Add diversity to your child’s library with these 12 children’s books about people of color (and where the focus of the book isn’t about race).
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Have you considered the host of characters in your children’s books? Most of our books feature animals or ambiguous illustrations. So it’s refreshing to find people of color, especially when the point of the book isn’t about race.
I appreciate books that highlight heritage, pride and differences that children might wonder about. But I also applaud plain old good books that feature people of color just because. For no other reason than because it’s normal.
Take the classic book Corduroy. Don Freeman could have picked any girl to play the role of Lisa, the girl who takes Corduroy home. Instead, Lisa is African-American shopping with her similarly-colored African-American mother in a department store.
There’s no mention of their ethnicity, and for this story, there didn’t need to be. Anybody—black, white, Asian, Latina, Middle Eastern, Native American—could’ve taken Corduroy home as well.
Below are several more books that feature people of color. These books don’t focus on race or ethnicity as a topic. Their characters are people of color going about their business.
And regardless of your ethnicity, these books are important because they show us the world we live in.
You may live in a single-ethnic community, but you can still read about different people. Your kids may not find diversity within their physical communities. These books will bridge that gap.
These books help cement the idea that there are indeed different people. And for my bi-racial kids, these books may be even more affirming that being different can be a good thing.
Children’s books about people of color
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- Hello Baby by Jenni Overend
- Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
- “More More More,” Said the Baby by Vera B. William
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What are some of your favorite books that feature people of color? What role, if any, have books played in explaining different cultures to your kids?