Columbus writer, poet & founder of the Streetlight Guild, Scott Woods has been creating incredible lists that celebrate Black life beyond boycotts, buses & basketball. His lists amplify picture books featuring Black children playing, making up stories, learning life lessons and dreaming.
Scott writes, “Young people need to see positive versions of their experiences (and those of their families, schoolmates and friends) reflected in the media they consume.” We couldn’t agree more and add different cultures, young and old, need to see other people’s positive experiences to foster empathy, kindness and greater emotional intelligence.
10% of sales from Scott's selections will be gifted to Streetlight Guild, a nonprofit dedicated to curating “events across disciplines with an emphasis on Columbus-based, original, and underrepresented voices.”
"A poem-as-book self-esteem building exercise best done out loud. Emphasis on the loud." -Scott Woods (SW)
Also available as a board book.
"There has been a real uptick in books attempting to address the emotional range of children and letting them know that it’s okay to feel sad sometimes. This is a great entry in that life-affirming vein." -SW
For more #BlackJoy, check out Samara Cole Doyon's Magnificent Homespun Brown.
"Nelson is a powerful artist as well as writer, and this book is a great marriage of his gifts." -SW
"The regular Saturday rituals shared by a mother and daughter are put to the test by one challenge after another, but in a slight twist, the daughter saves the day here. A delightful call to not only employ regular social rituals into your relationships with children, but also keep in mind what’s important: that you spent time together in the first place." -SW
Don't miss Mora's award winning Thank You, Omu!
"If the title wasn’t clear, this is an alphabet book that uses plenty of Black-positive examples. You can never have enough ABC books for children who are looking to learn the alphabet, and this one expands the traditional S-is-for-sun catalog." -SW
"Queer Eye host Karamo Brown pens this warm day-in-the-city tale about a son and father enjoying each other’s similarities and answering some kid-tough questions about the future." -SW
"Girl Power to the tenth power. I love this book. And the art? Fugedaboutit." -SW
"Anything that alleviates the drama of taking a child to the barbershop should be celebrated. A beautifully done and warm book about learning to love your hair, the process of maintaining it, and the unique experience of barbershop traditions." -SW
Barnes' I Am Every Good Thing is another excellent choice. (On Sale 9/1)
"Ripped from the headlines, this book captures the true story of a young girl who came to the National Portrait Gallery and was struck by Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama. A picture of Parker Curry looking at the painting went viral on the internet, and this book was born. It’s a nice touch that she’s the author of her own story."
"A girl tries to discover the best way to unleash her many creative ideas into the world through various forms of art. It’s an important lesson in how to find the work that works for you." -SW
"You can’t have a Black children’s book list without a book on Black hair." -SW
"Aidan is a young transgender boy that discovers his mother is pregnant, which will soon make him a big brother. A great story about self-awareness, acceptance, and thanks to the art of Juanita, notions of gender run through the rare lens of race. A great book for families that struggle with this conversation." -SW
"I am always wary of celebrity books but this story by actress Lupita Nyong’o has a great message about colorism, which is one of the first things a child of color has to contend with. And Harrison’s art is magnificent." -SW
"A little older than much of this list, this modern classic proves you can make Black family magic anywhere." -SW
"This book brims with examples of a diverse and well-rounded neighborhood life with irrepressible art to boot." -SW
"If you come from a musical family – or want to – this is your joint." -SW