40 kids books that feature people of color


This is such a fun idea for a book! I love the gorgeous illustrations and message about teamwork and cooperation. About a little girl named Meg who is quite a talented builder. She makes incredible things out of boxes, she’s a “Boxitect” at school a new girl joins her class and to Meg’s surprise is also an amazing boxitect. When a big maker competition comes up both girls are teamed up together. Both think they’re the best and their ego gets in the way of creative cooperation. Their project is a big mess, until finally they decide to stop arguing and work together. In the end they create an impressive masterpiece and all it took was a little cooperation for the greater good. Definitely a must have for any children’s bookshelf and sure to inspire the next generation of boxitects.


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Really smart idea for a book, I love books that teach about emotional awareness. A boy has a hard day at school and is feeling frustrated. When his father notices he’s feeling down the boy explains about his day and says he wanted to cry but he didn’t. He doesn’t want to cry in front of his schoolmates thinking they will give him a hard time about it. His dad tells him it’s ok to cry and that it’s actually a good thing and it’s brave to have the guts to express your feelings and be yourself. The boy imagines the bravest people he can think of and wonders if they cry too. Only one way to find out... go ask them. So he finds some brave people around town and asks them. Their replies are very surprising to him, they ALL cry after talking with a bunch of brave people the boy realizes that he’s had the wrong idea about crying this whole time and now he doesn’t need to try and hide it or hold it in. Wonderful illustrations and smart writing make this an easy choice. Especially when you consider the message, I think this book can be very beneficial for young boys to see. Crying is not an easy thing for boys, there’s a lot of pressure to be tough and to not show weakness. It’s an unhealthy gender stereotype and I think it’s great to see high quality books out there about this. Definitely give this 2 thumbs up!


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This is a wonderful book, beautiful illustrations and well written. It follows a boy who is on holiday visiting his grandpa in Haiti. They live in Jacmel and during that time there is a huge Carnival happening. Warned by his family to stay home and watch the carnival from the balcony Luke couldn’t help himself. He waited for his grandparents to fall asleep and then ran outside and joined the Carnival. Getting caught up in the moment and in awe of the vibrant masks and festive atmosphere, he finds himself lost. Finding his way home might not be easy but fortunately he made a few friends along the way that were able to help. I enjoyed this book a lot and love that I can teach my students a little bit about Haitian culture and the Jacmel Carnival. Definitely a must have on any children’s bookshelf.


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This is a fun book. Beautiful artwork and a great introduction to business. About 2 girls who collect a lot of mangoes from their Grammy’s mango tree. There’s no possible way they can eat them all and after giving some away they decide to make a mango stand and sell them. After successfully selling a bunch of their mangoes the girls are super excited to have earned some money and learned a little about entrepreneurship.


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This is now the fourth book I’ve reviewed for George Neeb and he never lets me down. They keep getting better and better. I’m a huge history buff and his love for history is evident. His storytelling is great, he really manages to capture the feeling of an old fable that has a message for the reader to take from it. Also the attention to detail in his illustrations blows me away, he really gets the style right and goes above and beyond. In this one he even included ancient traditional Chinese characters on each page and then in the back has a place where you can see what they mean. Also he includes some real information about Shi Huangdi (the first emperor of China) which I think is wonderful and helps the kids learn something about a very interesting historical figure. This book is a story about the Emperor wanting to find immortality. An old man pleads with the emperor to change his ways and rule with more respect and compassion. His heavy handed ways are angering a dragon and the dragon is causing many floods in retaliation. The old of course is brushed off as crazy and thrown in jail, he does however end up teaching the princess how to summon the dragon with her song. The emperor in his shortsighted greed attempts to steal from the dragon hoping to attain immortality which deeply angers the dragon. It then proceeds to kidnap a young prince named Gao. The old man explains to the princess the best way to gain the respect of the dragon and get Gao back is to use your brain and beat the dragon in an intellectual way. So she challenges the dragon to a riddle in exchange for Gao and wins. The emperor was so impressed by everything that happened he realized that it’s far better to rule with wisdom than temper. Two thumbs WAY up for this one! Definitely worth picking up a copy


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This is a really cute book about family and the strong bond we make with our loved ones. It’s about a boy who loves his grandma. He visits her on her farm and she has a lot of special animals including a multicolored sheep. Grandma misses her grandson and decides to make him a blanket out of the special sheep’s wool. She sends it to him and he absolutely loves it, especially because he can smell his grandma on it. He takes that blanket everywhere and eventually it gets dirty and damaged. After they wash it the grandma smell is gone and the boy feels kinda sad. Then grandma comes to visit and repairs the damaged blanket leaving the boy delighted because now he can smell her on it again.


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Fun book about one of history’s great minds and pioneering physician Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi. Presented in an interesting way and setting the stage for a wonderful series, a group of friends discover a box containing a magical book. The children open the book and begin reading it, to their surprise they’re transported back in time where they’re greeted by Al Razi. He explains to them about many of his discoveries and accomplishments throughout his life. I love bios, I think teaching children about real people and events can be hugely inspiring. This book also comes with activities and experiments in the back.


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This is a wonderful book and am so happy to see books like this out there. I think it can offer a great deal of comfort to children that are feeling like they don’t necessarily fit in with everyone else and have to face some bullying at school about it. I jump at any opportunity to read books to my students about acceptance and celebrating the fact that we are all different and are all unique in our own way. A lot of time bullying stems from ignorance and when someone looks or acts different kids can zero in on them, but I think exposure to books like this and actively teaching them social awareness and respecting people for who they are early on can really make all the difference. This book is about a kid named Toby who likes to wear all kinds of clothes and do all kinds of things that are sometimes considered more for boys or girls. Sometimes Toby feels more like a boy and other times more like a girl and that’s totally ok because that’s who Toby is. He faces some teasing from his classmates because they don’t understand him but after talking with his mom and confidently declaring that there’s nothing wrong with being Toby the other children are cool about it and welcome him to play with them. It’s a great book about just being yourself and I think the world needs more books like this! Super happy to include this on my Children’s Bookshelf.


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I’m always excited to find books about bullying and conflict resolution and this author really did a fantastic job! About a boy named Charlie who tries to be nice to a new student at school. The other boy reacts rudely and turns out to be a bully. Frustrated by the bullying the Charlie talks with his parents about the situation and his father encourages him to forgive the bully and to treat him with kindness. It’s not easy but he decides his father is right. Eventually Charlie tells the bully he’s had enough and talks it out with him. The bully opens up about why he acts the way he does and apologizes. He agrees to change his ways and is grateful to have Charlie as a new friend. I’ve always loved the “kill em with kindness” approach when it comes to bullying or rude people. I think this is an excellent example of positive conflict resolution and definitely a great addition to any classroom bookshelf.


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I’ve been waiting for a book like this for a long time! Absolutely love the topic and feel like there are WAY too many adults out there that still need to learn this lesson. Kids need to understand how powerful their thoughts are and to control their inner voice. It’s about a young girl who’s feeling anxious about tomorrow’s spelling bee and is certain things will go badly. Of course she obsesses about it all day and ends up having a horrible day. She ends up talking with her teacher about it and Mrs. Carey helps explain about the power of thoughts and why having positive thoughts and a good attitude are so important. The next day she put that advice to practice and had a wonderful day. Her teacher explains that she used a thought jar and every night before bed she would write down something good that she wanted to happen and put it in the jar. And like magic those things started to happen. Inspired by the thought jar concept the girl makes her own ... also in the back of the book there are instructions on how to create your own thought jar AMAZING I really love this book and am super excited to include it on my Children’s Bookshelf!


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This is a fun book It’s about a boy who doesn’t want to get his hair cut but also is fussy about washing and maintenance. Mom thinks it time to just cut it shorter but the little guy isn’t feeling it. So mom decides to make a game out of it. She puts together a scavenger hunt that leads him right to the barber shop and all the way to the seat. Once he’s there he gets a cut and feels much better.


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The teacher inside me fell in love with this instantly such a great message about practice, persistence and learning. About a boy who is feeling frustrated because he’s have difficulty learning cursive handwriting. He explains to his mother his frustrations so she gives him a magic pencil she explains that the more he uses it the more magic will help him write. Before long he’s writing beautifully and getting praise from his teacher and feeling great about himself.


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I’ve always been a big fan of children’s book bios. Maybe it’s the teacher in me but I think it’s great when story time can also teach them something. History is filled with inspirational people and their stories should be shared far and wide. This book features some courageous people who changed the world. These beautiful illustrations feature a short age appropriate summary of what these people are best known for. I really like the people the author chose to feature and the overall message about courage and the power even one person can have to make the world a better place.


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Another powerful book by Michael A. Brown! I love this author, all of his books are great. He’s released a series of empowering books that all focus on enormously important issues like self esteem or bullying etc. If you haven’t discovered his work I highly recommend checking it out. This book features a boy named Malik who does very well in school but has to deal with a lot of bullying. He runs away from a bully and seeks refuge in his friend’s house near by. He and the new kid in school meet the other kids in the house. These kids like to go there because they feel safe and are able to be open about the problems they face in life. As they meet the new kid they all share with him how they have to deal with various forms of abuse and how they’re always there for each other. Just then, the bully arrives at the door ... after talking to the bully he confesses why he’s mean to Malik. He suffers abuse at home and doesn’t do well in school and is jealous that Malik is so smart. With no support network at school or at home, all he knows is to lash out with negativity. Realizing that the bully is in pain and needs help, the children accept him into their group and offer him help with his studies and the support network he so desperately needs. I think these kind of books are enormously important to have in classrooms. This one is easy for children to understand and can be a powerful resource in the hands of the right adult. I highly recommend it and the rest of the books by this author, I’m more than excited to add this to my Children’s Bookshelf!


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This book is truly a work of art. It features a bunch of wonderful poems about kids having recess and life in the Arctic. From making igloos to the Northern lights to sled dogs it depicts many of the unique elements that make the North so very special. Also look at these illustrations I really enjoyed this and highly recommend!


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This is an important book and it’s presented very well. Written from a child’s point of view, and following a family as they discuss the history of racial inequality in the United States. They talk about why peaceful protest brings change and the people in the past that bravely stood for what was right and the changes they helped bring to society. Also they prepare signs and go out to protest for equality and justice. Inspired by real events, this book is undoubtedly relevant in this day and age, especially following the events of this past year. It can serve as a great educational tool in the hands of the right teacher or parent. The message is clear and one that needs sharing. Ignorance and racism cannot be tolerated in today’s modern society and through books like this we can educate young people of all demographics about the uncomfortable history in the United States and everyone’s desire to have a more tolerant and respectful society.


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Here’s a really lovely book about family and Covid-19. A young boy wants to sleep with his mom because he’s feeling a bit upset about things. She begins to talk with him about his feelings and he explains that he misses the way life was before and that this whole thing is kind of scary. His mother comforts him and explains that everything is going to be ok and not to worry. In the end he begins feeling a lot more positive about the situation and confident he can get through it. Mom deals with this situation very well in the book and offers the reader a glimpse at some really good parenting. Also at the end of the book there’s some excellent information for parents to review about behavior and parenting.


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Ruby doesn’t usually worry but sometimes it happens. She had a small worry but over time it’s grown bigger and bigger. This book is great, it teaches the importance of talking about your worries and thoughts so that they don’t grow into something bigger. A great lesson for anyone to learn!


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Heartwarming story about a young boy who is having troubles with his teachers. He keeps talking in class and needs to learn when it’s ok to talk and when it isn’t. Fortunately his Grandfather is there to share some wisdom. The two go fishing and Grandpa manages to get through to boy in a very clever way. Great illustrations, important lesson and excellent example of good parenting all rolled up into one wonderful book! This book has a Lexile range of L410 - L600 so it makes for great second grade reading material.


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Featuring lovely watercolor illustrations and following Baby K as she travels with her parents around the world. She visits various cities and countries featuring some famous landmarks. It’s a cute book especially good for children that are curious about travel or travel a lot with their parents.


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This is a wonderful travel book! Features a girl who uses her passport to take the reader on a tour around the world. Starting in New York she heads south and explores central and South America. She then moves on to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Each city along the way she tells the reader about lovely activities and sights from that place. She visits the koalas in Australia and ends her trip in Antarctica and even gets to hangout with those super cute penguins.


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Celebrating the miracle of birth! This book is narrated by the parents talking to their unborn child. Expressing their excitement, love and anticipation ... it’s really a sweet book.


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