Advertisement
Books

Top 5 kid’s picture books with black people in them

Atinuke shares her top five picture books with black people in them and tells us how were received by her own children

Children’s author Atinuke fell in love with stories long before falling in love with storytelling.

Born in Nigeria, her father was a lecturer and her mother was an editor. She adored Enid Blyton as a kid and knows how important books can be to a child’s development.

She is the author of the bestselling Anna Hibiscus series, which details the fun adventures of an African child living with her family and having lots of fun.

But black authors are still underrepresented in UK publishing. According to October 2020 research from Sheffield Hallam University, 94 per cent of children’s authors are white.

Here, Atinuke shares her top five picture books with black people in them and tells us how were received by her own children.

Lockdowns have taken income away from hundreds of Big Issue sellers. Support The Big Issue and our vendors by signing up for a subscription.

Advertisement
Advertisement

So Much by Trish Cooke, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

This was a favourite when my boys were small. Each member of the family comes and does something fun with baby – something that the reader can do too. It gives a lovely sense of the powerful love some extended black families enjoy.

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

This is such a gorgeous book – gentle, loving and groundbreaking! It’s so inspiring to have illustrations of the real shapes of women, and to see the relationship between the boy and

his grandmother. The page with the grandmother in swimming class is my favourite!

A Story About Afiya by James Berry, illustrated by Anna Cunha

The illustrations in this book are just stunning. I keep staring at them – I can’t put it down. Every little black girl should have this book so she can see how beautiful she is.

Coming to England by Floella Benjamin, illustrated by Diane Ewen

This book is so vibrant, the story so moving and relevant to our history, and the pictures so rich and full of life. It is a true piece of British history.

Amazing Muslims Who Changed the World  by Burhana Islam, illustrated by Nabi H Ali, Reya Ahmed, Saffa Khan, Aaliya Jaleel, Deema Alawa and Aghnia Mardiyah

This is jam-packed with Muslim people from all eras in history whose discoveries, courage and creativity have made the world a better place! It was written by a teacher at the request of her class.

Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls by Atinuke, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu, is out now (Walker Books, £6.99)

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Scattered All Over the Earth review: A fascinating tale of language and culture in flux
Book reviews

Scattered All Over the Earth review: A fascinating tale of language and culture in flux

Top 5 books about musicians, chosen by the late Mark Lanegan
Top 5 Books

Top 5 books about musicians, chosen by the late Mark Lanegan

Sea of Tranquility review: Time travel is anything but tired in this wonderfully inventive novel
Book reviews

Sea of Tranquility review: Time travel is anything but tired in this wonderfully inventive novel

The Perfect Golden Circle review: Not just another take on the cultural fights of the ’80s
Book reviews

The Perfect Golden Circle review: Not just another take on the cultural fights of the ’80s

Most Popular

Read All
Oil giants Shell and BP have been handed £700m of taxpayer cash despite bumper profits
1.

Oil giants Shell and BP have been handed £700m of taxpayer cash despite bumper profits

What are the risks of Don't Pay UK? We asked a leading lawyer
2.

What are the risks of Don't Pay UK? We asked a leading lawyer

How broken is the UK's public transport? I spent all day on buses to find out
3.

How broken is the UK's public transport? I spent all day on buses to find out

Sadiq Khan's Right to Buy-back scheme leads to return of 1,500 council homes
4.

Sadiq Khan's Right to Buy-back scheme leads to return of 1,500 council homes

Keep up to date with the Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.