Get ready to celebrate Black Children's Book Week! This week is dedicated to honoring the brilliance and creativity of Black authors, illustrators, and stories and the representation of Black children in books and media.
Black Children's Book Week was started two years ago as a global initiative and is administered by BlackBabyBooks.com. Click HERE to learn more about how to get involved in the celebration.
R2S is a proud sponsor of BCBW 2024! Don't miss this lineup of Black children's books by authors connected to R2S and Asheville - CLICK HERE .
3 Events to Attend
From captivating author visits that spark thought to interactive virtual read-alouds, this is your invitation to celebrate diversity, embrace imagination, and ignite a lifelong love of reading in our WNC community during Black Children's Book Week!
What: Jason Reynolds - Look Both Ways: Progress and Resistance in Creating Equitable Education
When: Thursday, Feb. 29,2024 6:30PM-8PM
Where: AB Tech Conference Center
Join Asheville City Schools Foundation (ACSF) for an evening with Jason Reynolds and Asheville High/SILSA high school student artists. Doors open at 6:15 PM for the student art show, 'Looking Both Ways: How You See Me and How I See Myself.' Enjoy complimentary ice cream from The Hop and popcorn from Poppy Popcorn.
At 7 PM, hear from student winners of our spoken word contest, followed by a 40-minute presentation and reading by Jason Reynolds, with a 20-minute Q&A. Book signing at 8:15 pm for event/book signing ticket holders, including a copy of Jason Reynolds' "Look Both Ways."
Click here to learn more and get tickets.
What: Books Alive! With Ms. Ann on Facebook
When: Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024 | 7 PM
Where: Facebook Live
You can join Ms. Ann on Books Alive! every Thursday evening, but you definitely won't want to miss this special episode during Black Children's Book Week. Tune in on Facebook Live with your family for an epic read-aloud experience and celebration of all things learning!
Click here to follow Books Alive! with Ms. Ann on Facebook
What: Asheville Celebrates Black Children's Book Week
When: Friday, Mar. 1, 2024, 5 PM-7:30 PM
Where: PVA Community Center
Join Read 2 Succeed at the Pisgah View Community Center (1 Granada St.) in West Asheville for an awesome celebration of Black Children’s Book Week. In addition to free dinner, games, prizes, music, and books, featured guest and author of “What Should I Be When I Grow Up” Dantavius Washington, will be on-site to share his book and talk with students.
No RSVP required - just drop in for fun and celebration! Author speaks at 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM.
Keep spreading the LOVE this month with another awesome collection of children's books starring amazing Black characters! Immerse yourself in tales that celebrate love for family, self, community, and the world.
Explore the fantastic reads lined up below and drop a comment sharing your favorite love-filled children's book. Let's make this month a love-filled adventure!
Brown Sugar Baby by Kevin Lewis
"Brown sugar baby, eyes shining bright, In love's embrace, you're my delight." This passage is from the heartwarming debut in the Brown Sugar Baby series, celebrating a mother's deep love and protective instincts. Its tender rhymes, rhythmic flow, and charming illustrations make it perfect for a cozy story time.
Click here to listen to a read-aloud of this book.
Dear Black Child by Rahma Rodaah
Embark on a journey through the pages of 'Dear Black Child,' where the theme of love resonates in every word and illustration. From quiet moments in nature to lively school plays, Rahma Rodaah's eloquent words and Lydia Mba's enchanting illustrations come together to create a celebration of Black children standing in their power, writing stories of love, and embracing their true selves. This is not just a book—it's a heartfelt ode to the power of love and self-discovery.
Click here to listen to a live read-aloud of this book.
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o
Sulwe's skin is a deep, enchanting midnight hue—darker than anyone in her family and school. Longing to embrace a beauty as radiant as her mother and sister, Sulwe embarks on a magical nocturnal journey that opens her eyes and transforms her world. Join Sulwe in this captivating tale of self-discovery, where the magic of acceptance and inner radiance shines brighter than ever before. A journey that celebrates the beauty within, 'Sulwe' is a must-read that resonates with the universal desire for self-love.
Click here to listen to a live read-aloud of this book.
Ways to Grow Love by Renée Watson
Follow Ryan Hart's summer journey filled with love for family and friends. Anticipating a memorable vacation and her first sleepaway camp, she encounters unexpected challenges that test her friendships. While awaiting the arrival of her new sister, Ryan learns valuable lessons about patience, sharing love, and embracing change. Join her on this heartwarming adventure of growth and self-discovery, where love shines brightly in the face of challenges.
Click here to listen to a live read-aloud.
The Last Two Crayons by Leah Freeman-Haskin
As Sienna approaches the art table, only dark brown and light brown crayons remain. Determined to craft a special art show piece, she encounters teasing from Andy. Despite her initial struggles, Sienna's teacher and friends rally to remind her of the love in brown. Through imaginative efforts, Sienna draws chocolate ice cream and a grizzly bear, but they feel incomplete. Ultimately, drawing inspiration from a cherished memory, Sienna creates a unique artwork that radiates love—a perfect addition to the art show, demonstrating the power of love in every shade.
Click here to listen to a live read-aloud here.
Love Bubble by Harold Green III
This lyrical picture book by acclaimed spoken-word poet and award-winning author, Harold Green III, explores the magic within each of us and the transformative power of self-love and community bonds. Introducing the concept of 'Love Bubbles,' it encourages readers, especially children, to believe in themselves and recognize the profound impact of love on personal growth and connections with others.
Sunne's Gift by Ama KariKari-Yawson
Step into the enchanting world of Sunne, a magical being, or 'magbee,' bestowed with the radiant power of the sun by the Creator, Nyame. Alongside Sunne's extraordinary siblings—Earth, Watre, and Winde—each wielding unique abilities, a tale of love unfolds. Despite facing teasing and bullying for Sunne's distinctive afro-textured hair, the story evolves into a powerful journey of self-love and acceptance. 'Sunne's Gift' not only champions the beauty found in diversity but emphasizes the transformative force of love.
Click here to listen to a live read-aloud here.
I Love Everything About Me by Fatima Scipio
Discover the joy in the unique, sweet, and wonderfully quirky qualities that make your child truly extraordinary. In this lively picture book, filled with playful rhymes by Fatima Scipio and charming illustrations by Paige Mason, every page is a celebration of what makes your child special. Whether it's bedtime, a cheerful day, or a moment that needs a little brightening, 'I Love Everything About Me' is a delightful ode to a child's sense of adventure, curiosity, and embracing their amazing individuality.
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R2S Recommends: "Black Boy, Black Boy" Diverse Children's Book
1.) Stream The Right to Read on Thursday, Feb 1
Connect with your Asheville and WNC community as we explore the literacy crisis and learn about the collective efforts by educators, families, and officials nationwide to address and overcome this challenge.
Dive into the gripping reality of The Right to Read, a documentary where the unfiltered stories of an activist, a teacher, and two American families unfold and hit home. This is a true depiction of their earnest struggles and resolute efforts to secure the fundamental skill for lifelong success: the profound ability to read.
>> Click here to register to watch for free on Feb 1!
2. ) Follow Books Alive! with Ms. Ann on Facebook
Dive into a world of enchanting read-alouds and delightful lessons in literacy - watch Books Alive! with Ms. Ann on Facebook Live each week. As a longtime community member, early childhood educator, and lover of all things reading, she shares captivating read-aloud videos for young children plus early literacy tips for families, free book giveaways, and more!
>> Follow Books Alive! on Facebook today!
3. ) Celebrate Black Children's Book Week
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Saturday, Mar. 2, 2024
R2S <3's Black Children's Book Week! This very special week, hosted by BlackBabyBooks.com, recognizes, honors, and celebrates great Black children's literature across our country and world. Explore fantastic diverse children's books with cool Black characters, communities, and cultures and Black authors and illustrators. Engage in virtual and in-person family reading events, and enjoy a week full of exciting activities!
SPECIAL ASHEVILLE EVENT: Join Asheville City Schools Foundation (ACSF) as they present "Jason Reynolds - Look Both Ways: Progress and Resistance In Creating Equitable Education."
Join ACSF for an evening with Jason Reynolds and Asheville High/SILSA high school student artists exploring 'Looking Both Ways.' Doors open at 6:15 pm for the student art show, 'Look Both Ways: How You See Me and How I See Myself.' Enjoy complimentary ice cream from The Hop and popcorn from Poppy Popcorn.
At 7 pm, hear from student winners of our spoken word contest, followed by a 40-minute presentation and reading by Jason Reynolds, with a 20-minute Q&A. Book signing at 8:15 pm for event/book signing ticket holders, including a copy of Jason Reynolds' 'Look Both Ways.
>> Click here to learn more and purchase tickets.
4.) Listen to Black Storytelling on The Block
Friday, Feb.2, 2024, 5 PM - 7 PM
Experience Black storytelling with Noir Collective as they take you on a journey through a series of Black stories shared by playwrights, authors, and storytellers. Dive into the impactful theme of dreams—how they're held, passed down, deferred, and transformed. They'll have live music, community conversations, a maker's market, food, drinks, and more.
>> Click here to learn more
6. Visit Local Theatre
Experience the vibrant narratives woven by Black playwrights and brought to life by talented Black casts as local and regional theaters showcase compelling plays and movies. Journey through empowering stories that delve into the rich tapestry of the Black experience and history, promising an engaging and enriching cultural exploration.
>> Click the links below to see showing times and to purchase tickets:
7.) Walk the recently completed Asheville Black Cultural Heritage Trail Explore the rich history of Black people in Asheville following this newly unveiled trail through the River, Southside, and Downtown. Learn how vibrant Black communities thrived, fought for social change, and contributed to the building of Asheville and its many global connections.
>> Learn more and explore the Asheville Black Cultural Heritage Trail.
8. Sponsor a Hood Huggers Tour
Black residents of Buncombe County ride free on Hood Huggers International tours during the month of February! You can help sponsor this iniative *and* join a tour yourself. HoodHuggers walking and driving tours take residents and visitors on an interactive journey through historically Black communities and neighborhoods, diving into history, legacy, and powerful stories.
>> Learn more, sponsor, and/or book a tour today
9. Attend Virtual Racial Justice Workshops with YWCA
Don't miss your opportunity to familiarize with the concepts and shared language of racial justice in FREE racial justice workshops in Asheville. Develop a deeper understanding of how racist systems and racism present themselves differently from person to person, explore important historical events that have contributed to today's racial landscape, and learn more about the YWCA's racial justic framework.
>> Learn more and sign up today
11 Children's Books About Love for February
Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe (R2S) is a local, independent nonprofit on a mission to help close the