Children’s Books that Celebrate Diversity and People of Colour
Being a Person of Colour mother I want to make sure my son, Kiko, grows up seeing differences as a beautiful thing that should be explored, appreciated and respected. There are many ways we build this into his day to day life, including children’s books that celebrate People of Colour. He is already seeing how his skin is different from his friends but he only sees it objectively; it’s just something different about him like the colour of hair or eyes. I know this will probably change as racism is still prevalent in our society. Growing up I was so ashamed of my skin, every day I was made to feel inferior by kids at school, and the media – but that’s a story for another time.
I expose Kiko to many multicultural experiences such as:
- reading books that celebrate diversity and People of Colour,
- going to multicultural festivals,
- listening to music from different cultures,
- attending cultural performances,
- seeing multicultural art,
- observing Indigenous ceremonies and celebrations,
- taking part in walks/protests,
- exposing him to other languages and foods.
- Yesterday we attended a storytime celebrating Eid which was delivered in English and Arabic (pictured above).
We are lucky to live in a community where these things are possible, but of course, there is so much more that can be done.
Here are some books that I love sharing with Kiko. Each is a link, just in case you would like to add to your library:
Let’s keep this conversation going and be active members of change through calling out racism and discrimination, donating to organizations supporting marginalized groups, and education through books and experiences.
– Eileen (Mum to Kiko, and our Facebook manager superstar)
I am so grateful to Eileen for sharing her experiences and ideas with our community. I am aware that as a white woman I have had so much privilege in my life. It’s not enough for me to be anti-racist, I need to keep educating myself. As a teacher, I have always worked hard to learn phrases in the first language of my multi-lingual students, and to have different cultures and People of Colour represented in the books we read. One of my favourite things to do in class is to invite parents to teach us how to count, say animal names and make animal sounds in all the different languages in our community. One of my favourite classes was an Explorers class, where we had more languages in the room than people!
Here are some books we love to sing in class that feature People of Colour. These are links too:
- What a Wonderful World – Weiss and Thiele/Bryan
- Moon, Moon – Koomzal (a traditional Korean folk song)
- If I Had a Dinosaur
- The Nature Girls and The Weather Girls
- This Jazz Man (includes a biography of the musicians featured, so you can look them up on YouTube)
- Love Makes a Family – Sophie Beer
- The Wonderful Things You Will Be
These are small steps, and so much more needs to be done. Let me know if you have any further suggestions and resources so we can keep this conversation going.
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