Children’s Books for Black History Month | Sound Shore Moms of Westchester

February marks Black History Month and story time is just one of the many opportunities to teach your kids about the accomplishments of influential and important black men and women. It’s important to teach all children about the struggles of racism, slavery, and segregation in order to build a more equal world. These books are perfect to teach children about the lives of Black people in America and around the world.

Henry Brown doesn’t know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves’ birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday — his first day of freedom.

Henry’s Freedom Box

“Winter’s story begins with a peg-leg sailor who aids slaves on their escape on the Underground Railroad. While working for plantation owners, Peg Leg Joe teaches the slaves a song about the drinking gourd (the Big Dipper). A couple, their son, and two others make their escape by following the song’s directions. Rich paintings interpret the strong story in a clean, primitive style enhanced by bold colors. The rhythmic compositions have an energetic presence that’s compelling. A fine rendering of history in picturebook format.”–(starred) Booklist.  

Follow The Drinking Gourd

Clover’s mom says it isn’t safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups’ rules by sitting on top of the fence together.

The Other Side

In this toe-tapping jazz tribute, the traditional “This Old Man” gets a swinging makeover, and some of the era’s best musicians take center stage. The tuneful text and vibrant illustrations bop, slide, and shimmy across the page as Satchmo plays one, Bojangles plays two . . . right on down the line to Charles Mingus, who plays nine, plucking strings that sound “divine.”

Easy on the ear and the eye, this playful introduction to nine jazz giants will teach children to count–and will give them every reason to get up and dance!

This Jazz Man

A celebration of diverse childhoods, and the essential things that make us all the same.

Every day all over the world, children are laughing and crying, playing and learning, eating and sleeping. They may not look the same. They may not speak the same language. Their lives may be quite different from each other. But inside, they are all alike. Stirring words and bold paintings weave their way around our earth, across cultures and generations and remind children to accept differences, to recognize similarities, and–most importantly–to rejoice in both.

Whoever You Are

 
 
 

An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the most influential and gifted speakers of all time. Doreen Rappaport uses quotes from some of his most beloved speeches to tell the story of his life and his work in a simple, direct way. Bryan Collier’s stunning collage art combines remarkable watercolor paintings with vibrant patterns and textures. A timeline and a list of additional books and web sites help make this a standout biography of Dr. King.

Martin’s Big Words

A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders. But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived.

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water

Cassie Louise Lightfoot has a dream: to be free to go wherever she wants for the rest of her life. One night, up on “tar beach,” the rooftop of her family’s Harlem apartment building, her dreams come true. The stars lift her up, and she flies over the city, claiming the buildings and the city as her own.

As Cassie learns, anyone can fly. “All you need is somewhere to go you can’t get to any other way. The next thing you know, you’re flying among the stars.”

Tar Beach

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