Picture Books for Black Children to love their Natural Hair

30 Awesome Picture Books Uplifting Black Kids with Natural Hair

by ComfyGirlWithCurls

Growing up as a little black girl, I had access to very few books featuring black kids (or children of color in general), but times are changing. Now, there are a lot more books holding up a mirror to marginalized kids, encouraging them to celebrate their natural hair, and to practice self-love.

Here’s a list of picture books that black kids can see themselves in! (And it is by no-means all-encompassing).

Some of these stories are right on the nose, addressing self-love head-on. Some simply feature black characters with natural hair styles, going on adventures! (Something I always yearned for as a kid).

These books are a mix of indie and traditionally published books, so get on out there, support authors working to fill the void, and help kids see themselves in print!

Related: Part 2: 33 MORE Books for little black girls and boys!

*This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, if you click them and make a purchase, I may make a small commission (which helps support the growth of this blog).*

Children’s Books about Natural Hair

1. Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Hair Love has gained a lot of much-deserved attention, as it highlights the heart-warming relationship between a father and daughter.

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison. Father and Daughter story.

2. Hair Like Mine by LaTashia M. Perry, Illustrated by Bea Jackson

Hair Like Mine is the story of a little girl who doesn’t like her curly natural hair. As she searches for someone with hair like hers, she realizes we are all unique and special in our own way. (Details on Perry’s second book below!)

Hair Like Mine by LaTashia M. Perry, Illustrated by Bea Jackson

3. My Hair by Hannah Lee, Illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan

My Hair tells the story of a little girl getting ready for her birthday celebration. As she considers how she should style her hair for the big event, we get to see the beauty in a variety of Natural Hair Styles.

My Hair by Hannah Lee, Illustrated by  Allen Fatimaharan

4. My Curly Perfection by Chelsetia Davis, Illustrated by Mariel Garcia

My Curly Perfection is a story about a young girl struggling to accept her curls. This book aims to empower children with natural hair.

My Curly Perfection by Chelsetia Davis, Illustrated by Mariel Garcia

5. Afros, Braids, & Curls ABCs For Curly Girls by Daniela J. Lopez & Christen A. Whyte

Afros, Braids, & Curls is a beautifully-illustrated, rhyming alphabet book promoting love for different natural hairstyles.

Afros, Braids, & Curls ABCs For Curly Girls by Daniela J. Lopez  & Christen A. Whyte

6. Emi’s Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair by Tina Olajide, Illustrated by Courtney Bernard

Emi’s Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair is about a little girl with a BIG imagination. Emi shares the things she loves about her natural hair, and the book shares some fun and memorable hair-care tips.

Emi's Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair by Tina Olajide, Illustrated by Courtney Bernard

7. I Love my Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

I Love my Hair! teaches young readers to do exactly what the title proclaims! It encourages self-love, and to appreciate the uniqueness of natural hair.

I Love my Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. With Braided style.

8. Love Your Hair! by Phoenyx Austin, M.D.

Love Your Hair! is a children’s book follow-up to the natural hair care book: If You Love It, It Will Grow. Filled with positive imagery and fun-rhymes, it takes children on a journey of self-love!

Love Your Hair! by Phoenyx Austin, M.D.

9. Zozo Afro by Chuze Baba, Illustrated by Julia Pelikhovich

Zozo Afro, The boy who is very proud of his afro hair, is a fresh change. It’s a natural hair appreciation story featuring a young black boy. It’s about a boy who brings his wooden comb to school for show and tell, sharing his pride in his hair and his family history.

Zozo Afro by Chuze Baba, Illustrated by Julia Pelikhovich. Children's Natural Hair Book featuring a black boy.

10. I Love my Happy Hair! by Dr. Linda J.M. Holloway, Illustrated by Ryan Battle

I Love my Happy Hair! is a story about a girl navigating the love for her natural hair amidst negative and hurtful comments.

Zozo Afro by Chuze Baba, Illustrated by Julia Pelikhovich

11. Big Hair, Don’t Care! by Crystal Swain-Bates

Big Hair, Don’t Care! is another one that hooked me on the title alone. As a kid, I wanted to do as much as possible to make my hair lie flat–to make it less big. So this story, about a little girl loving her big, big hair, would have been exactly what I needed!

Big Hair, Don't Care! by Crystal Swain-Bates

12. Happy to be Nappy by Bell Hooks and Chris Raschka

Happy to be Nappy is a lyrical board book with beautifully unique illustrations, and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Happy to be Nappy by Bell Hooks and Chris Raschka. Classic Children's book for african american kids.

13. The Curly Hair Club by Saccheen Laing

The Curly Hair Club is the story of a little girl struggling accept her hair. Not only does she overcome her struggle, but she teaches others to love their curls too!

The Curly Hair Club by Saccheen Laing

14. Don’t Touch My Hair! by Sharee Miller

Don’t Touch my Hair! because of the title alone, has a soft spot in my heart. It teaches kids that they don’t have to be a petting zoo animal, and that it’s okay to enforce your personal space. That’s something I didn’t learn until my twenties!

Don't Touch My Hair! by Sharee Miller. Children's book that teaches young kids bodily autonomy.

16. Love Thy Fro by Casey Elisha

Love thy Fro has a simple message: Love your hair! It aims to teach little girls the importance of loving their curls. In the UK, there is also a musical adaptation of the book!

Love thy Fro . Written by Casey Elisha. Children's Book that has been adapted into a musical!

Picture Books Featuring Black Characters on Adventures

15. The Magic of Bailey B. by Brooke Ennis, Illustrated by Antonella Cammarano

The Magic of Bailey B. is a fun story of a little girl with a creative mind. Read along as she brings her dramatic play to life! I love that her natural hair is styled in braids on the cover!

The Magic of Bailey B. by Brooke Ennis, Illustrated by Antonella Cammarano

16. Muhiima’s Quest by Rahma Rodaah, Illustrated by Daria Horb

In Muhiima’s Quest, Muhiima wakes up on her 10th birthday with an unusual surprise. Her mother gives her a map, and sends her on a quest through town.

The Magic of Bailey B. by Brooke Ennis, Illustrated by Antonella Cammarano

17. Simone Visits the Museum by Kelsi Bracmort, Illustrated by Takeia Marie

In Simone Visits the Museum, Simone visits the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. When she loses something she values, she learns about the importance of paying attention to surroundings, responsibility, and family. I love the braided hairstyle on the cover!

Simone Visits the Museum by Kelsi Bracmort, Illustrated by Takeia Marie. Featuring a black girl with braids on the cover.

18. I’m a Pretty Princess by Crystal Swain-Baits

I’m a Pretty Princess is all I think I wanted as a young girl–a story featuring a little black girl who happens to be a princess. (With some good life-lessons speckled in).

I'm a Pretty Princess by Cfrystal Swain Baits. A Picture Book Featuring a Black (African American)  Child

19. I Dream of Being by The Wright Family

I Dream of Being is the story of two little black kids who go off to explore the galaxy! Journey with them and discover what they dream to be!

I Dream of Being by the Wright Family . A Children's book featuring two black (African American) Kids going on an adventure.

Other books to inspire black kids and teach them self-love

21 & 22. I Am Enough and I Believe I Can by Grace Byers, Illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo

Both I Am Enough and I Believe I can are affirmation stories, encouraging little kids to love themselves, and believe in themselves.

I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo. Girl with Big Natural Hair on the cover

I Believe I can by Grace Byers and Illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo. Black Kids on the cover

23. Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Sulwe is the story of a little black girl with skin the color of midnight, who wishes to be brighter–lighter–just like her mother and sister. But a magical journey opens her eyes and changes everything.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o, illustrated by Vashti Harrison. Picture Book about a dark-skinned black child.

24. Skin Like Mine by Latashia M. Perry , Illustrated by Bea Jackson

Skin Like Mine is another book from Perry and Jackson, this one encouraging children of color to love the skin they’re in, and celebrate the diversity around them.

Skin Like Mine by Latashia M. Perry , Illustrated by Bea Jackson. | Children's Books with Children of Color on the cover

25. Ava Learned to Sparkle by Stephany Jean

Ava Learned to Sparkle is geared towards elementary school children, and designed to help teach them self-confidence.

Ava Learned to Sparkle (A Story about cultivating confidence) Stephany Jean. Children's Book with Black Girl with puffs on the cover

26. This Little Black Girl – I am Enough by Shontae Smith, Illustrated by Cameron Wilso

Just like the name declares, this book hopes to help little black girls understand that they are enough.

This little black girl - I am enough by Shontae Smith  Picture Book with Black Girl on Cover

27. Little Leaders – Bold Women In Black History by Vashti Harrison

Little Leaders – Bold Women in Black History is fun, educational, and beautifully illustrated. It shines light on the stories of forty black women in history. Written with children in mind, but brilliant for all ages.

Little Leaders - Bold Women In Black History by Vashti Harrison

28. Parker Looks Up – An Extraordinary Moment by Parker Curry & Jessica Curry, Illustrated by Brittany Jackson

Parker Looks Up is inspired by Amy Sherald’s portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery. The story of a little girl visiting a museum, who looks up to see the aforementioned portrait, and is mesmerized by what she sees.

Parker Looks Up - An Extraordinary Moment by Parker Curry & Jessica Curry, Illustrated by Brittany Jackson

29. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by Rafael López

The Day You Begin is a realistic, but tender story that helps prepare young children for their first day of school. It talks about what could happen if they enter a room, and no one there looks like them.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by Rafael López |  Picture Book with Black Girl on Cover at her first day of school

30. The Night is Yours by Abdul-Razak Zacariah, Illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo

The Night is Yours is a story of self-confidence, told through the tale of a little girl playing hide and seek after nightfall.

The Night is Yours by Abdul-Razak Zacariah, Illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo | Picture Book with Black Girl on Cover

Bonus: Natural Hair Coloring Books for Black Kids (and Adults)

I Love My Hair

I Love My Hair - Coloring Book of Braids, Coils, and Doodle Dos by Andrea Pippins
by Andrea Pippins

Color My Fro

Color My Fro _ A Natural Hair Coloring Book for Big Hair Lovers of All Ages by Crustal Swain-Bates. Illustrated by Janine Carrington
by Crystal Swain-Bates, Illustrated by Janine Carrington

My Curly Perfection

My Curly Perfection Coloring Book By Chelsetia Davis, Illustrated by Mariel Garcia
By Chelsetia Davis, Illustrated by Mariel Garcia


Finished this list? Hop on over to Part 2: 33 MORE Books for little black girls and boys!

Have you read any of these books for and featuring black characters? Let’s help each other out; share your favorites! And this is by no means all there is out there, so please, add your recommendations below in the comments! We want to see what books are out there for kids with Natural Hair! These are the books I wish for all little black girls to have!

*Special thanks to Rabia Shay and Janna Noelle for some of these recommendations!*

And finally, please share this post with your friends and family; representation matters!

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30 Awesome Picture Books Uplifting Black Kids with Natural Hair

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15 comments

A Good Woman on a Quest for "The Good Man" September 26, 2020 - 2:01 am

Great post! Please consider checking out “Beyond Color” , a book encouraging love and respect for all races and skin color. Available at Amazon. https://amzn.to/3cw806R

Reply
Isadora Freire (@Isadora26780976) June 23, 2020 - 3:55 pm

Hello! I send you a comments at Instagram. Do you know the title of this girl’s book? https://twitter.com/gabicoelho/status/1229049901813764106

Reply
Amanda Lynch August 26, 2019 - 10:36 am

Please also check out, The Mindfulness Room. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0578533812/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Follow My’Angel’s journey as she learns how to feel sad sometimes and still find her smile again. Walk like a dinosaur, breathe like a chicken, be still, and listen to your body. All children can benefit from adding these basic mindfulness skills to their wellness toolkit. The Mindfulness Room is a beautifully illustrated and fun family read, a touching story, perfect for teaching kids how to meditate and introducing them to mindfulness strategies that can help them manage their bodies, breath, and emotions.

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Michelle Booker August 2, 2019 - 5:16 am

I recommend Loving Me, Loving Me Naturally https://www.lmlmnaturally.com/
Love seeing all of these books in one place. I look forward to reading, collecting and sharing each one!

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Caroline July 31, 2019 - 6:59 am

I love seeing all of these books. I’m glad to see more of our image in children’s books. Please check out my newly published book called “Jasmine hates wash hair days ” by Caroline Reme. https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/jasmine-hates-wash-hair-days-caroline-reme/1128896262?ean=9780996461504

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Desrene July 30, 2019 - 7:32 am

I recommend the Loving Me Series of books by Angelot Ndongmo. https://lovingmeseries.com

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Emilie July 26, 2019 - 6:04 am

These all look great! If your looking for more, we LOVE “Penny and the Magic Puffballs”

https://pennyandthemagicpuffballs.com/

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Christine Gibson July 28, 2019 - 5:52 am

These books are Awesome. Check out Christine’s Big Hair Adventures http://www.Christinesbighairadventures.com

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Iyaniwura O July 24, 2019 - 10:00 pm

My favorite book was I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont! I still have my childhood copy ❤️

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Teresa Kennedy July 24, 2019 - 5:52 pm Reply
Margie Culver July 24, 2019 - 7:53 am

This is a lovely collection. Woud you consider My Hair Is A Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera?

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ComfyGirlWithCurls July 24, 2019 - 8:09 am

Thank you for this! I’m looking at a part 2, because I’ve had so many lovely recommendations!

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Lora A McClain-Muhammad July 24, 2019 - 5:08 am

My new coloring book for black and brown girls everywhere with encouraging words from A-Z! It depicts our girls beautifully from their hair texture to their skin complexion! #BlackGirlMagic! 🖍📚👸🏽💫https://www.amazon.com/dp/109752213X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_aiAbDbPG1JX0R

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Trudy July 22, 2019 - 6:02 pm

Love this post! Well done.xox

Reply

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