Growing up, finding books with characters that looked like me was a task. One would pop up in the library during Black History month every now and then, but that wasn’t enough. Being a mom of two little black girls, it’s important to me that they experience diversity while knowing and loving who they are. I wrote my own book last year about them for that very reason. Even after having my book published, finding other books that featured children of color was STILL difficult. To save everyone else the trouble, I’ve come up with a short list of books featuring children of color.
1.Growing Girls With Curls
Written by yours truly
My book baby! “Magical is what we are and will always be. Black Girl magic is real, black girl magic is me !” Growing Girls With Curls was written to encourage young girls of color to love themselves and the skin they’re in. The first of the Growing Girls With Curls series, filled with stories every young girl of color can relate to. You can purchase your copy here.
2.Amina Arnae and Her Poofy Hair
Written by D.Lovelitt
Caring for natural hair can be a tough task. At Jackson Elementary School in rural Georgia, seven year old Amina Arnae is devastated when she is teased about her “poofy hair”. She must trek through the country-side in order to seek counsel from her Auntie to “fix” her hair problem. Along the way, she befriends a girl with a different type of hair problem. Will Auntie be able to help? Or will Amina and her new friend be doomed with hair issues forever? Come along with Amina on this inspiring journey from uncertainty to self-love; and learn the ABC’s, of natural hair care in the process. You can purchase your copy here.
3.Charles Meets a Fire Marshal
Written by Miko Marsh
Charles and his classmates meet a fire marshal and learn some tips for fire safety. This book can be used to reinforce lessons from fire safety themes and presentations, encourage children to participate in fire drills, and show children another community service career opportunity. You can purchase your copy here.
4. Mae Among the Stars
Written by Roda Ahmed
A great classroom and bedtime read-aloud, is the perfect book for young readers who have big dreams and even bigger hearts! Mae Among the Stars Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents’ encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space. This book will inspire other young girls to reach for the stars, to aspire for the impossible, and to persist with childlike imagination. You can purchase your copy here.
5. The Good Book
Written by Da’Nall Wilmer
Through fun, rhymes, and real-life stories, teaches what it really takes to be a good person, or as the “Boys in the Good” strives to achieve — GOOD LEADERS! With the help of Carter, Deshaun, Jai’ree and Mekhi, you, too can learn what it takes to be a successful student leader. Follow their lead and get inspired to chase your dreams as they show you what GOOD leadership is all about. You can purchase your copy The Good Book here.
6. Young, Gifted, and Black
Written by Jamia Wilson
Meet 52 icons of color from the past and present in this celebration of inspirational achievement—a collection of stories about changemakers to encourage, inspire and empower the next generation of changemakers. Jamia Wilson has carefully curated this range of black icons and the book is stylishly brought together by Andrea Pippins’ colorful and celebratory illustrations. You can purchase your copy here.
7. Emi’s Curly Coily, Cotton Candy Hair
Written by Tina Olajide
Emi is a creative 7-year-old black girl with a BIG imagination. In this story Emi shares a positive message about her Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair and what she likes most about it.The vibrant illustrations and fun story teach basic natural hair care techniques and tips in a playful and memorable way. You can purchase your copy here.
8. Ava Learned to Sparkle
Written by Stephany Jean
Ava Learned to Sparkle is an interactive children’s book designed to assist children with developing confidence. Ava utilizes positive affirmations to redirect negative thinking in order to view herself as a purpose filled individual. Journey with Ava as she discovers the tools to change her mindset and see herself as confident, poised, and unique. Ava Learned To Sparkle by learning to authentically love herself and her abilities. You can too! You can purchase your copy here.
9. The Meteorologist in Me
Written by Brittney Shipp
is an inspirational tale about a little girl named Summer with a big dream- to become a TV Meteorologist. She loves sharing weather facts with her family and friends and wonders why everyone laughs at the thought of her on T.V. Join Summer’s journey as she overcomes her fears, conquers her doubts and gains the courage to reach for her dreams. The Meteorologist In Me encourages us to remember, we can do anything we put our minds to – no matter what! You can purchase your copy The Meteorologist In Me here.
10. Mommy I Want to Dance
Written by Tasha Fuller
Following her passion for dance Amira, tries every dance she can imagine, but ballet, tap, and dance don’t quite hit the mark. Amira is encouraged to find the dance that matches the rhythm in her heart, even if it takes her on a road less traveled. You can purchase your copy here.
11. How to Trick the Tooth Fairy
Written by Erin Russell
Kaylee loves pulling pranks: from dropping water balloons on passers by to even tricking Santa Claus, she’s a prize-winning prankster! But is she the Princess of Pranks? No! That title is held by none other than the Tooth Fairy. But when Kaylee loses a tooth and the Tooth Fairy goes about her usual tooth-taking business, Kaylee pranks her with a fake frog. As Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy try to out-prank one another, things get way out of hand, until the two finally see eye and eye and decide to share the crown! You can purchase your copy here.
12. Aiden the Basketball Star
Written by Suzan Johnson
He’s back, and this time Aiden is playing a new sport, basketball! Although Aiden enjoys the game, he is not sure that his skills are strong enough to make the team. He seeks the help of his friend to improve certain ball techniques. Will it work? Find out if Aiden’s hands will help him become a basketball star! You can purchase your copy here.
13. My First Best Friend
Written by Derrick Washington
My First Best Friend brings to life the immediate and unshakable bond between parent and child, from the point of view of the father. This sweet book depicts an energetic, fiercely independent, and unapologetically curious little boy and the strong pride the father has in his son. The story explores and celebrates the father/child relationship, describing his almost childlike enthusiasm for the journey of parenthood, and his internal tension surrounding a desire to watch his boy grow up and a need to hold on to a childhood that already seems fleeting. You can purchase your copy here.
14. Hey Black Child
Written by Useni Perkins
“Hey black child, Do you know who you are? Who really are? Do you know you can be What you want to be If you try to be What you can be?” This lyrical, empowering poem celebrates black children and seeks to inspire all young people to dream big and achieve their goals. You can purchase your copy here.
15. I Am Enough
Written by Grace Byers
is the picture book everyone needs, and it’s now a I Am Enough New York Times bestseller and the picture book winner in the Goodreads Choice Awards! This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another. You can purchase your copy here.
16. My Brown Skin
Written by Dr. Thomishia Booker
We must remind our children that they are powerful and amazing. is a heartwarming story about embracing who you are. A child’s first words of confidence and pride. You can purchase your copy My Brown Skin here.
17. Black Boy Joy
Written by Charlitta Crowder Hatch
is an expressive story depicting the bond of a mother and son through the eyes of the mother. As her son grows from birth to college, experiencing the highs and lows, trying new things, and all that in between, the mother’s love remains constant and reassuring to her son. BLACK BOY JOY is a keepsake that can be used for all mothers to treasure and pen a reaffirming note to their sons that they can hold onto for a lifetime. You can purchase your copy BLACK BOY JOY here.
18. Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can You Be?
Written by Ameshia Arthur
Join Matthew as he considers all the things he can accomplish and the careers he can do. You can purchase your copy here.
All of the authors on this list saw a need for more books featuring children of color and decided to do something about it. With everything going on in our country right now, it’s important for our kids to know that they are just as important. I don’t care what anyone says, representation DOES matter. Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey so far. I’m looking forward to writing more books featuring children of color and finding more books for my girls to read.
Know of a book that’s not listed? Leave a comment down below.