Reading recommendations

Snippets: A Story About Paper Shapes by Diane Alber (author and illustrator)

Snippet finds himself in a world full of perfect shapes and soon realizes his odd shape doesn’t fit in. Despite being put down for his abnormally long top, Snippet’s confidence in his unique shape gives him the ability to show how everyone is stronger together than they are apart.

I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont (author) and David Catrow (illustrator)

Full of energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves—inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! At once silly and serious, I Like Myself! features joyous rhyming text and vibrant illustrations in a book that is sassy, soulful, and straight from the heart.

Hold Them Close: A Love Letter to Black Children by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (author) and Patrick Dougher (illustrator)

As affirming as it is touching and warm, Hold Them Close encourages young children to hold close their joy, the words of their ancestors and elders, as well as their power to change the world. When happy things come to you, hold them close and never let go.

The Best Part of Me: Children Talk About their Bodies in Pictures and Words by Wendy Ewald (author)

An award-winning photographer asked several children What is the best part of you? Their answers are presented in this sometimes funny, sometimes moving, deeply personal book that includes striking black-and-white photographs taken by the author. Ideal for parents and teachers to use to discuss body image, self-esteem, and diversity with children.

Making a Great Exhibition by Doro Globus (author) and Rose Blake (illustrator)

How does an artist make a sculpture or a painting? What tools do they use? What happens to the artwork next? This fun, inside look at the life of an artwork shows the journey of two artists’ work from studio to exhibition. Stopping along the way we meet colorful characters—curators, photographers, shippers, museum visitors, and more!

My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey by Jeanne Walker Harvey (author) and Elizabeth Zunon (illustrator)

As a young boy growing up in North Carolina, Romare Bearden listened to his great-grandmother’s Cherokee stories and heard the whistle of the train that took his people to the North—people who wanted to be free. When Romare boarded that same train, he watched out the window as the world whizzed by. Later, he captured those scenes in his artwork.

Black Artists Shaping the World! by Sharna Jackson (author) and Zoé Whitley (illustrator)

Dedicated to the work of contemporary Black artists from around the world, this book is an exuberant introduction to artists from Africa and of African descent for young readers.

Thank You, Omu! and Gracias, Omu! (Spanish edition) by Oge Mora(author and illustrator)

Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu’s delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?

The Story of Juneteenth by Dorena Williamson (author) and Markia Jenai (illustrator)

What are the origins of America’s newest national holiday? With simple, age-appropriate language and colorful illustrations, this book introduces children to the events of June 19, 1865, when all enslaved people were declared free after the Civil War had ended. The Story of Juneteenth distills a pivotal moment in US history and creates an opportunity for further conversation between parent or caregiver and child.

Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage
is on view at the Frist from September 15–December 31, 2023.

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Presented in part by

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