Kimberlee Hauff, MD, FAAP
Secretary, WCAAP Board of Trustees
I struggled a bit with explaining racism to my 3-year-old daughter, Enli. I leaned on my pediatrician backbone of “books can teach for you,” and knowing that books are a great way to cover difficult topics for kids. The following are books that I’ve read tons of times; and gifted to friends and colleagues over the past several months.
Here are a few of the anti-racist books I’ve found for young kids (2-6yo) that I read to Enli:
- ‘A Kids Book about Racism’ Jelani Memory
- Enli’s review: she hates that there aren’t any pictures.
- Mom review: easy to digest concepts and the lack of pictures forces you (the reader) to give examples and paint a picture for the reader.
- ‘Let the Children March’ Monica Clark-Robinson
- Enli’s review: lots of questions about why they used strong hoses on kids and put them in jail.
- Mom review: starting with pictures and concept about Black kids not being allowed to play at the same park was an easy-to-explain introduction into segregation. There is a bit of violence in the book; but it didn’t scare Enli who is typically sensitive to those sorts of things.
- ‘Antiracist Baby’ Ibram X. Kendi
- Enli’s review: too short, “pretty pictures and cute baby.”
- Mom review: should be on every bookshelf!
Here are a few other amazing books featuring Black authors and stories, but are not anti-racist per se; if I worked in a community clinic I would put these in the waiting room/include them in my reach out and read selections:
‘Crown – An Ode to the Fresh Cut’ Derrick Barnes
‘Trombone Shorty’ Troy Andrews
‘Bedtime for Sweet Creatures’ by Nikki Grimes
Resource for similar books: https://inclusivestorytime.com/