As white women, the past year has been a big learning curve when it comes to educating ourselves on all things anti-racism and how to be a better ally. But what about our kids? How do we help guide them into becoming more equitable, inclusive and unbiased human beings?
We thought that books which open up the dialogue and conversation around anti-racism would be a great place to start. So here’s a round up of the books already on our shelves, and the books we’ve already got lined up as birthday and Christmas presents later on in the year. All highly recommended, award-winning and perfect for kids from birth through to primary school.
Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
Written by Ibram X. Kendi who wrote the best-selling book (for grown-ups) How To Be Antiracist, this colourful kids version of the original whittles down how to build an equal world in nine steps. Each step takes up a double page and is adorned with glorious illustrations by Ashley Lukashevsky. And, as the name suggests, the book is a good one for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
This picture book was a New York Times bestseller, and for good reason. It celebrates diversity and inclusivity with rainbow-bright imagery whilst following a group of school children through their day. In the book, children who wear patkas, hijabs, baseball caps and yarmulkes play side by side in one school setting and everyone is welcome. It’s educational but also heart-warming and great for kids who are just starting school.
IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council and Carolyn Choi
A great first foray into learning more about feminism, this kids book was created by three American sociologists who also all happen to be women of colour. The story follows nine characters who proudly describe their backgrounds and who they are – including languages, disabilities and skin colours. The overriding theme is of allyship, togetherness and of joining forces to create a more equal world.
Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez
Another award-winning picture book with rave reviews, this one follows the journey of a young girl who’s asked the question about where she’s really from. She turns to her abuelo to help her find the answers, and the story honours the themes of identity and self-acceptance.
This Is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe
This book helps kids understand how a day in their shoes could look different to other kids around the world by following seven individuals across the globe, shedding light on their cultures and traditions. The story heads to Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia and helps to better educate about our difference and similarities in a fun and visual way.
Little Leaders: Bold Women In Black History by Vashti Harrison
This book compiles 40 individual stories of black women who pushed boundaries, exceeded expectations and did brilliant things. There are plenty of known faces such as Shirley Bassey and Diane Abbott, but also lesser-known black women who are heroic and iconic in their own rights. Great to dip in and out of at bedtime, and there’s also an Exceptional Men in Black History version too.