African American Identity & Everyday Life: Books for Preschoolers

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When children read about people they encounter in everyday life, their understanding of the world around them expands. Reading stories and seeing images that reflect themselves contributes to positive self-image. Books can help children feel comfortable talking with caregivers about race, ethnicity and noticed differences. Caregivers and educators can use these titles to begin that dialogue while promoting positive racial identity development. To learn more about positive racial identity development in early education, take a look at the Understanding PRIDE in Pittsburgh report.

All Because You Matter

A lyrical, heart-lifting love letter to Black and Brown children everywhere reminds them how much they matter, that they have always mattered and they always will. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.

Big Hair, Don't Care

Lola has curly hair which is much bigger than that of other kids at her school, but she tells anyone who listens how much she loves her hair. Designed to boost self-esteem and build confidence, this book is aimed at boys and girls who may need a reminder that it’s okay to look different from the other kids at their school.

A Boy Like You

Encourages every boy to embrace all of the things that make him unique, and to be curious, brave, kind, thoughtful, and more. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.

Don't Touch My Hair

Aria loves her soft and bouncy hair, but must go to extremes to avoid people who touch it without permission until, finally, she speaks up. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

Grandma's Purse

When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, her granddaughter cannot wait to see what treasures she has hidden in her purse.

Hip-Hop Lollipop

In this rhyming tale, follow a little girl named Lollipop as she moves, swings, and grooves her way through her bedtime routine until she finally closes her eyes and dances through her dreams.

Just Like a Mama

Carol Olivia Clementine lives with Mama Rose. Mama Rose is tender and sweet. She is also as stern and demanding as any good parent should be. Though Carol Olivia misses her mother and father, Mama Rose becomes her “home.” And Carol Olivia concludes that she loves her “just like a mama.” You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

Layla’s Happiness

Seven-year-old Layla divulges many things that make her happy, especially her family and their community garden. 

M Is for Melanin

Each letter of the alphabet contains affirming, Black-positive messages, from A is for Afro, to F is for Fresh, to W is for Worthy. This book teaches children their ABCs while encouraging them to love the skin that they’re in. 

Mommy's Khimar

A young Muslim girl puts on a head scarf and not only feels closer to her mother, she also imagines herself as a queen, the sun, a superhero, and more.

My Rainy Day Rocket Ship

Told in rhyming text, a young African American boy, stuck inside on a rainy day, uses his imagination to create a rocket ship out of a rocking chair and takes off on a trip to a distant planet. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.