This Black History Month, we are honoring Black stories. One way to uplift Black joy this February and all year long is by sharing in a read aloud! Check out some of these books and read them with the children in your lives.
1. Something, Someday, written by Amanda Gorman
An inspirational, lyrical book about holding onto hope amidst the different problems in the world. Sometimes, the impact of even the smallest of gestures can make all the difference. Take a walk outside with your child. Ask them, “What do you notice around you that is beautiful? Why is that beautiful to you?“
2. Etta Extraordinaire, written by Roda Ahmed and Charnaie Gordon
Etta plans out her performance for a school talent show but as the show nears, she starts to worry. To worry means to be nervous or scared about something. Ask your child about a time they felt worried. Together, try out a calming activity by holding a soft toy, giving it a gentle squeeze while taking a breath in, then releasing the toy with each exhale.
3. Julie and the Mango Tree, written by Sade Smith
Julie lives in a house with a mango tree. After a storm one day, she ends up with too many mangoes! She thinks about ways she can share them with others. With your child, create your own mango tree. Invite them to draw a tree. On a separate sheet of paper, draw some mangoes, cut them out, then place them on the tree. Take turns “picking” mangoes and talk about who you might want to share the tasty fruit with.
4. I Am Amazing, written by Alissa Holder and Zulekha Holder-Young
Ayaan wears a cape and is helpful when others need assistance. But when other children laugh at him for pretending to be a superhero, he is discouraged. His dad shares that superheroes can come in all shapes and sizes, and can do important things! Invite your child to make their very own cape by opening up a large paper bag and decorating it. As you make the cape together, brainstorm about big or small ways they can help other
5. The Last Stand, written by Antwan Eady
A boy and his Papa, Earl, have the last stand at the farmer’s market and drive produce to serve their community every week. As you read the book with your child, see what types of fruits and vegetables they notice. Create your own pretend farmer’s market at home by letting your child draw pictures of different produce they would sell at their stand and encouraging them to set up their table at the market. Take turns being the vendor and customer.
6. Joy Takes Root, written by Gwendolyn Wallace
Joy visits her Grammy and her garden for the first time, which is filled with many different herbs. Take this opportunity with your child to connect with nature. Are there community gardens or a nursery in your neighborhood that you can visit? Bring a notepad and crayons, and let your child observe and draw what they would like to plant in their garden.
- Nell Plants a Tree, written by Anne Wynter
- Sankofa: A Culinary Story of Resilience and Belonging, written by Eric Adjepong
- Ice Cream Face, written by Heidi Woodward Sheffield
- Jayden’s Secret Ingredient, written by Mélina Mangal