Where do you locate picture books that showcase interracial families?
After being the recipient of a book baby shower (for which I am
grateful for the outpouring of love and support), I realized that 97% of all
the books focused on white families with white kids or books that had animals
as the main character. The majority of
the books did not show interracial families, such as my very own.
This led me to question and seek out my local bookstores in
trying to identify picture books that showed interracial parents or interracial
families. The local bookstores did not
seem to have many books that either had non-white main characters or
interracial families, even when I stopped and asked for assistance.
As a librarian, I began researching the various library
catalogs, children literature databases, and websites for books, trying to
identify books that I could bring home to my daughter, who is of Ethiopian
descent. The search results brought back
a few hits, but not a lot with which I wanted to start to build my home library
If I, as a librarian, were having trouble with my local
bookstores in trying to locate books, and the library catalog was not descriptive
enough to identify the race or ethnicity of the characters in the book, how could
families, who did not have the library databases at their fingertips, find and
build a collection of books that represented their family?
This project was initially started with the idea of locating
books that showed interracial families.
As other members began to be interested in the project, the topic
expanded to include LGBTQ+ families, as a parent from the daycare in which my
daughter attended, asked me about books that represented her family.
As I looked around my world of friends, colleagues, and neighbors,
I soon learned that families needed books as tools to help explain different family
the change that you want to see. As a
librarian, I felt charged with creating a database that could benefit more than
just my daughter and me.