Although we celebrate Black stories all year long, Black History Month is Carter G. Woodson’s reminder to go even further. To be even more intentional about sharing the history, contributions, and beauty in the Black community. This month, I will be celebrating Black History Month by sharing blog posts highlighting topics aligned with celebrating Black culture, history, and experiences.
In this post, I’m sharing five of my favorite children’s books written by Black authors. Two of the books can be used to teach children about Black history, two celebrate Black children, and one is just one of my favorite books in general, and I couldn’t leave it off of this list. I hope that you enjoy this list, and find some new favorites. Also, Black history is American history and should be taught to children of all races. Reading is the perfect place to start.
ABC I Love Me
ABC I Love Me by Miriam Muhammad promotes self-esteem and a healthy lifestyle. We love this book for helping Atlas to learn the alphabet while nurturing self-love. A is for Afro and B is for Beautiful! I love that this book is written in first person, so once he starts to read it on his own, he will be saying “I am beautiful”, etc.
Mango in a Tree
Mango in a Tree by Donnie Mustardseed tells the story of two sisters working together and trying new things. I love that this book features dark skin girls as the main characters. Often, books use a similar brown skin tone for Black characters, but I want to ensure that our book collection represents the variety of skin tones that Black people have. It’s also important for me to introduce Atlas to books about boys and girls because he needs to understand that both have important stories to tell.
Have You Thanked An Inventor Today?
Have You Thanked an Inventor Today? by Patrice McLaurin highlights the often forgotten contributions of African-American inventors. From hairbrushes and mops to traffic lights and cell phone batteries, this book shows that you cannot get through the day without using something created by a Black inventor!
Brown Boy Joy
Brown Boy Joy by Dr. Thomishia Booker is a book filled with all the things that little brown boys love. The bright, colorful pictures and rhyming prose make it a perfect choice to read to young children. Like ABC I Love Me, I love that this book is written in first person, so that one day Atlas can read aloud and say, “You can tell by my stride, I’m as happy as can be. No one on earth can steal the joy inside of me.”
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans is written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. This book features over 100 pages of African American history and gorgeous original paintings by the author. Heart and Soul is a wonderful book for teaching. With each chapter only a few pages long, it’s easy to break up for reading sessions with your child or class group. There are also discussion prompts and activities at the back of the book. Atlas will learn and grow with this book for years.
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