The Holiday season is quickly approaching and you know what that means.

Lists, get-togethers, and tubes of wrapping paper cluttering up the hall closet until it’s time for that “all in” wrapping session. Fun times!

This Christmas season will be a different one for us…the first in a long time that we collectively have a new generation of kids to buy for, old enough to read their Auntie’s gifts all on their own.

We remember running home from school each day, at 7 or 8 years old, to find out what new, crazy mess Pippi, Ramona, and Anne of Green Gables were going to get into next.

While we all treasure our childhood moments cuddled up with our favorite stories and transported to new worlds, how great is it to have an opportunity to share new ones that are fun AND feature diverse lead characters?

From people who can fly, to little girls who know that beauty comes from within, there truly is something magical about seeing yourself reflected in the pages of your favorite storybook.

And incredibly important too.

Check out 14 children’s books with Black characters that should make it into those stockings this year:

1. Princess Truly in: I Am Truly by Kelly Greenawalt

princess truly
“If you believe it, you can achieve it! Princess Truly is smart, courageous, and can do anything she sets her mind to do. She can tame lions, race fast cars, fly to the moon, and dance on the stars. Lively rhyme and colorful illustrations are beautifully combined to show little ones that they can do anything.”

2. The Best Things in Life are Dreamed by Priscilla J. Edwards

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This book “aims to encourage fathers to read with young boys, inspire them to dream, and set goals to accomplish those dreams. The rhythmic verses make reading fun. The realistic watercolor illustrations by Ayushi Bandil warm the heart of young readers and enhance the experience of reading with dad.”

3. Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History…and Our Future! by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl

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Girls unite! “Like all A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet—but instead of “A is for Apple”, A is for Angela Davis. The list of great women continues, spanning several centuries, professions, and 26 diverse individuals. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds.”

4. Emi’s Curly Coily, Cotton Candy Hair by Tina Olajide

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“Emi is a creative 7-year-old girl with a BIG imagination. In this story, Emi shares a positive message about her Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair and what she likes most about it. The vibrant illustrations and fun story teach basic natural hair care techniques and tips in a playful and memorable way.”

5. The People Could Fly: The Picture Book by Virginia Hamilton

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“In this retelling of a folktale, a group of slaves, unable to bear their sadness and starvation any longer, call upon the African magic that allows them to fly away.”

6. I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl! by Betty K. Bynum

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“With her abundant energy and joy leading the way, readers follow Mia as she plays with her friends who are all shades, shapes and sizes. There’s tall Kia, Keisha the reader, Charlotte her best friend, Dina Rose-Marie the artist, Imani the dancer, Anna who loves sports, Ruby the singer, and honey-haired Tracy. Mia finds that Pretty is within herself and her friends, and being pretty is way beyond what the mirror shows.”

7. I Am Mixed by Garcelle Beauvais

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“Jay and Nia are the children of two worlds, and as they will discover, they can enjoy the best of both. From Mommy’s jazz beats to Daddy’s classical piano, we will dance with the twins through a book that explores what it is to be of mixed ancestry, proving that a child is more than the sum of their parents.”

8. Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street by Rita Williams-Garcia

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“Tap dancing on sidewalks, especially in the city’s French Quarter, is a New Orleans tradition as familiar to some as Jazz, Creole and Cajun food and Mardi Gras. For generations, Black youngsters have danced for tourists on the streets of New Orleans some because they enjoy it, but many others to earn money for their families.” This book “gives voice to the dancing and the youngsters who keep this unique New Orleans tradition alive.”

9. Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes

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“Dyamonde Daniel may be new in town, but that doesn’t stop her from making a place for herself in a jiffy. With her can-do attitude and awesome brain power she takes the whole neighborhood by storm. The only thing puzzling her is the other new kid in her class. He’s grouchy – but Dyamonde’s determined to get to the bottom of his attitude and make a friend.”

10. You Can Do It! by Tony Dungy

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“Linden, is a third grader who is having a bad day at school. In a family where everyone seems to have found their special talent, all Linden knows is that he wants to make people happy. With encouragement from his parents, a helping hand from his older brother Tony, and inspiration from God, Linden learns that if he dreams big and has faith, he can do anything!”

11. If I Ran For President by Catherine Stier

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“A multicultural cast of children imagines what it would be like to run for president. The entertaining yet informative text is a good conversation starter for discussions on the election process.”

12. Penny and the Magic Puffballs: The adventures of Penny and the Magic Puffballs by Alonda Williams

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“Penny wanted to wear her hair ‘down’ like all of the other girls in her class. She wondered why her friends had long straight hair and she did not. Feeling different made her feel sad.  Penny’s mom decides to style her hair in puffballs, magic puffballs. Join her as she discovers the magic.”

13. Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn

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“Lola has a big smile on her face. Why? Because it’s Tuesday–and on Tuesdays, Lola and her mommy go to the library. Join Lola in this cozy celebration of books and the people who love them.”

14. When I Close my Eyes by Ty Allan Jackson

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“Dot is a little girl with a very vivid imagination. Wait till you see where her imagination takes her.”

14 Children’s Books with Black Characters to Buy This Season

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