Beautiful Rainbow World is a book full of gorgeous photographs of adorable children.

The book has words, too. Most of the words are the lyrics to a song by Daria A. Marmaluk-Hajioannou. It’s a brief song, and Suzee Ramirez added some verses to make a longer book.

But the words aren’t why you would want to get this book. This book exists for the joy and beauty of the photographs.

Twenty-one different photographers contributed their work to Beautiful Rainbow World. The photos depict babies and toddlers and tweens. The children are smiling, laughing, thinking, fishing, splashing, swinging, dancing, hugging. They are fair and freckled, they are black, they are Asian.

And that’s critically important. Between the age of two and five, children are absorbing information about the world at a prodigious rate. They are learning what the world is supposed to look like. Houses look like this. People look like that.

And based on their understanding of what people are supposed to look like, they develop race-based social preferences. Those preferences are based on exposure. If a child who is five years old has only ever seen people that look like herself and her immediate family, she’s likely to think that’s what people should look like. She will be uncomfortable around people who look different. She will think of them and treat them as “other.”

So she needs books with pictures of children who look like her, and children who don’t. These books won’t entirely replace interacting with real flesh-and-blood people who don’t look like her. But if (like so many of us) she lives in a homogeneous neighborhood, the books can make a huge difference.

Especially when the pictures are as gorgeous as the pictures in Beautiful Rainbow World.

Read More

Easter Books for Toddlers: Two of the four Easter books included in this review are built around gorgeous photographs of adorable children. It’s a genre that didn’t exist when I was young, but it’s one I like very much.

Clive and His Hats: Part of a series of delightful board books about a little boy named Clive, from indie publisher Child’s Play.

St. Moses the Black: We don’t know what Moses the Black’s birth name was, or why they monastic community who took him in gave him the name Moses. But I have an idea about that.

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