…without making their diversity the topic of the story
My daughter has recently turned two (read all about her bunny themed birthday party here) and totally loves books! She is half German, half Nigerian and as she is getting more and more aware and inquisitive I wanted to make sure to add a few books to our collection that feature mixed race families as I wanted her to be able to identify with the books she is looking at. As Vicky is still quite little I was specifically looking for children’s books featuring mixed families without making their diversity the topic of the story.
I have done lots of research, read a lot of reviews and bought quite a few books that I thought would fit this brief and I would now like to share the books with you that we like the most. In all these books, the racial background of the featured families is completely irrelevant to the story line. The stories could be about any type of family – mixed or not – so the families are treated as completely normal (what they of course are!) opposed to highlighting their differences to the reader.
I have linked up all books for you if you wanted to check them out.
Through my window (Tony Bradman / Eileen Browne)
This book is a real classic! It was first published 30 years ago and was the first picture book in the UK and US about a mixed-race family where the story wasn’t about race or cultural differences. It’s about Jo, a biracial girl (white father, black mother) who is ill and waits for her mummy to come home from work with a surprise. While she waits she watches the people that walk past her window. Other books from this series: “In a minute” and “Wait and see”.
Sammy goes flying (Odette Elliott)
Sammy goes flying (Odette Elliott) This is the story about a little boy whose older siblings go on a school trip to an aeroplane museum. Sammy is sad as he is still too little to go with them. To cheer him up, his parents and grandmother take him to a small fair instead where his dream of flying comes true.
The airport book (Lisa Brown)
This book is about a family that is flying out to visit the grandparents. It takes the little reader through the different things that one experiences at an airport: from checking bags and watching them disappear on the mysterious conveyor belt, to security clearance and a seemingly endless wait at the gate to finally being airborne. I total love this book! The illustrations are absolutely lovely, there is so much to discover on each page and it’s perfect also to prepare children for traveling by plane. I think that might be my favourite book from this list.
Lily and the polar bears (Jion Sheibani)
This is a cute story about a little girl who is playing on the beach with her grandpa when she spots a group of polar bears and the adventures she gets up to with them. The daddy doesn’t come up in the story at all, just the mummy (black) and the grandpa (white). This book is beautifully illustrated with so many little details to discover.
15 things not to do with a granny (Margaret Mc Allistar / Holly Sterling)
This book features two little bi-racial kids with their two grandmothers. It’s about lots of funny things that you shouldn’t do with your granny. The perfect mix of silliness with a nice sentiment at the end to remind children what they really should do with their grandma. My daughter thinks it’s hilarious!
Twenty Yawns (Jane Smiley)
This cute book from Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley is about a family of three who is spending the day out at the beach and when they get home they are all very tired and are settling down to sleep.
All the above mentioned books have got lovely illustrations with lots of details to discover and are suitable to read to kids from quite a young age.
There are of course also books out there that feature other racial mixes but due to my family’s background I have focused on black/white families here.
I hope you will have the chance to read some of these books with your little ones. They are not only great for kids with multi-racial family background but also if you just want to introduce some diversity into your kids’ book collection.
What are your favourite children’s books featuring mixed families? I would love to hear your recommendations.
I have not been asked to pull this review together. I do however use affiliate links. It doesn’t impact the price you pay at all but it pays me a small commission that helps me to fund the running of this website. Thank you! 🙂