This week’s episode of Story Effect promotes children’s books and coloring books with black protagonists and/or that encourage discussions about race. As parents add books to their children’s bookshelves, it’s important to include stories with diverse casts. From board books to coloring books, these six choices promote positive messages and push conversations about a need for equality, giving parents an opportunity to teach children how to continually work at being antiracist.

Meet Feminist Baby Boy in this follow-up to the New York Times bestseller by two-time Emmy Award-winning author Loryn Brantz!

Feminist Baby shoots for the sky,Feminist Baby knows it’s OK to cry!
Feminist Baby Boy loves learning, loves being himself, and knows the importance of being in touch with his feelings.

This witty and important board book celebrates the joys of modern childhood while teaching that feminism is for everyone.

BUY IT! *Amazon *IndieBound *Barnes and Noble

From Bunmi Laditan, the creator of the Honest Toddler blog, The Big Bed is a humorous picture book about a girl who doesn’t want to sleep in her little bed, so she presents her dad with his own bed―a camping cot!―in order to move herself into her parents’ big bed in his place. A twist on the classic parental struggle of not letting kids sleep in their bed.

BUY IT! *Amazon *IndieBound *Barnes and Noble

Beautiful hand-drawn illustrations with messages of tolerance and togetherness to help educate and inspire children.

Community educator Kadeesha Bryant has created a unique coloring book that mixes creative fun with powerful messages of hope and understanding. Every page contains hand-drawn illustrations to color as well words of wisdom on overcoming prejudice and bridging divides in our society. Examples include: 

  • The only thing that should be separated by color is laundryHate causes a lot of problems – but hasn’t solved oneStrong people stand up for themselves. Stronger people stand up for othersJudging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you areThere is one race that matters most. The human race
  • People of quality do not fear equality

This anti racist book for kids is designed to help instill hope and humanity through our children. Makes a perfect gift for kids of all ages and parents who want to see a just and tolerant society.

BUY IT! *Amazon *IndieBound *Barnes and Noble

From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist comes a fresh new board book that empowers parents and children to uproot racism in our society and in ourselves.

Take your first steps with Antiracist Baby! Or rather, follow Antiracist Baby‘s nine easy steps for building a more equitable world.

With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.

BUY IT! *Amazon *IndieBound *Barnes and Noble

Handpicked by Amazon kids’ books editor, Seira Wilson, for Prime Book Box – a children’s subscription that inspires a love of reading.

Winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe’s vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat’s own introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn’t always have to be neat or clean–and definitely not inside the lines–to be beautiful.

BUY IT! *Amazon *IndieBound *Barnes and Noble

Book Chat with Jakava Steptoe

With increased media access, which includes social media platforms, our children are constantly bombarded by images of beauty that do not reflect the diversity inherent in our society. This can cause feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth which can impact all areas of a child’s life including their performance in school.

Young girls of color are especially affected since most published media portrays an unrealistic idea of the ideal aesthetic. Consequently, for young girls, if they do not resemble that aesthetic they start believing that they are not considered beautiful.

With beautifully written rhymes and illustrations, Don’t You know You are Beautiful Just the Way You Are! encourages young girls of color to love and embrace who they are. A loving conversation between a mother and her young daughter, Destiny – who does not like the way she looks – opens her eyes to her unique characteristics and beauty, teaching her a valuable lesson about self-love and acceptance.

Don’t You know You are Beautiful Just the Way You Are! will inspire children to look within themselves and to their loved ones for examples of beauty and their role models.

This is the ideal book for bedtime reading and for use as an instructional tool to educate, entertain, and empower young girls. We hope that this book will spark a paradigm shift and help to redefine our perception of beauty one child at a time.

BUY IT! *Amazon *Barnes and Noble