BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — In 2019 Scholastic released their biennial Kids & Family Reading Report, revealing that kids and families are demanding more diversity in reading books.
25 News reporter Rachael Espaillat shares how a Bryan Native has taken it a step further to make sure her daughter sees herself in children's books.
"I love to sing songs with mamma joining in," Nicole Butler White, a published author, reads to her daughter Egypt.
The two love a good bedtime story.
And this one holds a special place in their hearts.
The Bryan native wrote this book, Raising Egypt, for and about her 5-year-old daughter.
"She doesn't get to see a lot of girls that look like her, so not only was the book important about her journey, it's also about seeing someone who or other kids to see a book that has a girl with locks. Not only that she's a black girl, but a black girl with locks and it's a big difference," White said.
The book is filled with affirmations, teaching Egypt and other children to love the skin they're in.
"They can see the beauty of the hair, and they can see the intimacy of mom and daughter," White said.
Egypt says she wants people to feel, "Very confident. And very excited" when they read her book.
Local librarian, Jennifer Stadler says, children reading books that reflect themselves truly builds that confidence and promotes literacy.
"It's important to see themselves succeeding and there are many voices out there and to be able to get those into a format that children can read is very important, from infancy to all the way up through college and beyond," Jennifer Stadler, Clariview youth service librarian, Clara B. Mounce Public Library said.
Clara B. Mounce Public Library has a variety of diverse books ranging in ethnicity and language and actively seeks more books to grow their collection.
Raising Egypt comes with a black and white version of the book, adding an interactive color-in element to also promote diversity.
"I wanted everybody to feel included so you can create whomever your character is, to look like you," White said.
The story is available here digitally on Amazon Publishing or you can contact Nicole Butler directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.