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Black Children’s Books You Don’t Know About — Yet!

You may often hear the phrase, “Support Black Businesses,” and yes, it helps to do so but one type of Black business that is starting to boom is children’s literature that features Black main characters and that is written and published by Black authors. Yes, buy Black books by Black authors and publishers! Successful Black Parenting magazine’s publishing company is SBP Publishing. We will soon offer an online bookstore with recommended Black books for parents and children. Stay tuned for that.

Independent authors often find it difficult to get the word out about their books because most bookstores, large and small, will not support self-published authors. It’s true. Trying to get the press to write about these wonderful books is difficult as well. Black children need books with positive Black main characters because it helps our children to feel relevant in the world. White families need these books to diversify their home libraries because the world is diverse and this is often a white child’s first experience with brown people. 

Many times, self-published books aren’t the best quality or the best in children’s literature but that shouldn’t dissuade you. Let your child decide on which book is his or her favorite. The author writes for the child and often the adult can’t relate and that’s okay too. Below are featured books with links to purchase (click the book cover). Know that by buying these books, you are helping to support small Black businesses and independent Black authors.

We all have a warrior within us and sometimes it takes a little bit of tapping into our imagination to see just how strong, courageous, brave and great we really are. The Warrior in Me is sure to bring out the warrior in all of us.

Ages: 4 – 9

ISBN: 978-1070557175

Available as an eBook and in paperback

Grandma’s Lil’ King is a sweet and inspiring story about the loving relationship between an African American grandmother and her grandson. The story provides young readers with a gentle introduction to African heritage and explains how you can still be a king even without a crown.

Ages: 3 – 8

ISBN: 978-1-948877-33-9

Available in paperback

The book introduces us to the family and best friend of seven-year-old Daisy, who is a beautiful seven-year-old African American girl experiencing confusion in defining the difference between true beauty and physical beauty. This book is a phenomenal tool that can be used to boost self-esteem and self-worth in girls cross-culturally.

Ages: 3 – 12

ISBN: 978-0578488486

Available in paperback

Little Black Girl is a love letter to little black girls all around the globe to remind them who they are, where they come from, and what they can become.

Ages: 4- 10

ISBN: 978-1720631705

Available as an eBook and in paperback

For the courageous Rumble Hunters, the things that go bump in the night don’t stand a chance! When James, their fearless leader, hears a curious rumble in the middle of the night, he embarks upon a late-night mission to “hunt that sound.” Along the way, he gathers a heroic band to aid in his quest. With the help of his siblings as well as his wet, scaly and furry pets, they become known as the Rumble Hunters. It’s hard to know who or what will be found, but one thing’s for sure — there’s fun to be had on this rip-roaring adventure!

Ages: 4 – 8

ISBN: 978-64307-120-6

Available in hardcover

Early on, children begin looking to us to help them carve out a place in this world. Affirming that they have the right to dream big will encourage them to spread their wings and soar! Through frolicsome, endearing rhyme, and captivating illustrations, Little Miss is Destined for Greatness sets out to inspire, empower, and motivate young readers as they explore what they want to offer to the world one rhyme at a time. Designed to serve as a mirror for little brown boys and girls across the globe, Little Miss invites readers to embrace every possibility.

Ages: 7 and under

ISBN: 1543966748

Available in paperback

Why does Mommy have to work all the time? Why can’t she tuck me in at night? This is what seven year old Gigi wants to find out. This adorable tale will resonate with every young reader that wants to know – “Why does Mommy work so much?”

Ages: 3 – 9

ISBN: 1508784124

Available as an eBook and in paperback

Come along on a journey through the jungle to the Jurassic Age, and onto the big city to learn that you’re bigger than you know. This book is for young children who might be feeling small in a big, big world.

Ages: 0 – 6

ISBN: 0578505134

Available as a board book

This book is about the Tulsa Race Massacre. It’s about that fateful day when the life of ten-year-old Julius changed forever! The story is written through the eyes of a child and what he experienced.

Ages: 7 – 9

ISBN: 9781729772188

Available in paperback

While giving a speech at her high school graduation, Faith, the class valedictorian, shares her childhood dreams, and the lessons that served as the foundation for her courage.

Ages: 4 – 8

ISBN: 978-0692713785

Available as an eBook, in paperback, and as a hardcover

Follow Shar, Terrence, Ebony, Akiya, Marcus, and Chase as they explore Science, Technology. Engineering, Art, and Math by learning about the contributions Black Americans have made to those fields. While the group is out exploring the real world to discover how these contributions impact our everyday lives, a random call to the police puts their homework adventure in jeopardy. The STEAM Chasers ultimate goal grows beyond simply discovering how Black Americans have contributed to S.T.E.A.M. and they use what they learned to envision a way to make being a part of their diverse community a safer experience for all kids.

Ages: 8 – 12

ISBN: 978-1-951054-00-7

Available as an eBook, audio, and in paperback

Dream Baby and his plush Alligator are trying to fall asleep. They don’t count sheep, but they use their imaginations to fall asleep. Great for Bedtime, Nap time, or Anytime!This book is great ages 0 to 5 years.

Ages: 0 – 5

ISBN: 1080388737

Available as an eBook and in paperback

Have You Thanked an Inventor Today? is a unique journey into the often forgotten contributions of the African-American inventors that have greatly enriched America’s landscape. It chronicles the school day of a little boy, demonstrating with each page, how the genius of African American minds is utilized on a daily basis. The book comes complete with brief biographies about each inventor, as well as fun activities to help promote reading comprehension.

Ages: 5 – 12

ISBN:  978-0997315202

Available as an eBook, in paperback, and hardcover

AN AFRICAN CINDERELLA STORY — No slippers but a calabash. Every culture has its own Cinderella story, and every storyteller his or her version. This classic West African folklore from Senegambia has similarities to both The little red riding hood and Cinderella in a completely unique way that teaches children important moral lessons as two half-sisters take a similar adventure through an enchanted forest. Only one becomes a princess “linguere”.

Ages: 5 – 10

ISBN: n/a

Available as an eBook and in paperback

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Successful Black Parenting is proud to announce that we are bringing our readers more researched-based content written by the members of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) RESilience Initiative, which provides resources to parents and caregivers for promoting the strength, health, and well-being of children and youth of color. We will also feature their members who have contributed articles to Successful Black Parenting on our BackTalk podcast. Learn more about the RESilience Initiative at www.apa.org/res.

THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION'S (APA) RESilience Initiative