In another attempt to keep my foot on the gas, I wanted to share some of our favorite children’s books which are either about diversity/inclusivity or have black characters. Some are from black authors.
Ron’s Big Mission – A fictionalized story of Ron McNair, who passed away in the Challenger explosion in 1986. Ron was the library’s best customer, but cannot check books out because only white people could have library cards. A look at segregation in the 1950s and how one boy challenged it.
Blue Sky White Stars – An ode to America’s flag and landscapes.
Peace is an Offering – Neighborhood children find love and joy in everyday things.
Teach Your Dragon About Diversity – What if your dragon is sad because he doesn’t think he fits in? Teach him about diversity. Teach him to celebrate differences and that our physical appearances do not separate us.
The Ring Bearer – Jackson’s mama is getting married and he has a big job to do, ringbearer! He is worried that he won’t do a good job, and is worried his new stepsister might not be able to do her job as flower girl, either. A look at blended families and overcoming nerves about being in a wedding.
I Just Want to Say Goodnight – Lala tries to delay going to bed by saying goodnight to everyone and everything that comes in her path.
Love – a look at the importance of love in a child’s life and all of the different ways it can come in. This is my absolute favorite children’s book ever. I cry every time I read it to my kids. I was able to hear Matt read this book at a reading conference, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Highly recommend this one! You can hear him read it here!
I’m Not Just a Scribble – Scribble feels different than everyone else and is left out for looking different. He teaches the other scribbles to accept one another for who they are. Also comes with stickers so kids can draw their own scribble.
Max and the Tag-along Moon – In an effort to make Max feel better, his grandfather tells him not to miss him, because as long as he can see the moon, he’ll be with him. Max notices the moon “follows” him all the way home.
Pink is for Boys – all colors are for everyone. A book that negates gender norms.
Last Stop on Market Street – CJ asks his grandmother questions during their bus ride. Things about possessions they lack, the part of town they get off in, and more. Grandma always has a positive and encouraging answer back that challenges him to look on the bright side. Material poverty is no match for a positive spirit and love. (Another Matt de la Pena book to make you cry!)
Love Makes a Family – a board book that shows different family makeups and celebrates that LOVE is what makes a family a family.
My Friend Maya – rhyming book about dance featuring a black dancer; the narrator is in a wheelchair and loves to watch her friend dance.
Grace for President – One day at school, Grace realizes no woman has ever been president, so she encourages her teacher to hold a class presidential election. Also teaches kids how the electoral college works.
Just Ask! – written by a supreme court justice about celebrating our differences and abilities.
Pass it On – sends a positive message about helping others.