Growing up, I can remember standing on my mom’s purse (it was a wooden box) to reach the top shelf in the children’s area of Benson Public Library in Omaha, Nebraska. I would sit on her purse and lose all sense of where I was as I became engrossed in a book. My favorite books back then that I can easily recall are Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel, just to name a few. What I picked up were books that represented my family: mainly a white mom and/or dad, and kids or animals.
As a white parent of a child of color, I have an opportunity to incorporate my favorite picture books growing up alongside picture books that represent our interracial family. Children read with both their eyes and ears, and the illustrations within the pages of books can explain more than words can.
The following are picture books that show what we can only assume are interracial families:
- Sammy Goes Flying written by Odette Elliott and illustrated by Georgina McIntyre.
- If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed written by Denise Vega and illustrated by Zachariah Ohora.
- Splash, Anna Hibiscus!, and Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus written by Atinuke and illustrated by Laruen Tobia.
- I am Mixed written by Garcelle Beauvais and Sebastian A. Jones and illustrated by James C. Webster.
- Gracias/Thanks written by Pat Mora and illustrated by John Parra.
- Hello, Lulu written and illustrated by Caroline Uff.
- Henry Wants More! written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Brooke Boyton Hughes.
- I am a Ballerina written by Valerie Coulman and illustrated by Sandra Lamb.
- I am Flippish! written by Leslie V. Ryan and Adolph Soliz.
- I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother written and illustrated by Selina Alko.
- In a Minute written by Tony Bradman and illustrated by Eileen Browne.
- Less than Half, More than Whole written by Kathleen and Michael Lacapa, illustrated by Michael Lacapa.
- Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash and Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Sara Palacious.
- Maxwell’s Mountain written by Shari Becker and illustrated by Nicole Wong.
- The Airport Book by Lisa Brown.
- Who’s In My Family? All About Our Families written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott.
- One Word from Sophia and Two Problems for Sophia written by Jim Averbeck and illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail.