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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Goodnight Racism is a picture book by New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi, illustrated by Cbabi Bayoc. Kendi is known for writing about racism and anti-racism, having published the controversial Antiracist Baby. This gentle bedtime book calls on young dreamers to imagine "what is possible": a world that's safe, fair, and peaceful for all. "A world where all kids have the same chance / to have peace, / to have joy, / to have a childhood." The pages are full of diverse families and inclusive themes and ideas, from the moon smiling down on households where dinner tables all look different to a carnival scene with big flashy signs featuring "True Acceptance," "Fairness," and "Fresh Squeezed Compassion." Through the lens of racism, the book puts to bed all types of injustice, including unfair rules, cruelty, inequality, hate, and hurt.
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What's the Story?
In GOODNIGHT RACISM, children across the city get ready for bed. The moon shines down on all children, despite their differences or circumstances. Children drift off into dreams -- dreams that have the power to change the world. Images show what the world could be: a place where all people are safe despite their differences; where all children have a solid foundation and equal start in life; where everyone has their basic needs met; a place rooted in justice for all. It's a world that can be achieved by putting racism to bed and saying goodnight to unfair rules, injustice, hate, and more.
Is It Any Good?
More than the average bedtime story, this is beautifully illustrated social commentary. Goodnight Racism shows what kind of world we could have if people put racism to bed, along with its equally shameful relatives. With powerfully positive messages, it emphasizes change starting with the younger generation. It touches on issues that create inequitable lived experiences and shows what's possible if we level the playing field. It could have used a glossary to help young readers understand terms like "injustice" and "cruelty." But still, it works as a bedtime story, reminiscent of the classic Goodnight Moon, or as a conversation starter with talking points that impact us all.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about diversity in Goodnight Racism. How do different families eat dinner together? How do families worship differently? What do you notice about how different families look?
How do the pictures show peaceful sleep? How do the pictures show loving families? How do the pictures show joyful living?
Why is it important to dream? In what ways could the world be better if we live out our dreams? What do you dream about?
- Author: Ibram X. Kendi
- Illustrator: Cbabi Bayoc
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Activism, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Empathy
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Kokila
- Publication date: June 14, 2022
- Number of pages: 32
- Available on: Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: June 17, 2022
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