So Anne brought up the topic of color, i.e. race.
A slightly different but related topic is that of color in picture books. There has been a trend since the 90’s to depict a character of every color and type in a group scene. A classroom might then include, an Ivory person, a Raw Sienna person, a Sandstone person, a Sepia person, a Brown Earth person, a Red Earth person, a Yellow Ochre person, and the one that makes me cringe every time I use it, a Flesh Tint person. One almost never uses straight-from-the-tube White or Black for skin tone. It just wouldn’t work. (you also have to depict the token kid-in-wheelchair, but that’s not so linked to color)
Personally the browns and reds make the most beautiful skin tones. My all time favorite is Raw Sienna. And yes, all this becomes annoyingly politically correct when painting a classroom of kids—perhaps why bunnies are so much more appealing. Bunnies, dogs, mice, what have you, have a much wider array of color to choose from, including grays and pinks, and some can even have spots, which is really exciting! It really becomes quite dull visually to have a group all painted the same color, so in that sense it has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with visual variety and color. In my opinion, the less human the character the more you can do with race, in a more subtle, yet at the same time much more pleasing way.
After all, a Frog and a Toad can be best friends and they are very different shades of green. Actually one looks more like Brown Earth and the other Olive Green. Doesn’t this give us hope?