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This thread is showcasing African-American books for young children.

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Miss-dark8607's avatar

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So as promised I'm going to make a series of topics like this and while they may get lost in the sea of racism and crap. I hope that at least some people look them over and maybe we can list or talk about good books for young or older students for this month. I don't know if I'm the only teacher here on Gaia but it would be nice to trade ideas. 3nodding Here are some of the books I either have read or will read to kids in my school during this great month. Personally I enjoyed them since I also learned a lot and I love the storytelling that older Black Americans have and like my teaching mission statement says I want all classrooms to be like rainbows an array of all colors not just one. It's vital for all classrooms to reflect the world we live in and set a place for all people in our world. I am a strong supporter of multicultural education and the sooner we all jump on the board the better.

The people could fly : American Black folktales / told by Virginia Hamilton ; illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon.

It's very nice and it came with a CD of select reading by James Earl Jones. (Yup Musfas for the kids Luke Skywalker daddy's voice for us old timers) My favorite tale in it is "Beautiful girl of the moon tower" The kids like all the Bruh rabbit ones. Its a great book for circle time and even during nap time with the CD running.


Looking like me by Walter Dean Myers ; illustrated by Christopher Myers.

I loved WDM as a kid. I love how he loves NYC and I love his writing. I have a lot of his books in my personal collection and a quite a few on my side of the class room. The kids love the unique style of Chris Myers and a lot of them try to copy it. This makes for a ton of great art and poetry lessons for young kids as its fun learning about self-identifying. I mean if you know who you are then other people can't label you.

Ain't nobody a stranger to me by Ann Grifalconi ; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney.

This story is about a former slave that finds kindest in a stranger. He teachers his granddaughter about the daring escape he made. It's kind of a tear jerker. Last year we made apple sauce. This year we will make apple sandwiches.

Grandpa, is everything black bad? by Sandy Lynne Holman ; illustrated by Lela Kometiani.
I met Ms. Holman before Borders closed down. She was very nice and I got a signed copy of this book. This book as the author points out is to show kids that Black is not bad and is a wonderful color. Since sadly in our western society we usually associate black as a bad thing. Like death and evil. This is one of my favorite books for students and I read it MANY time during the school year.

Her stories : African American folktales, fairy tales, and true tales / told by Virginia Hamilton ; illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon.

Another collection of stories by Hamilton (who's was really famous for this sort of thing) This one sadly didn't come with an audio CD I wish it had. As I could see like Maya Angelou or Vanessa Williams reading some of the stories. Not only is this collection good for Black History Month its also good for Women's History month too. Okay really its just a good series of stories period. wink

Little Red Ronnika retold by Bobby L. Jackson ; illustrated by Rhonda Mitchell.


As the title hints at this is one of the many Black version of little red riding hood. I have this story in many different cultures. I really like the wolf in this version though and the kids get a kick out of screaming too. (It's a tad violent though as it keeps with the traditional version in which the wolf does eat poor Grandma and Ronnika before getting literally axed) Once we all made red hoods and wolf mask. I don't know if we will do it this year.

Last but not least:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

As I point out to my students this happens to be the first book to feature an African-American as the lead. I also think its so funny how it's based on a snow day. Even though winter here in California is warmer here in Sac we don't get any snowy days our class loves this book. As all the clear tape will prove. xd

So there that's my list. Come and discuss if you wish.

PS
Before all you bigots come in here and dropping N-bombs at me. Yeah no I'm an AZN so yeah wrong slur. rolleyes
Gundamu's avatar

Supportive Seeker

All of those sound really interesting. I looked up some for myself and one stood out to me. It's "Amazing Grace" by Mary Hoffman. It's about a young girl who want's to play Peter Pan despite her classmates telling her she can't because she's black.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

Dangerous Visionary

Gundamu
All of those sound really interesting. I looked up some for myself and one stood out to me. It's "Amazing Grace" by Mary Hoffman. It's about a young girl who want's to play Peter Pan despite her classmates telling her she can't because she's black.


Yeah I love that one too. However, I have it on tape via Reading Rainbow and we do read it as well.
ethellinda's avatar

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Thank you for this list, have read a few.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

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ethellinda
Thank you for this list, have read a few.


No problem. If you would like to list any feel free.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

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Tenko72's avatar

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I second Her Stories to this list. My dad used to read this to my sister and me and we loved it. The art's gorgeous and the fairy tales are the good, old fashioned kind. Some of them are scary, but don't read those to kids you know can't take it. XD There's also some biographies and non-fiction in there written in kid friendly language.

I remember The People Could Fly too. That's a good one.

I never read those other ones. I'll check them out and see if my nephews'll like them too.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

Dangerous Visionary

Tenko72
I second Her Stories to this list. My dad used to read this to my sister and me and we loved it. The art's gorgeous and the fairy tales are the good, old fashioned kind. Some of them are scary, but don't read those to kids you know can't take it. XD There's also some biographies and non-fiction in there written in kid friendly language.

I remember The People Could Fly too. That's a good one.

I never read those other ones. I'll check them out and see if my nephews'll like them too.


Yeah I have to skip over a lot of the voodoo stories in the school but as an adult I really do like them.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

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Miss-dark8607's avatar

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Misty Moonsilver's avatar

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Thanks for making a positive topic like this! I cannot remember the name of the books I read when I was young but there are quite a few good books written by black authors for children about identity and family. Just can't remember the names...
Jaw Massage's avatar

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Bad- Walter Dean Meyers
Good book...
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Miss-dark8607's avatar

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skullcrushergurl
Thanks for making a positive topic like this! I cannot remember the name of the books I read when I was young but there are quite a few good books written by black authors for children about identity and family. Just can't remember the names...


NO problem. I wanted to make more but I am kind of into fishing.
Miss-dark8607's avatar

Dangerous Visionary

Jaw Massage
Bad- Walter Dean Meyers
Good book...


Indeed. WDM is just a great author anyways.

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