For many of us, our love for books began when we were just kids. Whether we had a parent, read to us, a teacher, or we did so solo, there’s something about being transformed to a world far away. Even as adults, sometimes just flipping through The Little Engine That Could, Goodnight Moon, or A Patchwork Quilt can transport us back to a time when our biggest worry was what time Sesame Street came on T.V.
While you may not be able to turn back the hands of time, you can easily pass on a love of reading—even if you don't have kids. Books make great gifts from aunties, uncles, and godparents too. But with so many to choose from, we’re here to help. Check out these five incredible children’s books.
The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jone and Renée Watson, illustrated by Nikkolas Smith
Discussing American History is strangely a controversial subject and yet, there is no denying what is obvious. So it is paramount to teach what occurred and The 1619 Project: Born on the Water is an excellent way to introduce what can be a traumatic and challenging subject. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renée Watson, the book examines some of the consequences of slavery through a young student's journey.
She is tasked with creating a family tree for a school project but can only go back three generations. Grandma saves the day and steps in to educate the entire family on how 400 years before their ancestors were brought to America by white slave traders.
Stacey’s Extraordinary Words by Stacey Abrams, illustrator Kitt Thomas
Politician and author Stacey Abrams is no stranger to the perks of having a best-selling book. The voting rights advocate has penned While Justice Sleeps, Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change and others. Now she has written a book for kids in preschool through 3rd grade based on her own experiences. Stacey’s Extraordinary Words is about a young girl who loves words and reading, but anxiety sets in when her teacher picks her to compete in a spelling bee. Through Stacey’s eyes, readers will learn the gift of overcoming obstacles and believing in themselves.
One Love by Cedella Marley, illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Bob Marley’s music left an indelible mark on the world, and one of his most iconic songs "One Love," is now being used as the title of a new book. Capturing the heart of the lyrics, his daughter Cedella Marley tells the story of a little girl who gets her community to come together and make their neighborhood better. The colorful illustrations and positive words teach the importance of social justice, love, and diversity.
Who Are Your People? by Bakari Sellers and Illustrator Reggie Brown
Attorney, political commentator, and former South Carolina House Representative Bakari Sellers is no stranger to writing. In fact, his memoir My Vanishing Country was a New York Times Bestseller. Now he’s authored a picture book, Who Are Your People? While a seemingly simple question, it can be complex for some. The book pays homage to family ancestors through beautiful illustrations and celebrates the unique qualities that make each one of us special.
Nigel and the Moon by Antwan Eady and illustrator Gracey Zhang
If you have ever whispered a wish to the moon, this book is for you. If you ever had a dream and were afraid to share it, this book is for you. Antwan Eady's debut picture book is nothing if not sweet, intelligent, and aspirational.
Nigel has big dreams to become either an astronaut, a dancer, or a superhero but is too shy to say them out loud at career week at his school. Luckily, Nigel, who is trying to find his proper place in the world, has supportive and loving parents. We dare you to keep yourself from smiling and maybe even tearing up a little as you get through this tearjerker read.