I know a lot of African-American fathers. It’s heartwarming to see how they take care of their families, and how fiercely they love their children and wives. It’s inspiring to see in person in my own home, and it’s awesome to read about in these children’s books about Black fathers. Trying to find books for little Black children with Black fathers has proven to be quite the challenge. Not sure why Black fatherhood isn’t depicted more in books, but if you’re a children’s book author just know that it’s an untapped genre!
In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers
various authors, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
This book, filled with gorgeous images, features writing from some of my favorite African-American authors and poets. Perfect for a leisurely read, this book is one that dad will appreciate just as much as the kids.
Just the Two of Us (Scholastic Bookshelf)
by Will Smith, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
The first time I saw the video for Will Smith’s song, “Just the Two of Us”, I cried. The lyrics, all about how much Smith loves his son, touched my heart and made me happy for a world that had fathers like him. This book features the lyrics to his songs, and lovely illustrations (as usual) from Kadir Nelson.
Papa, Do You Love Me?
by Barbara Joosee, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
This book’s prose is so beautiful that I actually gasped when I read the father’s first response to his son asking him if he loves him. Set in Africa with pretty watercolor pictures, this book is one that will be great for lots and lots of bedtimes.
When I Was Little
by Toyomi Igus, illustrated by Higgins Bond
A little boy and his grandfather goes fishing, and Grandpa Will tells Noah all about what it was like when he was a young boy. Poignant and fun, this book is for the Pop-Pops.
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
by Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long
This book isn’t about dads, but it’s a dad’s book to his daughters, so it makes the list. President Barack Obama writes a love letter to his girls about our great country…and shows how much he loves them in the process.
What other books about Black fathers can you recommend? I’d love to add them to our collection!