It’s not easy to constantly search for the best books that not only teach my kids important lessons but are also culturally representative. It may seem like there are a lot of options out there, but that’s actually not the case at all.
A little FYI.
Did you know that only 1% of children’s books in the UK have Black and Ethnic Minority main characters? Let that thought sink in for a minute.
Regardless of the statistical imbalance, the benefits of reading books that represent BAME children makes it worth the conscious effort of looking for those books.
So why does representation matter?
It matters because, it helps our children feel visible in society. It dispels negative stereotypes. It matters because, children as young as babies develop a better self concept and self esteem.
Research has shown that self esteem is vital for children in story books. Children will always compare themselves to the characters in the story they are reading. If they dont see themselves portrayed in a positive light it can really damage their self esteem and knock their confidence.
Let’s consciously select our kids’s literature to promote self love, acceptance and confidence.
Here are some of my favourite books with cultural representation that I am currently reading with my 5 year old:
If you want to teach your little ones all about emotional intelligence from a young age, this book is a must have! It supports a emotional health and connection through a discussion feelings and dealings in a rhyme that makes it engaging to read. From reading this book kids discover 26 common emotions and learn how to identify emotions through body language, facial expressions and in social context. I also love the fact that the book celebrates diversity and has children from different backgrounds.
Part of ‘A Big Bright Feelings Book’ series, Ravi’s Roar is a book about dealing with anger and understanding this often overwhelming emotion. I love books that discuss feelings and emotions and break it down to children in a child friendly way. This book is a clever and engaging book to highlight temper tantrums, dealing with emotions and expressing themselves in a healthy manner.
This book is about two little girls who a wish to change their hair, but learn that they are perfect just the way they are. It’s a great book about acceptance and self love. A great celebration of natural and curly hair!
This book is a great bedtime story pick. A positive and uplifting representation of black women in the world. It is a beautifully illustrated book to spark conversations with your kids about achievements by black women.
Like Ravi’s Roar, Ruby’s Worry is also a part of ‘A Big Bright Feelings’ book series. This little gem is one of our favourite go to bedtime stories at home. This book teaches children how to speak about their worries and understand big emotions. What’s wonderful is that the main character is a little BAME girl.
A great book for newly independent readers. This true story addresses sensitive topics about adoption, orphanage, hopes and dreams. This book has been is a easy read and a great conversation starter on more complex topics for your little reader to explore.
These are my daughter’s favourite books which reflect diversity and teach important life lessons.
What are your favourite go to kids books? Leave the titles in the comments below.