This week’s pick of books that we love. These stories can be read to children of any age, while older children will be able to develop their own skills by reading to themselves.
1. Juneteenth Jamboree by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Yvonne Buchanan
A story of a young girl learning about the history of Juneteenth – a wonderful balance of history lesson and celebration, taking the reader on the same journey of discovery as main character Cassandra. Lively illustrations and fluid descriptions of cooking, making, dancing and family connections capture the spirit and sentiment of the festival.
2. Petunia by Roger Duvoisin
Petunia, the “silly goose”, is a warning tale about the disastrous consequences of pride and arrogance. After finding a book one day, Petunia decides that carrying it around is enough to give her great wisdom, and then goes about the farm dispensing unhelpful advice to all of the other animals – with funny (and sometimes dangerous) results.
3. The Fire Children, retold by Eric Maddern, illustrated by Frané Lessac
A West-African creation myth, telling the tale of how children of different colour came to be. An uplifting tale, with vivid illustrations and heart-warming narrative that offers children another narrative to life beginning on earth.
4. Rama and the Demon King: An Ancient Tale from India, by Jessica Souhami
A re-telling of the Hindu legend, a heroic love story of how good can overcome evil. Bold and dynamic illustrations move the reader from one page to the next in this fast-paced tale that introduces the origin story of Diwali, the festival of light.
5. Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees, by Franck Prévot, illustrated by Aurélia Fronty
“A tree is worth much more than its wood.” The story of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai artfully introduces children to issues of colonialism, environmentalism and racism. The book offers a powerful message of determination – that one person can enact real change. With a beautifully illustrated story at the front, and a more detailed timeline of events and context at the back, the book is both a well-crafted story and an engaging history lesson.
Have any books you think we should include in our recommendations? Share with us on Instagram @beardsand_books.