Books featuring BIPOC in which race, ethnicity, tribal affiliation, culture, immigration/migration, and/or religious, sacred, or origin stories are central to the storyline. These books explicitly focus on the diverse expressions of human experience, depending on these elements to drive the plot.
"Young Roblay runs through his Somali village practicing for the big race, where only the fastest runners will be declared men. He turns for advice to his grandfather, who tells Roblay of the mighty Shabelle River, which is strong and swift like a cheetah. Roblay must capture that spirit if he is to finish among the winners of the race and become a man. Inspired by her father’s storytelling, Khadra Mohammed joins Karen Lynn Williams in retelling this Somali coming-of-age tale, beautifully illustrated by artist Julia Cairns. The story of a proud people who once lived together peacefully and drew wisdom from the animals, it is sure to generate enthusiastic discussion in the classroom. An appendix provides further information on the cheetah—the fastest land animal on earth and now an endangered species." -- publisher
"In this #OwnVoices book inspired by the author’s hometown of Chennai, India, a girl explores the vibrant rainbow of delights in a southern Indian street market as she searches for a gift for her amma (mother). Endnotes explain all the items on sale and introduce readers to markets around the world." -- publisher
"From award-winning author Zetta Elliott and rising star illustrator Noa Denmon comes a beautiful #OwnVoices poetic picture book about a brown child discovering and accepting their emotional landscape.
In this powerful, affirming poem by award-winning author Zetta Elliott, a Black child explores his shifting emotions throughout the year. Summertime is filled with joy—skateboarding and playing basketball—until his community is deeply wounded by a police shooting. As fall turns to winter and then spring, fear grows into anger, then pride and peace.
In her stunning debut, illustrator Noa Denmon articulates the depth and nuances of a child’s experiences following a police shooting—through grief and protests, healing and community—with washes of color as vibrant as his words.
Here is a groundbreaking narrative that can help all readers—children and adults alike—talk about the feelings hiding deep inside each of us." -- publisher
"Three accordions, two grandpas, one family!
When both grandpas, Abuelo and Opa, visit at the same time, they can’t understand each other’s language and there is a lot of silence. The grandson’s clever thinking helps find a way for everyone to share the day together as two cultures become one family. This unique book includes a bonus fold-out and a note from the author sharing the true story of his own family." -- publisher
"African is a children's book featuring lyrics by Peter Tosh and illustrations by Jamaican artist Rachel Moss. The song "African" by Peter Tosh was originally released in 1977 on his second solo record, Equal Rights. He wrote the song during a time of civil unrest in Jamaica as a reminder to all black people that they were part of the same community. The album is considered one of the most influential reggae works of all time." -- publisher
"A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this moving and powerful anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on.
From the wheels on a bicycle to the robe on Thurgood Marshall's back, Black surrounds our lives. It is a color to simply describe some of our favorite things, but it also evokes a deeper sentiment about the incredible people who helped change the world and a community that continues to grow and survive.
Stunningly illustrated by Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Award winner Ekua Holmes, Black Is a Rainbow Color is a sweeping celebration told through debut author Angela Joy’s rhythmically captivating and unforgettable words." -- publisher
"This #OwnVoices lyrical bedtime picture book is a must-have for every sweet brown baby.
From sunset to bedtime, two brown-skinned parents lovingly care for their beautiful brown baby: first, they play outside, then it is time for dinner and a bath, and finally a warm snuggle before bed.
With Spanish words sprinkled throughout and featuring warm art by New York Times–bestselling and NAACP-Award–winning illustrator AG Ford, Brown Baby Lullaby is the perfect new baby or baby shower gift." -- publisher
"The team behind Baby Goes to Market and B Is for Baby visit a Nigerian village for a humorous ode to childhood ingenuity.
Lami is the best chicken catcher in the whole village. Her sister may be speedy at spelling, her friend fast at braiding hair, and her brother brave with bulls, but when it comes to chickens, nobody is faster or braver than Lami. That is, until the day when Lami chases a little too fast, up the baobab tree, and reaches a little too far…ow! How can she catch chickens with an ankle that’s puffed up like an angry lizard? Could it be, as Nana Nadia says, that quick thinking is more important than quick running? Award-winning author Atinuke celebrates Nigerian village life in a story vibrantly illustrated by Angela Brooksbank with a universal message at its heart." -- publisher
"Mechal Renee Roe, illustrator of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s Super Heroes Are Everywhere, creates a joyful, positive, read-together book celebrating boys with natural black hair that will have kids everywhere chanting: “I am born to be awesome!”
When the stars shine, the world is mine! I am born to be awesome! My hair is free, just like me! I am born to be awesome!
Boys will love seeing strong, happy reflections of themselves in this vibrant, rhythmic book full of hip Black hairstyles. From a ’fro-hawk to mini-twists and crisp cornrows, adorable illustrations of boys with cool curls, waves, and afros grace each page, accompanied by a positive message that will make kids cheer. It’s a great read-aloud to promote positive self-esteem to boys of all ages, building and growing the foundation of self-love (and hair love!) and letting every boy know that “You are born to be awesome!”" -- publisher