Growing up as a mixed kid, there weren’t a lot of characters I could relate to – characters who felt “other”.
Especially not in picture books. And more often than not, they didn’t really look like me.
Today, diversity in kidlit is a big topic. Recently, an op piece in the NYT talked about the issue of
representation in children’s books. So people are aware, which is definitely a good start. I know I, for one,
would love to see more diversity in books on all fronts – especially kid’s books.
That’s not to say there are still no books representing kids of colour. They exist – you just need to do a
little digging. For mixed kids like me, Second Story Press and Kids Can Press published picture books that
I really wish had existed when I was younger: Violet, and Spork.
Violet is the story of a girl with a blue father and a red mother. In Spork, his mother is a spoon and his dad
is a fork – and he’s a little bit of both. And, of course, they’re about identity and belonging. I know these
books will be on my shelf when I have mixed kids of my own.
In fact, they might even be sitting on one of my shelves already, just for me. (What can I say… I’m a kid at