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Unfortunately, finding books with brown characters, especially brown boys as the lead character, is not as easy as one would think.
All children need to see themselves represented in print, person and in the media.
There have been so many negative stereotypes about brown boys in the media, so it is important for parents to send positive messages to their children early in their lives.
As a young girl, I remember the excitement I felt the first time my dad brown home a brown ballerina Barbie doll. Of the Barbies I owned, she was the most beautiful to me because I could relate to her.
She looked like me.
Even if you are not raising a brown boy, exposing your children to books with diverse characters teaches them the importance of diversity. It shows them that beauty comes in all shades!
Here are a few of my family’s favorites:
My girls couldn’t stop giggling at the title. My youngest immedietly wanted to know why Billy Bloo was stuck in the goo. It is a fun rhyming book with bright and vibrant illustrations. It is a lengthy, but perfect for a night time snuggle + giggle session.
As a school counselor, I love the message behind this book. The main character is the victim of bullying when his shoes falls apart in the middle of gym. The school counselor provides him with another pair, but he feels a little envious of the kids who can afford “those shoes.”
Without giving away the ending, i can tell you that the main character makes a kind and heartfelt decision after getting a pair of “those shoes.” If you are looking for a way to talk about bullying with your elementary aged child, this book is the perfect segue into the conversation.
Does your child have a pet? Do they desire to have one? Then your family will love Not Norman. It documents the story of Norman and his pet fish. Norman got his pet fish as a gift, and throughout the book he talks about how much he wanted another pet because there are things his fish simply can’t do.
Your heart will smile by the end of the book when Norman makes a decision about what to do with his unwanted pet.
When I first saw the cover of this book, I was intrigued. It’snot everyday that you see a book with a brown boy on the cover wearing baggy jeans, dread locks and a smile. Kudos to the illustrator.
Marcellus’s mother has a short afro and she talks to him about what school will be like. He worries about wehther or not kids will like his hair.
If you are having a new baby, then you HAVE to add this book to your collection.
Even though the main character is a brown boy, he is an only child adjusting to a new sibling…a concept any child can relate to.
Do you have any baseball lovers in your family? Then this book is for you! Luke wants to play ball with the big kids, but he gets a chance he strikes out. I love that the book references Jackie Robinson.
From a young age, children notice differences and begin to look for mirror images of themselves. When they cannot find a positive representation of themselves, they begin to attach their identity to another source that they think is positive, whether it is or not. Why don’t we show them that brown boys are kind, smart, imaginative and so much more!