Festive Kids' Christmas Books With Black Characters
Picture books that reflect images of people that look like them is important for young readers. This is especially true when selecting books that center around special holidays and family milestones. Fortunately, the publication of diverse storybooks is increasing. Authors and illustrators are increasingly committed to representing people of all backgrounds throughout their contributions to children's literature. Reading the best kids' Christmas books with black characters is important for children who want the images to more closely reflect their own families. Here is a list of picture books with African American children and families celebrating the holiday opening presents, decorating Christmas trees, and reflecting upon the reason why the holiday is so special.
More Children's Books With African American Characters
Twenty-three soulful poems about the Christmas season portray a variety of experiences through the eyes of an African American family. Beautiful oil paintings of a loving family capture them enjoying the sites and sounds of the season. One particularly moving poem is about a young child eagerly awaiting the lit candle as it is passed to her in church. Another describes the graceful figure skates in the rink and one child's longing to join them flying across the ice. This book is a work of art that can be displayed in the home and read either cover to cover or one poem at a time.
A lovely biographical picture book about a little girl who dared to dream big. Charlotte Nebres was a talented ballerina whose favorite time of year was the Christmas season. The Nutcracker was her most cherished ballet with themes of Christmas woven throughout the performance. After many years of practice and hard work, Charlotte is the first black girl to be chosen for the coveted role of Marie in the New York City production. An inspirational story of determination about a young lady who made history.
The story of The Nutcracker is reinvented through the eyes of a little girl during the Harlem Renaissance. An inspired child who is influenced by the shifting culture of her neighborhood discovers her talent as a jazz vocalist. With the help of a magical toy, she embarks on adventure across the stage of this unique performance of a classic Christmas ballet production.
An jubilant girl with an infectious personality spreads cheer and joy wherever she goes. She enjoys an exciting day in the city with her mother, smelling the roasted chestnuts, listening to the Christmas carolers, and marveling at the colorful holiday lights blinking in the store windows. Beautiful holiday scenes fill the pages of this festive Christmas book that will get all little readers into the spirit of the season.
A little girl is feeling a bit sad that she is not leaving her home city of Lagos for the Christmas holiday. The rest of her classmates have exciting trips planned, but Ranti's family is staying home. To cheer Ranti up, her teacher suggests that she keep a journal detailing all of the beautiful holiday scenes over the break. At first she is upset that her holiday will not be a winter wonderland, but soon she adjusts her perspective and begins to appreciate Christmas in a different light.
A happy family enjoys getting ready for Christmas by decorating the tree, baking cookies, and wrapping presents. Little ones will have fun practicing counting from 1 to 10 as they spot the various Christmas objects. A fun, simple Christmas story perfect for preschoolers.
Grace cherishes every moment of the Christmas holiday with her mother, father, and grandmother. They share many special traditions from reenacting the nativity to opening presents under the tree. But this year things will be different, but not in a good way. Some friends in need will be staying with the family and Grace is not sure how she feels about sharing the holiday with others. As the days pass, she gradually opens her heart and mind, and finds that this Christmas is even more enriched than in the past.
A darling little board book with a variety of both common and challenging words that will expand a little one's vocabulary. Charming pictures reflect wintry scenes with people buzzing about getting ready for Christmas. Diverse characters are shopping, ice skating, enjoying holiday treats, and enjoying all of the festivities in a quaint little town.
A thought-provoking story about Tyler, a little boy who is in search of an angel for the top of his Christmas tree. Rather than selecting a peach-skinned topper with long blonde hair, he wants to find one that looks more like him. When he meets a talented art student and shares his thoughts, Tyler is given a gift he will never forget. Other observations about race and assumptions about physical appearance are also covered in this valuable Christmas book about diversity.
A moving story about a little boy who is following the eastern star on a quest to see the newborn baby Jesus. A loyal dog, the boy's one and only possession, accompanies him on the journey. Along the way, the boy is wondering what he can bring that is fit for a king. In a tender and heartwarming moment, he realizes the most perfect gift is the one that is most important to him. A creative retelling of the Christmas Story with some unique and tender moments.
A dreamy book about a little girl whose wish is delivered when a snowstorm halts all activity. The night before she cozies up with her family in preparation for the winter event. Staring into a snow globe, she whispers her desire for a day off due to heavy snowfall. When she arises the next morning, the entire down is enjoying a quiet day enjoying the natural beauty around them. A heartwarming book to read around the Christmas holiday when snow makes everything more magical.
A soothing, bedtime retelling of the classic Christmas story features a baby Jesus who is having a hard time settling down to sleep. The hay is itchy, the noisy arrival of the three kings is disruptive, and the angels' beautiful singing is distracting the newborn baby from falling asleep. Golden hues fill the manger scene as a nurturing Mary and Joseph do their best to coax their precious child into a deep slumber.
An enchanting story that portrays the anticipation and excitement of the Christmas season. A little boy who lives in the city looks down upon the streets from his apartment in wonder. Snow is falling and magic is in the air. He takes great joy in decorating his family's Christmas tree and listening to the beautiful sounds of the Christmas carolers. Most of all, he cannot wait for the arrival of a special present just for him.
A darling board book about Christmas with rhyming text just right for babies and toddlers. Captivating picture feature a little tot participating in a variety of holiday traditions with her family. They decorate the Christmas tree, sing carols, and enjoy an outdoor winter wonderland.
The year is 1915 and two young children are not anticipating Christmas with the same excitement as in the past. Their father's job, digging tunnels for the New York subway, requires him to work throughout the holiday season. To brighten his day, the kids send a jar of their mother's homemade jam. When the foremen sample this delicious treat, they take pause to recognize the importance of being with family over Christmas. Their hearts soften and they give all the workers time off for the rest of the holiday.
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Best Children's African American Christmas Books
The holiday season is a busy time of year for most families. Parents are busy buying presents, baking cookies, attending church services, planning Christmas parties, and decorating their homes. Oftentimes the hectic pace and long lists of things to do interfere with the most important activity- spending quiet, quality time with the children. During this precious time, snuggling up and reading Christmas stories with little ones is a fantastic way to slow down and soak in the most important moments. For black families, choosing books that reflect characters that look like their children is important. The best children's African American Christmas books reflect characters that reflect similar physical traits as the little readers themselves. Little ones will love the illustrations of families spending special time together, embracing their favorite holiday traditions.
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