February marks Black History Month, a time for recognizing and celebrating the achievements of African Americans throughout U.S. history. We can't think of a better way to honor some of the most incredible and influential people in our country's history than sharing their stories with our kids.

Picture books are the perfect way to spark important discussions about race + tolerance with your children. Books make things like diversity, empowerment and history accessible to even the youngest among us.

Below are our 19 favorite books that will inform + inspire.

Hey Black Child

hey black child childrens book

Hey black child
Do you know who you are?
Who really are?

Do you know you can be
What you want to be
If you try to be
What you can be?

This lyrical poem celebrates black children and inspires them to find their voice—and their dreams.


Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

hidden figures kids book

Based on the bestselling book and Academy Award-nominated movie, this is the true story of four black women who helped NASA launch into space.


Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

radiant black child kids book

The vibrant, beautiful collage-style illustrations in this book bring to life this story of a talented young artist.


Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

crown book

The rhythmic prose and larger than life illustrations make this ode to the barbershop a perfect read-aloud and a celebration of black boys' self-esteem + confidence.


Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

little leaders kids book

This bestselling book introduces readers to 40 women who changed the world.


Princess Hair

princess hair kids book

Every kind of hair is princess hair—and deserves to be celebrated!


My Name Is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth

my name is truth book

The true story of how a former slave transformed herself into an inspirational preacher.


Look What Brown Can Do!

look what brown can do book

Dream big with this inspirational picture book for the youngest of readers.


Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad

henrys freedom box

A dramatic true story of a slave who mails himself to freedom, coupled with astoundingly beautiful art from superstar Kadir Nelson.


Let the Children March

let the children march book

The true story behind the 1963 Children's Crusade march in Birmingham, Alabama following Dr. Martin Luther King's speech.


I, Too, Am America

I too am american book

Langston Hughes' celebrated poem is brought to life in this moving ode to unity.


Nelson Mandela

nelson mandela kids book

Breathtaking paintings accompany poignant verse in this autobiography of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela.


Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

An accessible and inspiring picture book biography of one of history's most influential leaders.


Juneteenth for Mazie

juneteenth for mazie book

This bright, lively picture book celebrates Juneteenth, the day that commemorates emancipation from slavery in Texas in 1865.


Mae Among the Stars

mae among the starts book

Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel to space and her story will inspire young readers to reach for the stars!


Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X

malcom little book

Malcolm X's daughter shares the story of her father's childhood in this acclaimed picture book biography.


Before She Was Harriet

before she was harriet

Harriet Tubman was many things before she was the courageous woman we know today; this lyrical biography captures her story.


The Other Side

the other side book

This classic tells the story behind an unlikely friendship formed in the midst of segregation.


Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama

seeds of freedom book

This honest, hopeful picture book tells one of the lesser known stories of the Civil Rights Movement.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.
Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.