Monday, December 7, 2015

My Favorite Things: Christmas Books for Black Children

Every December, my mom and dad would bring all our Christmas decorations out of the attic and down to our living room.  My siblings and I would impatiently wait for my parents to anchor the tree, string lights around it, test the lights, and then add the silver tinsel.   While we waited, we would open up a special tub full of Christmas books.  These books would only be out on our coffee table during the Christmas season, and then their magic would be packed away until the next year.  

This is a tradition I've carried on for my kids, and today I want to share with you a list of Christmas books just for Black children.   I hope you'll add to your collection!  (Some are only available used from Amazon.)

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: An African-American Version (Melodye Rosales)
Under the Christmas Tree (Nikki Grimes)
We Believe in Christmas (Karen Kingsbury)
Everett Anderson’s Christmas Coming (Lucille Clifton)
A Treasury of African-American Christmas Stories (Bettye Collier-Thomas)
The Night Before Christmas (Rachel Isadora)
An Angel Just Like Me (Mary Hoffman)
EllRay Jakes Rocks the Holidays! (Sally Warner)
Christmas Soul: African American Holiday Stories (Allison Samuels)
Hold Christmas In Your Heart: African American Songs, Poems, and Stories for the Holidays (Cheryl Willis Hudson)
A Child is Born (Margaret Wise Brown)
Mary Had a Baby: An Advent Bible Study Based on African American Spirituals (Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan and Marilyn E. Thornton)
Addy’s Surprise: A Christmas Story (The American Girl Collection) (Connie Porter)
Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite (Anna Harwell Celenza)
Christmas Makes Me Think (Tony Medina)
What a Morning!: The Christmas Story in Black Spirituals (John Langstaff)
Elijah’s Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas (Michael Rosen)
The Secret of Santa’s Songbird: African American Cover Edition (D.S. Jackson)
Jump at the Sun: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Holiday Classics (Rex Perry)


  1. We also love 12 Days of Christmas, by Rachel Isadora which is set in Africa. Many of her works are set in Africa or feature African and/or black children and families. While she is not African, she did live in Africa (not sure about what country) for 10 years.

  2. My daughter loves Grace at Christmas. It is so important to have books that reflect our children's race. Thank you, I will be adding these to our reading list.

  3. Thanks for sharing this list. I've read a few, but there are some titles I'm on the way to the library to check out now.


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