Raise Anti-Racist Kids with Board Books for Younger Children

This past week, my 4-year old and my 6.5-year old had endless questions about the protests. For homeschool this week, I pulled out some of the books from their shelves to help foster conversation and help them understand more about what’s going on in our current enviroment.

Reza at the #BLM protest in NYC

Children younger than 4 might not understand what racism is, but children as young as 6 months begin to notice and show preference for race. By the time a child is 5, they express racial bias according to a study done by Erin Winkler. 

To have conversations with children when they are older, parents need to make kids aware of race a lot sooner. A good start to counter racist socialization and racial bias is by introducing age appropriate books at an early age.

I have met so many moms who say, “I don’t see race or a person’s color. I’m colorblind. They are all people to me.” Pretending that race doesn’t exist and “avoiding conversation about race only encourages prevalent stereotypes [to] remain unchanged” states Erin Winkler.

Children’s books, introduced at a young age, are an effective means to encourage conversation and a great tool to teach younger children how to dismantle oppression.

Introducing books as early as a few months old can help your children be aware and help foster race discussions when they are 5 or 6.

Some of my favorite board books for younger children include:

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
There is a board book version and a paperback version. This is a favorite in our house and explains all the different colors and shades of people using food. My son loves to identify as toffee and my daughter, caramel.

Order it on Amazon:

Ages: Birth to 4

Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxbury
When my kids were babies they loved identifying with the babies from around the world. The babies might live in different houses and places around the world, but they all have the same things in common.

Purchase the book from Amazon

Ages: Birth to 2

More, More, More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
Children will love this book that spans multiple generations and shows multiethnic children showered by kisses and love by the adults around them.

Order on Amazon

Ages: Birth to 4

A is For Activist by Innosanto Nagara
This sweet, rhyming ABC board book introduces social justice and encourages children to stand up for justic and have their voices heard.

A if For Activist

Order on Amazon

Ages: 2-4

 

One by Kathryn Otoshi

My son loves this book (not technically a board book) that introduces the concept of  social justice to really young children. The story features “blue” who gets bullied by “red,” but never stands up to him. The colors all come together and take a stand against red and teach the value of the power of  “One.”

One

Order ONE on Amazon. 

Ages: 2-4

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee

I love that this book portrays a diverse group of families engaging in everyday activities.

Order it on Amazon here.

Ages: Birth to 2

Next up, I’ll be posting on age appropriate books for kids 4-8.

Have a suggestion to the list? Drop it in the comments below.

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Want to listen to  my audio stories featuring diverse characters? Just click here. 

Want to know why I started writing diverse audio stories for kids. Read about me here.

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