If you are a mother with a non-white child, it can seem impossible to find books that not only show different skin tones and features. But also that teach diversity and the beauty in being a person of colour. Which is why before I even gave birth to my daughter, one of the first things I did was stock up o a few books that talk about and teach diversity, the beauty of various skin tones, races, and cultures. But that could also help my daughter feel proud and beautiful inside and out. Here are some of the books I am reading to my daughter and loving.
- Wanda: Having a friend that is an author is one thing. But having a friend who is a children’s book author of a book that teaches pride in various hair textures is another. I first bought this book out of support but the more I read it to my daughter, the more I love it and recommend it to anyone who will listen. The book is a true depiction of the hair struggles many people of colour face. Especially in a world that would have us believe that one type of hair looks neat or nice.
- Hair love: This children’s book, turned short film has been talked about all over the world after it got an Oscar win. Similar to Wanda, the book teaches about hair love and acceptance.
- Elmer: One of my favorite books to read has to be Elmer. This book about a multicolored elephant who struggles with being different is page turner and a great lesson in acceptance. Not only do all the other elephants love Elmers different colours. But they celebrate them too by having a day where they all paint themselves different colours to look like Elmer.
- The counting book of kindness: When I first came across this book I was struck by the fact that it not only taught kindness, but numbers too. Whilst my daughter is nowhere near counting age. Having this book as a starting point for her learning to count seems appropriate. The book is a about a family who have to leave their home due to conflict. They travel through troubled and difficult waters to a new home where they make a life. Throughout the book, their interaction with the new people they meat. And the small gestures shown towards them is used as an opportunity to count. Starting at one and finish at 10. Another great thing about this book is that the proceeds support young children in conflict countries. So not only do you get to teach your little one about kindness. But also get to show them kindness in action by buying the book and supporting the cause.
- Sulwe: I was stunned when I first learnt that academy winning actress Lupita Ngongo was also a children’s book author. But it should also come as no surprise that the woman who helped show the world that dark skin is indeed beautiful. Would also write a book to that effect. In the book Sulwe, struggles with her complexion trying everything to become lighter. That is until she learns to love her dark skin and all manner of skin tones.