Kids Books and Illustrations: Showing the Lives of Children of All Races
When you think of children’s books, you probably imagine the sweet little story about something cuddly and small. Unless you grew up in the 20th century, that is. In the early 1900s, most children’s books were simple morality tales about how to be a good person and have manners. These so-called “picture books” (as they were called) featured animals or small people as main characters. At that time, it was rare to see illustrations of children who looked like real kids of any race. It wasn’t until around 1900 that publishers started making more realistic illustrations of children with darker skin tones, curly hair, and almond-shaped eyes. However, it wasn’t until we entered the 20th century that more diverse children’s books started appearing on bookstore shelves.
What illustrated books are
An illustrated book is a book that has accompanying illustrations. Often, the illustrations are integral to the text and are closely related to the content of the book. Illustrated books are a particular type of visual book, and are different from illustrated books that are coffee table books or picture books. Illustrated books first became popular during the Renaissance period, when artists and photographers first started making books that were both read and seen.
Why It’s Important to Show Diverse Children’s Books
We live in a diverse society and we’re seeing more and more interracial couples, and yet children’s books have been overwhelmingly white — even black and Asian kids would be depicted as white. So, showing kids of colour in books is showing them that they exist, and it’s saying that they are normal, and it’s saying that it’s normal for them to be in the position of the protagonist. It’s normal for them to be smart, and for them to be leaders, and for them to be heroic figures. And that has a huge impact on kids who don’t see themselves reflected in anything that they read. Only showing white characters in children’s books also contributes to a false narrative that we are a “truly multicultural” society. Truly multicultural societies feature writers and illustrators who actively try to include characters from many different racial and ethnic backgrounds. We aren’t there yet, but we can get there by showing kids of all races in books.
Children learn by reading illustration books
Reading books is an important part of a child’s development. It teaches them new words, how to use context clues, how to empathize with others, and how to express themselves. And one of the best ways for children to learn is to have them engage with picture books. Picture books are books that have illustrations as well as text. They’re intended to be read to children and are often short stories meant for young children. These books are often illustrated with bright colors, bold images, and simple language that is easy for children to understand. While reading books may be a familiar activity for adults, it’s one that is relatively new for children. During the early 20th century, many children didn’t have access to books — let alone ones with colorful illustrations.
Showing the problems faced by children of other races
There was a time when children’s books only had illustrations of white people. Those books may have taught children good manners, but they also left out a lot of important aspects of life. For example, it would be rare to see books like the Three Little Pigs or Little Red Riding Hood.. That meant that kids who were Asian or African-American were rarely represented in books. That could mean that those kids couldn’t find characters they could relate to. It could also mean they didn’t know about some of the issues that their peers from other races had to deal with. For example, a black kid might not know about segregation or a Chinese girl might not know about the Chinese Exclusion Act.