We’ve always had a love for books. As far back as we can remember we were encouraged to read. When we were younger our mother would take us to the library once a week to make our weekly selections. It was exciting to search aisle after aisle to find the right book. We also loved receiving books as gifts. And we are firm believers in giving books as gifts…especially to children.
So, if your child has a birthday this month or if your child has a birthday party to attend and needs to take a gift, give a book. To help make the selection a little easier ANNA+POOKIE has compiled a list of six fabulous books that have become family favorites.
I Like Myself!
Written by Karen Beaumont + Illustrated by David Catrow
With its high energy and vibrant images, the message in the story is truly universal. It reinforces the ideals that everyone is uniquely special and worthy of acceptance no matter what makes us different.  We love that the protagonist is determined and fearless in the face of others that may make her question or doubt who she is.  In fact, one of our favorite lines in the book is, “No matter if they stop and stare, no person ever anywhere can make me feel that what they see is all there really is to me.” If you need a little self-esteem builder this is definitely the book for your little person!
A is for Ancestors, My Black College ABCs
Written by Erica Stovall White + Illustrated by Cami Vollmer
In Erica Stovall White’s debut children’s book, she provides a glimpse into the history and traditions of the Historical Black College/University experience in a way that is both fun and engaging.  With discussion questions that follow each alphabet letter, this book is a favorite because it can grow with your child. As toddlers they will enjoy the rhymes and illustrations as they grow older, they will love the interactive experience. You will love the quality conversation time you will have with your children as they answer the questions. 
We also love, love, love (did we say we love) the fact that the book is authored by a Spelman College alumna! 
Please, Baby, Please
Written by Spike Lee + Tonya Lewis Lee + Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
 This is a simple and sweet book. This beautifully illustrated book celebrates the precious moments of discovery in a toddler’s life. Parents will delight in the all too familiar demands of a VERY busy toddler.
Written by Matthew Paul Turner + Illustrated by David Catrow

We can’t say enough great things about this book! We LOVE it!!! In our opinion, it is one of the best children’s books ever written! This book was given to Andrea’s daughter as a gift from an aunt. The first time she read it to her daughter she literally cried. Beautifully this book celebrates a child’s existence and importance in the world! It inspires and shows that in a world with so many people, as individuals we are uniquely needed.

One of our favorite lines from the book is, “Out of billions of faces from cultures, all races, people God made, from all different places, God knew your name. Your picture is framed. God’s family without you would not be the same.” 

We also like that the book discusses the concept of God in a way that is relatable to young children. Buy this book for your daughter, son, niece or nephew, granddaughter, grandson…ANY child in your life.

Written by Toni Morrison with Slade Morrison + Illustrated by Giselle Potter

Need we say more? It’s written by Pulitzer Prize-winning Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. Add it to your child’s library.

Written by John Kurtz + Illustrated by Unknown
Everyone loves a good fairytale story. We’re no different. We just simply enjoy them MORE when the characters are children of color. You cannot understand the joy we felt and the squeal of delight we let out when we discovered A Fairy Tale Treasury.  This collection includes six classics all in one book! From Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel all the classics are here. There are a few modern twists to the folktales, and some of the writing could be tweaked but THIS book gets an A+ for effort. Also, it is important to point out that yes Goldilocks has braids and the beads on her hair are gold! This is a brilliant use of cultural cues from the African American/African community.


One last tip, when you are gifting one of these titles. Make sure to include a special note from your child to the inside cover of the book and date the note. It’s a nice way to personalize the gift and create memories for years to come.




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