When I discuss “representation” in our Western culture, what I refer to is the ability to see minority figures portrayed in all walks of life. It is crucial for my little girl to see black women as teachers, doctors, lawyers, and police officers. Black women are intelligent, courageous, persistent, and gifted as mothers, wives, and a million other “everyday” roles.
This week, I want to share three books that we love featuring sweet, spunky, talented, and adventurous little black girls.
I love everything about Princess Truly. First of all, she has beautiful, curly hair just like my little brown princess. Secondly, Truly courageously explores the world and everyday life using her imagination.
As an adoptive mom, the author, Kelly Greenawalt, created Princess Truly when she noticed a shortage of princesses that reflected the faces of her daughters. Along with the illustrator, Amariah Rauscher, she founded a small publishing company, Lemon Starfish, dedicated to “publishing engaging books featuring characters in all shades.”
Mary Had a Little Glam shines as a modern take on a traditional nursery rhyme. Excited for her first day of school, Mary decides that her look needs just a little more “glam.” But, once she arrives, she observes that everyone else missed the memo! Mary livens up the school day with fashion, beads, and accessories all around.
However, my favorite part of the book doesn’t happen until the end; Mary realizes that she must shed all her favorite things in favor of the playground. Recess gives her another lesson in fashion, “True glamour often calls for lots…but sometimes less is more!”
We love Beautiful! It features girls of all shapes, sizes, abilities, and shades—each beautiful in their own way. Each time we read it, Aliana points out which girl represents me and which represents her. She always chooses a dark-skinned, curly headed girl for herself and that warms my heart every time.
I love that she can read a book like this and be empowered to do anything just as she is. It also doesn’t hurt that the illustrations are bright, colorful, and fun and show the girls using their imaginations while covered in dirt!
Our family adores all the Lola books, but especially this one! Lola looks forward to going to the library every week and describes all her favorite things about it. From story time to the special kids’ section, Lola cherishes each and every one. It is rare for us to make a library trip without returning home with at least one Lola book in our bag!
Thankfully, the list of books featuring diverse characters continues to grow. There are plenty more that we’ve discovered but these are our favorites!
What books showcasing diverse characters does your family love? Or perhaps you are a librarian or teacher and have some titles for us? Please share in the comments below or let me know on Instagram @thenovelendeavor.