Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Top Ten: Great Board Books for Black Kids

1. Rain Feet
by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Rhonda Mitchell --
Kyle and Owen loved this book and often still talk about it when they are puddle jumping (which is often!)
2. I Make Music
by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist --
This is one of the 'Black Butterfly Board Books' from Black Butterfly Children's Books; any in this series could easily make it onto this list!
3. More More More Said the Baby: 3 Love Stories
words and illustrations by Vera B. Williams --
See the '2nd Story' entitled Little Pumpkin. Little Pumpkin is an adorable black toddler and his grandma is white!
4. Shake Shake Shake
words and illustrations by Andrea and Brian Pinkney --
K & O's absolute favorite book for a very long stretch of their early babyhood!
5. Everywhere Babies
by Susan Meyers, illustrated by Marla Frazee --
H & B's absolute favorite book for a long stretch of K & O's babyhood! This book is outstanding because of the multiple forms of diversity it's illustrations portray. The illustrations include not only racial diversity, but portray men as care givers, older people as care givers, gay and lesbian mommies and daddies, breast feeding and bottle feeding, twins (even a set of black twins!!!), etc.
6. Good Night Baby
by Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrated by George Ford --
K & O still know the rhyming words of this book by heart.
7. Baby Dance
by Ann Taylor, illustrated by Marjorie van Heerden --
Totally totally awesome illustrations (the dad appears to have dreds or twists), and... importantly... a book that explicitly portrays black men/dads as loving and involved care-givers.
8. a tie: Whistle for Willie and The Snowy Day
words and illustrations by Ezra Jack Keats --
Both of these classic Ezra Jack Keats books books are available as board books!
9. Bear on a Bike
by Stella Blackstone, illustrated by Debbie Harter --
This book is still alive and active on our bookshelf. It continues to be a favorite of K & O even today at age three. Best part: the boy in the book is not only black but appears to have dreadlocks or twists/knots!!! P.S. This book is also awesome for families who like to travel! ;)
10. A Mother for Choco
words and illustrations by Keiko Kasza --
This classic adoption story book is available as a board book! The illustrations don't specifically portray blackness, but it is an astoundingly great book ~ a Must Have ~ for any inter-racial adoptive family!!!
Note: This Top Ten List is limited to Board Books (i.e., those little durable books made specifically for babies/toddlers). Awhile ago I did a Top Ten List of our favorite regular books for young black kids (click here). Since that post several blog readers have asked me for a list of our favorite Board Books (thus this Top Ten Board Book post!)


Cindy said...

Those look like some great books, thanks! We have #10 and #5 and I love love Ezra Jack Keats (I always thought if I ever happen to have another boy and he needs a name, I will name him Ezra). For now the Choco book is stashed away since it's papery and my boys are DE-structive!! But we read Everywhere Babies daily. My mom bought it for us at Xmas time, and after leafing through it, I had to laugh and tell her, "Mom! I didn't realize you were so progressive, ha ha!!" What I LOVE about it is the oh-so-amazingly cute babies and alternative families pictured; but the thing is, the babies and parents don't look "token", like here's the Chineses baby, here's the black one, and ha ha, here's a man taking care of tbe baby. Everybody looks so busy and blended and natural. It's really a sweet book!

Heather said...

Cindy-- K & O were very destructive with books when they were babies too!!! :) Just so you know-- you can get the Choco book as a Board Book. (all the books I listed on this post are firm, durable, heavy-duty BOARD books). We now also have the paper version of Choco--- but when the boys were babies we only them them have the board book version of it. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this list!

This Mama said...

Thank-you! so much!!

Anonymous said...

One other one we love is "Please Baby Please" by Tonya and Spike Lee.....the baby caricature in the book looks just like my daughter. At almost 7 she still asks me to bring it home from the library.


Heather said...

This post is confined to just *BOARD BOOKS* (those little durable books made for babies/toddlers). This list does not include any of our favorite regular books. I did a Top Ten post for our favorite books for black kids a while ago-- Please Baby Please is on it...

Malia'sMama said...

Choco is Mal's fav, right now. I will have to check out your others. I love that our kids enjoy the written word so much. :)

Cloverland Farm said...

This is great! Thanks. I'll be adding to my collection. Best, Laura
(have been reading your blog for a while and enjoying it!)

Cloudscome said...

We like these books too, except we don't have the Mother for Choco book. I would also suggest Whose Toes are Those? and Whose Knees are These? by Jabari Asim and You are My Joy by Joyce Carol Thomas.