Baby Books: Black Kids Being Kids

Ellen WernerBooks

Recently, there’s been a huge interest in diverse books and books about race and racism. Children’s books specifically about race and racism are important. Equally important are books that feature Black kids being kids: dancing ballet, going to school, anticipating a new sibling, and experiencing joy.

Many excellent lists of books have been circulating, but I haven’t seen many strong recommendations for the littlest listeners: babies ages 0-3. While WITS programs serve students in PreK-8th grade, we love providing book recommendations for all ages.

One of many ways to evaluate diverse books is to look at who wrote and illustrated the book: all the books on this list are board books appropriate for babies and toddlers and are all written by Black authors. Check them out from your local library today or order them from a Black-owned bookstore. Happy reading!

Whose Knees are These?” and “Whose Toes are Those?” by Jabari Asim, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

One Love” and “Every Little Thing” by Cedella Marley, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Baby Goes to Market” and “B is for Baby” By Atinuke, illustrated by Angela Brooksbank

Dream Big Little One” by Vashti Harrison

Hey Black Child” by Useni Eugene Perkins, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Grandma’s Purse” by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Lottie Paris Lives Here” by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Scott M. Fischer

Please Baby Please” by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, illustrated by Kadir Nelson