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Celebrating Black Joy: A Collection of Picture Books by Black Authors

This collection of joyful picture books by Black creators includes some of our very favorite inclusive picture books that shine a light on beautiful friendships, families, traditions and fun.

Every month of the year, and particularly in February when we celebrate Black History Month, it is important for children to read and listen to stories that showcase Black joy - books that show Black kids and families doing everyday things and sharing community, hopes, and dreams with people they love. We believe that these books belong in classrooms and homes all year long.

To read complete descriptions of each book and purchase and/or donate, please visit our Bookshop page here.

The ABCs of Black History | Author: Rio Cortez | Illustrator: Lauren Semmer | Publisher: Workman Publishing Group

The ABCs of Black History includes uplifting and affirming information about Black history. This book includes bright and lively illustrations and pages at the back with more in depth information. It can be read in one sitting, or more slowly to deepen knowledge and critical thinking about each topic. This book is the perfect one to revisit again and again.

My Rainbow | Authors: Trinity and DeShanna Neal | Illustrator: Art Twink | Publisher: Kokila

This book is written by a real-life mother-daughter duo. It is a beautiful representation of the power of being loved by people who truly embrace our full selves. Trinity is a transgender girl who wants long hair just like her dolls. She cannot find a wig that makes her feel like herself, so her mom works to create a wig that is just as special as her daughter. This book is sure to give you the warm and fuzzies!

Soul Food Sunday | Author: Winsome Bingham | Illustrator: C.G. Esperanza | Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

Food is so often used to connect people to each other and to their pasts. In Soul Food Sunday, our narrator is thrilled that he is now old enough to help Granny with their big Sunday dinner. This is a beautiful celebration of food, family, and tradition and will leave anyone reminiscing about time spent with family and wishing they could join this family for their Sunday gathering.

Grandma’s Purse | Author/Illustrator: Vanessa Brantley-Newton | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

This is a sweet ode to the magic of Grandmas. In this story, Grandma Mimi’s special purse is full of all the best things and makes everything more fun - you never know what you will find inside! The vibrant and fun illustrations and joyful story make this a special one to share with someone you love. Don’t miss some of our other favorites by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, including Becoming Vanessa and Just Like Me.

When My Cousins Come to Town | Author: Angela Shante | Illustrator: Keisha Morris | Publisher: West Margin Press

We selected this book as a 2021 Books We Love. It is a wonderful celebration of extended f