February 03, 2017

7 Great Books for Kids to Celebrate Black History Month

February is Black History Month and what better way time to celebrate by sharing some of our favorite, award winning books for children written by African American writers.
Radiant Child
This book is about the famed artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.  Just like Basquiat's art, the book is vibrant and full of colorful illustrations. Radiant Child tells the story of Basquiat as a child who saw art everywhere he looked and not in the traditional sense.  A visually stimulating book and a wonderful introduction to the work of a truly talented artist.


The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats holds a special place in my heart as it was one of the first books by kids read by themselves.  My kids participated in the HIPPY program - a homeschool based reading program for 3-, 4-, and 5-year olds and The Snowy Day.  A classic tale of a young boy venturing out during a snowy day with vivid, bold watercolor illustrations sure to capture your child's attention.

Talkin' About Bessie tells the story of famed aviator Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman.  An empowering tale of a girl who was told she couldn't because she was a girl and a Black girl at that.  Yet, young Bessie pressed forward towards her dreams of becoming an aviator.  Great story!!!

Her Stories OMG!  Talk about GIRL POWER!  I remember the first time I received Her Stories for review and I immediately fell in love.  Her Stories was the very first book I ever read featuring fairy tales of characters of color.  Some of the stories may be frightening for younger readers but older children will get goosebumps from some of the stories.  Her Stories is full of bold, rich illustrations and a beautiful addition to your child's fairy tale collection. 

Half a Moon and One Whole Star reminded me of Goodnight Moon, one of our family favorites.  It tells the story of a young girl going to sleep and the words are so rhythmic and help lull little ones gently into La La Land.  Confession, Half a Moon and One Whole Star is illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, he's like my illustrator crush.  *smile*

Nina the Neighborhood Ninja is a fun tale of a little firecracker of a girl named Nina.  I love, love, love this story!  Nina rocks the cutest afro puffs and is a warrior for all the little animals in her neighborhood.  She is just the cutest lil' person and she has a cute lil' firefly as her trusty sidekick.  Every superhero needs a sidekick. Sonia Panigrahy presents a well written, empowering tale for lil' superheroes everywhere. 

Please, Baby Please by Spike Lee is an adorable tale Lee and his wife penned shortly after the birth of their little bundle of joy.  Fans of Lee's character Mookie in his acclaimed movie "Do the Right Thing" will get a kick out this fun story of a baby who is determined to do everything but rest.  Parents are sure to relate as the adorable baby tosses cereal, practices her artistic talents on the walls, and all those things our little ones do.

These are just a few of the children's books in our collection by African American authors.  Do you have any fab reads by African American authors you'd like to share?  Let me know, leave a comment below.


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