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7 Self-Published Authors To Support This Holiday Season

Many readers are aware of the lack of children’s books with Black representation. For instance, in 2018, only 10 percent of books published by traditional publishers featured Black protagonists. And in many cases, the books that were published were not written by Black authors, calling their cultural competence into question. Consequently, some writers have taken it upon themselves to be the change they wish to see, or read, by self-publishing books. Help us celebrate their activism and achievements by supporting their work this holiday season!


Artika Tyner, Author

What motivated you to write & self-publish your books?
I was inspired to write my first children’s book by Justice Alan C. Page [retired Minnesota Supreme Court]. He has written three children’s books which inspire young people to learn, grow and thrive. He also founded the Page Education Foundation with the goal in mind of “creating heroes through education and service.” As a proud Page Scholar, I am also committed to promoting education, literacy, cultural awareness and leadership development.

Justice Makes A Difference
Justice has grown up witnessing the many ways her grandma serves the community. She wants to make a difference in the world, too, but how? Isn’t she too young?
Age Range: 7-12
Amazing Africa
Amazing Africa: A to Z is a fun and resourceful book that takes children and even adults on a visual journey throughout the continent of Africa.
Age Range: 7-12

Aja Dorsey Jackson, Author

What motivated you to write & self-publish your books?
I’m a fan of self-publishing because I have full artistic control. I wanted to self-publish The Almost Adventures of Plane Jane because I wanted to bring my vision of this empowering story of a young Black girl to life in my own way.

Plane Jane
When seven-year-old Jane and her family make a big move, she becomes determined to get back to the place she once called home, even if she has to fly there herself!
Age Range: 4-7

Shine
Are you the sun? Or the moon reflecting its light? Shine takes young children on a beautifully illustrated journey toward bedtime while encouraging them to shine wherever they are.
Age Range: 3-7

Quinn Woodard, Author

What motivated you to write & self-publish your book?
To influence young minority students on the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), my book, “Like Me,” explores the different careers within the field. My hope is to provide early exposure, and to attract young minds to the STEM community. I also hope that this short story will allow young minds to understand what STEM professionals do in the simplest of terms, and spark an interest for further exploration in STEM.

Like Me
Zoey loves math and science, but she doesn’t know what she can be when she grows up. As she says: “It’s difficult to see what I can be when no one looks like me.
Age Range: 2-8

Veronica N. Chapman, Author

What motivated you to write & self-publish your books?
As an HBCU graduate (Spelman College), one of my goals is to make sure my readers feel the same type of empowerment and affirmation that students feel on HBCU campuses. I want my readers to be empowered to become the greatest version of themselves.

King Khalid
King Khalid has a favorite pastime that keeps him up past his bedtime. After King Khalid’s father reinforces the rules and makes him go to bed on time, King finds a creative way around the rules that ultimately makes everyone proud.
Age Range: 5-10
I Know I Can!
While giving a speech at her high school graduation, Faith, the class valedictorian, shares her childhood dreams, and the lessons that served as the foundation for her courage.
Age Range: 3-8

James Wilson, Author

What motivated you to write & self-publish your book?
I was motivated due to the lack of content and information that is present to African children to prepare them for true progression in this world. My decision was based solely on my desire to change that.

Teach Me About Garvey
An introduction to the achievements and vision of the legendary, Marcus Garvey. Children will get to rhyme fun words and view amazing illustrations that enhance their reading experience and aid the retainment of information.
Age Range: 6-10

Amber T. Bogan, Author

What motivated you to write & self-publish your book?
In raising my little one, it is important to me that I consistently expose her to positive images that reflect who she is. Witnessing the lack of diversity in children’s literature not only upset me, but also motivated me to take action. My debut children’s book, “Little Miss is Destined for Greatness” is my way of becoming a part of the solution.

Little Miss
Early on, children begin looking to us to help them carve out a place in this world. Affirming that they have the right to dream big will encourage them to spread their wings and soar! 
Age Range: 6 & Under

Tonya Ellis, Author

What motivated you to write & self-publish your books?
I’m a former journalist and always wanted to write my own book. When reading with my children I noticed there were few kid’s books with Black main characters. I decided to fill in the gap by creating my own series. I also wanted to highlight the unique features of Houston, the city I live in (alligators and other wildlife in the neighborhoods, rodeo culture, cultural diversity).

The Snitch
Sophie Washington and her friends have to decide whether to fight back against the school bully or snitch in this award winning illustrated chapter book.

Age Range: 8-12

Queen Of The Bee
Fifth grader Sophie Washington goes head-to-head against “Mr. Know-It-All” Nathan Jones in the school spelling bee in this entertaining, illustrated chapter book.
Age Range: 8-12

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Here Are Six Children’s Books With Black Characters To Introduce STEAM Education

STEAM education is a practice that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts & Mathematics. Education Closet explains, “STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century!

Anyone can see how incorporating each of those disciplines could be beneficial to our children’s education, so we’ve chosen just a few books on our website that can provide your babies with an early introduction to STEAM.

Counting On Katherine (Grade Level: Kindergarten – 4) is the bold story of Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician who worked for NASA during the space race. How Do Plants Grow (Grade Level: Kindergarten – 5) explains the process of photosynthesis, and why it is important to life on Earth. King Khalid is Proud (Grade Level: 2 – 5) is about a little boy who learns to code his own video game to negotiate a later bedtime. Little Melba and Her Big Trombone (Grade Level: 2 – 3) is the story of Melba Doretta Liston, a trailblazing musician and a great unsung hero of jazz. Not All Superheroes Wear Capes (Grade Level: Kindergarten – 5) is a children’s book designed to teach Black students about the opportunities available to them in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. And The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague (Grade Level: 2 – 5) is about a hidden mastermind who made waves in the U.S. Navy as an engineer!

Check out these books below:

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Three Excellent Resources For Authors

The Black Baby Books platform was founded by self-published author Veronica N. Chapman. Veronica came up with the idea for the platform while she was promoting her first children’s book “I Know I Can!“. At events people would always ask her where they could find other children’s books with Black characters. Although Veronica would often meet authors at events, she found that when she wanted to recommend their books to her readers, they were not always easy to find online. To make it easier to direct people to other authors of children’s books with Black characters Veronica launched BlackBabyBooks.com.

The Black Baby Books service is supported by advertising revenue and affiliate sales of books listed on our website. Because authors in particular help keep this service going, we want to be sure that we are doing all we can to support you. Please find three resources below that we hope you will find helpful. Thank you so much for supporting our platform!

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Survey Says: Here Are Four Great Literacy Tools For Your Baby

In addition to making it easier for you to discover children’s books with Black representation, we also want to make sure our platform shares excellent literacy practices for your household. We share many of them on our Instagram page, and we love the feedback and insights we gain from our community!

Here is just one example of a #literacyfact that we shared:


Many of our community members also share their best practices for teaching their babies how to read.

Here is a short list of tools that come recommended from our community and other sources:

Please note that should you purchase any of these products via our links we will receive a small affiliate fee to help support our service.

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We Created A Story Map Template For Your Little Readers!

We created a story map template especially for your little readers! Story maps are used to help children process what they’ve learned while reading a book, either assisted or alone. For little children it can be a fun exercise to demonstrate what they’ve learned by drawing the book characters and by identifying and then highlighting different sections of the book; typically the beginning, middle, and end of a story.

Here are the key benefits of story mapping:

    • They improve reading comprehension.
    • They help children identify key elements of a story.
    • They teach children how to organize information and ideas efficiently.

You can download the template HERE. Please let us know if you find our story map helpful, and please tag us on Instagram if you use this for the little readers in your life! Need a new book to try this literacy tool? Browse our library.

With Love,
The BlackBabyBooks.com Team