Before adoption entered our world, we had bookcases full of picture books. After a year of education and research, you'll find new additions. We've always owned books starring characters from all over the world. But now we have more. Diversity has a deeper importance now because we are choosing to add a child of a different race to our family; we are choosing to become a transracial family.
Since our family is Caucasian, and we hope to adopt Latino children, we need to make sure our world isn't quite so white. One small way we can do this is through picture books. So we are stocking our shelves with books featuring people of all races and cultures, books promoting healthy self-esteem, and books dispelling the "families have to look alike" myth.
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands illustrated by Kadir Nelson
A favorite. Kadir Nelson knows how to illustrate a book. Yes, he does. And He's Got the Whole World in His Hands is no exception.
The simple truth of this song coupled with the simple beauty in the illustrations makes it a winner for any child's bookshelf.
The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler
The Skin You Live In is a rollicking and rhyming celebration of skin!
"Your coffee and cream skin, your warm cocoa dream skin . . . Your chocolate chip, double dip sundae supreme skin! Your marshmallow treat skin, your spun sugar sweet skin . . . your cherry topped, candy dropped, frosting complete skin."
There is no need to be color blind when you learn to appreciate the diverse masterpieces God created. And this book helps accomplish just that.
Another book that features an African American child and may be helpful in boosting your child's self esteem is I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont.
Whose Toes Are Those? by Jabari Asim
Whose Toes Are Those? is for younger children (ages 1-4). The adorable text promotes a strong self-image for children with brown skin: "So brown and sweet. Who could have such darling feet?"
Another, similar book by the same author is Whose Knees Are These?
A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza
Sweet little chubby-cheeked Choco is a yellow bird who can't find his mother. Mrs. Bear hugs, kisses, dances, and sings with Choco. She suggests that she might be his mother. Choco answers, "But you aren't yellow. And you don't have wings, or big, round cheeks, or striped feet like me!"
Through a surprise ending, we learn mothers don't have to look like their children. And families simply consist of people who live and love together.