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Our collection of picture books featuring Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC) is available to the public. *Inclusion of a title in the collection DOES NOT EQUAL a recommendation.* Click here for more on book evaluation.


COVID-19 Info: Currently, our collection is only available via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). However, we appreciate your patience as these services are still limited and you may find inactive links to the Bates Library Catalog and MARC record on certain book pages.

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    Character Prominence

    The Electric Slide

    2021

    by Kelly J. Baptist and Darnell Johnson

    "Kai is the only member of his family who can't get the dance steps to the Electric Slide right. But Kai is determined to bust a move in this fun and sweet celebration of African American families. Kai's aunt is getting married, and everyone in the Donovan family is excited about the wedding ... except Kai. The highlight of every Donovan occasion is dancing the electric slide--a groovy line dance with footwork that Kai can't quite figure out. More than anything, he wants to prove that he can boogie with the rest of his family and earn a cool nickname from his granddad. Can Kai break through his nerves and break it down on the dance floor? Told with humor and heart by author Kelly J. Baptist and lively illustrations from debut picture book artist Darnell Johnson, The Electric Slide and Kai is a funky celebration with all the right moves!" -- publisher

    Beautiful Life

    Jump at the Sun

    2021

    by Alicia D. Williams and Jacqueline Alcántara

    "From the Newbery Honor–winning author of Genesis Begins Again comes a shimmering picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature. Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, “to jump at de sun”, because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you’d get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales, to Howard University, to Harlem. And everywhere she jumped, she shined sunlight on the tales most people hadn’t been bothered to listen to until Zora. The tales no one had written down until Zora. Tales on a whole culture of literature overlooked…until Zora. Until Zora jumped." -- publisher

    Beautiful Life Biography

    A Day for Rememberin’

    2021

    by Leah Henderson and Floyd Cooper

    "A moving tribute to the little-known history behind the first Memorial Day, illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award winner Floyd Cooper Today is a special day. Eli knows it’s important if he’s allowed to miss one second of school, his “hard-earned right.” Inspired by true events and told through the eyes of a young boy, this is the deeply moving story about what is regarded as the first Memorial Day on May 1, 1865. Eli dresses up in his best clothes, Mama gathers the mayflowers, Papa straightens his hat, and together they join the crowds filling the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, with bouquets, crosses, and wreaths. Abolitionists, missionaries, teachers, military officers, and a sea of faces Black, Brown, and White, they march as one and sing for all those who gave their lives fighting for freedom during the Civil War. With poignant prose and celebratory, powerful illustrations, A Day for Rememberin’ shines light on the little-known history of this important holiday and reminds us never to forget the people who put their lives on the line for their country. The book is illustrated by award-winning illustrator Floyd Cooper and includes archival photos in the back matter, as well as an author’s note, bibliography, timeline, and index." -- publisher

    Beautiful Life Informational

    The Big Day

    2020

    by Terry Lee Caruthers and Robert Casilla

    "Big day ahead! Big Mama says as she wakes young Tansy. She hurries Tansy through breakfast and a bath, and dresses in her best clothes. Big Mama even wears her special brooch. What could be so special about this day? Soon enough, Tansy learns the importance: Big Mama is voting for the first time! The elation and pride of Big Mama is captured in brilliant storytelling and gorgeous watercolors, bringing this historical moment alive. The Big Day celebrates Agnes Sadler, the first Black woman to cast a vote in Knoxville, Tennessee, on September 6, 1919." -- publisher

    Beautiful Life Informational

    Jayden & Zora’s Crown

    2020

    by Trevor D and Christina Rudenko

    "Trevor D. is a literacy advocate and American writer of books for children and youth in grades K-3. She created the "I Am Me Series," which includes four books centered around a little African American boy named Jayden, and his friends. The books highlight global, central themes of self- love, love for others, and an appreciation for diversity through empathy. The debut book in the series entitled "I Am Me," introduced the main character named, Jayden. Jayden & Zora's Crown" is the second book in the series which is a story that teaches Jayden and the crew a lesson about celebrating friends and honoring the things that make them great. Well, Zora, a bold, lively, gutsy little girl who has been taught the importance of loving and accepting herself, teaches Jayden and Chad a lesson on the beauty of her hair and why she declares it as her "crown." Trevor D. has embarked on a quest to utilize her love for writing to create a space where the underrepresented can find books where the characters look like them and share a cultural connection. Her goal is to infuse representation in books that will ignite a passion for reading and promote positive self-images. Her intention is to inspire brown and black boys to seek to excel in life, in a diversity of areas, and not live into the stereotypes that have been set." -- publisher

    Beautiful Life

    Afia the Ashanti Princess

    2020

    by Crystal Boateng and Gabriela Yancheva

    "Looking for an engaging book to teach children about building self-confidence, developing a sense of pride in their family history, and looking beyond tiaras and princess dresses? This is it! Afia is a young girl who dreams of being a princess but doesn't know of any princesses who look like her. She travels to Ghana to visit her grandmother and learns about her ancestor who was a brave warrior queen.This is the debut story in the Ashanti Princess and Prince book series. The purpose of this book series is to: 1. Emphasize the importance of diverse representation in children's books; 2. Introduce young girls and boys of diverse backgrounds to stories which allow them to relate to the main characters; 3. Encourage children to learn about their family history and cultural heritage; 4. Empower children to develop self-confidence and a sense of pride in their diverse family backgrounds; and 5. Inspire all readers to develop an interest in learning more about African history and culture." -- publisher

    Beautiful Life Cross Group Informational

    I Am Every Good Thing

    2020

    by Derrick D. Barnes and Gordon C. James

    "An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He’s got big plans, and no doubt he’ll see them through—as he’s creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he’s afraid, because he’s so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you—and shows you—who they are. There are superheroes in our midst!" -- publisher

    Beautiful Life

    Bedtime Bonnet

    2020

    by Nancy Redd and Nneka Myers

    "This joyous and loving celebration of family is the first-ever picture book to highlight Black nighttime hair traditions—and is perfect for every little girl who knows what it’s like to lose her bonnet just before bedtime. Bedtime Bonnet gives readers a heartwarming peek into quintessential Black nighttime hair traditions and celebrates the love between all the members of this close-knit, multi-generational family. Perfect for readers of Hair Love and Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut!" -- publisher

    Beautiful Life

    Nana Akua Goes to School

    2020

    by Tricia Elam Walker and April Harrison

    "In this moving story that celebrates cultural diversity, a shy girl brings her West African grandmother—whose face bears traditional tribal markings—to meet her classmates. This is a perfect read for back to school—no matter what that looks like! It is Grandparents Day at Zura’s elementary school, and the students are excited to introduce their grandparents and share what makes them special. Aleja’s grandfather is a fisherman. Bisou’s grandmother is a dentist. But Zura’s Nana, who is her favorite person in the world, looks a little different from other grandmas. Nana Akua was raised in Ghana, and, following an old West African tradition, has tribal markings on her face. Worried that her classmates will be scared of Nana—or worse, make fun of her—Zura is hesitant to bring her to school. Nana Akua knows what to do, though. With a quilt of traditional African symbols and a bit of face paint, Nana Akua is able to explain what makes her special, and to make all of Zura’s classmates feel special, too." -- publisher

    Beautiful Life Cross Group

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