I did not want my baby consumed with books solely filled with cartoon characters, talking animals and people who don’t look like her. I found it important to find books that represented all walks of life, showed families that resemble her family and have a lesson in the end.

It is important for all children, not just black and brown, that they are exposed to stories that acknowledge and appreciate all walks of life. Little girls need to know that they can save themselves and don’t NEED A prince to rescue them. Little boys need to know that it is okay to play with dolls and love to cook. Children need to know that not all families have a mom and a dad…and that is okay!

Here is a list of books that I have found acceptable as I try to expose my incredibly blended family to literature that represent our lifestyle as well as the world we live in.

I have personally read and re-read all of these books to my daughter. In trying our best to be intentional with the subliminal and direct messages she receives, we believe this collection below helps us on that journey.


When God Made You

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

My favorite part of this book is clearly the message that when God made you, he made you perfectly. This book takes a step further and brings in the biblical message that God knows everything about you before you were even born. However, this piece mixes the biblical references with some swag.

‘Cause when God made you, this much is true,

the world got to meet who God already knew.

You, you when God sees you,

God delights in what is and sees what’s only true.

That you-yes, YOU- in all of your glory,

bring color and rhythm and rhyme to God’s story.

The illustration are so incredibly colorful and bright, the entire book can capture the attention of any child.

Target Age: 2-8 years old

Target Gender: Both

Amazon Cost: $7.40

Who’s In My Family?

Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families by Robie H. Harris

This book is one of my favorite solely because of the thought that went into the illustrations. The book focuses on Nellie and Gus and their family trip to the zoo and all of the events leading up to the outing, followed by a family get together afterward. Who’s In My Family is very direct about the fact that all families have similarities as well as differences.

When talking about breakfast with the family before the zoo, the differences are clearly spelled out.

Families eat many different kinds of food for breakfast. Some families eat bacon, eggs, bagels, and juice.

Some eat oranges, blueberry pancakes, and milk.

Some eat pita bread, hummus, cucumbers, and olives.

Some families eat soup, shrimp dumplings, and rice.

Some eat raspberries, bananas, granola, and yogurt.

Some eat papaya, burritos, and hot chocolate.

I love how clearly the message is sent that, not all families do what your family does and that is okay! However, what I like more than the clear messages, are the pictures and subliminal.

While at the park looking at animals, there are a lot of families shown. On family has a mom and a dad. Another family has two moms. A different family has an interracial couple with no children. Another family has a mom, dad, daughter and a son in a wheelchair. There are families with single moms and single dads. There are families that seemingly show grandparents raising young children. It shows AMERICA!

Target Age: 2-8 years old. However there are some grown ups who need to read this book. So I will change the target age to 2-102.

Target Gender: Both

Amazon Cost:


Mixed Me by Taye Diggs

The star of this story is Mike, Mixed Up Mike. Mike is a young boy who points out the differences between his mom and dad and how he and his parents address it.

My mom and dad say I’m a blend

of dark and light.

“We mixed you perfectly,

and got you JUST RIGHT!”

Mike also makes references to comments and conversations had at school about his identity.

Some kids at school want me to choose

who I cruise with.

I’m down for FUN with everyone.

The level of confidence Mike shows is what I hope for my daughter and all bi-racial children. This book focuses on what Mike likes to do, who he is, what he loves while showing his understanding of what others may focus on….his skin color. I think that is a realistic way to maneuver this world. I think it is smart to focus on the important things, but also be aware that not everyone thinks the way you do and you have to manage them at times.

I’m doing my thing, so don’t forget it.

If you don’t get it, then you don’t get it.

UH-HUH, I said it!

Target Age: 4-10 years old

Target Gender: Both

Amazon Cost:


I Can Draw By Erihii (Eric) Nyamor

I Can Draw is a journey through a young man’s life as he learns to embrace his unique artistic abilities. It is a journey through time for the adults who read this book to their children. There are a number of nostalgic references hinted at throughout the book.

The book also shows children the steps it takes to succeed with a step by step testimonial and visual of the main characters artistic abilities.

“I’m in 5th grade, and I can draw. I’m influenced by comic strips like Garfield, Curtis, and Zits. Calvin and Hobbes is my favorite on the list. I made a new comic, and it looks like this….”

This book is for kids of all ages; however, I think it will definitely speak to those who love cartoons and anime, enjoy drawing and coloring as a past time especially those who are looking to teach their child individualism and goal setting.

Target Age: 4-12 years old

Target Gender: Both

Purchase Here: Click Here


Bottle Cap Boys by Rita Williams-Garcia

The Bottle Cap Boys introduces brothers Randy and Rudy to the readers as young boys having a good time, looking to make money in the vibrant streets of New Orleans. As anyone who lives in, or has visited, New Orleans knows, dancing in the streets is a cultural staple.

Can you taste it, brother? Can you taste your dreams?

Can you taste it brother? Close your eyes and see.

Pralines and beignets, soft and sweet

Jambalaya and red beans to jump for joy

A hot Lucky Dog, now that’s a treat

And po’boys for poor boys,

We Can’t Be Beat!

Personally, I enjoy how the author eloquently shines a light on the overwhelming level of creativity and positivity that is consistent through our culture through the arts. Bottle Cap Boys is an excellent conversation starter for parents and young people on the importance of dance and creativity in black culture.

Target Age: 4-10 years old

Target Gender: Both

Amazon Cost: $6.95


Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins

If you have not heard of this book, I don’t know where you have been. This should be the national anthem for all children, especially little black and brown children. Hey Black Child is a book that will be mandatory for my babies to know, verbatim from beginning to end.

This book serves as positive affirmation spoken to today’s youth. For some children, this may be the first time they have been told they can do ANYTHING as long as they try. This may be the first time they hear, they are unstoppable and world changers. The message delivered through the authors words are powerful beyond belief and I believe the youth who hear these words will hear them, recite them and believe them.

Target Age: 2-6 years old

Target Gender: Both

Amazon Cost: $13.13

Additional Books

The following compilation of books below were compiled from Cultural Journey: Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults by Dianne L. H. Mark and Pamela S. Gates.

Cultural Journeys: Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults provides a mechanism for teachers, from preservice to veteran, to develop an understanding of multicultural literature and the criteria for evaluating it…

Brookshire Family Honorable Mentions

I Am Enough by Grace Byers

You’re Beautiful Black Girl by Shakira Heyward

When God Made Light by Matthew Paul Turner

Catching the Wild Waiyuuzee by Rita Williams-Garcia

When I Pray For You by Matthew Paul Turner

Books for African American Children

Oh, Kojo! How Could You! New York by Verna Aardema and Marc Brown

Sebgugugu, The Glutton: A Bantu Tale from Rwanda by Verna Aardema and Nancy Clouse

Where Does the Trail Lead? by Burton Albert

Baby Grand, the Moon in July, and Me by Joyce Annette Barnes

Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock Central High by Melba P. Beals

Ajeemah and His Son by James Berry

Shaquille O’Neal: Man of Steel by Douglas Bradshaw

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher P. Curtis

Just Like Martin by Ossie Davis

Mansa Musa by Khepra Burns

The Watsons Go to Birmingham

The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake

Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks and Jim Haskins

Jump at de Sun: The Story of Zora Neale Hurston by A. P. Porter

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe

Books for Latino and Hispanic American Children

My Name is Madrid Isabel by Alma Flor Ada

Farolitos of Christmas by Rudolfo Anaya

Barrio: Jose’s Neighborhood by George Ancona

Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing Up Latino in the United States by Lori Carlson

Abuela by Arthur Dorros

I hope this list helps you as you encourage our children to continue to read during the summer breaks. Please leave your own personal book recommendations in the comments section. Which ones did we miss?

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me and my family’s journeys on Instagram at @TaliaBrookshire.