diversity

25+ Chinese Children’s Books to Celebrate Black History Month

Since February is Black History Month, I put together this list to help you and your little ones celebrate. Of course we don’t want to be only including and reading diverse children’s books during Black History month.

The recent increase in racial conflicts in America is a great reminder of how important it is that we as parents do our part in educating our children about racism. There is no better and easier way to do this than with children’s books that feature black protagonists!

These books that present Blacks in a positive light help dismantle stereotypes.

black history month chinese children's books language learning bilingual parenting mandarin african american 兒童圖書繪本非洲美國

I believe that conversations on diversity and racism is something we need to be intentional about addressing with our kids. We can do our part as parents to end racism.

Not only are these conversations much needed to raise loving and kind children, but also to prepare them for life in an increasingly globalized world.

Growing up as a child in a predominantly Caucasian suburb and raising my daughter bilingual for three years in rural Minnesota where I was the only minority most of the time, I’ve had my share of ignorant comments and microaggresion. During the recent increase of Anti-Asian racism and xenophobia during COVID19, I was shocked when a White couple threw racist remarks towards me then made a show of avoiding me in fear of catching Coronavirus at Target.

These experiences are only a glimpse into what our Black brothers and sisters face daily. These situations only convince me of how imperative it is that we talk about racism with our children.

Chinese Children’s Books for Black History Month

下雪天/The Snowy Day

black history month chinese children's books language learning bilingual parenting mandarin african american 兒童圖書繪本非洲美國
  • Author & Illustrator: Ezra Keats
  • Synopsis: This is Ezra Keats’ first independent children’s book where he was both the author and illustrator. Growing in up in Brooklyn as a Polish Jew, he wanted minority children to be represented in the books they read, “none of the manuscripts I’d been illustrating featured any black kids — except for token blacks in the background. My book would have him there simply because he should have been there all along.” I love how he used his artistic talents and his philosophy behind it: “If we could see each other exactly as the other is, this would be a different world.” I believe his works are a great addition to your library for Black History Month. The story of Snowy Day follows Peter on his winter adventure in his neighborhood. The story was originally published in 1962.
  • Book Info:
    • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789577623386
    • Simplified Chinese ISBN: 9787533258061
  • Other Ezra Keat’s children’s books featuring African American children as the hero/central character:
    • 路易/Louie
      • Simplified Chinese ISBN: 9789866205262
    • 問候月球上的人/Regards to the Man in the Moon
      • Simplified Chinese ISBN: 9789866735882
      • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789866735882
    • 嗨!小貓/Hi, Cat
      • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789577624673
    • 給艾美的信/A Letter to Amy
      • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789577624659
    • 彼得的口哨/Whistle for Willie
      • Simplified Chinese ISBN: 9787559804037
    • 防风镜/Goggles!
      • Simplified Chinese ISBN: 9787559802231

My book would have him (black kids) there simply because he should have been there all along.

-Ezra Keats

我做得到!小科學家艾達/Ada Twist, Scientist

black history month chinese children's books language learning bilingual parenting mandarin african american 兒童圖書繪本非洲美國
  • Author: Andrea Beaty
  • Synopsis: The story is about a little girl named Ada who is curious, adventurous and love to solve the mysteries around her. Love how this book features a black girl as the main character. So important to read books to our children that put Blacks in a positive light.
  • Book Info:
    • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789864793730
    • Simplified Chinese ISBN:  9787499408173

不簡單女孩2 有數學頭腦的女孩:工程師瑞‧蒙特固的故事/The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague

black history month chinese children's books language learning bilingual parenting mandarin african american 兒童圖書繪本非洲美國
  • Author: Julia Finley Mosca
  • Synopsis: This is the inspiring story of Raye Montague who was a navel engineer. I love how more books like these are being translated into Chinese to inspire young women gifted in science and math to overcoming stereotypes. This book really touches on racism in a way that kids can understand. I’ve been reading this with my daughter and we’ve had good talks about racism through it.
  • Book Info:
    • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789578423701

不簡單女孩3 眼光獨到的女孩:派翠西亞‧巴斯醫師的故事/The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes:The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath

black protagonist children's book
  • Author: Julia Finley Mosca
  • Synopsis: This is yet another wonderful book by the same author on Dr. Patricia Bath, an ophthalmologist, laser scientist and inventor. A great book that puts Blacks in a positive light and talks about the racism she encountered while pursuing her dreams. Great for discussion on racism.
  • Book Info:
    • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789578423718

送報男孩/小报童/The Paperboy

black history month chinese children's books language learning bilingual parenting mandarin african american 兒童圖書繪本非洲美國
  • Author: Dav Pilkey
  • Synopsis: This is a story of a boy and a dog and the events they encounter. It’s a great book that addresses the struggle of many kids, the desire to fit in and please one’s parents. Reading books that help kids see the similarities they share with people that look different from them helps cultivate empathy and kindness.
  • Book info:
    • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789862941508
    • Simplified Chinese ISBN: 9787550283367

水公主/The Water Princess

black history month chinese children's books language learning bilingual parenting mandarin african american 兒童圖書繪本非洲美國
  • Author: Susan Verde, Georgie Badiel
  • Synopsis: This is the true story of Georgie Badiel, model and activist. It’s a wonderful book to help kids be exposed to the what other children’s living conditions are like. A wonderful book to ignite discussions.
  • Book Info:
    • Traditional ISBN: 9789864001750
    • Simplified ISBN: 9787559804174
  • Other Chinese children’s books on life in Africa:
    • 花豹東戈的詭計:非洲音樂/La musique africaine : timbélélé et la reine lune
      • by: Claude Helft
      • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9862034157
    • 勇敢的小獵人:饒舌音樂/Le rap : tom’bé et le lion:
      • by: Paule Du Bouchet
      • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9862034114
    • 馭風逐夢的男孩:威廉坎寬巴/The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
      • By: William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer
      • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789864402021
    • 打鼓男孩/The Drummer Boy
      • by: Su Hyeon Min
      • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789570850123
    • 交換禮物:非洲童話/I doni scambiati: una fiaba africana
      • by: Pia Valentinis
      • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9862033959
    • 我只是想要說晚安/ I Just Want to Say Good Night
      • by: Rachel Isadora
      • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789577626332

自由之路──黑人摩西海莉.塔布曼的故事/Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

black history month chinese children's books language learning bilingual parenting mandarin african american 兒童圖書繪本非洲美國
  • Author: Carole Boston Weatherford 卡蘿.波士頓.惠特福德
  • Synopsis: This book takes its readers through the story of Harriet Tubman: her faith, how God called her to be Moses of her people and her treacherous journey to freedom.
  • Book info:
    • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789866735486
  • Where to Purchase:
  • Although there are many Chinese children’s books on slavery, it’s important to incorporate books that also talk about other aspects of African American history. The history of Black people and who they are is not just slavery just as Asians aren’t just good at Kong Fu. Below are more children’s books on slavery:
    • 陶工戴夫:藝術家,詩人,奴隸/ Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
      • by Laban Carrick Hill and Bryan Collier
      • Simplified Chinese ISBN: 9787550278738)
    • 摘棉花/Working Cotton
      • by: Sherley Anne Williams and Carole Byard
      • Simplified Chinese ISBN: 9787531575689
    • 舞吧!自由之舞/Freedom in Congo Square
      • by: Carole Boston Weatherford
      • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789864272310
    • 歷史現場繪本3:通往自由的引路人/Beacon to Freedom
      • by: Jenna Glatzer
      • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789864272006

永不妥協-曼德拉 Mandela

children's books with black protagonists
  • Author: Floyd Cooper
  • Synopsis: This is the story of South Africa’s first elected black President and civil rights leader, Nelson Mandela. The story goes through his childhood and the lasting impact his father had on him to hold onto one’s beliefs.
  • Book Info:
    • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789577458803
  • Another book on Nelson Mandela 曼德拉:打不倒的自由戰士
    • by:  詹文維
    • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789571458809

我有一个梦想/Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

black history month chinese children's books language learning bilingual parenting mandarin african american 兒童圖書繪本非洲美國
  • Author: Doreen Rappaport
  • Synopsis: This is a book on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the trying time in history he grew up in. This would be a great book to introduce kids to the challenges that occurred during the civil rights movement and encourage discussion on the matter as you celebrate Black History Month.
  • Book Info:
    • Simplified ISBN: 9787541756481
  • Another book on Martin Luther King Jr.: 馬丁‧路德‧金恩:我有一個夢想
    • by:  胡其瑞
    • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789571458755

市場街最後一站/Last Stop on Market Street

black history month chinese children's books language learning bilingual parenting mandarin african american 兒童圖書繪本非洲美國
  • Author: Matt de la Peña
  • Synopsis: The story follows CJ and his grandmother (Nana) as they leave church and take the bus to the soup kitchen where they go to help out. Throughout the story, Nana helps point CJ to the blessings hidden within the ordinary things he points out and questions throughout their trip. This is yet another wonderful story where the central character is African American.
  • Book Info:
    • Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789863209812
    • Simplified Chinese ISBN: 9787508663098

This is not an inclusive list of children’s books to help you celebrate Black History month. I wish there were more Chinese children’s books out there representing the diverse backgrounds and stories of African Americans. It actually took a bit of digging for me to find these. Thankfully, I do notice a movement to translate more into Chinese and I look forward to reading them to my daughter in the future.

What about you? How have you discussed diversity with your children? What are some great Chinese children’s books you have found on the topic? Please share below!

More Ways to Discuss Diversity at Home

More Resources to Help You Have Fun Teaching Your Kids Chinese!

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Sunny

Hi, I’m Sunny, busy 媽咪 + believer, wrangling our talkative & silly four year old. Thanks for stopping by! I share tid-bits of what I’ve learned and created while teaching my daughter Mandarin Chinese in hopes of simplifying your journey. Hope you find some sunshine here.

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