"I am interested in finding out what board books you and other readers enjoy that include diverse characters. I have spent quite a bit of time looking for board books that feature black and brown faces and families, as well as multi-ethnic groups and families. I don't think there are enough of these books, particularly for infants and toddlers. I like Jabari Asim's books and Andrea Davis Pinkney's. What else have you found?"
Excellent question! There are lots of old and new board books that fit the bill. Plus, it gives me a chance to talk about some of my favorite board books that I haven't mentioned yet.
For starters, take a look at two classics: Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang and On Mother's Lap by Ann Herbert Scott with illustrations by Glo Coalson. They're both great to read before bedtime. For an intriguing story about the creation of Ten, Nine, Eight, check out Molly Bang's website.
Be sure to check out Baby Dance by Ann Taylor. I love the exuberance and joy that radiates from both the father and his beloved daughter in Marjorie Van Heerden's illustrations.
I'm not usually a fan of books written by celebrities, but I like the rhythm and beat of Please Baby Please by Spike Lee and Tanya Lewis Lee. The illustrations by Kadir Nelson always make me laugh and empathize with the parents. It's available in hardcover and paperback too.
Babies love to look at pictures of other babies, and there are a number of books that do that extremely well. If you take a look at the various board books that show baby faces, you'll find a rainbow of beautiful faces.
Take a look at the delightful Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers. I love Marla Frazee's playful illustrations. Also, there's Roberta Grobel Intrater's Baby Faces series. For an international perspective, look for Global Babies by the Global Fund for Children.
If you're not familiar with the authors Andromeda mentioned above, Jabari Asim's books are great: Whose Toes are Those? and Whose Knees are These? And check out Andrea and Brian Pinkney's Family Celebration Books: Pretty Brown Face, Watch Me Dance, I Smell Honey and Shake, Shake, Shake.
I've had a particularly tough time finding Asian American characters in board books (except for books of baby faces.) Hopefully, someone like Grace Lin will get into the act.
Thanks for getting me started. I'd love to see additions to this list. Does anyone have suggestions?