Good evening all! I’m so excited that Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla has given me the opportunity to collaborate with her for this guest post!
I’m still working on our book collection, but I put together a review of 7 books that I think are great for talking to your kids about what it means to be biracial. And for those of you who aren’t raising biracial children, these books are good for the classroom, church or even for parents who adopt outside of their race.
As a school counselor, I’ve learned that kids in general usually have some sort of identity crisis in middle or in high school. Why add the confusion of who am I (race wise) to that?
10 years ago, many of these books didn’t exist. What did parents of biracial children use as a reference point for their children? We love books in my house! Before my children were even born, some of these were in my possession. I wanted to be sure that my children were confident in who they were from an early age. It’s never too early to talk about the difficult subjects. Here we go…
This was one of the first books I bought before I had my first child. I love that it relates skin color to food (honey, cinnamon, toffee, butterscotch). The front cover has brown girls and a blonde girl, but there are also Indian and Asian people in the book.
I had to buy this book because the illustration on the front cover looks like my family. The picture sold me before I opened the cover! This book is written in a poetic, sing-songy rhythm. That element wasn’t my favorite because it some places the words didn’t make sense, however the message is definitely there.
I just purchased this book last week, but I think it’s my favorite! I love that the book just jumps right into the issue. The child asks why his mother isn’t mixed like him and he expresses his insecurities about not fitting in. Here’s one of my favorite lines from the book: “Although we look different, we really are the same. Your features are beautiful so don’t be ashamed.” If you don’t purchase any other books, this is a must in your collection.
If your kids love Sesame Street, then this book is the place to start. Sesame Street has never disappointed when it came to educating and talking about diversity. Not only does it show diversity in skin color, but it also shows many of the characters that we have come to know and love on Sesame Street.
This was a the cutest, sweetest story! If your children have ever told you they wanted to be someone else, then this is the story for you! A kangaroo adopts a lamb, and both try to relate to each other in strange ways. This is a story your children will grow to love, and I think you will too! If talking to your children directly about race related issues at a young age seems scary for you, you can take the more overt way by reading them this book. I promise you, it won’t disappoint!
Last but not least, I am mixed talks about what it means to be mixed. If you ever watched the Jamie Foxx show in the 90’s, then you’ll remember Fancy. She’s the author of this book! If my review of how awesome this book is isn’t enough for you, then maybe you’ll appreciate that Halle Berry gave it a thumbs up too! One of the most unique features about this book is the conversation piece for kids and parents at the end. There’s a family tree page, about me, and even a guide for conversation written just for parents!
In my experience, the more you can talk to children about difficult issues, and the sooner you can do it, the sooner they will prepared for the difficult road ahead. Society will try to put your child into one box, and they will be often be rejected by people because they are too much of one race and not enough of another. I plan to continue adding to our collection. If you haven’t started one, I hope you will now!