Books full of Black & Brown Joy

Black and Brown Joy
is a list of fictional stories featuring BIPOC main characters
 that do not fall into categories such as: enslavement, Jim Crow/racism, civil rights, the refugee/asylum-seeker experience, incarcerated parents, poverty, etc;
but instead are joyful stories full of love, wonder, and ordinary childhood concerns.
I have separated out stories that take place outside of the U.S. and Canada,
as well as chapter books and middle grade fiction.

Picture Books set in the U.S. or Canada

The Airport Book
Ariba: An Old Tale About New Shoes
Baby Cakes
The Baby on the Way
Bedtime Bonnet
Bee Bim Bop
Big Snow
Billy and Belle
Bowwow Powwow
The Boy who Didn’t Believe in Spring
The Camping Trip

Cherries and Cherry Pits
City Shapes
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
A Day with Yayah
The Day You Begin
Dear Primo
Dragonfly Kites
Dumpling Soup
Eat up Gemma
Federico and the Wolf
First Laugh Welcome Baby
A Garden to Save the Birds

The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head
Going Down Home with Daddy
Grandpa’s Girls
Green on Green
Happy Belly Happy Smile
Happy Christmas Gemma
Happy Like Soccer
Happy to be Nappy
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
Hey Black Child
Hi Cat

Hiking Day
Home is a Window
Hungry Johnny
I am Every Good Thing
I Love My Hair
In My Mosque
Jabari Jumps
Jingle Dancer
Johnny’s Pheasant
Just Like a Mama
Kamik: An Inuit Puppy Story
Kick Push
La Noche Buena

Last Stop on Market Street
Layla’s Happiness
Leila in Saffron
The Legend of Gravity: A Tall Basketball Tale
Like the Moon Loves the Sky
The Little Red Fort
Lola Reads to Leo
Magnificent Homespun Brown
Me and Mama
Mommy’s Khimar
More, More, More, said the baby
Music Music for Everyone
My Heart Fills with Happiness

My Papi has a Motorcycle
Nana Akua Goes to School
The New Small Person
Noah’s Seal
Ohana Means Family
On the Trapline
One Word from Sophia
Paletero Man
Peekaboo Morning
Peeny Butter Fudge
Pirate Stew
Princess Hair
Ruby’s Reunion Day Dinner

The Snowy Day
So Much
Sunday Shopping
Swashby and the Sea
Ten Ways to Hear Snow
Thank You, Omu
Twenty Yawns
Under My Hijab
We All Play
We Are Brothers
We Are Grateful

Welcome Precious
When Lola Visits
When’s My Birthday?
Where Are you From?
Who Likes Rain?
Wild Berries
Yo Yes?
You Hold Me Up

Joyful Picture Books set outside of the U.S./Canada

All Aboard for the Bobo Road (Burkina Faso)
All the Way to Havana (Cuba)
Along the Tapajós (Brazil)
B is for Baby (Nigeria)
Baby Goes to Market (Nigeria)
Big Rain Coming (Australian Aboriginal)
The Biggest Soap (Micronesia)
Bintou’s Braids (West Africa)
Caribbean Dream
Crane Boy (Bhutan)
Deep in the Sahara (Mauritania)
Desert Girl Monsoon Boy (India)

Drummer Boy of John John (Trinidad)
Elizabeti’s Doll (Tanzania)
The Field (St Lucia)
The Fiesta of the Tortillas (El Salvador)
The Floating Field (Thailand)
From my Window (Brazil)
Galimoto (West Africa)
Good Morning China
Gugu’s House (Zimbabwe)
Hush: A Thai Lullaby
I Lost My Tooth in Africa (Mali)
An Island Christmas (Trinidad)

Julio’s Magic (Mexico)
Kami and the Yaks (Nepal)
King for a Day (Pakistan)
La Isla (Caribbean)
Little Thief Chota Chor (India)
Long Long’s New Year (China)
Maria Had a Little Llama (Andes)
Mei Mei Loves the Morning (China)
Mirror (Australia and Morocco)
Monsoon (India)
Monsoon Afternoon (India)
My Father’s Shop (Morocco)

My Grandma and Me (Iran)
My Little Round House (Mongolia)
Natsumi’s Song of Summer (Japan)
Nino Wrestles the World (Mexico)
Oscar’s Half Birthday (Australia)
The Patchwork Bike (North Africa)
Rainbow Weaver (Guatemala)
Saffron Ice Cream (Iran)
A Song for Jamela (South Africa)
A Song of Frutas (Cuba)
A South African Night
Splash Anna Hibiscus (Nigeria)

A Story about Afiya (Jamaica)
Sumo Joe (Japan)
Sweet Laba Congee (China)
Tap Tap (Haiti)
Take Me Out to the Yakyu (Japan)
The Umbrella Queen (Thailand)
Up and Down the Andes (Peru)
When the Rain Comes (Sri Lanka)
Who Wants Candied Hawberries? (China)

Chapter/middle grade books 
NOTE: While the plots of books for an older audience introduce more conflict for the protagonist, the following stories do not revolve around one of the stereotypical plotlines for BIPOC characters and their plots do not unduly emphasize trauma or grief. Stories taking place throughout the world are included in these lists.

Chapter Books for Young/Elementary Readers

Anna Hibiscus
The Buried Bones Mystery
Catalina Incognito
Cloud Tea Monkeys
Gloria’s Way
Go Well, Anna Hibiscus
The Great Cake Mystery
Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus
Here Comes Lolo
Juana & Lucas
Lola Levine is not Mean
Lulu and the Cat in the Bag
Lulu and the Dog from the Sea

Lulu and the Duck in the Park
Lulu and the Hamster in the Night
Lulu and the Hedgehog in the Rain
Meet Yasmin
More Stories Julian Tells
Mysterious Traveler
The No. 1 Car Spotter
A Piglet Called Truffle
Ruby Lu Brave and True
Salsa Stories
Secret Spy Society: The Case of the Missing Cheetah
Starring Grace

The Stories Julian Tells
Too Small Tola
Ways to Grow Love
Zapato Power

Middle Grade Fiction

And Now Miguel
The Birchbark House
Chike and the River
Gone to Drift
The Last Last Day of Summer
The Last Mirror on the Left
Leopard Boy
Little Man
Midsummer’s Mayhem
Sanity and Tallulah
Tiger Boy
The Turtle of Oman
The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue
Ways to Grow Love
Ways to Make Sunshine