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African American Children's Books

Pacaritambo: The Machu Picchu Magazine & Children's Bookstore

Books for African American Children & Young Adults

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by Phil Mendez. Wonderful color illustrations by Carole Byard. Condition: NEW 1990 Scholastic soft cover, first printing. Tiny edge wear. Content: Jacob Miller is an inner-city boy who hates being black and poor. He reluctantly assists his little brother Peewee in making a black snowman from the filthy snow in the back alley. The figure comes alive after they unknowingly drape him in a fragment of the magical kente, a cloth worn by African storytellers for hundreds of years. The snowman challenges Jacob's outlook on life by telling him all the wonderful things that are black, and mysteriously conjuring forth brave heroes from African tribal tradition. When Peewee is trapped inside a burning building, the snowman shows Jacob a way to save his brother while exhorting the boy to believe in himself. Using mystical elements and the power of the past, Mendez, in his first book, weaves a stirring tale of Jacob's transformation from a bitter victim of his situation into a proud fighter for his life. Byard's haunting color drawings bring to life not only the snowman; they successfully portray the many contrasts between Jacob's dour moods, Peewee's optimism, the dingy apartment and the eerie parade of stately African tribesmen. The valuable lesson inherent in The Black Snowman is not just for black children but for all who struggle for identity within their own worlds. Ages 7-10. Questions welcome. [1 copy available.]
$ 3.89 + $ 3.09 media shipping.

Price: $ 3.89
Black Snowman, Phil Mendez

BLACK, WHITE, JUST RIGHT! (A Book for Interractial Children)
by Marguerite W. Davol. Perfect color illustrations by Irene Trivas. Condition: UNREAD, but not perfect, 1993 Albert Whitman hardcover (pictorial boards - no DJ issued), first printing. This is an un-shelved school library book with a stamp inside front cover and no other markings. Content: A mixed-race child celebrates the rich inclusiveness of her life in a joyful picture book. Mama's face is chestnut brown, Papa's face turns pink in the sun, the child's a little dark, a little light, "Just right!" Each double-page spread shows how members of the family are individuals with likes and dislikes, hobbies and habits that move beyond stereotype. Mom orders vegetarian; Dad orders ribs and bagels; the child likes it all. Mom does ballet; Dad dances to rap. Mom likes African masks; Dad goes for modern art; the child loves the Egyptian part of the museum. Each page has a rhyming refrain that ends, "just right." In keeping with the upbeat text, Trivas' energetic gouache illustrations are full of movement and affection. A photo of the author with her ``just-right'' grandchildren (also evidently from an interracial family) is included. (Picture book. 3-8) Questions welcome. [1 copy available.]
$ 4.89 + $ 3.19 media shipping.

Price: $ 4.89
Black, White, Just Right - Book for Interracial Children

by Wade Hudson and Valerie Wilson Wesley. B&W era portraits and/or photos. Condition: UNREAD 1992-99 Scholastic soft cover, 5th printing. Tiny edge wear. Content: In this book, the Afro-Bets Kids introduce 49 black men and women who re heroes of their time. They are scientists, writers, athletes, and singers. There is an arctic explorer named Matthew Henson and an African warrior named Shaka Zulu, along with Jesse Jackson, Harriet Tubman, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Book published before President Obama was elected.) Some are from the past and some are from today, but all of them have overcome obstacles and made important achievements. Questions welcome. [1 copy available.]
$ 4.19 + $ 3.19 media shipping.

Price: $ 4.19
Book of Black Heroes from A - Z

by Angela Shelf Medearis. Color illustrations by Samuel Byrd. Condition: INSCRIBED BY AUTHOR - general, no name of buyer. NEW 1991 Holiday House hardcover & DJ (in mylar jacket), first edition. Light edgewear to the DJ edges. Content: A young girl in the 1930's joins her family on an outing to a Native American pow-wow. They plan to dance with the Seminoles, whose ancestors rescued Grandpa from Slavery and accepted him as their brother. Based on the author's family history, this intercultural celebration recounts an African American family's participation in a Seminole Indian powwow in 1930s Oklahoma. Though Medearis's four-line verses are awkwardly rhymed and lack proper meter, her commendable work offers glimpses of a rarely explored chapter in the shared histories of two historically oppressed peoples. Questions welcome.
$ 3.59 + $ 3.19 media shipping.

Price: $ 3.59
Dancing With Indians

THE DAY MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. WAS SHOT: A Photo History of the Civil Rights Movement
by Jim Haskins. B&W era photos and era art reproductions throughout. Condition: UNREAD, but not perfect, 1992 Scholastic large soft cover, 4th printing. Light edgewear. Content: A readable and attractive photo essay recounting the struggle for civil rights in the U. S. Haskins's clearly written text and archival black-and-white photographs trace the long, hard road to equal rights for African-Americans from the earliest days of the slave trade; through the desegregation battles; to The Day Martin Luther King, Jr., Was Shot , which Haskins cites as the ``end of the civil rights era.'' Brief accounts of brave individuals, both black and white, are included: abolitionists; students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock in 1957; demonstrators who sat-in at a lunch counter in Greensboro in 1960; civil right workers who were murdered in Mississippi in 1964; and many, many more. This is an excellent overview. [1 copy available] Questions welcome.
$ 3.09 + $ 3.19 media shipping.

Price: $ 3.09
Day MLK Was Shot

retold and illustrated by Fred Crump, Jr. Wonderful, bright color illustrations. Condition: UNREAD, but not perfect, 1992 Winston-Derek soft cover, first printing. Tanning to white cover edges with very light edge wear. Interior clean & tight. Content: Retold from a Hans Christian Andersen story, this adaptation tells of an unusual duckling is born to the wrong family and must find his true family. A black swan is very rare and precious and he became the most beautiful bird on the farm - lovely message to African-American children. Age 4 and up. [1 copy available]
$ 5.49 + $ 3.29 media shipping.

Price: $ 5.49
The Ebony Duckling, Fred Crump

words & music by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr. Warm, appropriate color illustrations by Jerry Pinkney. Condition: NEW 2000 HarperCollins large soft cover, first printing. Content: A moving visual interpretation of Holiday and Herzog's swing spiritual based on the proverb, "God blessed the child that's got his own." The song serves as the inspiration for Pinkney's depiction of the Great Migration of the 1930s. Through evocative images, the artist tells the story of one family's move north. The warm and sweeping illustrations are masterful, completely filling each spread. Although the pages are rich in detail, the well-composed paintings never seem cluttered or overwhelming. There is something new to attract readers, even after several readings. The sense of the family members as a unit, as well as their emotions of hope, anxiety, and relief, are all beautifully conveyed. While a fine choice for independent reading, this title is particularly poignant when shared with a group. An author's note provides background about Pinkney's inspirations and research. This offering makes an excellent tie-in to units on African-American history. [2 copies available]
$ 5.49 + $ 3.29 media shipping.

Price: $ 5.49
God Bless The Child, Billie Holiday

GOING BACK HOME: An Artist Returns to the South (American Book Award Winner 1997)
story interpreted and written by Toyomi Igus. Beautiful vivid color illustrations by Michele Wood (who went back to the South). Condition: NEW 1998 Children's Book Press hard cover (pictorial boards) & DJ (in mylar jacket), first printing.. Light DJ edge wear. Winner 1997 American Book Award. Content: More than half a century after her family moved North to find a better life, African American artist Michele Wood returned to the South to see and feel the land where her ancestors lived. In her first book for children, Going Back Home, Wood presents her paintings inspired by this personal journey. Michele Wood collaborated with author Toyomi Igus to interpret her visual images and family stories. Igus' moving text draws on African American history to reveal the experiences of Wood's turn-of-the-century sharecropping family. Through her complex and richly-patterned art, Michele Wood places herself back in history -- in the time of her ancestors -- imagining their struggles to overcome hardship through family love and strong community. Going Back Home marks Michele Wood's memorable return to her home and heritage. [1 copy available]
$ 8.49 + $ 3.29 media shipping.

Price: $ 8.49
Going Back Home, Michele Wood

I HAVE HEARD OF A LAND (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book) [Inscribed by Author]
by Joyce Carol Thomas. Beautiful soft award-winning color illustrations by Floyd Coooper. Condition: PLEASE READ. INSCRIBED BY AUTHOR. UNREAD 1997 HarperCollins hardcover (pictorial boards) & DJ (in mylar jacket), third printing. DJ shows light edge wear and has the seal of the Coretta Scott King Award. Inscribed on top of title page. Content: Inspired by her own family's history, Thomas's stirring picture book explores the little-known experiences of African American pioneers who settled in Oklahoma during the late 1800s. This moving, poetic account of a brave black woman who stakes a claim "where the cottonwood trees are innocent/ Where the coyote's call is a lullaby at night/ And the land runs on forever" offers a new perspective on an era otherwise well-documented in picture books and school texts. In almost palpable imagery, Thomas describes the natural beauty of a bold new frontier as well as the hopeful, strong and passionate people who created new lives there and realized their dreams. In his third collaboration with Thomas, Cooper (Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea, Gingerbread Days), an Oklahoma native, completes the mood with his signature grainy, dreamy oil-wash portraits. His landscapes, dotted with trees, crops and cabins, glow in soft pink, yellow and brown hues. Scenes of a girl soaring on a homemade swing, neighbors worshipping in the open air and building a log house are particularly uplifting. The book stands alone as a pleasant slice of historical fiction, but will also hold much appeal for teachers and students. Thomas's author's note about the book's origins adds a special resonance to the proceedings. Ages 7-11. [1 copy available]
$ 5.29 + $ 3.29 media shipping.

Price: $ 5.29
I Have Heard of A Land, JOyce CArol Thomas
I Have Heard of A Land, JOyce CArol Thomas

by Alice Ross and Kent Ross (mother/son). Wonderful soft color illustrations by Ted rand. Condition: NEW 1999 Dutton Juvenile hardcover (pictorial boards) & DJ (in mylar jacket), first edition, first printing. Content: An uplifting story about the bravery of a spirited African-American girl. Before he goes off to war, Jezebel's father tells her never to be afraid, but to do what he'll be doing: "...when you get that googery-boogery creepy-crawly catchy feeling, you look it in the eye." For the next year, Jezebel visits a spooky place in the swampy wood by her house every time she gets lonely and misses her daddy, and although she gets the feeling he described many times, she stands her ground. Jezebel's character is deftly drawn as she remains steadfastly optimistic, comforting and encouraging Little Brother, reassuring her fearful Mammy, and going about her Papa's daily tasks. Rand's superb double-paged watercolor paintings are perfect complements to the text, portraying the swamp with its wild creatures and changing seasons in loving detail from "moky" fall twilight to a cold foggy winter's morning to a hot summer's evening. Jezebel's admirable personality is wonderfully pictured as is Mammy's pessimistic timorousness. The text is artistically set in a white box bordered in dark red. An exceptional offering in every respect. [1 copy available]
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Price: $ 5.29
Jezebel's Spooky Spot

MIRANDY AND BROTHER WIND (Dragonfly Books, Caldecott Honor Book)
by Patricia C. McKissack. Wonderful color paintings by Jerry Pinkney. Condition: NEW 1996 Dragonfly large paperback, first printing. Caldecott Honor Book. Tiny edge wear top front cover corner tip. Content: Mirandy is determined to capture the best partner for the junior cakewalk jubilee. And who is the best partner? The wind, of course! Grandmama Beasley says, “Can’t nobody put shackles on Brother Wind, chile. He be special. He be free.” With neighbors up and down Ridgetop suggesting all manner of strategies, and friend Ezel laughing at each foiled one, Mirandy grows ever more determined: she’ll get hold of that Brother Wind yet! McKissack’s thoroughly engaging tale dances with spirit and rollicking good humor. Complemented by Jerry Pinkney’s rich, eye-catching watercolors of the rural South, here’s one of those rare, rewarding picture books that is sure to be read and enjoyed again and again. Recipe for cakewalk included. [1 copy available]
$ 2.49 + $ 3.09 media shipping.

Price: $ 2.49
Mirandy & Brother Wind
Mirandy & Brother Wind

MY BROTHER MARTIN: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Christine King Farris. Wonderful color illustrations by Chris Soentpiet. Condition: NEW 2003 Scholastic soft cover, 5th printing. Tiny tiny edge wear. Content: In the straightforward style of a master storyteller, Farris recalls the birth of her two younger brothers and relates anecdotes that demonstrate both the mischievous exploits of the siblings and the love and understanding that permeated the close-knit multigenerational family in which they grew up. Using plain language, she describes conditions in the South during her childhood that separated blacks and whites- "Because they just don't understand that everyone is the same, but someday, it will be better." From their father's church sermons and his actions when confronting the hatred and bigotry, the children learned the importance of standing up for justice and equality. The warmth of the text is exquisitely echoed in Soentpiet's realistic, light-filled watercolor portraits set in the King home, in their Atlanta neighborhood, and at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The simple directness of this short biography will help young children understand the concept of segregation and the importance of Dr. King's message. An appended poem by Mildred D. Johnson reflects Farris's own message: "-it is important for young people to realize the potential that lies within each of them-." This outstanding book belongs in every collection. Ages 9 - 12. [1 copy left].
$ 2.69 + $ 3.09 media shipping.

Price: $ 2.69
My Brother Martin, Christine Farris

by Linda Jacobs Altman. Warm, strong color illustrations by Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu. Condition: NEW 2000 Lee & Low soft cover, second printing. Content: Best friends Rosabel and Sophia are outsiders in gold rush California. Rosabel has freedom papers, but she's the daughter of a runaway slave; Sophia belongs to the only Jewish family in town. When a slave catcher seizes Rosabel's mother, "Miz Violet," the two resourceful girls pan for gold, finally discover it in a cave, and use their claim to buy the freedom of Miz Violet and four other slaves. The informal tone and colloquial language establish a distinctive storyteller's voice. Cultural and historical facts are smoothly integrated into the story, but the focus is squarely on the friendship. Dappled watercolor illustrations provide interesting period details. Dramatic postures and vivid facial expressions reflect and embellish the narrative. Children will identify with the spunky, resourceful girls and enjoy the expeditious resolution. With multicultural and historical themes, this original "legend" will enhance social studies curricula. Ages 5 - 10. [1 copy available.]
$ 4.49 + $ 3.19 media shipping..

Price: $ 4.49
The Legend of Freedom Hill, Children's friendship

THE PEOPLE COULD FLY: American Black Folktales
retold by Virginia Hamilton. Wrap-around cover art and interior B&W illustrations by Leo & Diane Dillon. Condition: UNREAD 1993 Knopf large soft cover, third printing. Tiny shelf wear "ding" spine. Content: Hamilton, Newbery Medal winner and recipient of the National Book Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award, teams up with two-time Caldecott Medal winners, Leo and Diane Dillon, in this classic collection of American black folktales, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award. By turns droll, grisly, and spine-tingling, the 24 stories celebrate the indomitable human spirit, surviving under the most crushing circumstances of slavery. Traditionally, storytelling has helped people to push through sorrow and pain, especially when the stories are saturated with magic, mysticism, and fantasy. Bruh Rabbit, He Lion, Tar Baby, and other animals populate many of the stories. In others, John, the traditional trickster hero, outwits the slave owner time after time to win his freedom. Reviewer: "This book rates way up there as a wonderful resource for anyone who is trying to raise children to have an appreciation for the cultures that make up our great country. As a home educator, I am always on the lookout for multi-cultural resources that provide a window into the backgrounds of others. Since the author writes from personal background experience, as well as research into the African-American folktales, I believe it is an excellent representation of stories that children would have grown up with in that culture. Besides, it's exciting, interesting, fun to read aloud, and has wonderful illustrations! " Just wonderful, IMHO. Questions welcome. [1copy available]
$ 8.00 + $ 3.19 media shipping. International shipping available.

Price: $ 8.00
People Could Fly, African American Folktales
People Could Fly, African American Folktales

by Robert Coles. Warm & appropriate color illustrations by George Ford. Condition: NEW 1996 Scholastic soft cover, 23rd printing. Content: Sustained by family and faith, one brave six-year-old child found the strength to walk alone through howling protesters and enter a whites-only school in New Orleans in 1960. Ruby Bridges did it every day for weeks that turned into months. The white parents withdrew their kids, and Ruby sat alone with her teacher in an empty classroom in an empty building and learned her lessons. Harvard professor Cole has written powerful adult books about children in crisis and about children's moral and political lives. Here he tells one girl's heroic story, part of the history of ordinary people who have changed the world. He tells it quietly, as an adult, and the simplicity is moving, though kids might want some indication of Ruby's personal experience, what it was like to be her. Ford's moving watercolor paintings mixed with acrylic ink are predominantly in sepia shades of brown and red. They capture the physical warmth of Ruby's family and community, the immense powers against her, and her shining inner strength. Ages 5 - 9. The 1998 made-for-TV movie was directed by Euzhan Palcy and starred, Kevin Pollak, Penelope Ann Miller, Chaz Monet, Michael Beach, & Diana Scarwid. [1 copy available]
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Price: $ 3.49
Story of Ruby Bridges

TAR BEACH (Reading Rainbow)
text and color illustrations by Faith Ringgold. Condition: UNREAD, but not perfect, 1992 Scholastic large soft cover, 12th printing. Light shelf wear. Content: Tar Beach is a work of modern art translated into a children's picture book, and the adaptation is so natural that it seems inevitable. From her 1988 story quilt, reproduced on the cover and within the last pages of the book, Ringgold has taken both the setting and the text. The painted scene in the center of the quilt shows a Harlem rooftop on a starry night with four adults playing cards and with Cassie Louise Lightfoot and her brother, Be Be, lying on a blanket gazing at the sky. Cassie sees herself flying over the city lights; dreams of wearing the George Washington Bridge as a necklace; imagines giving her father the union building he is not allowed to join because of his half-black, half-Indian heritage; flies over the ice cream factory; and takes her little brother with her to the sky. Cassie's story, written along the borders of the quilt in tiny script, becomes the text of the book. The illustrations painted for the book version are done in the same colorful, naive style as the quilt. This type of art translates beautifully into the storybook format, and a border of bright fabric designs on the bottom of each page duplicates the material used in the quilt. In capturing the euphoria of a child's dreams, and in its gentle reminder of the social injustices of the adult world, the book is both universal and contemporary. Grades 3 - 6. [1 copy available]
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Price: $ 3.89
Tar Beach

by Lewis Fenderson. Condition: Good condition only. 1969 McGraw-Hill hardcover (pictorial boards). Ex-library book (school) with small edgewear and light rubbings front cover, and an unfortunate note of "Discard" upper front cover. Interior is clean & tight with B&W illustrations by Dave Hodges. Content: A good children's book on civil rights and the man who fought for equality.
$ 2.95 + $ 3.19 media shipping.

Price: $ 2.95
Thurgood Marshall

by Willie Perdomo. Warm & colorful illustrations by Bryan Collier. Condition: NEW 2002 Henry Holt hardcover (pictorial boards) & DJ (in mylar jacket), first edition, first printing. Content: A rhythmic poem in praise of Langston Hughes and the writer's craft. The poem is presented by a young girl who is off to visit Hughes's Harlem home with her father. It begins, "Today I'm going to wear/My favorite pink blouse/I'm going with my daddy/To visit Langston's house." Readers quickly learn that, like Hughes, the girl is a writer and resident of Harlem. Powerful in its simplicity, the text explores the child's special connection to the famous man. Text and illustrations complement one another perfectly as the pages of the book come to life with energetic purpose and delight. Done with a mixture of collage and watercolor with dramatic results, Collier's artwork uses muted shades of green, purple, and brown and yet shines with brilliant bits of patterns and textures. While this is obviously an urban landscape, the girl's enthusiasm and talent have universal appeal. It is also a wonderful way to introduce youngsters to a great American poet. Grades 2 - 4. [1 copy available.]
$ 6.45 + $ 3.29 media shipping.

Price: $ 6.45
Visiting Langston
Visiting Langston

by Nataliia Bielous. Condition: NEW package of 12 bookplates made by pacaritambo books. The peel-off label stock is heavier than most bookplate materials and is matte and not glossy. They are as perfect as possible, and we feel the subject matter is much different than you can get anywhere else. 3.5" wide x 4.0" high. We can personalize your bookplate (the font is Snell Blk BT) - just email us the name. Any questions, click here to email us. Content: Adorable little fairies with peach-colored wings posing in the tall grass and colored mushrooms with a background of active fireflies. Sweet.
$ 4.00 + $ 2.85 first class shipping. International shipping available.

Price: $ 4.00
AfroAmerican Bookplates

art by David McPhail. Condition: NEW package of 12 bookplates made by pacaritambo books. The peel-off label stock is heavier than most bookplate materials and is matte and not glossy. They are as perfect as possible, and we feel the subject matter is much different than you can get anywhere else. 4.0 wide x 3.00 high. Content: Times gone past - two boys spending an afternoon sitting on a log and enjoying nature. We can personalize your bookplate (the font is Kids) - just email us the name. Any questions, click here to email us.
$ 4.00 + $ 2.85 first class shipping. International shipping available.

Price: $ 4.00
2 Boys on a Log Bookplates, Kids

African American Children