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Children’s books about race: The best books to teach your children about race

Children’s books are important vehicles for helping to teach children about right and wrong. It is never too early to learn racism is wrong, especially following the death of unarmed African-American man George Floyd which ignited the world into action against systemic racism and police brutality. Express.co.uk has compiled a list of kids’ books to help introduce the idea of race to your children.

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Protests are igniting around the world with countries calling for systemic change and justice after the death of Mr Floyd and others such as Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade.

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Many people are asking how they can help the movement and are choosing to join protests and donate to worthy causes.

Many anti-racist experts have said the real fight is to commit to leading an anti-racist life.

But for parents, many are asking how to introduce these concepts to their children, so which books should you buy to help you teach your child about racism?

READ MORE: Fiction books by black authors: What to read to support black writers

Children’s books on race: Which books should you buy to teach your children about race? (Image: GETTY/AMAZON)

Children’s books on race: Books are a useful tool to explain difficult topics to your children (Image: AMAZON)

Aged zero to two

A is for Activist is an ABC board book which is for families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights and other social rights.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox is a book about how babies are different all over the world, but how they also very much the same with ten little fingers and ten little toes.

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Dream Big Little One by Vashti Harrison is a book featuring 18 trailblazing black women in American history.

Children’s books on race: There are books on racism for children of any age (Image: GETTY)

Ages two to four

I Am Enough by Grace Byers is a book about loving who you are, respecting others and being kind to people.

Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Mendez is about a girl who constantly gets asked a simple question which has no simple answer.

One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail, a book about a girl trying different techniques to get the giraffe she wants more than anything in a playful illustrated stories about the nuances of negotiation.

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Ages four to nine

What If We Were All the Same by C. M. Harris which is a book about helping children understand the beauty of having friends who are different from them and how our differences make us unique.

Skin Again by Bell Hooks, a book about celebrating what makes us unique and different.

Not Like The Others by Jana Broecker, a book about diversity, acceptance, understanding and kindness.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o, a book about colourism featuring a girl Sulwe who is darker than everyone in her family and school and who learns true beauty comes from within.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman following a group of children through a day at school where diversity is strength.

I Am Human: A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde which is about a celebration of empathy and compassion, encouraging children to see themselves as part of one big imperfect family millions strong.

Children’s books on race: George Floyd was killed while in police custody last month (Image: GETTY)

Children’s books on race: Mr Floyd’s death prompted nationwide protests on police brutality (Image: AMAZON)

Ages nine to 12

New Kid by Jerry Craft featuring child Jordan Banks who loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life.

I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis, a book about a girl who is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school where she is confused and homesick.

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Weatherford Carole Boston, a book about fierce prejudice and abuse, Fannie Lou Hamer was a champion of civil rights from the 1950s until her death in 1977.

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Y. Levinson, a book about the lesser-known Birmingham Children’s March in 1963.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander which is about a pair of twin brothers, one of which is into rap the other who is passionate about basketball.

Ages 12+

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a novel about Starr Carter, 16, who witnesses her unarmed best friend get killed at the hands of a police officer.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is a book about a young African-American woman who grows up during the Great Depression in a time when she is told her actions and skin colour are “ugly”, fuelling her desire for “blue eyes” which she begins to equate with beauty.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, a book about how to be anti-racist and to stand up to racism when you see it.

This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell which reveals the origins of racism that we are still experiencing and give you the courage and power to undo it.

March: Book One by John Lewis is about the congressman Johns Lewis who lent his personal history to the graphic novel series which takes the reader through the Civil Rights movement in three books.

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