It’s no secret that the not enough children’s books encourage positive depictions of black characters or even display enough images of black people carrying out everyday activities. Representation is key, especially at a young age when children begin to build the foundation of their identities.
To date there is only one Disney princess depicted as a black girl and although ‘Princess and the frog’ is great, she’s a frog for 90% of the the film. This lack of diversity trickles down into children’s self image and although only it may seem like merely entertainment, the effects of not seeing people who look like you can be extremely damaging.
So to combat this we’ve compiled a list of children’s books that display affirming images of girls like us to help nurture a positive self image
Daddy, do my hair by Tola Okogwu
Daddy Do My hair is a series of books celebrating the relationship between Fathers and their children. Each book features a new father-daughter duo working together to explore issues such as bullying, friendships and perceptions of skin colour and hair types.
Love Thy Fro by Casey Elisha and Aliecee Cummings
Love Thy Fro is the perfect story for those just learning to care for their hair. It follows the story of Kemi and her fro from washing to styling and even includes interactive elements to link hair care back to the reader.
Big Hair, Don’t Care by Crystal Swain-Bates
This book follows the life of Lola, a young black girl in love with her huge fro. It’s designed to help build confidence and self esteem around curly hair for children who need a reminder that you’re beautiful even when the world seems to tell you differently.
My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin
Following the life of Alvina, a mixed race child of black and white heritage, ‘My Two Grannies’ shows what life can be like when two cultures come together under one roof. After Alvina’s parents go on holiday her two Grannies move into the house to look after her. What follows is a mixture of games and stories outlining how our differences can ultimately be what bring us together.
Emi’s Curly, Coily Cotton Candy Hair by Tina Olajide
Emi’s Curly, Coily Cotton Candy Hair teaches foundational natural hair care techniques in a memorable way through Emi, a 7 year old with a huge imagination.
I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
Championing the diversity of afro hair, ‘I Love My Hair’ outlines the many styles a child can rock from braids to fros to puffs. Seen through the eyes of Keyana and her Mother this story includes watercolour artwork to illustrate the true beauty of black hair.
Color My Fro by Crystal Swain-Bates
Color My Fro features illustrations of natural haired young girls in everyday situations as well as mythical creatures including mermaids, fairies and warriors. Grab your pencils, crayons and afro pick and bring the characters to life!
Happy Hair by Mechal Renee Roe
Happy hair utilises call and response to promote positive self image for girl’s of all shades and hair types. Great for bedtime or morning reading to remind your child of their beauty