After noticing a lack of diversity in festive imagery, Charlotte Lewis decided to make a difference! A mum on a mission, Charlotte is now the brains behind Noir Kringle 'The Black Santa's Grotto Experience in London – a family-run event that gives children and parents the opportunity to visit a magical Christmas grotto where Santa and all of his elves are Black.
Here, Charlotte reveals her top 10 diverse and inclusive Christmas books for children, which make the perfect gift this year. As the entrepreneurial mum explains the need for representation of all races can help to build esteem, self-confidence and fight the stigma the Black community faces on a daily basis.
READ: How one mother's search for a Black Santa led to London's only diverse Christmas grotto
Soulful Holidays, £8.04 / $10.69, Amazon
Full of easy-to-read and memorable rhymes, Soulful Holidays captures the true essence of Kwanzaa. Educating families on food, songs and cultural decorations, your children will learn all about the inclusive traditions of families at Christmas.
"I love the illustrations and themes around Kwanza and also the addition of the section you can colour in is great!" said Charlotte.
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Santa in the City
Santa in the City, £10.65 / $14.16, Amazon
With Christmas just around the corner, Deja begins to worry that Santa might not visit this year. Residing in the city, she doesn't have a chimney for him to come down and none of the parking spots on her block could possibly fit a sleigh!
With a little help from her family, community, and Santa himself, Deja comes to realise that the Christmas spirit is well and truly alive in her city, and thanks to the bold, colourful illustrations, readers can experience the joy of the holidays too.
One of Charlotte's go-to books, she says: "I love this one as not only does it feature Black Santa and lots of diverse Characters but it steers away from the same down the chimney story normally associated with Santa."
The Holly-day After
The Holly-day After, £9.88 / $13.14, Amazon
Spend Christmas with Santa and his family this Christmas as they cook up an amazing pancake feast in the North Pole. Carrying out their favourite traditions, join Santa's nieces and nephews as they plant their future Holly-day After trees outside. "I love this one because it's a different take on the original Santa story not only does it feature a black Santa but its themes are more about what happens after the big day," explains Charlotte.
Danny's Christmas List
Danny's Christmas List, £10.01 / $13.31, Amazon
Described by the Noir Kringle founder as a "really cute Christmas tale," in Danny's Christmas List the protagonist learns all about the true meaning of Christmas.
The Real Santa
The Real Santa, £10.19 / $13.55, Amazon
A celebration of identity, family and holiday cheer, The Real Santa questions what Santa actually looks like and Charlotte's giving it a thumbs up: "I absolutely adore the images in this book and the story is so heartwarming."
The Night Before Christmas
The Night Before Christmas, £3.99 / $3.99, Amazon
The Night Before Christmas holds a special place in Charlotte's heart. She says: "This book was the first Christmas book that was brought to go into the Grotto I instantly fell in love with the illustrations and story." Set in Africa, Rachel Isadora captures the anticipation and excitement of Christmas in her gorgeous collages.
The Snowy Day
The Snowy Day, £5.14 / $6.84, Amazon
This award-winning picture book depicts the magic and wonder of winter's first snowfall.
Having become a festive tradition for Charlotte and her family, Charlotte revealed that she even reads it with her children on Christmas Eve.
A Piece of Black Cake for Santa
A Piece of Black Cake for Santa, £15.91 / $19.95, Amazon
Femi and her friends plan to leave a few traditional Caribbean treats out for Santa, including Black Cake, before heading to the Christmas fair! "I really love the illustrations and descriptive Language about traditional Caribbean Food which really brought me back to a real Caribbean Christmas," Charlotte says.
Silent Night, £9.67 / $3.82, Amazon
Putting a fresh spin on the classic nativity story, Yolanda T Marshall's Christmas book includes "stunning imagery and it features black Characters – just beautiful!"
A World of Cookies for Santa
A World of Cookies for Santa, £11.59 / $10.84, Amazon
"I absolutely love this book, it shares traditional Christmas treats/recipes from around the world, I love how inclusive it is!" explains Charlotte.
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