Disclosure: I received a personalized copy of the Love Family book to review. All opinions are my own.
Whether it’s greeting cards, television shows, or books, one thing is for sure – it’s rare to see anything that reflects my multiracial family. Yet the multiracial population in America is growing. There’s a market for products that feature families of color.
It’s especially important in children’s books for kids to see themselves and their loved ones in story lines. A Newsweek article states:
We know that children’s books can act like both mirrors and windows on the world. Mirrors in that they can reflect on children’s own lives, and windows in that they can give children a chance to learn about someone else’s life. We also know that this type of self-reflection and opportunity to read or hear about different lives is essential for young people.
Research on prejudice shows that coming in contact with people who are different—so-called “others”—helps to reduce stereotypes. This is because when we see people who initially seem different, we learn about them and get closer to them through their story. The “other” seems less far away and, well, less “otherly.”
But while it may be ideal for children to actually meet people from different backgrounds in person, if that isn’t possible, books can serve as a first introduction to an outside world.
The founders of Loving Lion Books recognize the importance of children’s books reflecting their readers. As such, Loving Lion Books seeks to address the lack of diversity in children’s books. The publisher creates customized books that allow families to choose characters who most reflect their families. Their first book, Love Family, is now available.
Love Family is a sweet story of a young girl and her cousins at a large family get-together. Told through the eyes of the daughter, the book depicts the children experiencing everyday joys during meal prep. The warm, colorful illustrations show diverse family members enjoying time together.
In the book, the story line remains the same while readers chose versions of the main characters. The book requires the reader to choose a daughter, father, mother, and grandmother. The publisher offers four options to choose from for each character. For example, in my book I chose an Asian daughter, an Asian mother, a White father, and an Asian grandmother. My daughter loved reading a book with characters that looked like her multiracial family.
Please note that the characters are meant to be more representational, rather than an exact match of readers’ family members. Also, not all of the non-main character family members (cousins, etc.) will be, for example, Asian just because I chose mostly Asian customized characters. However the illustrations and story line works no matter the readers’ backgrounds. Family gatherings and meals are common threads throughout all cultures.
Check out the Loving Lion Book website at www.LovingLionBooks.com to preview what your personalized book can look like.