At Grits and Grace, we are committed to promoting diversity in children’s literature. Check out this week’s authors and illustrator’s of color you should be reading now.
One Word from Sophia
Author: Jim Averbeck
Sophia tries varied techniques to get the giraffe she wants more than anything in this playfully illustrated story about the nuances of negotiation.
Sophia has one true desire for her birthday. But she has Four Big Problems in the way: Mom, Dad, Uncle Conrad…and Grand-mama.
Will her presentations, proposals, and pie charts convince them otherwise?
Turns out, all it takes is one word.
The Adventures of Obi and Titi: The Hidden Temple of Ogiso (Volume 1)
by Oyehmi Begho
The Adventures of Obi and Titi is an epic African adventure series that follows the story of two brave, young children and a very naughty monkey, who set out on an unexpected journey of knowledge, hope and everlasting friendship.
Book #1 – The Adventures of Obi and Titi: The Hidden Temple of Ogiso
Deep in the heart of Africa, where civilization truly began, two young children, Obi and Titi, unwittingly find a hidden temple and a mysterious map. This discovery sets off a chain of events that will change their lives forever. For once they must settle their differences and work together, as they set off on a magical adventure to save the Benin kingdom and the ones they love.
Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
“Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story… but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.”—The New York Times Book Review
Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
Anna Carries Water
by Olive Senior, Illustrated by Laura James
Anna fetches water from the spring every day, but she can t carry it on her head like her older brothers and sisters can. In this charming and poetic family story set in Jamaica, Commonwealth Prize-winning author Olive Senior shows young readers the power of determination, as Anna achieves her goal and overcomes her fear.
- Winner of the Isabel Sissons Canadian Children’s Story Award
- Shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize 2014 (Young Reader’s Literature)
- Nominated for the 2014 Rainforest of Reading Award
- Listed as “One of the Best Picture Books of 2014” – Kirkus Review
- “100 Magnificent Children’s Books 2014″ ( Picture book ages 2-6), Schools Library Journal
- On New York Public Library’s “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing”
Anna fetches water from the spring every day but she can’t manage to carry it on her head like her older brothers and sisters. Set in the Caribbean, this irresistibly rhythmic and poetic tale evokes the power of sheer will and the joy of mastery, as Anna overcomes her fear.
Max and the Tag-Along Moon
by Floyd Cooper, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Has the moon ever followed you home at night?
Max loves his grandpa. When they must say goodbye after a visit, Grandpa reminds Max that the moon above them at Grandpa’s house is the same moon that will follow him all the way home. And on that swervy-curvy car ride back home Max smiles as the moon tags along, thinking of Grandpa. But when the sky darkens and the moon disappears behind clouds, Max worries that it did not follow him home after all. Yet when the clouds part and light streams through his window, he realizes that Grandpa was right—the moon was with him all along.Floyd Cooper received the Coretta Scott King Award for The Blacker the Berry, two Coretta Scott King Honors for Honey in Broomwheat Tea and I Have Heard of a Land, and a NAACP image award. His books have also been named to numerous best books list and been given many Parents Choice Awards. In Max and the Tag-Along Moon, his lush paintings perfectly capture the wonder of the moon, the love between grandfather and grandson, and that feeling of magic every child experiences when the moon follows him home.