A lot of parents have started to follow me lately here at CharmedGeek.com and have been asking for recommendations for their kids. So here’s my answer to those many requests:
Pick up Reading Beauty.
Even though I have no children, I picked it up because of the beautiful illustration, but I kept it because of the adorable story.
What’s Reading Beauty about?
As the name implies, Reading Beauty is a twist on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty. Just replace all the normal story elements with book related things (and add a couple of happy twists, too).
For example, instead of her being cursed to touch a spindle and fall asleep, she is cursed to get a paper cut and fall asleep.
That’s a rough sentence for our little protagonist. She loves reading and all the books in the kingdom are taken away to protect her!
But her parents don’t hide her in the woods with fairies like in Sleeping Beauty. Our brave little princess decides to go on a journey with her puppy to find the mean fairy and make her remove the curse.
When she finally arrives and confronts the fairy, she learns that the fairy did receive an invite to her birthday party. She just didn’t know how to read and got mad thinking she wasn’t invited! So, our beautiful little Black girl teaches the fairy how to read and everyone in the the kingdom reads books together happily ever after.
Adorable story, isn’t it?
Outside of the story itself, here’s 3 reasons your kids need to have this book in their library:
- Positive characterizations and celebration of Blackness.
- A fairy tale story that presents a Black protagonist who is easy for all kids to relate.
- A subtle but powerful stand against negative stereotypes in a way young readers can connect with easily.
Black culture is celebrated.
The beautiful illustrations in this book should win an award if they haven’t already. Seriously, they’re gorgeous. But my favorite thing is how the book asserts that Black people are beautiful in a way that doesn’t feel ham-fisted and force fed. It does it in 2 main ways:
- With the title. Naming the book Reading Beauty then choosing to make that be the descriptor of a mono-racial, unambiguously Black girl tells kids that Black people are beautiful.
- With style. Showcasing Black people with accurately depicted ethnic hairstyles and clothing tells kids that our culture is beautiful as well.
Reading Beauty gives Black girls representation and all kids a role model.
The story is general enough that anyone can insert themselves, regardless of race. They didn’t turn the princess into the princess from the hood who raps and dances or any of those other common stereotypes. No, she got to be a little girl growing up in her kingdom with two loving parents in a healthy relationship. That may not sound like such a huge deal but our media is obsessed with selling oppressed Black stories. It’s nice to get to see a little Black girl being a happy little princess.
Reading Beauty takes a stand against the stereotype that Black people can’t/don’t read
It is a common stereotype that Black people cannot and do not read well. This ugliness rears its heads in classrooms and begins to negatively impact Black children early on. Naming a book Reading Beauty and making the protagonist Black is a solid stand against that lie.
This book is beautiful and a must have for you to read to your nieces, nephews, and any other children in your lives.
I’ll be hosting a giveaway on my Instagram for this book. Entries open on September 21. Follow me on Instagram to stay informed on the giveaway.
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This next one is for the kiddos and the kiddos at heart! I chose a children's book to review this time because I had several parents ask me for a rec for their kids. And I'm so glad I picked up #ReadingBeauty . It has become an instant fav of mine. I've already sent it out to some of my nieces and nephews and I have a copy that I'm going to give away a little bit later! I love that this fairy tale features a Black family, doesn't center any stereotypes, and is so beautifully illustrated! I'll be telling you all about it in this next series of photos. But if you want to get a jump start on my thoughts go to CharmedGeek.com or just click the link in my bio. _____________ #kansascitymissouri #kansascityblogger #MelaninBloggers #BrownGirlBloggers #blackbookstagram #blackbookstagrammer #bookstagramers #bookstagramming #bookstagramista #bookstagrams #bookstagramm #bookreviewers #bookreviewersofinstagram #bookreviewblog #bookreviewblogger #booksblogger #booksblog #bookscommunity #blackgirlblogger #BipocBookstagram #naturalhairqueens #DiversifyYourBookshelf #childrensbooksofinstagram #ChildrensBookREview #ChildrensBookPublishing #blackgirlsreadtoo #MelaninBloggers #BrownGirlBloggers #antiracistreadinglist