Reading is essential for children at every developmental stage. As a mom to a baby, I started reading to my son early on. It is important to me that he sees images that reflect his likeness and that are diverse. Every child can benefit from books with various illustrations. Bonus if the books feature historical facts and figures like Dr. Martin Luther King! Here are five books I recommend specifically for babies of color!
The illustrations in this book are vivid and artistically pleasing. Not only will your little one gravitate to the depictions of historical figures, they’ll thoroughly enjoy all the colors and designs. Ask me how I know. My little guy can’t get enough. From tennis All-stars The Williams Sisters to W.E.B. Dubois, this book features a range of figures. The back of the book includes a baby-friendly mirror with an affirmation!
This gem by Vashti Harrison, like the previous book, highlights historical Black figures. The bonus? It highlights women. It’s a fun way to introduce the impactful ways that women make a difference in our world. From journalist Gwen Ifill to Nina Simone, this book is filled with sheroes—a perfect companion for babies of all genders. It’s part of a larger inspiring series of books that includes Think Big, Little One; Follow Your Dreams, Little One; Dream Big, Little Leader.
I Already Love You is a tender tale celebrating all we love about our infants: their laughs, their toes, their bellies for tickling, and more. The illustrations display diverse depictions of children across ethnicity, size, and religion. It’s a great way to help identify body parts. It’s perfect for bonding with your baby.
Grandma’s Tiny House by Janae Brown-Wood is a fun story that helps our littles become familiar with numbers. Featuring a story focused on a big family gathering, think Sunday dinner at grandma’s or a family cookout. Counting family members and menu items, will everything fit in Grandma’s house? The illustrations feature family love and joy.
This one is for the Dads! This book highlights the adorable relationship between little Leo, the main character, and his Dad. The images are delightful, and the story is fun and lovable.
As the publishing industry continues to diversify and create space for more authors of colors, there are tons of books available for children at every stage. These five books for babies of color are just the tip of the iceberg. Some others not mentioned are Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi and another favorite for toddlers and up, Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry. This DC Area Moms article features Black Women in STEM. What are your favorite reads for your little one? Drop them in the comments below.