Have you been on the lookout for children’s books with little faces like the ones you love? This booklist offers ten of our favorite children’s books, from Coretta Scot King Book Award winners to magnificently illustrated picture books, all in honor of our young black boys.
Whose Knees are These by Jabari Aseem
Whose knees are these? What a great question! Jabari Aseem takes us on a rhyming quest, to find out just whose knees are dancing around the pages. A great read for toddlers learning to recognize their bodies.
What is Light? by Markette Sheppard
Markette Sheppard has a vision for all the children of the world. She wants to show them love, care, and kindness through one thing we all share—light. Join Sheppard on a journey to discover the many meanings of light, from the sun in the sky to the joy in our spirits.
Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora
Can your little one find the family and friends hiding around the house? Sure to incite giggles, this book invites babies and toddlers to play a classic game—Peekaboo!
Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke
A fun evening at Grannie’s house shows little Jay Jay practicing patience, learning about responsibility, and most of all, being loved. This story is great for toddlers to school-age children.
Amazing Me! Dance by Carol Thompson
An interactive storytime, where kids can dance, clap, and bop to the rhythm of their own drum!
The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
Kids come with all different passions, and Jerome has found his. He loves to expand his vocabulary and learn from the people around him. A fun and light-hearted read to inspire creative passions!
Woke Baby by Mahogany L. Browne
Say it loud, say it proud! Even if your baby was born that way, it’s never too late to stay woke! Until naptime, that is. This book ascribes power to the little things your baby does all on their own, and serves as a tiny tool guide for raising a conscious child.
The Kadir Nelson Corner
Below are some new and old favorites from Coretta Scott King Book Award-winning Author/Illustrator, Kadir Nelson. Nelson’s children’s books offer soft moral pathways for young minds to grow strong, kind, and self-aware. His books are especially pronounced for their representation of African American children, although he sometimes uses animals to convey an emotional or spiritual message.
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
This story gives a gentle message of kindness and sharing among animals. A perfect read to plant a seed of compassion in a young one’s heart and mind!
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson
This book harkens to an old spiritual, to share the story of a young boy and his world. The illustrations tell the story, as the boy and his family share their days. A great visual collaboration of children’s artwork and the well-known stylings of Kadir Nelson.
Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson
Baby Bear goes on an adventure of self-discovery, asking for help from one elder to the next. The message he finds is that trust in himself makes the journey worthwhile.
Looking for more books and media to support your child’s growth? Find some family-friendly sites below.
RainbowMe Kids is a digital resource for kids of color and their families. Their books and other media feature main characters of color, and celebrate the languages and cultures of each character through vivid storytelling! Find books, videos, and games for children ages 0-12. Learn about cool interactive features, like the O is for Oshun story series, with a smartphone game to match! Find creative tales in the "RainbowMe Approved" section, and see what’s new in children’s literature.
Colorful Stories by Lisa Browne is both a living conversation series, and a digital archive of unapologetically black-centered children’s literature. Find the series in Philadelphia at Lovett Memorial Library, or follow her events page to see where she goes next!
Sankofa Read Aloud is a YouTube channel that flips through the pages of storybooks written by African American authors, for African American children. Curated and read by an inspired mother, Sankofa Read Aloud carries on the idea that "it takes a village."