Diversifying Your Toy & Book Collection

Did you realize that as early as 3 years old, kids are classifying people based on their appearances? (Source: The Atlantic) Want to know more about the importance of visuals from 0-7? Check out this Instagram post by The Conscious Kid.

I didn’t need stat or figures to know the importance of images. The impact they have on a child’s sense of worth. I was that child along with so many friends that grew up in the at risk community of Malvern, in Scarborough Ontario. 

TV, my toys and books, I was starved for images of people that looked like me. Luckily growing up in a diverse community I had friends and family that looked like me. A child of Jamaican immigrant parents I had the music, culture and food that helped me feel a strong sense of belonging and pride. 

However, due to not seeing myself, I unconsciously and sometimes consciously told myself I didn’t belong in certain spaces or couldn’t do certain things because I was black. 

It took time and a lot of conversations and self-reflecting to dismantle these beliefs. For our children today and future generations it’s time to break the cycle.

I don’t want another black child growing up feeling like they can’t just because of their skin. I also don’t want other people of color to be judged by the limited narratives that are portrayed in mainstream media and further cemented within our children’s toys, books and TV shows. 

I created this Guide on Diversifying Your Toy & Book Collection to give parents a starting point in ensuring their children are immersed in a world where diversity and representation are the norm. 


By no means is this list exhaustive. That is the beauty of this resource being a google document. Signaling to those that reference it that their recommendations are encouraged and welcomed!!

I hope you find this guide helpful and please reach out with your feedback and recommendations. Use the form below to submit your recommendations to be added to the guide


  • Dr Danielle Hyles

    I have two race conscious children’s books entitled Loving My Working Mom and Seeds of Belonging to add to your repertoire. Thanks Dr Danielle Hyles

  • Carolyn Hall

    Cool idea. Since the marches started, have you re-approached publishes to brown their characters?

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