With the call for more diverse books in the publishing business, it’s been heartening to see a small uptick in children’s books that reflect the beautiful diversity of the faces we see around us more and more each day. Heeding that call, three women in central Vermont are striving to make folks in their predominantly white communities more sensitive to the images, products, and media with which we choose to surround ourselves. Color Counterbalance is their labor of love – a website chock full of book lists, resources, products and other tools to help white people become more aware of how whitewashed our daily input is. They also review books, post blogs about talking with children about racism, and challenge white people to commit to broadening our borders, both intellectually and economically.
In honor of the work being done by my friends at Color Counterbalance, I am sharing some of my favorite new books, great for gift giving, that explore and celebrate all our uniqueness.
The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow and James Ransome. Ages 4+
A World of Cookies For Santa by M.E. Furman and Susan Gal. Ages 3+
Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas by Pamela Ehrenberg and Anjan Sarkar. Ages 4+
Yo Soy Muslim by Mark Gonzales and Mehrdokht Amini. Ages 4+
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall. Ages 3+
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James. Ages 4+
Miles Morales: Spider Man by Jason Reynolds. Ages 10+
First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez. Ages 9+
Goldie Vance by Hope Laron and Brittney Williams. Ages 11+
Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag. Ages 9+
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. Ages 13+
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, and more than 60 female artists from around the world. Ages 5+
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris. Ages 6+
Jane Knight is a member of CLiF’s Board of Advisors, as well as the children’s book buyer at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, VT.