I remember when my husband and I were preparing for our first baby. We stocked up on diapers, clothes & books. We understood the importance of embracing our multiracial family and celebrating all families in their uniqueness.
Representation matters. Even if you aren’t in a multiracial family, it’s important to show your children diversity through literature.
This is especially important if you are not living in a diverse community. Children need to see themselves & their friends represented in books. The beauty of owning books that feature an array of cultures, races & ethnicities is that they normalize interracial relationships. Here is a list of 8 books that you need in your personal collection.
Families Are Different by Nina Pellegrini
The title alone screams multicultural awareness. This lovely book is about two Korean girls who were adopted by White parents. It celebrates the love between the girls and their parents as well as their differences. I love that it addresses adoption, multiracial families, and various family structures. I love that it shares about single parent families, multiracial families, multigenerational families, small & large families, and many more. This book is perfect for any family.
Happy Hair by Mechal Renee Roe
As a woman with naturally curly hair & two daughters with different textures of curly hair, this book is one of our favorites. It features various shades of brown girls and highlights the beauty of different hair styles.
Black, White Just Right! by Marguerite W. Davol
This book introduces us to a multiracial family composed of a black mother and white father. The daughter is the narrator and she celebrates the attributes she has in common with each parent. The beauty in this story is that the author goes beyond the obvious physical attributes and digs deep into how her parent’s hobbies and activities shape the little girl into the person she is.
Sesame Street We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Jane Kates
This was one of my oldest daughter’s favorite books, even as an infant. The bright colors and familiar characters excited her every time we read the book. Not only does this book use fictional characters to explain differences, but it also includes a myriad of ethnicities and shades of people.
Happy Adoption Day by John McCutcheon
The artwork in this book is amazing. Every page looks like a beautiful painting & the message is just as beautiful. Even though this is a book about adoption, it opens the door for a conversation about families that look the same as well as different. Each page highlights a variety of races.
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
This one, hands down is a favorite of mine. “My name is Lena, and I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up.” Kids will love the comparison of skin color to food. My daughter read the book and tried to find the brown character that most closely resembled herself. Another kudos for this book is the diversity in the names of the characters (Jo-Jin, Kyle, Carlos, Rosita, Candy, Lucy Mr. Pellegrio)
I Am Mixed by Garcelle Beauvais
What I love about this book is the author (remember Fancy from the Jamie Fox show?) has twin biracial boys herself, so the book hits close to home. Twins Jay & Nia narrate the book and they take you on a journey of what it’s like for them to be mixed race. Also, for those of you that are environmentally conscious, the book is printed on 100% recycled paper.
Diapers Are Not Forever by Elizabeth Verdick
At some point, your sweet little infant will become a toddler and need to be potty trained. I found that reading books about potty training were extremely helpful in transitioning my toddler and peaking their interest in the potty. When I found this book, I was elated to discover that it contained a variety of diverse characters all discussing potty training and big boy/girl underpants. It doesn’t get better than this!
It’s never too early to read to your children. I read to mine when they were infants. What are some of your favorite books that feature diverse characters?
I had the distinct pleasure of doing a collaborative multiracial link up with the four ladies listed below. If you haven’t checked out their pages & content, head over to their blogs via the links below and give our posts a share!
Raising Multiracial Babies: Expectations vs Reality Baby Making Machine
How to Prepare for a Multicultural Family The Almost Indian Wife
Will my Child Look Like Me? Thoughts from a Multicultural Mom Raising Whasians