All primary ages

Top picks for Black books

Ideal for sharing or reading aloud, these high-quality inclusive texts, featuring Black characters, are must-haves for school and home — includes seven books by Black authors/illustrators: 

Ages 35 

Lulu’s First Day by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw (Alanna Max, 2019)

Expertly crafted, this wonderful text gently supports young children with a major milestone: their first day at pre-school. 

Julian Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Candlewick, 2018)

This award-winner, with captivating illustrations and sparse text, explores acceptance, individuality and fulfilment of dreams.

We’re Going to Find the Monster by Malorie Blackman and Dapo Adeola (Puffin, 2021)

With rich language and a cumulative refrain, this fun story celebrates family and imaginative play.

Ages 57

Clean Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola (Puffin, 2020)

This Caribbean-based story tackles environmental pollution in a light-hearted, child-friendly way. Great for developing empathy too!

The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad, with SK Ali, and Hatem Aly (Anderson, 2020)

An important story of sibling love, resilience and being proud of your heritage and beliefs.

Age 7+

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C James (Farshore, 2020)

This empowering lyrical ode, from the US, challenges Black-male stereotypes with positive imagery.

Too Small Tola by Atinuke; illustrated by Onyinye Iwu (Walker, 2020)

Excellent for tackling preconceptions of modern Nigeria, and with subtle repetition for newly fluent readers, this entertaining chapter book of three short stories features small-but-mighty hero, Tola.

Stars with Flaming Tails by Valerie Bloom; illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max (Otter-Barry, 2021)

A delightfully diverse collection of poems by renowned Black-British poet, Bloom.

The Story of the Windrush by KN Chimbiri (Scholastic, 2020)

A concise, easy-to-read, balanced history, charting the experiences of the Windrush generation and placing Black Britons at the heart of their own story.

Fabia Turner is the founder of the Jericho Prize. She is also a former Ealing-borough primary school teacher and Scholastic Education book editor with a lifelong passion for children’s literature. With 12 years’ combined experience in education and publishing, she has advocated for the use of multicultural/multi-ethnic resources in UK schools while working in both sectors. In 2018, she created Candid Cocoa, an arts blog now focused on getting more Black children’s books into primary schools.