It’s never too early to begin reading anti-racist books to your baby. Some people fear that if they raise their kids to notice diversity it will end up making their kids hyper-aware of race, and teach their child there are differences between us that perhaps they wouldn’t have noticed. But the truth is babies begin to notice race from a very early age and begin showing a preference for people of the same skin color. As early as 6 months, a baby can notice race-based differences between people. By ages 2 to 4, children can internalize racial bias.
There is nothing wrong with teaching young children that there are differences in the way we look. As adults, we have zero problem with talking to kids about different hair colors and eye colors. Skin color is no different. Here are some books to begin your journey of raising an anti-racist baby. Most importantly, this isn’t a one-time conversation. Raising an anti-racist baby and child is an ongoing discussion, like eating your vegetables, that needs to be had with your child as they grow.
Anti-Racist Board Books for Babies
The newest publication on the list by the award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist, Antiracist Baby introduces the babies and parents to anti-racist parenting. It provides the language necessary to begin having important conversations with our children from a young age.
We love that this is not your typical ABC book—F is for Feminist!–but one that features a positive message for kids to encourage activism.
Woke Baby by Mahogany L. Browne and Theodore Taylor III (Illustrator)
Lyrical and with a positive call to action to change the world, Woke Baby is for raising the next generation of leaders.
Featuring 18 trailblazing black women in American history, Dream Big, Little One is the board book adaptation of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History.
Babies will learn about famous changemakers like Cesar Chavez with a very simple summary of how they changed history.
Although this is the one book on the list that’s not a board book, I included it because my children loved looking at the diverse faces in this book for years, all photographs of real mixed race kids. And I’m not exaggerating when I say years!
More Diverse Board Books for Babies Beyond Just Anti-Racist Ones
Baby Feminists by Libby Babbott-Klein
Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer
Full Full Full of Love, by Trish Cooke and illustrated by Paul Howard
Baby’s First Words, by Stella Blackstone, Sunny Scribens, and Christiane Engel
Mama Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse
How Do You Say I Love You, by Hannah Elliott and illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez
Looking for more anti-racist books for elementary-aged kids, tweens and teens? Then check out 12 Children’s Books about Racism and Injustice.