Black History Month Kids Picture Books, pt.2

It’s been another great week for picture books! I’ll list them in the order I liked them best and give you a few thoughts. In the morning as we start our day I read a picture book (I sometimes make him read, but the morning goes a lot better for everyone if I don’t make him ‘work’ first thing, lol). Sometimes we just talk about the story or the time in history and sometimes we explore more with writing or videos. He always has to sum it up or include important points in his journal. All in all, most days it takes 10-25 minutes.

The Other Side
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis, 32 pages, pub. 2003

I love this writing/illustrating duo. Their books are timeless even if they seem like a quaint story of a time gone by. Clover is told that she has to stay on her side of the fence because white people lived on the other side and blacks stayed on their side. But one summer she always saw a girl sitting ON the fence and in time made her way to the top of the fence too. I adored this book and the hope it gives for the children of today paving the way to a better future.

Trombone Shorty
Trombone Shorty by Troy “Trombone Shorty”Andrews and Bryan Collier, 40 pages, pub. 2015

It didn’t take us long to realize that this book overlapped with The 5 O’Clock Band that we read last year. This was more about a moment with Bo Diddley that Andrews had when he was just a young boy with a beat up trombone he found on the street. Gage loved this true moment in time and we had fun with the photos in the back. Loved it. As always, Collier sparkles as an illustrator.

Let's Talk about Race
Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester and Karen Barbour, 32 pages, pub. 2005

This eye-catching book is a great starting point for a discussion about race. It starts with the story everyone has and how it’s impossible to know the whole of anyone if we just look at the outside. He uses the example of shedding our skin as we move through life and how preferable that would be. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Unfortunately, that isn’t the world we live in so a real conversation must happen after the book is done. But it was visually appealing and a conversation starter.

Ellen's Broom
Ellen’s Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons and Daniel Minter, 32 pages, pub. 2012

Ellen’s parents and others celebrate when it becomes legal for them to be married in the eyes of the government. Until then, jumping the broom was the way slaves married. I loved the celebration of new beginnings and progress being made. It didn’t have as much detail about the tradition as I would have liked, but it was a good starting point and I loved the illustrations.

When Langston Dances
When Langston Dances by Kaija Langley and Keith Mallett, 40 pages, pub. 2021

This inspiring story of a boy finding the courage to do something unexpected is gorgeously illustrated. Langston was good at basketball, but he ADORED dancing. A sweet story sure to appeal to younger kids.

Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop: Slave-Explorer
Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop Slave-Explorer by Heather Henson and Bryan Collier, 32 pages, pub. 2016

I liked the idea of this book based on the few details about the man that we know. Stephen was of several slaves who gave tours of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. The cave is the biggest in the world and he made a few discoveries during his 20 years. The story was a little to little for me to really love it, but the history at the back was interesting.

52539290. sx318
Flying Free: How Bessie Coleman’s Dreams Took Flight by Karyn Parsons and R. Gregory Christie, 48 pages, pub. 2020

The first black woman to get her pilot’s license in 1921 had to go to France to learn to fly. I loved the additional pages with timelines and photos in the back It was also fun to read about this period because of how it relates to Jason’s great grandfather who learned to fly in this era.

2 thoughts on “Black History Month Kids Picture Books, pt.2

  1. Gofita says:

    I read Trombone Shorty with Gabe. These all look great. I love all of Jacqueline Woodson’s books. She is able to say so much with such few words. I’ll have to check The Other Side out and read it with Gabe, for sure. Thanks for sharing all the great books with us!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s