As I reflect on Black History Month, I look on my 4 year old's book shelf and among the plethora of Dora, Disney Princesses, Mickey Mouse, Clifford, and Olivia books were only two books with Black female characters
- The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
- Grace for President by Kelly Dipucchio
and then Bill Cosby's Little Bill from a NickJr.
My older daughter is 10 years old, and she has the entire volume of Black Americans of Achievement by Chelsea House Publishers. Each book is about a famous or important Black American.
She loves to read biographies. She's also read
Michael Jackson by Sarah Tieck
Willow Smith by Riley Brooks
Other interesting titles are:
Other books with Black (or biracial) characters with major roles that she's read were:
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
Sugar Plum Ballerinas by Whoopi Goldberg
So, I recently went to the library to get a couple more thinking they would have them on display since it was in fact Black history month and they had a very little two shelved display that had a couple books.
It wasn't the first time I have thought about getting books with representative characters. But I had given up at one point because most of the black books were thematic in racism and segregation (quite appropriate to be understood, but depressing to read about before bed), rather than regular Black kids having fun and doing life. So I have begun my search again.
Here are two sites that have lists of authors that focus on children's African American literature. Thought I would share:
Looking for more information on African-American authors and their books? Try these sources:
Many Peoples, One Land: a Guide to New Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults. 2001.
[Education Juvenile Reference [non-circulating]: S.016.8108H366m]
Black Authors and Illustrators of Books for Children and Young Adults. (4th ed.), 2007.
[Education Juvenile Reference [non-circulating]: S.011.62R658b2007]
The All-White World of Children's Books and African American Children's Literature. 1995.
[Main Stacks: 810.9 AL58]
The Coretta Scott King Awards, 1970-2004. (3rd ed.), 2004.
[Education Juvenile Reference [non-circulating]: S.016.8108 C812]
As I read the books to my kids, I will update you on what I liked and disliked.
Please share with me as well.