MadameNoire Featured Video

I never realized how few books there are featuring African American children until I had a child myself. Visit any major bookstore and you’ll find them, but comparatively speaking, there are far fewer black titles for kids on the shelves than there are featuring Caucasian kids.

Having worked for a book publisher, I was also shocked to find out that a good percentage of the books written about African American children are by non-blacks. Molly Bang, author of “Ten, Nine, Eight,” (see below), is one such author. From personal experience, she knows the disproportionate number of African American authors and subjects in publishing to be true. “When I took the finished book down to New York, the editors told me I had most likely cut my audience by at least a half, with the child being a girl and the family African-American,” Bang says. “I had hoped it would have to opposite result: that so many books were already about white children and families, this would be a way to begin to rectify the imbalance and enable white readers to identify with black. This seems to have become the case: the book has sold well to both white and black, and all shades in between.”

Here are some new, as well as tried and true books that your little brown babies will love.

Little Diva by LaChanze and Brian Pinkney – Nena wants to be a Diva–with a capital D–just like her mommy, who is a star on Broadway. She wants to sing and act and dance, but knows it will take lots of work–and lots of fun–for all her wishes to come true.

Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee & Tonya Lewis Lee – The filmmaker and his wife sweet, rhythmic read-along about the endless energy of a toddler blasting through a busy day.

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN