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Anti-Racist Books For Young Kids

22 Books That Teach Young Kids About Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality

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The events of the past week have made it clearer than ever that white Americans need to be stronger, more active, and more consistent allies in the fight for equality. White parents, in particular, are asking ourselves how we can raise children who will be part of the solution. Children perceive race before they're even a year old, so our work in raising anti-racist children needs to start at the very beginning. We need to introduce our children to the concepts of representation and inclusivity early and often, and one easy way to do this is by thoughtfully choosing the books we read to them.

The lack of representation and inclusivity has long been an issue in children's literature. A 2019 study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison showed that more children's books featured animals as main characters than depicted Black, Asian, Latinx, or Indigenous characters. Unfortunately, it's much harder to find find children's books that are widely representative than it should be. We know that it's important for minorities to see themselves represented in media, but it's also important for white children to see characters unlike themselves, too.

Here is a list that we've compiled for books that we recommend parents read to their young kids, starting from birth. Some of these books are examples of the type of representation we want to see more of in children's books, and others teach valuable lessons of inclusion and equality. And we want to be clear — this is just one small step that parents can take. There are so many things that white parents can do to become better allies. We should read books and educate ourselves about race in America. We should talk to our kids about race and white privilege. We should model anti-racism for our kids by thinking critically about everyday choices and actions we make. We should recognise that this is just the beginning of a long conversation, and that our efforts towards raising anti-racist children should be an integral part of our everyday lives.

Image Source: Amazon

Ages 0-2: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes (£6) is a playful and rhythmic book that celebrates babies from around the world.

Image Source: amazon.co.uk
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
£6
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Ages 0-2: Dream Big, Little One

Dream Big, Little One (£13) celebrates 18 trailblazing Black women in American history, all in the perfect bedtime story.

Image Source: amazon.co.uk
Dream Big, Little One
£13
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Ages 0-2: A is for Activist

A is for Activist (£6) is not your standard alphabet book. Teach your child the ABC's, alongside lessons about activism, justice, protest, and equality.

Image Source: amazon.co.uk
A is for Activist
£6
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Ages 2-4: Ada Twist, Scientist

It's easy to celebrate a book that features a young Black girl who loves science. Plus, Ada Twist, Scientist (£13) is very fun and playful to read.

Image Source: waterstones.com
Ada Twist, Scientist
£13
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Ages 2-4: One Word from Sophia

One Word from Sophia (£14) is a great example of the type of families we'd love to see more of in children's books.

Image Source: amazon.co.uk
One Word from Sophia
£14
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Ages 2-4: Where Are You From?

Where Are You From? (£16) is a book for anyone who has ever been stumped by the question, "Where are you from?". It's a powerful book on self-acceptance and identity.

Image Source: amazon.co.uk
Where Are You From?
£16
Buy Now

Ages 2-4: I Am Enough

I Am Enough (£10) is all about loving and celebrating who you are.

Image Source: blackwells.co.uk
I Am Enough
£10
Buy Now

Ages 2-4: Last Stop on Market Street

Last Stop on Market Street (£12) follows a boy and his grandma as they travel to a soup kitchen by bus and meet interesting and unique people along the way.

Image Source: amazon.co.uk
Last Stop on Market Street
£12
Buy Now

Ages 4-6: The Day You Begin

The Day You Begin (£14) teaches kids how to navigate a world when they don't feel like they fit it.

Image Source: amazon.co.uk
The Day You Begin
£14
Buy Now

Ages 4-6: Sulwe

Sulwe (£11) is a beautiful story that aims to teach Black girls — and everyone — that dark skin is beautiful.

Image Source: hive.co.uk
Sulwe
£11
from hive.co.uk
Buy Now

Ages 4-6: This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World

Take your kids on a journey around the globe in This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World (£7).

Image Source: hive.co.uk
This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World
£7
from hive.co.uk
Buy Now

Ages 4-6: All Are Welcome

With both an educational element and colourful, inclusive illustrations, All Are Welcome (£7) shares the caring message that every child has a place and a space at school.

Image Source: waterstones.com
All Are Welcome
£7
Buy Now

Ages 4-6: One Family

One Family (£7) is beautiful in its simplicity. The book celebrates how all families are a little bit different.

Image Source: amazon.co.uk
One Family
£7
Buy Now

Ages 4-6: Let's Talk About Race

Let's Talk About Race (£6) is another celebration of what makes us unique, while striving to spark conversation between you and your child.

Image Source: amazon.co.uk
Let's Talk About Race
£6
Buy Now

Ages 4-6: Beautiful

Every girl should have Beautiful (£9) on their bookshelf. It celebrates all the qualities that make ALL girls beautiful — independence, strength, uniqueness, and fun.

Image Source: blackwells.co.uk
Beautiful
£9
Buy Now

Ages 4-6: Little Leaders : Bold Women in Black History

Little Leaders : Bold Women in Black History (£8) is an important book that tells the stories of black trailblazers in American history. Harrison has also written Little Leaders : Exceptional Men in Black History (£8), that is worth picking up as well.

Image Source: waterstones.com
Little Leaders : Bold Women in Black History
£8
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Little Leaders : Exceptional Men in Black History
£8
Buy Now

Ages 4-6: Mae Among the Stars

Learn about the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison with Mae Among the Stars (£14).

Image Source: amazon.co.uk
Mae Among the Stars
£14
Buy Now

Ages 4-6: I Am Human: A Book of Empathy

I Am Human: A Book of Empathy (£9) celebrates acceptance and compassion. Like the other books in this series, the illustrations are inclusive.

Image Source: blackwells.co.uk
I Am Human: A Book of Empathy
£9
Buy Now

Ages 4-6: A Kids Book About Racism

Author Jelani Memory wrote A Kids Book About Racism ($10) because he knows that kids can handle more than we think. This book isn't meant to be read and then put away, but should be a conversation starter for you and your family.

Image Source: amazon.com
A Kids Book About Racism
$10
from amazon.com
Buy Now

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