During Black History Month, most media recounts stories of slavery and the fight for civil rights. We believe Black History should be celebrated all year round, and this month is a great time to take stock of the books on our shelves to ensure we have Black voices (and art) represented. All month long we’re partnering with Little Feminist and collaborating with creators Dolisha Mitchell and Ashley Jefferson to curate 4 children’s book lists that spotlight Black authors and honor the depth of Black experiences, from celebrating Black joy, Black artists and innovators, Black folks nature, and more!
This week, Ashley Jefferson will be sharing her book recommendations for celebrating Black innovators.
Let’s talk about innovation! These book picks collectively share the experience of Black in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and beyond! Think outside the box with us as we honor Black excellence in every capacity: from the young that relish in imaginative play and creativity to the elders that left a groundbreaking legacy in engineering and revolutionizing the culture as a whole.
written and illustrated by Mylo Freeman
Publisher: Clavis Publishing
- Themes: care, health, pretend play
- Best for Ages: 0-3
- What We Love: Zaza breaks gender stereotypes through skillful doctor play.
- Things to Know: Consider taking this book with you to your next pediatrician appointment! Your kiddo will recognize each step of the check-up.
by Nathan Byron
illustrated by Dapo Adeola
Publisher: Random House
- Themes: Outer-space, Purpose, Dreaming BIG
- Best for ages: 4-8 years
- What We Love: Our main character, Rocket, has such a passion for her love of outer space and it is such an inspiration. It fills the story with learning fun!
- Things to Know: While the character is fictional, she spews out lots of interesting facts about outer space for the reader to learn more about.
by Mèlina Mangal
Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
Publisher: Millbrook Press
- Themes: Biology, Purpose, Acts of Service
- Best for ages: 6-10 years
- What We Love: This book is beautifully illustrated and gives an intimate detailing of Ernest Everett Just, a Black innovator deserving of his flowers.
- Things to Know: This story not only highlights the life of Just, but also his contributions on how we can be more responsible with how we study and care for wildlife.
by James Wilson
Illustrated by Cameron T Wilson
Publisher: Mama Ruby’s Bookshelf
- Themes: History, Social Studies
- Best for ages: 3-6
- What We Love: This is a fun lesson on one of history’s most prominent leaders written in poetic form!
- Things to Know: Important milestones in Black history highlighted in an easy-to-remember delivery.
by Akura Marshall
Illustrated by Adriel Meka
Publisher: Our Children’s Network, Inc.
- Themes: History, Family
- Best for ages: 4-10 years
- What We Love: This is an integrated approach to learning about important inventions as we follow a curious boy around his community.
- Things to Know: You can make this a scavenger hunt and find some of the inventions found in this story in YOUR neighborhood!
P.S. Each week you have the chance to WIN a $100 Tea Collection gift card and a 6-month subscription to Little Feminist Book Club. To enter our giveaway this week make sure to follow @teacollection, @littlefeministbookclub, @littleblackbooknook, @earlychildhoodenthusiast & tag someone in the comments that you think would enjoy this book list! The fourth winner will be announced on Tea’s Instagram stories 2/28, good luck!