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12/07/2015 13:18 EST

21 Children's Books Every Black Kid Should Read

Story time = fun time!

Huffington Post

As a kid, growing up, there weren't many black characters in the books I coveted so much. From Madeline to Alice in Wonderland, it was hard to find a face that looked like my own in these classic children's tales. However, kids today have a much larger selection of children's books to choose from with brown characters of all shades for them to identify with -- and most of them have been written by black authors, too. 

We've rounded up 21 children's books that every black kid needs to read (or have read to them). Whether it's learning about adoption, how to handle bullies or a little girl's magic puffballs, there's definitely a book here for the kid in your life. And the talented writers behind these tales are nothing short of impressive, too, from the famous feminist bell hooks to Taye Diggs to Pharrell Williams. Add these books to your shelf, and get the kiddos ready for story time! 

  • Please, Baby, Please, by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
    Please, Baby, Please, by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
    Amazon
    This adorable tale written by acclaimed director Spike Lee and his wife Tonya Lewis Lee is described as a "behind-the-scenes look at the chills, spills and unequivocal thrills of bringing up baby!"

    Buy it here.
  • Twintuition: Double Vision, by Tia Mowry and Tamera Mowry
    Twintuition: Double Vision, by Tia Mowry and Tamera Mowry
    Amazon
    The twin actresses have created this children's series about twin sisters with magical abilities!

    Buy it here
  • Heart Picked: Elizabeth's Adoption Tale, by Sara Crutcher
    Heart Picked: Elizabeth's Adoption Tale, by Sara Crutcher
    Amazon
    This delightful story helps explain adoption in a colorful way and with the intention of helping both children and parents of color be more open to adopting the author told The Huffington Post in an interview.

    Buy it here.
  • Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs
    Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs
    Amazon
    Inspired by his own son, Taye Diggs wrote this book because he said he wanted to address the identity issues and experiences biracial children face.

    Buy it here
  • Happy! by Pharrell Williams
    Happy! by Pharrell Williams
    Amazon
    The multi-talented producer can now add children's book writer to his repertoire with the release of his first book in October which was inspired by his hit single "Happy."

    Buy it here.
  • Happy Hair, by Mechal Renee Roe
    Happy Hair, by Mechal Renee Roe
    Mechal Renee Roe
    The Happy Hair book and doll were created by author and illustrator Mechal Roe because she said to Huffpost that she wanted young girls to know that they are "worthy and beautiful."

    Buy it here.
  • I'm A Pretty Little Black Girl! by Betty K. Bynum
    I'm A Pretty Little Black Girl! by Betty K. Bynum
    Amazon
    This quirky book follows Mia who discovers "that pretty is within herself and her friends, and being pretty is way beyond what the mirror shows."

    Buy it here.
  • Magic Land, by Cheri Marie Anthony
    Magic Land, by Cheri Marie Anthony
    Amazon
    Tina and Lisa are two little orphan girls who are best friends. One day Tina is injured in an accident and wakes up in Magic Land. Learn about the power of friendship in this magical tale. 

    Buy it here.
  • Tar Beach, by Faith Ringgold
    Tar Beach, by Faith Ringgold
    Amazon
    This enchanting story follows the adventure of 8-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot after she "flies over her apartment- building rooftop" in 1939 Harlem.

    Buy it here.
  • Happy To Be Nappy, by Bell Hooks
    Happy To Be Nappy, by Bell Hooks
    Amazon
    This children's book celebrates the beauty of black hair!

    Buy it here.
  • Penny and the Magic Puffballs, by Alonda Williams
    Penny and the Magic Puffballs, by Alonda Williams
    Amazon
    Follow Penny as she goes on adventures while rocking her magic puffballs hairdo that her mom styled for her. 

    Buy it here.
  • Emi's Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair, by Tina Olajide
    Emi's Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair, by Tina Olajide
    Amazon
    While teaching proper hair care techniques, this story follows a 7-year-old girl named Emi who has a "BIG imagination."

    Buy it here.
  • The Colors of Us, by Karen Katz
    The Colors of Us, by Karen Katz
    Amazon
    Discover the world through the eyes of 7-year-old Lena as she "learns that brown comes in many different shades."

    Buy it here.
  • Big Hair, Don't Care, by Crystal Swain-Bates
    Big Hair, Don't Care, by Crystal Swain-Bates
    Amazon
    Swain-Bates, in this story, aims to boost the confidence of little boys and girls who may struggle with not exactly looking like other kids by helping them find the beauty in being different.

    Buy it here.
  • Pritsy and Purrdy, by Sharina Stanley and Amarri Stowbridge
    Pritsy and Purrdy, by Sharina Stanley and Amarri Stowbridge
    Amazon
    Pritsy moves to another city and tackles bullying in this empowering story. 

    Buy it here.
  • Princess Cupcake Jones and the Queen's Closet, by Ylleya Fields
    Princess Cupcake Jones and the Queen's Closet, by Ylleya Fields
    Amazon
    Follow Princess Cupcake Jones as she explores her mom's closet where she discovers a special box. Readers can also search for the special word, "love," in the illustrations.  

    Buy it here.
  • The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats
    The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats
    Amazon
    The 1963 winner of the Caldecott Medal, this book follows the "adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day." 

    Buy it here.
  • The Barber's Cutting Edge, by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert
    The Barber's Cutting Edge, by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert
    Amazon
    This is a celebration of a young boy's relationship with his community mentor all while reveling in the beauty and importance of the barbershop in the black community. 

    Buy it here.
  • Dancing in the Wings, by Debbie Allen
    Dancing in the Wings, by Debbie Allen
    Amazon
    Legendary director-dancer-actress Debbie Allen tells this tale, which is loosely based on her own life as a dancer, of a little girl named Sassy who has big dreams of one day becoming a ballerina. 

    Buy it here.
  • If I Ran For President, by Catherine Stier
    If I Ran For President, by Catherine Stier
    Amazon
    Help your child learn all about the election process and it what it takes to one day be president. 

    Buy it here.
  • My Brother Charlie, by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete
    My Brother Charlie, by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete
    Amazon
    Based on actress Holly Robinson Peete's son, who has autism, this book celebrates the relationship a little girl has with her younger autistic brother. 

    Buy it here.

 

Also on HuffPost: 

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