These stories honor African American and Black history.
The Night Before Freedom By Glenda Armand; illustrated by Corey Barksdale
This moving picture book tells the story of Juneteenth with all the care and reverence such a holiday deserves. The rhyming text and stunning illustrations will teach children about this historic day in history.
'Twas the night before freedom, and all through the South,
long-whispered rumors had, spread word of mouth.
"It’s coming! It’s coming!" I heard people say.
"Emancipation is coming our way."
Eight-year-old David and his family gather at Grandma’s house in Galveston, Texas, for a cherished family tradition: Grandma’s annual retelling of the story of Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln meant that all enslaved persons within the rebellious states would be free as of January 1, 1863. However, people in Texas did not receive the news of their emancipation until two and a half years later—on June 19, 1865.
Grandma tells the story of anticipation, emancipation, and jubilation just as it was told to her many years before by her own grandmother, Mom Bess. As a six-year-old, Bess had experienced the very first Juneteenth. Before that day, she could only imagine what liberty would look like. But once freedom arrived, would it live up to a little girl’s dreams?
The story is written in the same meter as Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas, making it a perfect book for parents and kids to read together.
Jayylen's Juneteenth Surprise By Lavaille Lavette; illustrated by David Wilkerson
This inspiring Little Golden Book tells the story of one young boy's first experience celebrating Juneteenth.
When Jayylen's grandfather, Paw Paw Jimmy, begins preparing for a big Juneteenth celebration, Jayylen has a lot of questions. Most importantly, what is Juneteenth? His mother and Paw Paw Jimmy explain that the holiday marks the anniversary of when enslaved African Americans found out that they were free. Paw Paw Jimmy plays some zydeco for him, which is the type of music they will dance to at the celebration. Jayylen practices every day so that he will be able to play the frottoir (a percussion instrument similar to a washboard) for everyone. But will he be able to pull off an even bigger surprise for the day?
Dream Street By Tricia Elam Walker; illustrated by Ekua Holmes
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES • FIVE STARRED REVIEWS
Visit a truly special street bursting with joy, hope, and dreams. Inspired by the neighborhood where they grew up as cousins, this gorgeous picture book from an award-winning illustrator and critically acclaimed author is the perfect gift or keepsake for every generation.
Welcome to Dream Street--the best street in the world! Jump rope with Azaria--can you Double Dutch one leg at a time? Dream big with Ede and Tari, who wish to create a picture book together one day. Say hello with Mr. Sidney, a retired mail carrier who greets everyone with the words, "Don't wait to have a great day. Create one!" On Dream Street, love between generations rules, everyone is special, and the warmth of the neighborhood shines.
A magical story from the critically acclaimed author of Nana Akua Goes to School and a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winning illustrator. Illuminating this vivid cast of characters are vibrant, joyful illustrations that make this neighborhood--based on the Roxbury neighborhood in Boston where the author and illustrator grew up together as cousins--truly sing. This book is a perfect way for parents to share with their children the importance of community.
Standing in the Need of Prayer By Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Frank Morrison
CORETTA SCOTT KING ILLUSTRATOR AWARD WINNER! A stunning and deeply moving picture book based on the popular spiritual from an award-winning author and critically acclaimed illustrator. The classic lyrics have been reworked to chronicle the milestones, struggles, tragedies, and triumphs of African American history. A perfect gift or timeless keepsake!
★ "Gorgeous and enlightening."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
This inspirational book encapsulates African American history and invites conversations at all levels. Stretching more than four hundred years, this book features pivotal moments in history, such as the arrival of enslaved people in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619; Nat Turner's rebellion; the integration of the US military; the Selma to Montgomery marches; and peaceful present-day protests. It also celebrates the feats of African American musicians and athletes, such as Duke Ellington and Florence Griffith Joyner.
Visually stunning and incredibly timely, this book reckons with a painful history while serving as a testament to the human spirit's ability to persevere in even the most hopeless of circumstances. Its universal message of faith, strength, and resilience will resonate with readers of all ages.
Carole Boston Weatherford’s riveting text and Frank Morrison’s evocative and detailed paintings are informative reminders of yesterday, hopeful images for today, and aspirational dreams of tomorrow.
* The end of the book includes descriptions of the people, places, and events featured, along with a note from the author.
Black-Eyed Peas and Hoghead Cheese By Glenda Armand; illustrated by Steffi Walthall
A little girl helping her grandmother prepare a holiday meal learns about the origins of soul food in this powerful picture book that celebrates African American cuisine and identity from an award-winning author.
Know what I like most about Grandma’s kitchen?
More than jambalaya? More than sweet potato pie? Even more than pralines?
Grandma’s stories! Every meal Grandma cooks comes with a story.
What will today’s story be?
While visiting her grandma in Louisiana, nine-year-old Frances is excited to help prepare the New Year’s Day meal. She listens as Grandma tells stories—dating back to the Atlantic Slave Trade—about the food for their feast. Through these stories, Frances learns not only about the ingredients and the dishes they are making but about her ancestors and their history as well.
A celebration of the stories that connect us, this picture book urges us to think about the foods we eat and why we eat them. This book was inspired by the author's own childhood and includes her family's very own recipe for pralines in the back!