By Bethany Edwards:
As you may have noticed, the number of diverse characters popping up on picture book pages is (slowly) growing. This is largely in part to amazing organizations like KidLit TV raising awareness. Additionally, this is because of people like you who intentionally choose multicultural books for the children in your lives.
Ultimately, I am working tirelessly to push for “diverse books” to be promoted in the mainstream. Publishing multicultural books is a political statement. Join us in becoming a children’s book activist and read these amazing books highlighting multiracial characters.
Below is a list of new multicultural and multiracial picture books that are must be added to your growing diverse bookshelves in 2018.
The Importance of Multiracial Children’s Literature
Multiracial families are the fastest growing population in the world. As parents and educators, I want you to find the best literature that reflects the wonderful and unique experiences of multiracial children.
Books with mixed race protagonists are representing a narrative where different backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures collide. To be sure, the story of my two biracial daughters is not going to be the same as any other mixed child. However, having and exploring a world of books where families do not “match” in books is key.
Must-Read Multicultural Picture Books in 2018
Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship
Raising Multiracial Children: A Parent’s Guide
To read more of our family story, Raising Multiracial Children: A Parent’s Guide explains how we raise our daughter to be resilient. Learn how we teach her to face inequality as well as racial bias as we move around the world as an expat family.
Long before we wanted to, we had to have courageous conversations. This was to help her learn how to respond as well as react. This way, she could protect herself physically and emotionally when she encounters a world full of people who will judge her solely on the color of her skin.
How to Get Children to Read More
Fact: Children will read more if they think the book is funny or interesting.
So, let’s give the kids in our lives a reason to read by being intentional with the books on our shelves.
By doing so, we can help them fall in love with life-long learning through the magical world of books. In turn, reading helps to fight uncertainty or even fear when it comes to learning about a different culture, a new food, religious beliefs, etc.
Take out the guesswork and give children the most colorful bookshelves possible. This way we can simultaneously raise global citizens as we raise readers. We invite you to join our multicultural literature discussion with educators, authors, as well as parents who share a wealth of expertise on a daily basis.
Join our group of multicultural children’s book activists on Facebook.
If you are reading this and thinking “I need to take an inventory of the books in my home/classroom”, phenomenal. When you finish, I have already created a list of wonderful books for every age just for you. I want to help you make an intentional and culturally responsive library full of diverse books that include biracial/ multiracial characters.
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