By Megan Kreider and Eleanor Delewski
When you start the foster or adoptive process one of the first questions you will be asked is "Are you open to accepting children of another race?" - it is not a simple question and should involve some soul searching on the part of the prospective parent. Raising a child of a different race means being conscious of race issues in America, being intentional in exposing our children to people of their own racial group, thinking hard about things that many parents do not have to think hard about - like what books are on your book shelf. When raising a multi-racial family it is very important that our book shelves included diversity and that children can see characters in the books they read that look like them.
Both Megan and Eleanor are experienced foster and adoptive parents, between them they have parented over 20 children. They have considerable experience in navigating the complexities of being a transracial family. This post includes a list of books they have on their own bookshelves and is a great starting place for families who are already parenting children of a different race, or plan to in the future.
(Note: Richie's Wish is part of the Amazon Affiliate program, we receive a small percentage of any books purchased via the links below. Any proceeds go toward future projects).
We're Different, We're the Same
Who better than Sesame Street to teach us that we may all look different on the outside—but it's important to remember that deep down, we are all very much alike. We all have the same needs, desires, and feelings. Elmo and his Sesame Street friends help teach toddlers and the adults in their lives that everyone is the same on the inside, and it's our differences that make this wonderful world, which is home to us all, an interesting—and special—place.
And That's Why She's My Mama
What is a Mama? A mama is someone who is always there for you. She makes you your favorite food, takes you to the park, and kisses your boo-boos better. Some mamas didn't hold you in their belly, but they will forever hold you in their hearts. Mamas come in all different shapes, colors, and ages, but they all have one thing in common. They love you! Enjoy the multiple characters in this children’s story which explores the loving tasks of what makes a mama
The Colors of Us
Seven-year-old Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when she and her mother take a walk through the neighborhood, Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades.
Through the eyes of a little girl who begins to see her familiar world in a new way, this book celebrates the differences and similarities that connect all people. Karen Katz created this book for her daughter, Lena, whom she and her husband adopted from Guatemala six years ago.
Young Gifted and Black
Meet 52 icons of color from the past and present in this celebration of inspirational achievement—a collection of stories about changemakers to encourage, inspire and empower the next generation of changemakers.
An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.
I Am Enough
This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another—from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.
Bravo! Poems About Amazing Hispanics
Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot―the Latinos featured in this collection, Bravo!, come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds. Celebrate their accomplishments and their contributions to a collective history and a community that continues to evolve and thrive today!
Growing up Latino in America means speaking two languages, living two lives, learning the rules of two cultures. "Cool Salsa" celebrates the tones, rhythms, sounds, and experiences of that double life. Here are poems about families and parties, insults and sad memories, hot dogs and mangos, the sweet syllables of Spanish and the snag-toothed traps of English. Here is the glory--and pain--of being Latino American.
La oruga muy hambrienta/The Very Hungry Caterpillar: bilingual
The time-honored classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar is now available in two bilingual formats, bringing together two languages for the ultimate reading and learning experience. With easily readable side-by-side English and Spanish text, it's perfect for children learning to speak either language.
Besos for Baby
Everyone has kisses for Baby, from Mami and Papi to perro and gato. Using simple Spanish words, this charming read-aloud proves that love is the same in every language! Parents won't be able to resist giving baby muchos besos as they share this bilingual read aloud, filled with bold, graphic illustrations, with their little bébé!
A Mother for Choco
Choco wishes he had a mother, but who could she be? He sets off to find her, asking all kinds of animals, but he doesn't meet anyone who looks just like him. He doesn't even think of asking Mrs. Bear if she's his mother-but then she starts to do just the things a mommy might do. And when she brings him home, he meets her other children-a piglet, a hippo, and an alligator-and learns that families can come in all shapes and sizes and still fit together.
Does your family have a favorite book that we forgot to include on the list? Tell us in comment below and we will add the link to this post.