Tag Archives: #weneeddiversebooks

50 Fantastic Picture Books with African American Illustrators

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoThe Kids' Winter Fun BookOur role is to work together to create books that act as wide-open doors – books that allow all children to walk through and feel safe enough to stay.” ~ illustrator Jerry Pinkney #weneeddiversebooks

Children need to see all kinds of people in the books they read and that includes book characters that look like them. It can be hard to find pictures books that have characters of color. Here are 50 favorite picture books that not only star African-American characters but are also illustrated by African American artists.  Use this list to help find new books and new authors or illustrators that will help you throw wide-open the doors of diversity. You can find new books to act as a mirror, to reflect your child’s own experience, or a window, so they can take a look at someone else’s.

You can read some of the stories online right now in the “Read Right Now” section. Just click on a book jacket to enjoy it!

We suggest a visit to The Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library where you can find many of these picture books to check out and take home!


Read Right Now:

Dance Like StarlightNo Mirrors in My Nana's HouseRent Party JazzTo Be a DrumWhite Socks Only

Books:

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Click on a book jacket below to request a book or download it. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations, text a librarian at 317 333-6877, or leave a comment.

Beautiful MoonAunt Flossie's HatsCity ShapesEach KindnessGrandma's PurseHey Black ChildI Got the RhythmKnock KnockLast Stop on Market StreetThe Lion and the MouseMufaro's Beautiful DaughtersA is for ActivistAll Things Bright and BeautifulAfrican OrchestraAntionetteBack of the BusBelle the Last Mule at Gee's BendBig JabeBlack CatBrothers of the KnightBruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby GirlBusy Busy Little ChickChocolate MeEllen's BroomFreedom SummerThe Grasshopper and the AntsHe's Got the Whole World in His HandsIn Plain SightJabari JumpsLittle Red HenLittle Red Riding HoodThe Neighborhood Mother GooseNight Out with MamaNoah's ArkThe Nutcracker in HarlemOn the BallThese HandsThis Is the RopeThe Tortoise and the HareUncle Jed's Barber ShopWe Shall Overcome: the Story of a SngWelcome PreciousWhen Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat

To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

Read Right Now! Picture Books Starring African American Kids

AARIStatement300Grace loves stories. She doesn’t care if she reads the story or somebody is telling it. She likes to imagine herself as the star. She also likes to act stories out. When her school announces that the school play is going to be Peter Pan, Grace is dismayed to find that the other kids think she cannot play Peter because her skin is brown and she is a girl. Listen to Grace’s story right now in this online video read aloud read by Clarice Tinsley. Then, click on a book jacket below to read more free online books that star African American characters.


FREE Online eBooks:

The Snowy DayAmazing GraceThe Music in Derrick's HeartNo MirrorsTo Be a DrumWhite Socks OnlyRent Party JazzMarvelous CorneliusPicture Book of Martin Luther King Jr.

More FREE Online Reading:


Printables, Crafts & More:


Every-Child-Ready-to-Read-American-Library-Association

25+ Books for Kids about Children Around the World

What's For Lunch?Kids can get really attached to their routines. They often only want a certain kind of food or to drink their juice out of the only acceptable cup in the cupboard. When they go to school though, this tendency changes a little bit. Kids often become very, very curious about their teacher and about each other. It is the first time they are exposed to the number of choices their are and the many acceptable ways there are to do things.

Who hasn’t been schooled by their kid who comes home and announces, “that isn’t the way Mrs. Smith does it!” I was once lectured about my poor hand washing skills. I did not sing the song to make sure I washed long enough! This emerging curiosity is a great time to introduce kids to new things through books!

Here are some books that will show kids what life is like for kids whose lives are different than their own. These stories bring the lives of children from all over the world right into their life, right here in Indianapolis, Indiana!

Books:

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Click on a book jacket below to request a book or download it. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations, text a librarian at 317 333-6877, or leave a comment.

Anna HibiscusBeatrice's GoatCan You Say PeaceChildren from Australia to ZimbabweClothesDream Around the WorldA Faith Like MineFoodA Good TradeGift DaysThe Good GardenIf America Were a VillageIf the World Were a VillageIt's Back to School We GoA Life Like MineThe Market BowlMimi's VillageMy Rows and Piles of CoinsMy School in the Rain ForestOne HenOur WorldRazia's Ray of hopeSchool Days Around the WorldA School Like MineThe Soccer FenceThis Child Every ChildWhat We WearYou and Me Together

Selected by: Janet Spaulding, Selection Services