Dive into Diversity: Celebrating Black History Month with Picture Books

White Plains is a wonderfully diverse community! Parents, children and teens have expressed an interest in titles that reflect the diversity in the community, and Ashley, Kathlyn, and Raquel's “Dive Into Diversity” column will spotlight noteworthy children's and teen titles that are inclusive, diverse and multicultural to fulfill that interest. Raquel's portion is aimed at readers up to Grade 3.

A great resource for parents and educators looking for the newest, excellent titles for children by African-American writers and illustrators is The Brown Bookshelf’s 28 Days Later: A Black History Month Celebration of Children’s Literature at 28 Days Later.

Highlighted below are just a few notable picture books available in the Trove to celebrate Black History Month:

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
By Derrick Barnes, Illustrated by Gordon C. James
“While a trip to the barbershop is the main story line, the themes of confidence-building, self-esteem, and joy of young black boys are the important takeaways, and the illustrations jump off the page and invite readers to share in the experience.” – School Library Journal

I Can Be Anything: Don’t Tell Me I Can’t
By Diane Dillon
“A young girl of color challenges the voice of fear and dissent in Dillon's first solo picture book…Thoughtful and affirming.” – Kirkus Reviews

When Aidan Became a Brother
By Kyle Lukoff, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
“This well-illustrated and sweet family tale centers on the experiences of a transgender boy…A much-needed and appealing addition to the picture book canon; both emotionally and visually satisfying.” – School Library Journal

By Lupita Nyong’o, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
“Nyong'o shares her own past struggles with her complexion. A thoughtfully layered text and powerful illustrations address this sensitive topic in a uniquely nurturing way.” – Kirkus Reviews

My Brother Charlie
By Holly R. Peete & Ryan E. Peete, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
“Most evident is the pride Callie has in Charlie. She clearly sees him as a person, with personality and interests, who is smart and caring… A seldom-seen perspective on autism delivered concisely and with empathy.” – Kirkus Reviews

Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children
By Sandra L. Pinkney, Photographs by Myles C. Pinkney
”The beauty of African-American children is celebrated in this joyous picture book. Wonderful, clear, full-color photographs of youngsters illustrate a poetic, vivid text that describes a range of skin and eye colors and hair textures…Both the photographs and text with its refrain of “I am Black/I am Unique” impart a sense of pride and well-being…An affirmative message for children of all races.” – School Library Journal

Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Evergreen, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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