African American Children’s Book Authors & Illustrators You Should Know

Writing and illustrating for children’s books is no easy matter. The skill to tell a story in words and pictures is at a high bar. This group of black authors and illustrators are worth knowing, especially if writing for children is an interest.

Kadir Nelson has a stellar reputation as a children’s book author and illustrator and collaborator with authors such as Ntozake Shange, Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis, Will Smith, and Debbie Allen.

Nikki Grimes is a children’s book author and illustrator who has been a Coretta Scott King Author Award winner as well as a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for authors. Her work represents texture in storytelling in prose and poetry.

Andrea Davis Pinkney is an award-winning veteran children’s book author of over 20 books. She is highly regarded and one of her books was chosen by Al Roker for his Today Show book club selection.

Sonya J. Bowser is an independent children’s book author who has bedazzled children around the world with her character and book, Zolie Zi, which delves right into the topic of bullying.  Young celebrity actors and actresses such as Black-ish‘s Yara Shahidi are fans and supporters of Sonya’s book and cause.

Rita Williams-Garcia is a National Book Awards finalist and author of several books for children and young adults. Her books tackle the historical journey of their subjects and the illustrations, like Kadir Nelson’s work, can be standalone art.

Do you have a favorite children’s book author? If so, share in the comment section. And, happy reading.

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