September 21, 2015

Six Cute Picture Books Featuring Children of Color

Six Cute Picture Books Featuring Children of Color: My recent picture book discoveries in my quest to introduce my kids to more diverse books.

Recently I've decided I need to do a better job of introducing my kids to more diverse books. All too often I stick with classics from my childhood, or the handy, easy-to-grab ones from the library, without taking the time to really dig around for some more variety and diversity.

This last few weeks I've been doing more research, and reserving more diverse titles, and we've found some winners. I'm especially fond of the titles that are just nice stories that happen to have children of color in them (without an emphasis on diversity being the whole point of the book). Here are a few of the ones we've been enjoying.

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas - This is a Chinese-American retelling of the Goldilocks story, where young Goldy attempts to take a plate of turnip cakes to her neighbors for the New Year, and accidentally destroys their apartment - eating all their congee, breaking the bed, etc. But Goldy learns her lesson, and takes responsibility for her actions, leading to a nice resolution. The illustrations are super cute, and it includes a little nonfiction description of Chinese New Year traditions, and a recipe for turnip cakes at the back.

Happy in Our Skin - I am kind of in love with this book. It features babies of all shapes and sizes and colors, and has a nice rhyming text - describing "bouquets of babies -- cocoa-brown, cinnamon, peaches and cream". The illustrations are sweet, the babies are happy, and I'm thinking I'm going to be buying it as a gift for my next friend who has a baby!

Tiger in our Soup - This little boy is attempting to get his big sister to take her earbuds out and read him a book. But while he's waiting on her, he eats his alphabet soup - and a tiger jumps out! It has imaginative pictures, and the expressions on the big sister's face are pretty priceless.

Jamaica and Brianna - Jamaica has to wear her brothers' hand-me-down boots, much to her dismay, because they're gray and "boyish", but her friend Brianna has beautiful pink boots. So Jamaica picks a hole in the toe of her gray boots in order to have an excuse to buy new ones. But will Brianna still laugh at the new ones?

Grace for President - I cannot express how much I love this book. Grace Campbell is indignant to discover that there has never been a female president, and decides to run for school president. But can she beat the soccer captain/spelling bee champ? This book is awesome because (a) it teaches all about the electoral college, and (b) it's totally a "girls can do anything" kind of book. I literally burst into tears as I was reading to Eleanor, and she was like "Mom, why are you crying? This is a nice book." And I was like, "Grace grew up to be president, and you can be president someday too if you want to!" Oh man, I'm getting all teary again just thinking about it.

The Boy From the Dragon Palace - A flower seller drops flowers into the sea, and earns a reward from the dragon king - a small snot-nosed boy. Every time the boy sneezes, the flower seller's wishes come true - but will the flower seller become too greedy for his own good? I'm pretty sure that every preschool age boy will LOVE this book. I mean, snot is figurative gold for the preschool crowd, and literal gold in this book.

Do you have more diverse recommendations for me?

Six Cute Picture Books Featuring Children of Color: My recent picture book discoveries in my quest to introduce my kids to more diverse books.