Multi-cultural Farming and Gardening books – diversity with “A Barbie and a Book”

Doll with afro puff and wicker basket and wellies
Let’s play urban gardeners

Is there anything nicer than an Amazon package with a new book?  Yes, a new book PAIRED with a dolly.

While I was involved with Multi-Cultural Book Day I reviewed a book about African elephants and my review had a suggestion of buying toy animals too.

Diverse books are needed as much as ever. Dolls and books have a very important role in REPRESENTATION. Imagine reading a book like “The Sugar Plum Ballerinas ” and then having a ballet doll to act out the scenes!   Heaven!!   Imaginative play, books and dolls all work together. 

I am going to kick off with a post about Farming and Urban Gardening to tie in with the new Sweet  Orchard Farm Barbie dolls.  I have a FABULOUS  global list of Multi-Cultural Farming books  that  I am linking to.  The list is from America so there’s a rich  mix of cultures and plants. Barbie dolls are multi-cultural and affordable.

I am selecting two books “Lola Plants a Garden”

Little black girl looking at seeds growing in her garden
Lola has many books for little kids

and “Green, Green – A Community Gardening Story” 

Book cover with little black girl in a garden
Dolls enjoy playing in the garden

I used to live in London so I want to share the idea of gardening in small spaces and urban settings.

Here come the dolls. 

I am showcasing the  Sweet Orchard Farm series of dolls, animal and play items.  I live in a rural Irish village so I love that Barbie has a tractor as well as a truck.

To pair with Lola Plants a Garden and Green Green  I think Chelsea is perfect.   Chelsea in Barbie’s little baby sister and she comes with a little yellow chick. 

Brunety curly doll in wellies
Chelsea on the farm. is she Lola today?

Barbie gets the best accessories but her pals and siblings have some sweet outfits, animals  and props too.   The brown skinned  dolls, apart from Chelsea are adult sized, with one male and two female dolls in jolly coloured wellies.    I have linked to US Amazon where possible.

Barbie with afro puff and wicker basket in packaging
Sweet Orchard Farm has a dress code
barbie in blue wellies and watering can
Sweet Orchard Farm Barbie, an urban gardener
Planting time on Sweet Orchard Farm

 

Fun and empowering colouring books with natural hair for black girls and boys

Fun and empowering colouring books with natural hair for black girls and boys

Here are a few of the colouring books  that I have come across recently that celebrate diversity and feature black characters.

Colouring books can be cheap and cheerful.  However if you want colouring pages with black kids or natural hair then you may have to pay a bit more.  The books I have chosen here are high quality products created by named authors and illustrators.  Some have special features like activity and journalling pages.   All are designed to be empowering.

Oh Boy! by Chiquanda Tilley

This 64 page book is full of boys getting into things like footballs, fireflies and fishing. Cute and cheerful drawings of little dudes will encourage small guys to get the crayons out.  Chiquanda also has a sweet book for girls.

The STEM Colouring and Activity Book by J.D. Wright

It was hard to pick a favourite from this author’s appealing selection of books but I went for the STEM book as it features a multicultural cast of cute girls who cry out to be coloured in.  There are also questions for the child to answer so a very endearing souvenir can be created.  JD Wright has free pages to download on her site showing black kids with cool hairstyles.

Dream Big!  More than a Princess Colouring book by Stephanie Tabashneck

My absolute favourite page in the set of images of girls with big dreams shows a woman strolling barefoot along a beach   She asserts that she wants to be  a mom and will foster, adopt or have her own kids. 

The drawings of multicultural young women doing valuable work   make this a fabulous career guidance book.  Is she can do it so can I!

Colour My Fro; A Natural Hair Coloring book for Big Hair Lovers of all Ages  by Crystal Swain Bates

I’ve blogged about this book before because I just love colouring it in.  Cheerful , gorgeous women with natural hair are shown in a range of activities.   The drawings by Janine Harrington are printed on one side of the paper only and cry out to be framed.  Crystal Swain Bates has many great books.

The Colorful Adventures of Cody & Jay: A Coloring and Activity Book by Crystal Swain Bates 

I was complaining about the shortage of books for boys and author Crystal Swain Bates drew my attention to this fun filled 40 pager.

Cody and Jay are two lads who  love to have fun.  The book has activity pages, drawings to complete and a positive celebratory attitude.  Spaceships and cars feature.

Swift Walker: World Geography Coloring Book: Coloring Books for Kids by Norma Andriani Eka Putri and Verlyn Tarlton

As I mentioned earlier I was complaining about books for boys in Instagram and Plum Street Press drew my attention to Swift Walker – a chirpy little characters who stars in many books for the 4-8 age group.  Swifts loves travel and adventure.  The drawings of Swift with his natural fro and just doing a little bit of work for representation.

 

Write On Girl : A Fun Guided journal for teen girls by Jillian D Bradfield

I have been watching this one on instagram for a while as the author jilleybeanbooks showed off pages and details of the project.   I don’t have a copy yet but I can see from the reviews that as well as having  drawings that girls will adore, the book deals with all the topics facing girls. 

What really caught my eye was the pretty pre-teen saying a prayer and having a chat with God.  I was impressed as a lot of books talk about empowerment without acknowledging spirituality.

The STEM Lovin Baby-Sitters by Avril O’Reilly

The characters from my book A Fairy in the Family Again have their own colouring book.  The book was developed in London.  It shows Jada-Kai, Keysha and Ruby as totally cool baby-sitters.  The idea is that the child colouring the book is learning from these kind-hearted big girls about what big kids love to do. Those things include science, baby-sitting and black hair.

African wax print pattern with cartoon of three schoolgirls
Get your crayons out

Girls will get to colour in pages with science, geckos, hairstyles, braids, unicorns, natural hair and even an African Princess Fancy Dress Party.

Little People BIG Dreams Colouring Book

15 Big Dreamers from a wonderful Multi-cultural series by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara – Vegara has turned her book production into an efficient factory of inspirational stories and loveable art. On ya go, Maria. You can ask a kid to imagine/draw themselves in this style- and ask them about their BIG dreams.

Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara has a coloring book!

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