28 Children’s Books about #BlackJoy


It’s often said Black History Month should be celebrated all year long–and it should! In that spirit, here is a list of 28 books that are good reads all year round! This list also provides titles that feature #BlackJoy: Black characters just living their lives. Books about slavery are important. Books about Jim Crow America are important. Books about the Civil Rights Era are important. Books that feature Black characters experiencing joy are also important. So, here’s to these 28 #BlackJoy picture books!

1) Crown by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James

2) Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins, illustrated by Bryan Collier

3) All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Mike Curato

4) Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Patrice Barton


5) How to Find a Fox by Nilah Magruder


6) Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

7) In Plain Sight by Richard Jackson, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

8) I Got a New Friend by Karl Newsom Edwards

8) Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

9)  We Love You, Rosie! by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Linda Davick

10) Looking for Bongo by Eric Velasquez

11) Sunday Shopping by Sally Derby, illustrated by Shadra Strickland

12) Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

13) Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley, illustrated by Lauren Castillo

14) My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

15) Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin


16) If I Had a Raptor by George O’Connor

17) Soccer Star by Mina Javaherbin, illustrated by Renato Alarcao

18) One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck, illustrated Yasmeen Ismail

19) Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illustrated Christian Robinson

20) Lizard from the Park by Mark Pett

21) Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

22) The New Small Person by Lauren Child

23) On the Ball by Brian Pinkney

24) My Pen by Christopher Myers

25) Kitchen Dance by Maurie J. Manning

26) I Had A Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn, illustrated Julia Denos

27) Grandma’s Records by Eric Velasquez

28) Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington, illustrated by Shelley Jackson

Happy Reading!
Children’s Room

14 comments on “28 Children’s Books about #BlackJoy

  1. Carol B Chittenden says:

    Nice list! Also Ann Cameron’s Julian books (Stories Julian Tells, etc.); and the related Gloria stories.

  2. Stephanie Seales says:

    Thanks, Carol! Those are also great titles, especially for early readers!

  3. Vicky Gudelot says:

    This is a great list. I ordered a few and sent suggestions on to several friends!

    1. Stephanie Seales says:

      Thanks, Vicky! So glad it’s useful to you and your friends 🙂

    2. Carmelita Perry says:

      These are great reads for me to share with my granddaughter. I would loved to have had this list while I was still teaching!!!

      1. Jill Erickson says:

        We’re so delighted you found this list from 2018 on our blog, and that you found it helpful! One of the great things about blogs, they last a long time!

  4. Jenifer Alai says:

    I wish I had this list when my children were young. The books look wonderful.

    1. Stephanie Seales says:

      Thank you so much, Jenifer! Similarly, I wish I had these books when I was a kid, but glad for all the children who can enjoy them now.

  5. Rachel says:

    Awesome list! Thank you so much!!

    1. Stephanie Seales says:

      Thanks, Rachel! You’re so welcome!

  6. Leah says:

    Oooo I’m excited to read these! Thanks for the recommendations.

    1. Stephanie Seales says:

      You are very welcome, Leah! You’re going to have fun reading them–they’ll all great books!

  7. Elias Lieberman says:

    What a helpful list, not only for those of us who might wish to get some of these books into the hands of children we know, but for the Falmouth & Cape community at large. Excellent work, FPL!

    1. Stephanie Seales says:

      So true, Elias! Thank you!

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