spurred by this knowledge New York Public Library’s Youth Materials Collections Specialist Elizabeth Bird has put together a picture book reading list useful for discussing race, religion and alternative lifestyles with children ages 4-8. Ms. Bird’s list is comprehensive, well-researched and is a great place to start if you are searching for quality diversity related resources.