*This post is written in partnership with Jambo. I received a free sample to facilitate my review. Opinions are 100% my own.
Representation matters. (And yes, it’s not lost on me that I’m writing that sentence as someone with blonde hair and blue eyes.) There have always been (and always will be) dolls, superheroes, TV stars, and book characters who look like me, and look like my children. But that is definitely not the case for everyone. In fact, a recent study showed that only 14% of children’s books published in 2015 had a non-white main character!
As an elementary school teacher, I sat through multiple trainings and workshops centered around the idea of “multicultural” or “diverse” books. And we thought we were doing a good job. We filled our libraries with titles that featured people of color. But the books most often selected were books about kids living through segregation, internment camps, or celebrating specific cultural holidays like Chinese New Year or Kwanzaa. And don’t get me wrong. These are important stories – and I hope we keep reading and telling them. But….that’s not representation. And it’s not enough.
While we still have a long way to go, companies like Jambo Books are striving to make a difference. So what exactly is Jambo Books? Jambo Books is a monthly book club for children that features books with POC as the main character. (And Jambo Books is committed to featuring ALL people of color in the books they select!)
These are stories about kids that aren’t historical or cultural in focus. These are stories about kids doing ballet, fighting dragons, and navigating middle school. (And they’re awesome books too!) Jambo Books carefully curates each book box they send out, selecting books your child will truly love. (I know mine did!)
My kids LOVED the books they received in our box! My daughter was thrilled to discover there was an entire Mia Mayhem (by Kara West and Leeza Hernandez) series! She couldn’t read her book, Mia Mayhem is a Superhero! fast enough. (She even told me we had to buy the rest of the series rather than check them out from the library, so she wouldn’t have to return them!) Jambo Books truly has a pulse on what kids want to read. Every. Single. Book. in our box was incredible and well-received.
Mia Mayhem is a Superhero! by Kara West and Leeza Hernandez
Weirdo by Anh Do
Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older
Subscribers to the Jambo Book Club will receive 2-3 high-quality books each month that feature a child of color. You can choose the box that is right for the child in your life. There is a Jambo Book Box that will work for kids from 0-13. (Have multiple kids? You will definitely want to check out the Mixed Ages Box! You can choose 2 different age ranges! Love!!)
Please visit https://jambobooks.com/ for more details and pricing info.
Books truly make the best gift. I hope you’ll consider gifting a subscription to the Jambo Book Club to a child in your life.