My Favorite Picture Books by Black Authors and Illustrators
Reading books that center BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) characters is important, especially for white families. Children need to see people of all colors, races, religions, backgrounds, and orientations in their life and their reading materials! It helps to build flexible thinking and a more empathetic world view. It’s even better when those books are written by BIPOC authors and illustrators who can best represent their own voices. Here is a list of some of my favorite picture books by Black authors and illustrators.
When you are choosing picture books, it’s important to remember that not all books written by or about BIPOC characters need to be about slavery or adversity. Make sure to focus on Black Joy too! No race, class, or culture only have negative experiences and that should be reflected in our bookshelves. We can study the harder history lessons as well as all the happiness.
Though this post is focusing on Black characters, authors, and illustrators, I like to make sure my bookshelf has something for–and featuring–everyone! Picture books have a way to go though. Books about animals dominate the field, and books by and about non-white characters make up less than half of all picture books. (We also have a long way to go with books starring the LBGTQIA community and handicapped people too.) The more we support books like the ones on this list, and all kinds of authors and illustrators, the more good books we will get to read. There’s always room for everyone!