Bookworm Wonders: 10 Must-Reads For Brown Girls
Our black is beautiful – hair, skin, and all. We shower our girls with praise by complimenting the richness of their cocoa, caramel, or vanilla colored skin. We massage their scalp and nurture their baby curls – from kinky to super wavy. We want our girls to respect and love themselves. We constantly fight the barrage of criticisms our girls may be exposed to, including negative attention swarming around their hair and skin tone. Our girls need their self-esteem lifted. What better way to celebrate the love of our culture and promote self love with our girls than through a book that our girls can relate to. Whether your little girl has a growing bookshelf or e-reader, she will want to add these must-reads to her collection.
Happy To Be Nappy by Bell Hooks/Pictures by Chris Raschka
This book will make girls proud to rock their kinky coils in cute afro puffs or press n’ curl, “frizz and fuzz,” “short tight naps” and all. Hooks uses lyrical language to encourage the reader to feel comfy wearing her curly, coiffed crown.
I Love My Cotton Candy Hair by Nicole Updegraff
Meet Charlie, a cute, fun-loving little girl who celebrates her hair. Through her journey of self discovery, she faces the ups and downs of dealing with her coils and learns to love herself just the way she is.
I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont/Pictures by David Catrow
The curly-haired African American girl loves herself to pieces, chanting the mantra, “I’m me!,” despite what others may think. Her dog shares the same sentiment as this book takes you on a Dr. Seuss-esque whimsical ride.
Loving Me by Angelot Ndongmo/Pictures by Octographics Net Studios Inc.
Self-love is the lesson of this book as it addresses our hair, skin and physical features. She uses vivid imagery, describing a pretty little brown girl in a pink dress with coily afro puffs as “rare as a diamond, and as special as a pearl!”
How to Face Up to the Class Bully by Valerie Wilson
In this book, Willimena, the main character, faces a new teacher and new classmates, including big bully Mean Irene. It follows a day in the life of an elementary school student as she tries to resolve her issues with a scary bully and has excellent tips on dealing with real-life bullies.
No Mirrors in My Nana’s House by Ysaye M. Barnwell/ Pictures by Synthia Saint James
A nana teaches her granddaughter that inner beauty is what counts, not physical beauty. With no mirrors in the house, nana prevents her granddaughter from noticing any imperfections, only the beauty that dwells from within.
Please Baby Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee/Pictures by Kadir Nelson
The life of a toddler is captured beautifully in this book. From refusing to go to sleep to wearing breakfast as a hat on their head, this story delights the reader with surprises that come with raising a little tot.
Come On Rain by Karen Hesse/ Pictures by Jon J Muth
This book captures the essence of a downpour after a long drought using poetic language. It explores the mother/daughter relationship, the details of urban life, and the
power of nature as ittransforms and refreshes life.
I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley/ Pictures by E.B. Lewis
For any girl struggling with self identity, this is the book for her. The narrator goes from sad to glad, imagining all the different hairstyles she can do with her hair.
Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen/Pictures by Kadir Nelson
Budding black ballerinas will be thrilled with this book! The main character, Sassy, sticks out like a sore thumb with her huge feet and linguine legs. Based on the life of the famous Debbie Allen, Sassy eventually overcomes the taunting of her ballerina mates and brother.