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.
- Please Baby Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
- A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
- I Am Mixed by Garcelle Beauvais and Sebastian Jones
- Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn (this is part of a series, and we also love Leo Can Swim)
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López
- Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison
- 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!