There’s a famous 1940s study—the Clark and Clark “doll tests”—that demonstrated that African-American children aligned positive values with white dolls, opting for those over dolls that shared their own skin color.
“The toys that children play with help shape their versions of reality,” says global curriculum designer Gahmya Drummond-Bey. “Through toys, children often decide what is deemed ‘normal’ or even beautiful.”
That study focused on toys, but the reality is that almost everything kids are exposed to will shape their views on what the world should look like. That includes books.