This past weekend I received a heart-wrenching comment from one of our followers on Instagram. It went something like this: " My niece is going to be four soon and already says she doesn't like her brown skin. She's very fair with almost blonde hair. But even so, she wants white skin."
While fighting back the tears, I tried to offer words of encouragement and told the follower to keep pouring positivity and love into her niece as constant reminders of how great and beautiful she is. It also got me thinking about the practices we do daily in our home to make sure our four-year-old brown girl knows her worth. How do we continuously pour into her so that there's no doubt that she is perfect in her brown skin? I immediately thought of the books I buy and read to her every day. I did a quick video to share some of those books and posted it on IG. A few people DM'd me and asked if I could share our book list.
A quick note before I share the list: I intentionally buy books with Black girl main characters! I want to reinforce that girls and specifically black girls are capable of doing some pretty amazing things. The characters are smart, courageous, imaginative, fearless, and comfortable and love the skin they were blessed to be born in. In a previous blog, “Six Books that Make Great Gifts for National Book Month” (which is this month), I shared a few other fantastic books that are great gift options. Please check it out.
Just Like Me
A collection of poetry filled with engaging mini-stories about girls of all kinds: girls who feel happy, sad, scared, powerful; girls who love their bodies and girls who don't; country girls, city girls; girls who love their mother and girls who wish they had a father. With bright portraits in Vanessa's signature style of vibrant colors and unique patterns and fabrics, this book invites readers to find themselves and each other within its pages.
Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery. Veteran bestselling picture-book author Jonah Winter and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Shane W. Evans vividly recall America’s battle for civil rights in this lyrical, poignant account of one woman’s fierce determination to make it up the hill and make her voice heard.
In this full, bright, and beautiful picture book, many different perspectives around the world are deftly and empathetically explored—from a pair of bird-watchers to the pigeons they’re feeding. Young readers will be drawn into the luminous illustrations inviting them to engage with the world in a new way and see how everyone is connected, and that everyone matters.
The Wizard of Oz
When a tornado hits her small Kansas town, Dorothy is swept away to Oz To find her way back home, she follows the yellow brick road to The Emerald City and picks up a scarecrow, a tinman, and a cowardly lion, on their way to seek help from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Nothing frightens Winifred Schnitzel—but she DOES need her sleep, and the neighborhood monsters WON'T let her be! Every night they sneak in, growling and belching and making a ruckus. Winifred constructs clever traps, but nothing stops these crafty creatures. What's a girl to do? (Hint: Monsters HATE kisses!) The delightfully sweet ending will have every kid—and little monster—begging for an encore.
Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment
When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn’t just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen—one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl’s imagination. When a nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of a mesmerized Parker, it became an internet sensation. Inspired by this visit, Parker, and her mother, Jessica Curry, tell the story of a young girl and her family, whose trip to a museum becomes an extraordinary moment, in a moving picture book.
The classic tale of Rapunzel gets a fresh twist in this third book of a brand-new board book series, Once Upon a World. With India as the backdrop, and vibrant artwork from illustrator Archana Sreenivasan, Rapunzel is still the same girl who lets down her beautiful hair—but she’s totally reimagined. Once Upon a World offers a multicultural take on the fairy tales we all know and love. Because these tales are for everyone, everywhere.
Bonus: Here's the link to the NIUBEE 24" Premium Acrylic Floating Nursery Kids Bookshelf Wall Ledge I got on Amazon. The set of 3 are are durable and cost a lot less than others I've seen. We have the 36 inches version.