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Black Love Reads: 4 Must-Read Books to Teach Your Kids About Family Diversity
by Charnaie Gordon
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July 31, 2019

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Black Love Reads: 4 Must-Read Books to Teach Your Kids About Family Diversity

BlackLove.com has teamed up with Here Wee Read’s Charnaie Gordon to give you a bi-weekly review of must-read titles for you and your family. Charnaie, a wife and mom of two from Connecticut, is passionate about instilling a love of reading, lifelong learning, and curiosity in her kids. With Here Wee Read, she shares that passion with the world by highlighting the importance of representation in books, including titles with main characters of different racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds.

Growing up as a child in a diverse neighborhood, I was exposed to families in many different forms. From multi-generational families, to adoptive, LGBTQ, multiracial, and single-parent homes, I was fortunate enough to learn from the community around me.   Very rarely was I exposed to families that had a traditional mother and father.

Related: Black Love Reads: 4 Must-Read Bedtime Story Books By Black Authors

Luckily for my children, there’s an increasing number of children’s books today that showcase family diversity and blended households. Check out some of my favorites, featuring all kinds of family structures with one thing in common… an abundance of love!

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Credit: Amazon

This is an excellent story about a young trans boy named Aidan who is about to become a brother. Aidan wants to ensure everything is “just right” so the new baby feels welcome. I adore this heartwarming story because it seems authentic since it’s written by a transgender person. Children (and adults) not only walk away with a glimpse of the transgender experience, but they also get to understand some of the anxieties that may arise with an older sibling welcoming a new baby into the family.

My Two Dads and Me by Michael Joosten

Credit: Amazon

An adorable board book that showcases loving dads doing everyday things with kids like playing with blocks and visiting the park. Each page features a different family.  Overall, it’s a very nice board book with vivid illustrations to use when introducing smaller children to same-sex families. Be sure to also check out the one for moms called My Two Moms and Me. Ages 0-3.

Mixed Me! By Taye Diggs, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Credit: Amazon

Young Mike is full of confidence and is proud to celebrate his biracial identity. Using poetic prose, Mike isn’t ashamed to tell the world how good he feels about himself: “I’m a beautiful blend of dark and light, I was mixed up perfectly, and I’m JUST RIGHT!” This book was inspired by Taye Digg’s real-life son who is also biracial. Ages 4-8.

Just Right Family: An Adoption Story by Silvia Lopez, illustrated by Ziyue Chen

Credit: Amazon

Little Meila loves her family and thinks it’s just right. One of her favorite things is when her parents tell her a bedtime story, the story of how she was adopted from China. One day, everything changes when Meila’s parents tell her she is going to be getting a new baby sister from Haiti. Initially, Meila is skeptical about having a sibling, but she warms up to her new sister as soon as they meet. Ages 4-8. 

Family by Isabell Monk

Credit: Amazon

A cute and feel-good book about a girl named Hope who goes with her mixed-race family to visit Aunt Poogee and spend the summer with her cousins. At her aunt’s house, Hope finds catfish, cabbage, trumpets, lots of aunts and uncles, ice cream, crab cakes, and lots of fun! In the end, the whole family gets together to have a big family dinner. Great for teaching kids about the importance of family, family traditions, and other cultures. Bonus points for this book having multiple recipes in the back which can be a wonderful beyond the book activity. Ages 4-8.

Read more at hereweeread.com and be sure to follow Charnaie Gordon on Instagram @hereweeread!

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