20+ Children’s Books With African American Characters



I thought it was about time to update our post of children’s books that have African American characters. I’ve tried to be mindful of our book collection since I started registering when I was pregnant by including books that have characters of all races and backgrounds.

I was listening to a podcast interview with children’s book author, Grace Lin  who spoke about her quest to read her daughter a book every other night that didn’t have a main character who was white.  She talked about how difficult it was to sustain at that pace finding books that have children of different races in them. I started thinking about actually how few books we have in comparison to the hundreds that line our shelves and I’ve really tried to make a conscious effort to work on building a more diverse book collection. I have to say in the past 4 years I’ve seen SO many more books that feature characters or color be released which is really great. Here are 20+ wonderful children’s books with African American characters to consider adding to your collection. Most of these books are NOT about race, they just have characters (mostly the main character) who aren’t white – and aren’t playing a side kick role in the story.

Here are some black owned stores to consider making your purchases from:
Kido Chicago
Mahogany Books
Black Baby Books
Ashay By The Bay

And for more book suggestions check out our LGBTQ Positive Children’s Books and Favorite Unique Kids Books To Gift.

My Heart Fills With Happiness 

Riley Can Be Anything

Whistle For Willie 

Love Is

One Word from Sophia 

Eat Up Gemma

Dream Big, Little One

Love Your Hair

Black Leaders In Women’s History

I Had A Favorite Dress

I Had A Favorite Hat

Bea At Ballet

So Much

Full, Full, Full Of Love

Lola At The Library

Eat Up Gemma

A Letter To Amy

Whistle For Willie 

Last Stop On Market Street

Thank You, Omu

Hank’s Big Day

Tar Beach

The Snowy Day

And here are 20 more books to add!


Lenny & Wilbur

Luna Loves Library Day

The Princess & The Pea

The Biggest Story




20+ Children’s Books With African American Characters


  1. Chelsea Little says:

    We have most of these but happy to learn of a few new books!! Thank you for this post!

check it out

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