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Diversity & Children’s Books

Diversity & Children’s Books

NPR ran a though provoking story this morning about the persistent lack of racial/cultural diversity in American children’s books, even though about half of the kids in the US are nonwhite.

I got to thinking about Baby Beez’ library.  Most of her books fall into two categories: books with animals/cartoon characters/muppets as the main character, or books about Judaism (we are PJ Library subscribers and my mom is also absurdly enthusiastic about sending books about Judiasm). Her library isn’t filled with representations of white kids because it just does not have a whole lot of representations of kids to begin with.  I was pleased to realize, though, that one of her favorite bedtime books, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes (which we call “the baby book” in our house), is incredibly diverse.  I think it’s also sweet when she points out kids from her daycare class in the characters of the book, and it’s neat to watch how her match-ups do not always align with race or appearance.

 ten_little_fingers

Do you seek out representations of diversity in your child’s library? What are some of your favorite childrens’ stories with messages of inclusion?

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