Last week, we were reading the book "Dream Big" by Joyce Wan and my 3 year old son asked me why the bus driver was asking Rosa Parks in the book to get off the bus. I really didn't know what to say to him, other than the bus driver was "not a nice person and was judging her by the colour of her skin." I also tried to explain to him how Rosa Parks became an activist and hero following the event. I don't know how much I even should be explaining to a 3 year old. I really don't know what the right course of action here is but what I do know is that it is important that my kids see themselves and the world we live in as part of the stories.
I strongly believe that stories toys and books have the power to influence our children's minds from a very young age. If children start seeing strong protagonists in all colours, they may be less likely to form biases.
We have compiled a list of other books and resources if you are looking to diversify your books and toy collection and spark the conversation about race with your kids.
Raising Allies-to-be our favourite "incomplete guide" to spark conversations with your little ones.
Kim West, Founder of Kidsswag.ca put together a list of resources behind the idea of "Mindful Representation" - being intentional about the images and experiences your child engages in to gain a greater sense of self and an appreciation of others.
Specific books that can be purchased or bought:
Happy in Our Skin - Fran Manushkin, Lauren Tobia
Be a King - Dr. Martin Luther King by Carole Boston Weatherford and James E Ransome
Dream Big - by Joyce Wan
Last Stop on Market Street - by Matt de la Pena and Chirstina Robinson
Chocolate Milk, Por favor - Maria Dismondy, Donna Farrell
We will continue to update this list as we add to our collection.
Thank you so much for all your support,
Founder, Q for Quinn & Children's Book Author, Quinn's Socks, The Contest