The Cooperative Children's Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been documenting the number of characters of color in children's books as well as the number of books written and illustrated by people of color. The findings are depressing. Since 1985 the CCBC has documented their findings and it has not gotten much better.
Now imagine how it would be for books from Latin America or about Latinx in the US. Honestly, I am running out of Spanish and Bilingual books with Black characters to put in our boxes. That's really depressing.
This blog post is dedicated to introduce or re-introduce books by writers and/or illustrators who are Black Latinx or have Black Latinx characters.
In my research I came across Remezcla's article: #BlackLatinxHistory Highlights Afro-Latinos who Changed the World and I learned this about Arturo Alfonso Schomburg one of the greatest collectors of the African diaspora from Puerto Rico:
"While Schomburg was in grade school, one of his teachers claimed that blacks had no history, heroes or accomplishments, which inspired him to find and document the accomplishments of Africans on their own continent and in the diaspora."
As parents, family members, and educators we need to change this narrative for our children. Every child should have a representation of themselves in books and every child should be able to learn about others through literature.
Check out Booklandia's list, we celebrate Black history every month but this month it gets to be extra special.
Some of these books have links to purchase them outside of Booklandia, they do not have affiliate links.
Want any these books in your subscription box? Order before February 28th and let us know your choice! Use code $5off for just that!
Coming out in March!
Niña Bonita is an amazing classic from Ediciones Ekaré. A white bunny finds this young black girl to be the most beautiful in the world and wants to be just like her. He has an adventure asking her what makes her skin so dark and beautiful and he tries every way possible and doesn't succeed. Then he falls in love with a black bunny and you know where this story goes. I love the celebration of this young girl's skin and beauty. This book is included in Booklandia's Spanish Picture Books Box.
I learned about Letras de Carbón when I was sourcing books from Colombia. I don't want to give away the story, the artwork is amazing and you will love the story of these sisters who write letters with charcoal. This book is included in Booklandia's Spanish Picture Books Box.
Do you remember your parents or grandparents' records? Author and illustrator Eric Velasquez takes the reader to El Barrio/Spanish Harlem for the summer where Eric spends his days listening to his abuela's salsa records and has the opportunity to go to a concert of her favorite band. This book was included in this month's Booklandia Spanish Picture Books Box.
Books about Athletes/Libros sobre deportivos
¿Quién fue Roberto Clemente? is a must-have for any baseball lover. Hailing from Carolina, Puerto Rico, Roberto Clemente was well known for his magnetic baseball abilities and his humanitarian efforts. Learn more about him in this biography. This book is included in Booklandia's Spanish Chapter Books Box.
We love Llegar a ser Pedro in our home. My son is a baseball player and this was one of the first books he read on his own before bedtime. It was really cool to learn about béisbol in the Dominican Republic and how Pedro and his brother, Ramón became two of the baseball greatest. This book is included in Booklandia's Spanish Picture Books Box.
Beautifully illustrated, this Bilingual book in prose is a wonderful way for children and adults to learn about Pelé from Brazil. I've put these in our Bilingual boxes for kids 4-8 years old. We just love looking through this book and learning about el rey del fútbol.
Books about Hair
Sulma Arzu-Brown and Isidra Sabio are both Garifuna women from Honduras in the US. Together with Bad Hair Does Not Exist! ¡Pelo Malo no existe! they have created a book that reminds the reader that there are many beautiful ways to describe someone's hair that does not include the words bad or malo. I have not read the book but can't wait to get my hands on it!
Go to No Pelo Malo for more information.
El Primer Corte de Mesita de Furqan/Furqan's First Flat Top by Robert Liu-Trujillo inspired my son to get a cool fade with lines on the side. I love Furqan's relationship with his dad and all the ways he questions what a flat top is like. Robert is my neighbor in Oakland and an integral part of the artist community here. Check out the trailer for his book. Order his book on his website, click the book cover above, or ask for it in the Booklandia Bilingual Picture Books box.
I may be a little partial to Cozbi A. Cabrera's work because we share a last name but really, I love her work and I can't wait for this book to be released in April 2018. It is not available in Spanish but I would love for that to happen. We need more books in Spanish that emphasize Black is Beautiful! Check out Cozbi Cabrera's handmade dolls on Land of Nod
Books about Celia Cruz/Libros Sobre Celia Cruz
The Life of Celia/La Vida de Celia is a perfect book for the baby in your life from Lil' Libros, the rockstar publishers of books for bilingual babies. This bilingual board book has cute illustrations and short facts about Celia, la reina de salsa. This book is included in Booklandia's Board Book Box.
My name is Celia/Me llamo Celia is a wonderful biography of the legendary Celia Cruz. Mónica Brown did it again (she also wrote the Pelé) this time with illustrator Rafael López. Learn about Celia's life, her family and of course her love for music. This book is included in Booklandia's Bilingual Picture Books Box.
¡Azúcar! is another wonderful children's biography of Celia Cruz only in Spanish. The illustrations are captivating, in our household, we were drawn to the story from beginning to end. My kids love all things Cuba and Celia. This book is included in Booklandia's Spanish Picture Books Box.
Are there any books that would be great for this list? Comment below and share with us. Thanks for reading!