Antiracist Baby

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Antiracist Baby Book Poster Image
Meaningful how-to for raising equity-conscious kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows what it means to be an anti-racist and how you can raise kids to be that. Teaches value of diversity. Sophisticated language like "equity," "policies," "transcend," "diverse," and "violent" are clearly aimed at adults, rather than babies.

Positive Messages

"Antiracist Baby is bred, not born." "Black lives matter," "Equity Now" (seen on protest signs). "No one will see racism if we only stay silent. / If we don't name racism, / it won't stop being so violent." "Celebrate all our differences." "Believe we can overcome racism." "Nothing defeats racism better than when we confess / the racist ideas that we sometimes express." "Even though races are not treated the same, 'We are all human!'"

Positive Role Models & Representations

Shows happy, diverse babies and loving parents, including a family with two moms of different races and another family in which the mom is wearing a hijab. A scene of protesters shows a boy in a wheelchair.

Violence & Scariness

No violent acts shown, but mentions the word "violent."


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Antiracist Baby is a board book by Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You) that offers "nine steps to make equity a reality." Like many books for babies, it primarily speaks to the parents, but babies and toddlers will enjoy Ashley Lukashevsky's colorful, cartoon-like illustrations of adorable, diverse babies playing together, snuggling with their loving parents, and gathering with a wide range of families in their community. It both models an ideal world and challenges readers to step up and make it happen. 

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What's the story?

ANTIRACIST BABY lays out "nine steps to make equity a reality" as it shows cute illustrations of diverse, happy babies and parents in fun situations. Each step -- such as "Open your eyes to all skin colors" and "Celebrate all our differences" -- includes a brief, rhyming explanation. For example, under Step 3, "Use your words to talk about race," it says: "No one will see racism if we only stay silent. / If we don't name racism, / it won't stop being so violent."

Is it any good?

This joyously illustrated board book shows babies having fun in a world where all differences are celebrated and offers simple but meaningful steps to raise anti-racist kids. It keeps the focus on the babies themselves, showing how Antiracist Baby acts. On pages showing babies of many skin colors happily playing together on a big blanket, it says, "Anticracist Baby doesn't see certain / groups as 'better' or 'worse.' / Antiracist Baby loves a world that's truly diverse." On pages showing four babies, each one lovingly held close by their diverse parents, the text reads, "Even though races are not treated the same, / 'We are all human!' Antiracist Baby can proclaim!"

Antiracist Baby is aimed more at parents than their very young children, but babies and toddlers will still enjoy the vibrant illustrations and the thoughtful message to celebrate all differences. The final step in the list offers both a challenge and a hope: "Believe we can overcome racism."

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For kids who love baby books and stories about racism and social justice

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