Here at SUNNY&TED we are all about inclusivity and representation. That’s why we are so honored to have guest blogger, Bonnie Monnier (@bonniemonnier on IG) here to discuss the importance of inclusivity in picture books.
Bonnie (she/her) is a white Latina mother with a passion for inclusive children’s books. She shares her favorite picture books on Instagram and loves connecting with other caregivers through the app!
What are your thoughts on representation in books, especially children’s books?
As caregivers, it’s essential to seek out picture books that represent Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, intersecting identities, and diverse family dynamics (among many other underrepresented identities). Picture books with inclusive representation are affirming (mirrors) and help expand our worldview (windows). And in a time where BIPOC representation in picture books takes up only 30% of the market*, it is vital that we are continually seeking and demanding books like these. Everyone deserves to see themselves JOYFULLY reflected in the pages of books and I hope we continue to see more stories like these release every year. Representation in picture books, and all media, is a complex subject that Bonnie is happy to share more information on. Please reach out to her on Instagram if you’re interested.
*according to the 2020 report by the Cooperative Children’s Books Center
Bonnie gathered some of her favorite inclusive Christmas books that released this year to pair with the Cocoa Santa Mug.
BONNIE'S CHRISTMAS BOOKSHELF
In this charming story, little Theo loves everything about Christmas. But he notices that his town doesn’t seem to be in the spirit this year. Theo is determined to share his holiday cheer with his community which leads to a new tradition — a wishing tree! This book is beautifully illustrated, refocuses the holidays on community and kindness, and includes 12 cards so kids can make their own wishing tree!
This inter-generational story follows Carla as her family goes to her grandparents’ house on Christmas Eve — her favorite tradition! She enjoys a delicious dinner (the cornbread is her favorite), listens to her grandpa tell stories, gets her festive pajamas on, and uh oh — she accidentally takes a bite of Santa’s cookie! Just when she thinks Christmas is ruined, her grandma steps in with a delicious cornbread idea. This sweet story is the perfect Christmas Eve read aloud and it even includes a recipe for cornbread!
Is the Magic of Christmas still alive in the city? Deja isn’t so sure. After all, some of her friends don’t believe in Santa, she doesn’t have a chimney, there’s no free parking for sleighs, and the buildings on her block are lacking Christmas decorations! But with reassurance from her family, community, and Santa, Deja’s belief in Christmas is restored. This gem of a book is full of magic and is sure to be a future classic!
With love at its core, this Christmas Eve tale is full of family, traditions, and yummy tamales! For Rosie, Christmas Eve means tamale making at Abuela’s house. She spends time with her family and learns how to make tamales. As she learns each step of making tamales, her Abuela gives her some life lessons and shares some wishes she has for her. These tamale-making memories and tender wishes stick with Rosie her entire life and she is sure to continue the tradition with her own kids. This book is perfectly vintage and not over-the-top Christmas, making it a great read all year.
Shopping these books:
You can find these Christmas books, and many more, on Bonnie’s Bookshop profile! Bookshop is an online store that benefits independent bookstore and affiliate creators. Through shopping on bookshop, bookstores and affiliate receive 10% of the sale through their links. If you choose to shop through Bonnie’s link, she will receive 10% of your sale AND you can select an indie bookstore to receive 10%! Supporting small businesses when you can is extremely important — they are vital parts of local communities and rely on continued support. Bookshop makes it easy to support your favorite indie bookstores and book reviewers. Added bonus, most books are on sale right now!