Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Top 10: Our Current Favorite Books for Black Kids

We have well over 100 children's books right now that Kyle and Owen actively love (we have many more than 100 books, but about 100 that we are currently regularly reading). That is not an exaggeration. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it. But, K & O adore books -- have right from the start. And don't forget, they have two book-loving doctorate-degreed parents. We cycle through these current favorite books over and over, reading all of them regularly enough to warrant the excessive book collection (and the constant growth of the collection). K & O love the excitement of new books, but they love to read the same books over and over and over again too. One whole category of our books are books which are geared specifically for black kids and/or books with black characters in them. These books would be great for any/all kids but they are especially wonderful for our kids. Many of you have asked for a list of these books. Here are our Top 10 Current Favorite Books for Black Kids.

note: this list is in no particular order
note #2: I'm not including children's books about adoption here. I'm also not including children's books about twins here. Maybe another time I'll do a list of those books. They are not on this list.
note #3: I'm not including board books here because K & O have generally outgrown them -- but when they were younger we had well over 100 board books, many with black themes/characters, and if anyone is interested I can give you a list of those sometime too.
note also: If you click on each book title you'll see that I've linked each book to I hate to endorse - such a huge corporate capitalist book dealer - but it was the easiest/quickest way for me to do it. Of course these books are available many places other than!
another note: Anyone who has been to our house knows that I'm fond of making my own books for K & O and you'll probably wonder why I haven't included those books on this list (especially since K & O are so fond of them). I'll post about that another time.
last note: I cheated a little, as you'll see... but it was very, very hard to limit this list to just 10!
really last note: If there's a book you love in your family, leave a comment here to share it with us!
the very last note, I promise!: Remember, K & O are just three years old. There are tons of really great books out there for/about black kids that are geared toward kids starting around age 6/first-grade (some of which are sitting up on one of the higher shelves in Kyle's room). This list is specifically for the 3-and-Under-Set!
* * *
Top 10: Our Current Favorite Books for Black Kids (& Every Other Kid Too!!!)
  1. The Skin You Live In - Michael Tyler, Author / David Lee Csicsko, Illustrator
  2. Sing Along Song - JoAnn Early Macken, Author / Leuyen Pham, Illustrator
  3. Anything by Bell Hooks, Author / Chris Raschka, Illustrator ~~ such as: Be Boy Buzz & Happy To Be Nappy
  4. Anything by Rachel Isadora (Author & Illustrator) ~~ such as: Caribbean Dream & Peekaboo Morning
  5. Please, Baby, Please & Please, Puppy, Please - both by Spike Lee & Tonya Lewis Lee, Authors / Kadir Nelson, Illustrator
  6. Black All Around - Patricia Hubbell, Author / Don Tate, Illustrator & Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children - Sandra L. Pinkney, Author / Myles Pinkney, Photographer (both of which I've blogged about before -- click here and click here).
  7. Anything by Debbie Harter (Illustrator & sometimes Author too) ~~ such as The Animal Boogie & The Creepy Crawly Calypso & Bear On A Bike
  8. Queen of the Scene - Queen Latifah, Author / Frank Morrison, Illustrator
  9. Anything by Molly Bang (Author & Illustrator) ~~ such as In My Heart (note: this book is awesome for 2-career-families!!!) & Ten, Nine, Eight
  10. We All Went on Safari: A Counting Journey Through Tanzania - Laurie Krebs, Author / Julia Cairns, Illustrator


Anonymous said...

Wow, so pleased to see we have or regularly borrow, about 5 of these. (We live in Northern Ontario and so are limited in our resources)In my daughter's SK class last year they read "We all went on Safari". She loved it so much that I had my library order it....still waiting for it tho! (I work there so have will forward more of these for ordering!) "Happy to Be Nappy" has the greatest artwork, we even thought about doing it on our daughters wall!

Thanks, chancesmom

Ani said...

I'm always looking for good books to add to our growing collection. I'll be sure to browse through these. For us, the challenge is language - we speak Spanish at home and most of the books we read our son are in English. Sometimes we translate them for him, sometimes we just read in English and point out the highlights in Spanish... Thanks again for sharing your current favorites!

happy mom said...

We got black all around from your post, and we have loved it thank you, and now we will work on the rest of the list.

I have been thinking about getting I love my hair, by natasha Anastasia tarpley. heard any good or bad about it?

I have had a large number of books for a long time, and had not really bought any, so I don't have a list that is specific to what I have asked you for.

but our favorites right now are
alphabet mystery.
chica chica boom boom
How are you peeling
dr. suess books.
dinosaur roar has been loved for awhile but more in the 18month old range.

just adoption related we love little miss spider, and we were given -tell me again about the night I was born (by jamie lee curtis) but we don't love that one.

thanks again. sorry for the long comment.

Anonymous said...


Charlie Parker Played Be Bop


The Snowy Day

(Mama to girl/boy twins)