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8 of Our Favourite Children's Books That Celebrate Brilliant Black Authors

In honour of Black History Month, we wanted to share with you some of our favourite children’s books, celebrating black authors, that we enjoy reading at any time of the year. 


Image of the cover of the children's book "Change Sings." In front of the title is a young girl holding a guitar. The background is bright and colourful.

Change Sings by Amanda Gorman

"Change Sings" is a wonderfully written story about how each of us have the ability to change the world to make it a better place. The main character ventures around town making change through song, inspiring those around her to do the same. The story is supported with beautiful illustrations by Loren Long. 

About the Author:

Amanda Gorman is an inspiring poet and activist. You may recognize her from her powerful poem reading of “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration in 2021 (she is the youngest to do so in American history) or from the covers of Time and Vogue magazines. Gorman published the poetry collection, “The Hill We Climb,” as well as “Change Sings.” Both works were at the top of charts such as the Amazon bestseller’s list, the New York Times adult fiction list and USA Today. 


Image of the cover of the children's book "Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History." There are 5 women dressed for different professions below the title. Theres an off white coloured background.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

This book is one of many in a series of books by Vashti Harrison that empower children to go after their dreams. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History describes the lives of 40 incredibly impactful black women in history. These women are scientists, artists, poets, mathematicians, pilots, politicians, actresses, and more and have all made great change in our world.

About the Author:

Vashti Harrison is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, illustrator and filmmaker. She is well known for her Little Leaders, Little, Dreamers and Little Legends series of books for children. She’s the talented illustrator of all of her books as well as a children’s book written by actress Lupita Nyong’o titled “Sulwe.” Vashti was awarded the 2024 Randolph Caldecott Medal for her newest children’s book, “Big.”


Image of the cover of the children's book, "You Matter." There are children playing with a colourful parachute on the cover in front of a light blue background.

You Matter by Christian Robinson

In this vibrant children’s book, author/illustrator Christian Robinson thoughtfully explores different perspectives from around the world and encourages young readers to see how we are all connected and that each of us matter. 

About the Author:

Christian Robinson is an award winning illustrator, author and animator. He worked at the Sesame Workshop and Pixar Animation Studios before becoming an illustrator and author of children’s books like his New York Times bestseller, “You Matter.” You’ll find his illustrations in other books such as, Caldecott Honour, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honour and Newbery Medal winning “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña, or New York Times bestseller, “The Bench” by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex. 


Image of the cover of the children's book, "Thank You Omu!" There's a child smelling a bowl of stew on the cover.

Thank You Omu! by Oge Mora

"Thank You Omu!" is a heartwarming story about gracious Omu and her delicious stew and how everyone in her neighbourhood can’t wait to try it. The book is a lovely reminder that, if you put good into the world, good things will find their way back to you. 

About the Author:

Oge Mora is an incredible collage artist and storyteller whose children’s book, “Thank You Omu!” won the Caldecott Honour, Corretta Scott King, John Steptoe New Talent, and Ezra Jack Keats Book awards. Her beautiful artwork has been recognized by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. And Oge was a part of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Lister for Arts & Style. Her beautiful illustrations are found in other children's books such as "The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read" (one of our other favourites).


Image of the cover of the children's book, "The Day We Learned To Fly." There's a young girl on the cover looking up at the sky.

The Year We Learned to Fly by Jaqueline Woodson

This wonderfully written children's book is about two siblings who find themselves very bored one day. Encouraged by their grandmother, the two escape boredom by using their imagination to think beyond their wildest dreams.

About the Author:

Jaqueline Woodson is an award-winning author of books for children, adolescents and adults. In addition to writing award-winning literature, she has served as Young People’s Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017, was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress for 2018-2019 and she was, more recently, awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2020. 


Image of the cover of the children's book, "The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read." Mary Walker is pictured on the front cover holding a book.

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard

This remarkable children's book tells the true story of Mary Walker, who was born into slavery in 1848. It depicts her life journey and the incredible accomplishment of learning to read at the age of 116.

About the Author:

Rita Lorraine Hubbard was a former special education teacher and has since been working as an author, book blogger and freelance editor. She is the writer of a number of other impactful children’s books centered around powerful stories in black history such as "Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story". 


Image of the cover of the children's book, "Mae Among The Stars." A young astronaut wearing a space suit is pictured on the cover in front of a purple and blue starry sky.

Mae Among The Stars by Roda Ahmed

"Mae Among The Stars" is an inspiring children’s book about turning your dreams into reality. It follows the life of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, accomplishing her childhood dream. 

About the Author:

Roda Ahmed is a New York Times bestselling publisher and author. She’s written over seventeen books like Mae Among The Stars, and is CEO of HighTree Publishing, a publishing house with a focus on publishing diverse children’s books.


Image of the cover of the children's book, "I Am Enough." There's a young girl on the cover wearing a yellow floral shirt.

I Am Enough by Grace Byers

"I Am Enough" is a beautifully written story of empowerment and diversity that encourages young readers to love themselves, respect others and be kind to one another. 

About the Author:

Grace Byers is an actress, activist and New York Times bestselling author. Her children’s book “I Am Enough” won a Goodreads Choice Award in 2018. Her book to follow, titled “I Believe I can,” is yet another empowering story about every child’s limitless potential.