Black Stories: Picture Books

Authentic Black stories matter for all children. Not only do these stories portray for children the richness and diversity of the Black American experience, they allow Black and Brown children to see themselves in media. Check out these stories written by some of the most exciting children‚??s book creators working today!

Updated February 9, 2023
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The ABCs of Black history
Cortez, Rio
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER B is for Beautiful, Brave, and Bright! And for a Book that takes a Bold journey through the alphabet of Black history and culture. Letter by letter, The ABCs of Black History celebrates a story that spans continents and centuries, triumph and heartbreak, creativity and...
All because you matter
Charles, Tami
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,...
I am every good thing
Barnes, Derrick
An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. A perfect gift for any special occasion! I am a nonstop ball of energy. Powerful and full of light. I am a...
Bedtime bonnet
Redd, Nancy Amanda
This joyous and loving celebration of family is the first-ever picture book to highlight Black nighttime hair traditions--and is perfect for every little girl who knows what it's like to lose her bonnet just before bedtime. In my family, when the sun goes down, our hair goes up!...
Bedtime for sweet creatures
Grimes, Nikki
Nikki Grimes, Coretta Scott King Award winning author, and acclaimed illustrator Elizabeth Zunon's latest children's masterpiece creates an imagination-fueled and animal-filled journey to bedtime. It's bedtime. But Mommy's little one is not sleepy. He growls like a bear, he...
Black is a rainbow color
Joy, Angela
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...
Bright brown baby : a treasury
Pinkney, Andrea Davis
A rhythmic, whimsically illustrated celebration of Black and brown babies and the joy, tender moments, and boundless love shared between children and their caregivers, from New York Times bestselling and award-winning duo Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney. Brown baby,...
Brown baby lullaby
Brown, Tameka Fryer
This lyrical bedtime picture book is a must-have for every brown baby's bookshelf. Come, my sweet brown baby... From sunset to bedtime, two parents lovingly care for their beautiful baby: first, they play outside, then it is time for dinner and a bath, and...
Change sings : a children's anthem
Gorman, Amanda
A lyrical picture book debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long   "I can hear change humming In its loudest, proudest song....
Choosing brave : Mamie Till-Mobley, Emmett Till, and the voice that sparked the civil rights movement
Joy, Angela
A Caldecott-honor winning picture book biography of the mother of Emmett Till, and how she channeled grief over her son's death into a call to action for the civil rights movement. Mamie Till-Mobley is the mother of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy who was brutally murdered...
Daddy speaks love
Henderson, Leah
A moving tribute to the joy and grounding that fathers bring to their children's lives. What does a daddy do? From day one, this daddy speaks love to his little one. And along with that love, his words and actions speak many other things, too- like truth, joy, comfort, and pride....
Dream Street
Walker, Tricia Elam
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES . FIVE STARRED REVIEWS Visit a truly special street bursting with joy, hope, and dreams. Inspired by the neighborhood where they grew up as cousins, this gorgeous picture book from an award...
Going down home with Daddy
Lyons, Kelly Starling
Set at one young boy's annual family reunion, this Caldecott Honor-winning picture book is a rich and moving celebration of Black history, culture, and the power of family traditions. "On reunion morning, we rise before the sun. Daddy hums as he packs our car with suitcases...
The highest tribute : Thurgood Marshall's life, leadership, and legacy
Magoon, Kekla
A brilliant picture book biography about Thurgood Marshall, who fought for equality during the Civil Rights Movement and served as the first Black justice on the Supreme Court, from Coretta Scott King Honor winners Kekla Magoon and Laura Freeman. Growing up in Baltimore, Thurgood Marshall...
A history of me
Theodore, Adrea
An uplifting message of hope for the future and pride in your history, inspired by a mother's experience of being the only Black child in her classroom. Who do you see when you look in the mirror? Emphasizing the strength, creativity, and courage passed down through...
Just like me
Brantley-Newton, Vanessa
An ode to the girl with scrapes on her knees and flowers in her hair, and every girl in between, this exquisite treasury will appeal to readers of Dear Girl and I Am Enough and have kids poring over it to find a poem that's just for them. I am a canvas ...
M is for melanin : a celebration of the black child
Rose, Tiffany
"Contagiously upbeat, joyful, and positive . . . [C]herish this book." -Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW "A must-have for any library that is in need of books with positive representation for and about black children, as there is no other alphabet book quite like this one...
Magnificent homespun brown : a celebration
Doyon, Samara Cole
Magnificent Homespun Brown is an exploration of the natural world and family bonds through the eyes of young, mixed raced heroines--a living, breathing, dazzlingly multi-faceted, exuberant masterpiece, firmly grounded in a sense of self-worth and belonging. This is a story--a poem, a song, a...
Me & Mama
Cabrera, Cozbi A.
A Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Honor Book Mama's love is brighter than the sun, even on the rainiest of days. This celebration of a mother-daughter relationship is perfect for sharing with little ones! On a rainy day when the house smells like cinnamon and...
Me and the Boss: A Story about Mending and Love
Edwards, Michelle
CORETTA SCOTT KING ILLUSTRATOR HONOR AWARD WINNER CHARLOTTE ZOLOTOW AWARD WINNER All the highs and lows of having a bossy, protective, and loving older sibling are depicted in this heartwarming picture book by a critically acclaimed author and award-winning illustrator....
The me I choose to be
Tarpley, Natasha
What will you choose to be? A free spirit? A weaver of words? A star dancing across the night sky? A limitless galaxy? The possibilities are endless in this uplifting ode to the power of potential. With lyrical text by bestselling author Natasha Anastasia...
Milo imagines the world
de la Pen a, Matt
The team behind the Newbery Medal winner and Caldecott Honor book Last Stop on Market Street and the award-winning New York Times bestseller Carmela Full of Wishes once again delivers a poignant and timely picture book that's sure to become an instant classic.
Nina : a story of Nina Simone
Todd, Traci N.
A 2022 Coretta Scott King Book Award Honoree!   This luminous, defining picture book biography illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson, tells the remarkable and inspiring story of acclaimed singer Nina Simone and her bold, defiant, and exultant legacy. ...
Opal Lee and what it means to be free : the true story of the grandmother of Juneteenth
Duncan, Alice Faye
Booklist starred review Black activist Opal Lee had a vision of Juneteenth as a holiday for everyone. This true story celebrates Black joy and inspires children to see their dreams blossom. Growing up in Texas, Opal knew the history of Juneteenth,...
Overground railroad
Cline-Ransome, Lesa
A window into a child's experience of the Great Migration from the award-winning creators of Before She Was Harriet and Finding Langston. Climbing aboard the New York bound Silver Meteor train, Ruth Ellen embarks upon a journey toward a new life up North-- one she...
A place inside of me : a poem to heal the heart
Elliott, Zetta
Caldecott Honor Book Today Show Best Book for the Holidays ALA Notable Book for All Ages ALSC Notable Children's Book NCTE Notable Poetry Book Evanston Public Library's Top 100 Great Book for Kids Nerdy Award Winner for Single Poem...
R-E-S-P-E-C-T : Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul
Weatherford, Carole Boston
Winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustration Award! From a New York Times bestselling author and an acclaimed illustrator comes this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin that pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves. Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The...
The roots of rap : 16 bars on the 4 pillars of hip-hop
Weatherford, Carole Boston
Explore the roots of rap in this stunning, rhyming, triple-timing picture book! "Carole Boston Weatherford, once again, delivers a resounding testament and reminder, that hip-hop is a flavorful slice of larger cultural cake. And to be hip-hop-to truly be it-we must remember...
Saturday
Mora, Oge
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....
Shirley Chisholm is a verb!
Chambers, Veronica
A timely picture book biography about Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman in Congress, who sought the Democratic nomination to be the president of the United States. Shirley Chisholm famously said, "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair." This...
Somewhere in the bayou
Pumphrey, Jarrett
When four swamp creatures looking to cross a river come upon a log that would allow for precisely that, they can't believe their luck. But a questionable tail adjacent to that log gives them second thoughts. Opossum believes it's a sneaky tail and that they must pass it quietly. Squirrel thinks it's...
Soul food Sunday
Bingham, Winsome
Granny teaches her grandson to cook the family meal in author Winsome Bingham and illustrator C. G. Esperanza's picture book Soul Food Sunday, a loving celebration of food, traditions, and gathering together at the table.   A 2022 Coretta Scott King...
Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual
Weatherford, Carole Boston
From an award-winning author and critically acclaimed artist comes a stunning and deeply moving picture book based on the popular spiritual. The classic lyrics have been reworked to chronicle the milestones, struggles, tragedies, and triumphs of African American history. A perfect gift or...
Sulwe
Nyong'o, Lupita
A New York Times bestseller! Featured in its own episode in the Netflix original show Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices! Recipient of a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award Recipient of an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children's...
Sweet justice : Georgia Gilmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Rockliff, Mara
An inspiring picture-book biography about the woman whose cooking helped feed and fund the Montgomery bus boycott of 1956, from an award-winning illustrator. Georgia Gilmore was cooking when she heard the news Mrs. Rosa Parks had been arrested--pulled off a city bus and thrown in...
The Talk
Williams, Alicia D.
A Coretta Scott King Author Honor winner! As a little boy grows into a bigger boy, ready to take on the world, he first must have that very difficult conversation far too familiar to so many Black and Brown Americans in this gentle and ultimately hopeful picture book.
Time for bed, old house
Bates, Janet Costa
At Isaac's first sleepover, he gets to help Grandpop with a very special routine--putting the house to bed--in a story that's just right for children visiting a new place, or for adopting a new ritual at home. Isaac is excited about having a sleepover at Grandpop's house, but he...
Time for Kenny
Pinkney, J. Brian
Two-time Caldecott Honor artist and Coretta Scott King Medalist Brian Pinkney's Time for Kenny is simple, direct, and pitch-perfect for emerging readers. This vibrant, family-oriented picture book is full of boundless energy, action, and unlimited love. A timeless choice for fans of Laura Vaccaro...
The undefeated
Alexander, Kwame
Winner of the 2020 Caldecott Medal A 2020 Newbery Honor Book Winner of the 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award The Newbery Award-winning author of THE CROSSOVER pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time...
We shall overcome
Collier, Bryan
A celebration of the gospel anthem and Civil Rights protest song "We Shall Overcome," masterfully brought to life by Caldecott Honor recipient and a nine-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Bryan Collier."We Shall Overcome" is one of the most recognizable anthems of the Civil Rights...
The world belonged to us
Woodson, Jacqueline
Two children's book superstars--#1 New York Times bestseller Jacqueline Woodson, the author of The Day You Begin, and Leo Espinosa, the illustrator of Islandborn­--join forces to celebrate the joy and freedom of summer in the city, which is gloriously captured in their...
The year we learned to fly
Woodson, Jacqueline
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...

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