Representation Matters: 7+ Books to Add to Your Child’s Home Library

When you are expecting a baby, I’ve learned, you should also expect books. Whether you request them or not, people will inevitably start stocking your child’s collection. We asked for books for my child’s baby shower, and I was thrilled to start him out with a great collection. But what I noticed really quickly is that the books’ main characters were, primarily, one of two things: animals or white people.

I am white and my husband is Black. It is very important to me that my son sees himself reflected in the stories we read to him every day. Regardless of the myriad identities your children hold, having a diverse library that represents the beauty and uniqueness of themselves as well as the people they will meet, play with, and learn with is incredibly important.

I’ve put together a list of some of the books we have in our collection that we really enjoy. My children are currently 1 and 3, so this list skews young and is by no means exhaustive. If you are looking for some great suggestions for diversifying your home library, I recommend following @diversereads and @theconsciouskid on Instagram. Both accounts have stories and lists with many, many more amazing books to check out for all age groups.

  1. Please Baby Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
  2. A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
  3. I Am Mixed by Garcelle Beauvais and Sebastian Jones
  4. Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn (this is part of a series, and we also love Leo Can Swim)
  5. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López
  6. Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison
  7. Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi and Ashley Lukashevsky

Oh, and if you’re considering buying these books, please support your local and Black-owned bookstores like The Frugal Tree in Roxbury or Olive Tree Books-n-Voices in Springfield!

Colleen Lubin is a native of Arlington, MA, who dragged her New Yorker husband back to the Boston area after years of splitting the difference in Connecticut. She has 15 years of experience in training, development, culture, and belonging in higher education and recently moved into the marketing industry. Colleen is a fierce advocate for women and families navigating infertility, loss, and postpartum challenges. Colleen uses honesty, authenticity, and humor to break down the stigma, raise awareness, and support the infertility community on her blog and Instagram at @notquiteknockedup. Colleen is a mom of two miracles, Liam and Logan, born in 2018 and 2020, who keep her both young and tired. She loves listening to '90s hip hop and R&B, trying new recipes, Peloton-ing, sleeping as much as possible, and eating New York bagels. She does not love writing about herself in the third person, calling customer service, or bagels from anywhere but New York.