Celebrating Black Authors & Characters: A Reading List for Children and Families

kids books by black authors image of mom reading to son at bedtime

It is so important that children grow up seeing all different types of people – both in their communities and in literature.

It’s never too early to start conversations about empathy, equality, and good citizenship. For this article, we focus specifically on elevating black voices and characters in children’s literature.

We’ve rounded up a list of books by black authors or illustrators, as well as books featuring black leading characters. We hope these books will help you cultivate a diverse library for your children, and will help encourage respect, awareness, inclusivity, and racial equality from a young age.

Children’s Books by Black Authors/Illustrators

  1. Brothers and Sisters: Family Poems by Eloise Greenfield (Kindergarten – Gr. 6)
  2. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson (Ages 3-5)
  3. Whose Toes are Those? by Jabari Asim (Baby – 3 years)
  4. Saturday by Oge Mora (Ages 4-8)
  5. The Roots of Rap by Carole Boston Weatherford, Art by Frank Morrison (Ages 4+)
  6. Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra by Andrea Pinkney  (Ages 6-8)
  7. New Kid by Jerry Craft (Ages 8-12)
  8. My Hair is Beautiful by Shauntay Grant (baby-Age 3)
  9. Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins by Michelle Meadows (Ages 4-8)
  10. Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris (Ages 4-8)
  11. Parker Looks Up by Parker Curry (Ages 4-8)

7 Children’s Books Featuring Black Characters

  1. Flower Garden by Eve Bunting (Ages 4-7)
  2. Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport (Ages 6-8)
  3. George Baker by Amy Hest (Ages 5-8)
  4. My Family Plays Music by Judy Cox (Ages 4-8)
  5. Pet Show by Ezra Jack Keats (Ages 3-7)
  6. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (Ages 2-5)
  7. Daniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer (3-6)

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