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25 Children’s Books Featuring Characters of Color

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Avina Mathieu and family

What kind of books does your child like? Anton loves Pacey Lynn’s novels. year of the dog, year of the ratand days of dumplings.We read a wonderful book last month History of Juneteenth My sons have also just finished reading Colin Kaepernick’s YA graphic memoir by historian Dr. Arisha Norwood Alston. change the game — I read this book with them because there were many nuanced moments about microaggressions and identities that led to long bedtime discussions. Here, he also shares 11 parent favorite books (add yours too!)…


“My 2-year-old found a spot.” theo’s tutu I recently read a book by Marian Jacob Macias at the library and have requested it every day since. In the book, Theo dances bhangra and cumbia at home with his parents and is nervous about his first ballet class as a gender-creative child. We love how many of the characters are his BIPOC and resemble our daughter. ”— Avina Matthewpictured above with her family

25 children's books with characters of color

End of Market Street My son Otis considers Bass a celebrity, so this bus isn’t just our family’s favourite. Christian Robinson draws vivid illustrations (I also like this one) bench, Milo imagines the worldand you are important) and Matt de la Peña writes about seeing beauty and joy in the little things around us. I feel like it speaks to what it’s like to be a kid. Children can be in awe of everything. ”— Chloe Hall (And here is her beautiful uniform)

25 children's books with characters of color

“I grew up with my mother listening to indigenous stories at bedtime, and it’s great to see those same cultural stories now in children’s book form. I Tung You From The Stars Down From The Stars By Tasha Spiret-Sumner.we love too frying pan By Kevin Noble Maillard. — Stephanie Vayner

25 children's books with characters of color

“I first fell in love with Mexican-American superstar Selena Quintanilla Perez when I saw this movie. Serena childhood. We listened to her music at her family’s parties and even dressed up as her for Halloween. Years later, as soon as her family and friends found out I was pregnant with a girl, they gave me a stack of bilingual books. serena board book. Now, as I relax with my 2-year-old Ella, tears fill my eyes as I read about this talented woman who looks up to millions of other Mexican-Americans. It’s also really, really cute to hear her daughter learning new phrases in Spanish. ”— Janelle SanchezDeputy Editor-in-Chief of Cup of Jo

25 children's books with characters of color

“I grew up in Guyana, where the Festival of Colors was one of my favorite holidays. We still enjoy festivities with our multicultural families and neighbors. (Desserts are the best!) So here are the books I picked for my daughter Felicity’s nursery. festival of colors By mother and son team Srishta Segal and Kabir Segal. Another picture book under the mango treeBecause I spent most of my childhood under or in a mango tree, a traditional West Indies hangout for kids. — Nadia Jones Bell, aka Guyanese nutritionist

4-8 years old

25 children's books with characters of color

“The Elders of South Asia as depicted in this book by illustrator Baljinder Kaur Fauja Singh keeps moving forward (by Simran Jeet Singh) fills my heart with pride and gives me comfort when I miss my grandparents. Fauja couldn’t walk as a child, but he grew up to be the oldest person to run a marathon. His story teaches us how to become stronger not only physically but also mentally. — Suki Patel

25 children's books with characters of color

“A picture book by Gillian Tamaki, They Say Blueis one of my kid’s favorites. That’s not only because he’s moody and curvy, but also because he keeps finding new topics to talk about as he grows. First is the color (orange yolk!).it was a girl’s imagination real You can feel it by pretending. Recently, he’s realized how the seasons in the book aren’t the same as the ones he experiences in Los Angeles. I am grateful that this book treats my child’s capacity for surprise and sentimentality so respectfully. I’m also a big fan of Tamaki’s young adult books, especially his novels with great graphics. this summerHas become one of my favourites.banned book— Connie Wang, author Oh My Mother!: Memoirs of Nine Adventures

25 children's books with characters of color

“of another pond In Bao Phi (pictured by Thi Bui), young Bao and his father wake up before their family to go fishing near their home in Minnesota. As they stand together in the morning light, Bao’s father reminisces about a similar pond in Vietnam many years ago. This Caldecott Award-winning picture book is a moving tale of the experiences of an immigrant family. — Tao Tai, author of new novel banyan moon

8-12 years old

25 children's books with characters of color

“Written by my sister-in-law Laila and Ahmed’s adventures in Syria. A glimpse into Syria’s rich culture and history through the lens of contemporary conflict. Our kids had a blast learning about it. ”— Mold Ahuja Malts

“Our favorite books by indigenous authors are i am not a number About boarding school. This character reminds me a lot of my grandfather. — Stephanie Vayner

12-18 years old

25 children's books with characters of color

“My kids are 11 and 14 and still love big and small books. Miles Morales Suspended: A Spider-Man Novel. We saw the movie twice and they were totally into the character.they like it too like lava in my veins, a graphic picture book about a boy with supernatural powers.And I can’t wait to get it capeA powerful new book about coping with grief, written by Kevin Johnson and illustrated by Kit Thomas. ”— bunny hilliardFounder of Brave and kind bookstore

25 children's books with characters of color

“I love books that understand how deeply preteens feel about everything, books that willingly look at the hardest part of being human. It’s the room where I thought I could be alone forever.” It’s like having a buddy Emily XR Pan Amazing Colors in Aftermarket It deals with so many themes: loss, grief, love, hope, but so caring, she feels like a friend. — Mila Jacob, author nice conversation

What children’s books are you reading these days? What books reflect the core values ​​of your culture and family?

PS There are 6 children’s books with black characters and my kids love this cookbook.

(Top photo of Avina Mathieu and her family: by Curly Azolyt. Other photos provided by parents. )

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