In celebration of Black History Month, we recommend ten brilliant preschool books written by BAME authors. Traversing the globe and exploring themes from family life and dual heritage to autism and the environment, these reads are sure to delight you as much as your little one.
- Clean Up! by Nathan Bryon, illustrated by Dapo Adeola
This book follows a young girl named Rocket who goes on holiday to visit her grandparents and is shocked to find lots of rubbish that is spoiling the landscape. Her story explores how we can all make a difference and contribute to the planet. This is a sequel to Bryon’s equally charming first book, Look Up!
- You Matter written and illustrated by Christian Robinson
From birds to dinosaurs, to people from all walks of life, Robinson explores how we are all connected and how everyone matters. This book invites young children to see life from different perspectives.
- Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke, illustrated by Angela Brooksbank
A mother and her baby go shopping for food in a vibrant, bustling West African market. Early mathematics and counting skills are set to a rhythm as mother helps baby count oranges, chin-chin biscuits and roasted sweetcorn.
- My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin, illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain
Alvina has two grannies. Granny Vero who was born in Trinidad and Granny Rose who was born in Yorkshire. They don’t always see eye to eye – can Alvina help them to celebrate their differences? A beautiful picture book about dual heritage.
- My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete, illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Young children are introduced to Charlie, who has autism. It’s harder for him to make friends and share his feelings because his brain works in a special way. But, as his big sister explains, Charlie has many skills. This touching book helps young children to understand autism.
- I am Enough by Grace Byers, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
Lyrically written and beautifully illustrated, I am Enough is about loving who you are, being kind and respecting others. Whatever your child’s talents are, Byers encourages them to stand tall and be proud of who they are.
- Baby Blessings: A Prayer for the Day You are Born by Deloris Jordan, illustrated by James E. Ransome
This easy book, with one sentence per page, beautifully expresses a parent’s love for their child. Few words and detailed, realistic paintings of family make this a perfect picture book to flip through with babies.
- Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Parents know all too well the ups and downs of raising a young child. From drawing on the walls to tipping cereal all over themselves, just one day in the life of a toddler can be full of excitement and spills. Written with repetition and featuring everyday scenarios, this is easy for children to relate to.
- Chicken in the Kitchen by Nnedi Okorafor, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
Set in Nigeria, this vibrant book about the New Yam Festival introduces West African masquerade culture, a Wood Wit and a gigantic chicken. Children will love the bright illustrations and hilarious story of night-time adventures.
- Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed, illustrated by Stasia Burrington
Inspired by Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to go to space, this book is a beautiful inspiration for young children with big dreams.
To find out more about Black History Month visit www.blackhistorymonth.org