Books for Kids: Black History Month - Picture Books

Check out our list of recommended picture books celebrate Black History Month and beyond.

Looking for more suggestions? Check out our list for Chapter Books & Graphic Novels and Non-Fiction Books & Biographies.

Updated January 11, 2024
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Keyana loves her friend
Tarpley, Natasha Anastasia
Paper Book
Keyana throws a spectacular slumber party in this sweet picture book that explores both the easy and tough parts of friendship, written by bestselling author Natasha Anastasia Tarpley (I Love My Hair!). Keyana is hosting her very best friend, Nia, over for a...
The artivist
Smith, Nikkolas
Paper Book
An inspiring picture book about how children can combine art and activism in their daily lives. "They say I'm an artist. They say I'm an activist." When a young boy realizes the scope of inequities in the wider world, he's seized with the urge to do more. He...
Mama's sleeping scarf
Grace-James, Nwa
Paper Book
The first children's book from the best-selling author of We Should All Be Feminists and Americanah--a tender story about a little girl's love for her mother's scarf, and the adventures she shares with it and her whole family Chino loves the scarf that her mama ties...
Born on the water
Hannah-Jones, Nikole
Paper Book
The 1619 Project's lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renee Watson. A...
Song in the city
Bernstrom, Daniel
Paper Book
From Daniel Bernstrom, the acclaimed author of One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree, comes a charming and irresistibly fun picture book about a young blind girl and her grandmother who experience the vibrant everyday music of their busy city. A young girl, filled with...
All because you matter
Charles, Tami
Paper Book
Instant New York Times bestseller! A lyrical, heart-lifting love letter to Black and brown children everywhere: reminding them how much they matter, that they have always mattered, and they always will, from powerhouse rising star author Tami Charles and esteemed, award...
Sam with ants in his pants
Reynolds, April
Paper Book
This ferociously fun read-aloud--perfect for bedtime or anytime--begins with a can't-settle-down boy who spends his naptime with wild animals that have leapt off the pages of his favorite book, and ends with a sleepy boy all played out! Sam is not ready for naptime. Momma...
Etta extraordinaire
Ahmed, Roda
Paper Book
Charnaie Gordon, the creator of Here Wee Read, and Roda Ahmed, the New York Times bestselling publisher and author of Mae Among the Stars, debut their first-ever collaboration with the extraordinary adventures of the one and only Etta Extraordinaire! Meet Etta! Etta was born to be a...
Mora, Oge
Paper Book
In this warm and tender story by the Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Thank You, Omu!, join a mother and daughter on an up-and-down journey that reminds them of what's best about Saturdays: precious time together. Today would be special. Today would be splendid....
A is for ambitious
Harris, Meena
Paper Book
The awesome, bold, charming, and decidedly ambitious new picture book by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Ambitious Girl, Meena Harris, is also a must-have ABC book. The #1 bestselling team behind Ambitious Girl<...
There was a party for Langston
Reynolds, Jason
Paper Book
A Caldecott Honor Book A Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jason Reynolds's debut picture book is a snappy, joyous ode to Word King, literary genius, and glass-ceiling smasher Langston Hughes and...
Small shoes, great strides : how three brave girls opened doors to school equality
Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux
Paper Book
Leona Tate, Gail Etienne, and Tessie Prevost didn't set out to make history. But when these three Black first graders stepped into the all-white McDonogh No. 19 Public School in New Orleans on November 14, 1960, that's exactly what they did. They integrated their school just ten minutes before Ruby...
On the line : my story of becoming the first African American Rockette
Jones, Jennifer
Paper Book
"Though this tale explores painful emotions, its focus on Jennifer's personal experience and the pleasure she found in dance make it an absolute delight."--Kirkus Reviews From the first Black Radio City Rockette dancer, Jennifer Jones, comes an inspiring picture book...
Major Taylor : world cycling champion
Smith, Charles R., Jr.
Paper Book
A Coretta Scott King Award winner and a Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor winner pair up for a rousing picture book biography-in-verse of legendary African American cyclist Marshall "Major" Taylor and the Six-Day Race. One hundred years ago, one of the most popular spectator sports...
Invincible : fathers and mothers of Black America
Hudson, Wade
Paper Book
This lyrical picture book explores the birth of Black America, focusing on the little-known men and women who fought for justice and for an America where freedom truly rang for all. We're familiar with the founding fathers of white America, but who are the founding fathers (and...
A library
Giovanni, Nikki
Paper Book
In this lyrical picture book, world-renowned poet, New York Times bestselling author, and Coretta Scott King Honor winner Nikki Giovanni and fine artist Erin Robinson craft an ode to the magic of a library as a place not only for knowledge but also for imagination,...
Playtime for restless rascals
Grimes, Nikki
Paper Book
A child's job is to play-Mom knows this and makes sure they're up and ready to get to work! When it comes to play, this kid is an expert. Mom watches as they dance in puddles, swing high, jump into piles of leaves, and make snow angels. They're hard at work, and when Daddy comes home, they play even...
The adventures of Qai Qai
Williams, Serena
Paper Book
From superstar athlete, record breaker, entrepreneur, philanthropist (and mama) Serena Williams, comes a magical picture book in which a little girl learns to believe in herself with the help of her doll and best friend, Qai Qai. "Don't be scared, Best Friend! I'm right...
Black is a rainbow color
Joy, Angela
Paper Book
A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this moving and powerful anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on. Red is a rainbow color. Green sits next to blue. Yellow, orange, violet, indigo, They are rainbow colors, too, but...
The year we learned to fly
Woodson, Jacqueline
Paper Book
Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López's highly anticipated companion to their #1 New York Times bestseller The Day You Begin illuminates the power in each of us to face challenges with confidence. On a dreary, stuck-inside kind of day, a brother and sister heed their...
The Electric Slide and Kai
Baptist, Kelly J.
Paper Book
Kai is the only member of his family who can't get the dance steps to the Electric Slide right. But Kai is determined to bust a move in this fun and sweet celebration of African American families. Kai's aunt is getting married, and everyone in the Donovan family is excited about the...
The old boat
Pumphrey, Jarrett
Paper Book
Off a small island, an old boat sets sail and a young boy finds home. Together, boy and boat ride the shifting tides, catching wants and wishes until fate calls for a sea change. Brothers and collaborators Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey's newest picture book is a...
Brown : the many shades of love
James, Nancy Johnson
Paper Book
Celebrating all the beautiful browns in one child's colorful family Mama's brown is chocolate, clear, dark, and sweet. Daddy's brown is autumn leaf, or like a field of wheat. Granny's brown is like honey, and Papa's like caramel. In this loving and lovely ode to the color...
Layla's happiness
Tallie, Mariahadessa Ekere
Paper Book
★ 2020 Ezra Jack Keats Award Winner for Illustration ★ 2020 Ezra Jack Keats Honor for Writing ★ A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of 2020 "Affirmations of black childhood abound, and whimsical wishes float like...
Jabari tries
Cornwall, Gaia
Paper Book
Jabari is inventing a machine that will fly all the way across the yard! But making it go from CRASH to WHOOSH will take grit, patience, and maybe even a little help from his sister. Jabari is making a flying machine in his backyard! "It'll be easy. I don't need any...
Salat in secret
Thompkins-Bigelow, Jamilah
Paper Book
From the critically acclaimed author of Your Name Is a Song and the bestselling illustrator of The Proudest Blue comes a story about a Muslim boy who receives a salat (prayer) rug on his seventh birthday and becomes empowered about his faith. In this beautiful story...
We are here
Charles, Tami
Paper Book
An empowering follow-up to New York Times bestselling picture book All Because You Matter that celebrates the rich history of Black and brown men and women throughout history with soaring language and stunning illustration. Lyrical, affirmational, and bursting with love,...
It's not bragging if it's true
Avant-garde, Zaila
Paper Book
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Kids will be inspired to embrace their inner weirdness and persevere through obstacles after reading this empowering collection of true stories from teenage Scripps National Spelling Bee champ and Guinness World Record holder Zaila Avant-garde! Includes 8...

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