In honor of Black History Month, we’ve gathered several picture books that highlight influential Black figures in hopes of educating and inspiring young readers. To see our interviews with authors of new picture book biographies on Black icons, click here.

Picture Books

Do You Know Them? Families Lost and Found After the Civil War

Shana Keller, illus. by Laura Freeman. Atheneum, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-66591-307-2. Ages 4–8. Lettie, whose family “had been sold and lost long before enslavement was abolished,” searches for her family via newspaper ads following the Civil War’s end.

Everywhere Beauty Is Harlem: The Vision of Photographer Roy DeCarava

Gary Golio, illus. by E.B. Lewis. Calkins Creek, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-66268-055-7. Ages 7–10. Highlighting the work of photographer DeCarava (1919–2009), the creators visualize the life and community of the New York City neighborhood of Harlem. The book received a starred review from PW.

Extraordinary Magic: The Storytelling Life of Virginia Hamilton

Nina Crews. Little, Brown/Ottaviano, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-38359-2. Ages 4–8. This picture book traces the life of Hamilton (1934–2002) before she became a children’s book author, including her Ohio upbringing, and her move to New York to find success.

Fighting with Love: The Legacy of John Lewis

Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by James E. Ransome. S&S/Wiseman, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5344-9662-0. Ages 4–8. Readers can learn about the early life of civil rights activist and politician Lewis (1940–2020), from his Alabama childhood to his adulthood fighting for change. The book received a starred review from PW.

Glenn Burke, Game Changer: The Man Who Invented the High Five

Phil Bildner, illus. by Daniel J. O’Brien. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-39122-5. Ages 6–9. This picture book recounts the achievements and struggles of Major League Baseball player Burke (1952–1995), who faced prejudice throughout his baseball career for his race and sexuality.

Go Forth and Tell: The Life of Augusta Baker, Librarian and Master Storyteller

Breanna J. McDaniel, illus. by April Harrison. Dial, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-32420-2. Ages 5–8. McDaniel chronicles the life of storytelling librarian Baker (1911–1998), starting with her Baltimore childhood and closing with the long-lasting effects of her career. The book received a starred review from PW.

Jimmy’s Rhythm & Blues: The Extraordinary Life of James Baldwin

Michelle Meadows, illus. by Jamiel Law. HarperCollins, $19.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-06-327347-4. Ages 4–8. Readers can learn of the many facets of Baldwin as a burgeoning writer; activist; Black, and queer icon. The book received a starred review from PW.

Miles of Style: Eunice W. Johnson and the ‘Ebony’ Fashion Fair

Lisa D. Brathwaite, illus. by Lynn Gaines. Lee & Low, $20.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62014-312-4. Ages 6–11. This picture book traces the fashion-forward life of entrepreneur Johnson (1916–2010) .

We Dream a World: Carrying the Light from My Grandparents Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King

Yolanda Renee King, illus. by Nicole Tadgell. Orchard, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-338-75397-4. Ages 4–8. Adolescent activist King affirms the hopes of her late grandparents in this picture book declaration about honoring their legacy.