Have you ever wondered what it must be like to be the only black person in a class? One of my daughter’s friends was in that situation for her first three years of school. The thing she mentioned most to her mother was how her hair was different from her friends. She wanted her hair to be more like her white classmates. Reading Princess Truly and the Hungry Bunny Problem and Princess Truly and the Courageous Cape Chase, both written by Kelly Greenawalt and illustrated by Amariah Rauscher, made me think about this girl and the story her mother shared with me. In fact, I told her mother about these diverse picture books so she could get them for daughter.
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Princess Truly and her dog, Sir Noodles, find children with a problem and help them solve it. In Princess Truly and the Hungry Bunny Problem, Princess Truly hears Lola Little’s loud sigh. She and Sir Noodles investigate and discover that Lola is sad because the carrot seeds she planted did not grow. Now she has nothing to feed her bunny friends. Lola Little loves bunnies and does not want them to be hungry. After discussing what plants need to grow, they realize that Lola did not water her seeds. When they try to water them, Lola’s bucket has a hole in it. What is a princess to do? A little blue bird flies down to remind Princess Truly that she has magic hair since a ray of sunshine got caught in it when she was little. Her magic hair makes it rain and the carrots grow instantly. The bunnies are fed and happy!
In Princess Truly and the Courageous Cape Chase, Princess Truly and Sir Noodles come upon Rowdy Wrigley. Rowdy Wrigley’s special cape has flown away. Without his special red cape Rowdy is afraid of everything! With his cape on Rowdy is courageous. Princess Truly helps Rowdy look for his cape. During the search Rowdy bravely climbs a tree to rescue a cat who has climbed too high and then goes into a dark, scary cave to save the cat again. In the cave, Princess Truly uses her magic hair to be a light. They are able to see the cat and the cape both up high. Rowdy is courageous again and climbs to reach both. Princess Truly points out to Rowdy that he was courageous without his cape several times that day and that the cape was not what made him able to do the scary things.
These diverse picture books have nice messages, and I love that the princess is black. The black princess helps the white children with their problems. There are many other messages woven into these diverse picture books, but the first one I thought of was my daughter’s friend and her black curly hair. I love how the black curly hair is what is magical in these stories. Of course I should add that my daughter wants to wear her hair like her two black friends in her class and wishes her hair was like theirs.
I hope you will check out this great series of diverse picture books. They brings lessons and diversity to young children.