Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Book cover image "You Matter"

Emily’s Picks: a book to help you talk about race with kids

When fellow parents ask how I find time to read with a newborn and toddler at home, I tell them I read what I love! Here’s a peek at what I’m enjoying and what my children and I are reading together, because finding books they love will help your kids read more too. Both of these titles, and many more, are available as eBooks or audiobooks in KCLS’ digital collection.

Book cover "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett

What I’m reading:The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
Bennett’s luminous second novel is one of the few books I’ve been able to finish since February, when we welcomed our new baby home. It follows Desiree and Stella Vignes, Black twins born in Louisiana in the 1930s. The girls run away from home as teenagers. One begins a new life passing as white; the other ultimately returns to the tiny town where they were born. The novel follows their lives and the lives of their daughters. Bennett explores concepts of identity, race and family with these two unique and memorable characters.

What we’re reading:You Matter” by Christian Robinson
Research shows that babies as young as 6 months old notice race, which means it’s important for parents to start talking to kids about race as early as possible. This beautiful book celebrates the difference and importance of each person. The inclusive, joyful illustrations are a wonderful way for parents to talk about race in a positive way with very young kids.

Related: More books on race for families wanting to educate themselves || More book picks from Emily Calkins of KCLS

About the Author

Emily Calkins

Emily Calkins is the readers' services program coordinator for the King County Library System, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors and each other. She is also the co-host of the library’s podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance. When she’s not reading or listening to audiobooks, she’s cooking, gardening and spending time with her family.