I have searching for books and dolls for children of color and have found it a struggle. Often the tradition big box stores have none or few. I have had some luck at Walmart’s and Kmart in lower income neighborhoods.

According to the the The Association for Library Service to Children:
“Libraries continue their commitment to connecting children and their families to multicultural books, bilingual services and educational resources and support the need for children and families to have access to materials that mirror their culture, as well as provide a window to others.”

“However published children’s books have yet to mirror our country’s changing demographics. According to a white paper by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), every year since 1994, statistics gathered by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) at the University of WisconsinMadison shows that just over 8 percent of children’s books published in the United States represented non whites. The most current data from CCBC shows that out of the more than 5,000 titles published in 2013 only 253 were about non whites. This lack of diversity in children’s books can be harmful to the social and identity development of children, particularly those representing cultures with untold stories.”

Some help on the way for Dolls:

Three Daughters International, LLC, announces the launch of Global Girlâ„¢ line of dolls, a collection of ethnically diverse dolls and companion books that provide young girls with a window into modern day cultures through play and reading. With its mission, “to inspire and teach girls about cultures from around the world, open girls’ minds to the diverse world in which they live, and spark a natural curiosity about their peers in other countries around the globe,” Global Girl dolls and books introduce a world of fun, inspiring and stylish girls.

The launch collection of six ethnically diverse, 21-inch play dolls includes:

Vivienneâ„¢ from France
Amahleâ„¢ from South Africa
Tiffanyâ„¢ from the United States
Marcelaâ„¢ from Argentina
Tatianaâ„¢ from Russia
Mei Lingâ„¢ from China

To capture the authentic facial details of an 8- to 10-year-old girl from each respective country, each doll was created with its own face mold. The interior of each doll is constructed with a soft body and specially designed framework, allowing each Global Girl doll to sit up, stand up on its own and pose in hundreds of positions. The arms, legs and breastplate are ,individual sculpts, making the dolls incredibly detailed and life-like. They retail for $89.90, unfortunely priced high for many families.

Hopefully soon the toy book and toy market with catch up with USA Today’s Kids! Please don’t even get me started on trying to find coloring books for diverse families….

More info:

Mary Forman

Mary is an educator and a parent of three children. She is the author of 7 children's books, loves arts and crafts and teaches parenting classes at Washington Community College.

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