The Best African American Children’s Picture Books for 2020
Also Check Out the Top 154 Recommended African-American Children’s Books — 1972 and 2020.
This list was compiled by the African American Children’s Book Project (AACBP). They have supported the literary needs of the nation since 1992. The not-for-profit organization was formed to promote and preserve children’s literature written by or about African Americans. Since its inception they have emphasized,“A Book Opens Up a World of Opportunities.”
They collaborate with authors; illustrators; publishers; booksellers, like AALBC.com; educators; consumers; and corporate entities interested in literacy. Their programs stress the role that access and choice play in building lifelong readers. Their stellar programs include: book fairs, book signings, workshops, I Read To See Me (author/illustrator virtual/in-school visits), educating consumers on trends/resources in youth literature, guidance on establishing home libraries and advocacy initiative to promote Black literature around the world.
Their signature event is The African American Children’s Book Fair — since 1992 — is one of the largest single-day gatherings for diverse children’s books in the country. Picture books are one of the most popular categories purchased at this event.
Twenty-Twenty was a banner year for Black picture books. While there was a lot of buzz about children’s social justice titles many missed some of the best books of our generation featured on our list. The AACBP believes if you want to educate on social justice you have to teach Black history.
Also, visit The Brown Bookshelf, a terrfic website which showcases the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult book written and illustrated by Black creators.
Purchase all 30 picture books (the books will be shipped for free and sales tax will only be collected on orders shipping to Florida).
Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball
Written by Jen Bryant
Illustrated by Frank Morrison
Abrams Books for Young Readers (Oct)
By and By: Charles Tindley, the Father of Gospel Music
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Jan)
Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars
Written by Gary Golio
Illustrated by E. B. Lewis
Nancy Paulsen Books (Aug)
Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon
Written by Kelly Starling Lyons
Illustrated by Laura Freeman
Lee & Low Books (Jan)
Flying Free: How Bessie Coleman’s Dreams Took Flight
Written by Karyn Parsons
Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Dec)
Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood
Written by Tony Hillery
Illustrated by Jessie Hartland
Paula Wiseman Books (Aug)
She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm
Written by Katheryn Russell-Brown
Illustrated by Eric Velasquez
Lee & Low Books (Aug)
William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad
Written by Don Tate
Illustrated by Don Tate
Peachtree Publishers (Nov)