Here’s a book about two little black boys that I think all kinds of kids should read:
I picked up this book because it’s by Lauren Child, and in our house we love Lauren Child. I also picked it up because it has two little black boys on the front, and there are not enough little black boys, even in books, in our house.
My favorite thing about this book was what happened when I read it to my five-year-old and we got to the third page.
Even though my boy is pretty white, he looked at this picture and he said,
“That’s me, right, Mom? Because I like jelly beans, too.”
And, you guys, when a little white boy immediately identifies with a little black boy, whether in a book or on a playground or at school or whatever, that’s the beginning of the fix of a lot of our problems.
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This article published in Slate last year has some great ideas about thinking about race and then talking about it with kids. Black kids get race talks from their parents all the time. I think white kids should, too.
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Lauren Child is one of our favorite children’s book authors. She writes the
Charlie and Lola series, which we all adore. The kids love that Charlie and Lola are funny; I love that Charlie and Lola are funny while being kind to each other. The big brother doesn’t pick on the little sister or call her names. They are nice. Charlie and Lola are white, and Lola’s best friend, Lotta, is black — and a great recurring character.
(Bonus: My kids start speaking in tiny British accents after watching episodes of the TV series based on the books. “It’s an absolute disaster, Charlie! What are we going to do???”)