Hello Forest Families!
Today I have an activity about libraries and book sorting that can also help us think about representation and support black authors.
For the imaginative play portion of this activity, set up a space to be your library. You can make library cards, and set up your books to display. June and I took turns being librarian and asking the librarian for help or advice–you can shape the play by asking questions such as “Do you have any books about tigers you could show me?” “What’s the silliest book in the library to check out?”
With all the books laid out side by side, patterns may emerge. For instance, you might notice that many of the books are about animals rather than people, or the kids on the covers mainly have light skin. Looking together at what you notice, you can decide on sorting categories, such as race and gender of main characters. Counting the books in each pile and comparing the different sized piles of stories about white children and children of color is a useful access point to talk about fairness and representation. This is a useful starting point for conversations around racial justice, as it’s focused on a tangible, personal scale, and your child can draw from their own understanding of fairness to talk about who is deemed worthy of having stories told about them. Let me know if you want more advice about facilitating this conversation!
Lastly, I encourage you to help your child pick a new book to order for your at-home library and financially support black authors. I recommend checking out Colorful Stories for awesome curated book lists.