Shaping children’s minds starts with the type of media and content they consume, including books.

In today’s digital age, it’s more acceptable to find younger generations attached to their electronics more than anything else. While there is endless educational and entertaining content online, nothing can replace the type of storytelling found in a book. Reading is essential because it allows the mind to escape into a world different from what a person is accustomed to. Reading also helps child development by providing a deeper understanding and context of other cultures.

If you need to add more children’s books to your library, consider featuring these easy-to-read options for your child.

“Juneteenth For Mazie” by Floyd Cooper

As Mazie gears up to celebrate a life-changing moment in American history, she also honors the life of her enslaved ancestors. Her grandfather introduces the young girl to Juneteenth and its history through a story. Written and illustrated by Floyd Cooper, “Juneteenth For Mazie” is a short, 40-page read is just in time for the upcoming holiday. Cooper has illustrated over ninety children’s books and received several awards for his creativity, including the Coretta Scott King Honor Award and a 2013 NAACP Image Award nomination.

“Frankie and Friends: The Big Protest” by Christine Platt

Frankie and Friends: The Big Protest” follows a young reporter, Frankie, as she prepares to participate in her first protest. She draws inspiration from her mother, a journalist, who has to report a story on a community protest. Frankie gathers her crew of friends and helps make signs, march and get the latest real-time updates. This award-winning book series explores serious topics, such as activism and racial injustice, while also providing insight into the responsibilities of journalists.

“Family Reunion” by Chad and Dad Richardson

As summer approaches, “Family Reunion” is the perfect tale to showcase the generational tradition of family reunions. The story follows a boy who is hesitant about attending his family reunion, thinking the event will be boring. He takes readers along an emotional rollercoaster as he finds value in connecting with extended family members and enjoys the celebratory summer occasion.

“I Am More Than” by Lebron James

NBA superstar Lebron James is the author of this empowering children’s book. Filled with inspiring pictures, “I Am More Than” teaches young audiences that their dreams and aspirations are limitless. 

“Show The World!” by Angela Dalton

This story celebrates Black children expressing themselves through creativity. Younger generations are shown how to use their voices differently in “Show The World!” through painting, music, poetry, photography and other creative outlets. Author Angela Dalton challenges readers to figure out how they want to show up in the world.

“Black Cowboy, Wild Horses” by Julius Lester

Beyoncé’s “Cowboy Carter” shined a spotlight on Western culture, and this book gives a peek into the life of a cowboy on the cusp of freedom and survival. “Black Cowboy, Wild Horses” is based on the quest for leadership and guidance from Robert “Bob” Lemmons, a formerly enslaved person.

“The Reflection In Me” by Marc Colagiovanni

The Reflection In Me” is a heartwarming story illustrates the power of self-love and self-acceptance. Originally released as a short animation on YouTube, the video was adapted into a picture book filled with affirmations to empower children to love themselves from the inside out.

“You Can Be A Good Friend (No Matter What!)” by Taraji P. Henson

Award-winning actress and mental health advocate Taraji P. Henson will debut her first children’s picture book on June 18. In “You Can Be A Good Friend (No Matter What!),” Henson encourages children experiencing bullying to stand tall in their uniqueness. The author also hopes to empower kids to be kind and accept people’s differences. 

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