As a marketing professional analyzing book data and husband to a teacher, I am tired of seeing the stereotypical books from other authors.
I’ve been going to Barnes & Noble a lot lately only to get frustrated at the book selection. It’s frustrating seeing so many fun looking books from some authors only to see a picture book with black characters with a story about their cotton fields dreams.
Picture Books With Diverse Characters
There are so many books from black authors filled with these difficult-to-read cultural themed books that are extremely inadequate and often restrictive. These books are usually problematic for young black boys, many of whom are already not a fan of reading.
Children’s books, especially newer picture books for black kids, featuring people of color often avoid all the fun imagination and creativity of science fiction and focuses on the historical figures and the hard struggles. Yes, the past sucks but it’s so weird to read these type of books to children for storytime or bedtime. And no doubt, black historical figures are important, but black children picture book authors should be able to find aspects of the culture outside of the stereotypical stories about our history.
Black Authors Picture Books
The popular black children’s books should not be limited to these narratives about our tragic history. There are amazing children’s books that all kids love. Many of the children’s books for black children appeal to the parents more than the children. Strangely, they are written for parents who believe it’s important for children to learn about their history at a young age. It is important for children to learn about their history, but we should be able to do this while keeping it fun for the children.
I’m currently focusing on picture books with more diversity. I want to recommend and support children books that can successfully talk about race and culture in an organic way. Race and culture should not be the driving factor of any of the stories.
Best Diverse Picture Books
Ultimately, I want to support good diverse picture books, no matter who the main characters are and so should you. Your children will thank you for it later in life. Book publishers need to do better and support the talented picture book authors and book illustrators of color. We have more to offer the industry than the same sad stories.
Finally, here is a list of children books with diverse characters focused on creativity and imagination without any themes focused on race.