These Black authors make story time fun with characters budding book lovers can relate to.
For many of us, growing up there weren’t many books that our parents could choose from that featured Black faces like ours and spoke to our specific needs and journey. Of course, there were timeless classics like Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, but compared to the books that catered to white children, the pickings were slim. Fortunately for today’s Mini the selection of children’s books is much larger and features brown characters of all shades for them to identify with.
If you’ve been looking for new books to add to your mini’s growing library, we’ve rounded up a few children’s books by Black authors that every Mini needs to read (or have read to them). Whether it’s pepping them for educational Black excellence at an HBCU, encouraging them to dream or reminding them that they matter when sometimes the world says otherwise, there’s definitely a book here for the budding bookworm in your life. Trust us, adding these books to your Mini’s bookshelf will have them ready for story time, and life.
The ABCs of HBCUs
It’s never too early to start your mini on the road to higher education, especially when their options are legendary institutions that have produced Black excellence. Mother, teacher, and proud graduate of Spelman College, Claudia Walker understands this, and that’s why she created the first ABC board book dedicated to HBCUs. Claudia launched The ABCs of HBCUs to bring rich, empowering, and authentic stories of the Black experience into homes everywhere. In her book, representation is the name of the game, and from FAMU to Howard, the Divine Nine to Battle of the Bands, children learn about the love, lifestyles, and legacies that built these incredible institutions.
I Am Every Good Thing
Authored by Derrick Barnes and beautifully illustrated by Gordon C. James, I Am Every Good Thing is a much-needed book for Black children when society demonstrates otherwise. Each page in the empowering book celebrates Black children and their competence at everything from science to sports, and encourages them to explore and soar. Most importantly, I Am Every Good Thing encourages every child that reads to not let the views and attitudes of others in the world define them, and to always share their gifts. Powerful declarations like “I am a nonstop ball of energy. Powerful and full of light. I am a go-getter. A difference maker. A leader,” and “I am worthy to be loved” round out the inspirational messaging. Even former president Barack Obama makes an illustrated cameo in the book.
NBA superstar LeBron James may be best known for being an unstoppable force on the basketball court, but it’s his off the court moves that will change the world. Inspired by the LeBron James Family Foundation’s I Promise program, the inspiring picture book reminds children that tomorrow’s success starts with the promises they make to themselves and their community today. LeBron encourages little readers to always use their voice, stand up for what’s right, never be ashamed to ask for help, and of course, promise to always be themselves. I Promise is a great book for Mini’s learning to come into their own personality.
Skin Like Mine
Mom of 5, LaTashia M. Perry is the Founder and CEO of Kids Like Mine and the author of the ‘Like Mine’ children’s picture book series. She created the series as a way to enrich and empower the lives of, not only her children, but those like them, through positive affirmations and self-imagery. In the book Skin Like Mine, LaTashia seeks to address and celebrate diversity among young children and why they are all beautiful. She even celebrates the diversity of language by offering her beautifully illustrated books in French as well. Who doesn’t love a woke and bilingual Mini!
All Because You Matter
Former teacher Tami Charles’ New York Times Bestseller, All Because You Matter, has often been referred to as a “lyrical text that is part love letter, part anthem, assuring readers that they always have, and always will, matter,” and from the very first page you’ll agree. She takes the readers on a journey from their first step and adolescent struggles straight through to the painful heartbreak of current events. Along the way she reassures your SugaKids that they have and always will matter. Each page serves as an affirmation and conversation starter that empowers readers and fills them with joy and pride while reminding them of their strong and legendary roots.