Tae's favorite book right now is My First Chinese New Year. We've been reading it, well, ever since the lunar new year. I have to admit, I'm curious why this one is her favorite - it's not the most exciting book - no flaps, nothing to feel. At Grammy and Grandpop's house, Tae was also pretty curious about Big Bird in China. There's one page with a picture of people doing tai chi in a park, and I caught Tae just studying this picture. But, we've also read Halmony's Day and she didn't seem that interested.
Part of me wonders (hopes?) if Tae is interested in these books because they have imagery of people who look like her and her family. Granted, we've also noticed that about 90% of the people that Tae interacts with on a regular basis are also Asian. Beyond our families (who are Chinese American and Korean American), my closest colleagues at work are all Asian American, and my husband works at a Japanese restaurant. We've created this mini Asian American community for Tae in a city that does not have a large Asian American population at all.
I know little kids are really a lot more aware than we think. So, does Tae really like Kim, the angry little Asian girl because she looks like her? Does she have a concept of race already? Does she notice all the Mexican kids in our neighborhood and wonder why they don't all play together? I've made it a point to introduce Tae to books like skin again by bell hooks. I wonder how much of this she's really absorbing.
What do you do to introduce issues of multiculturalism and diversity to your children?