Children's literature is crucial in shaping the way young children see and think about themselves in the eyes of society. Although diversity is increasing, a need remains for books that feature Black children as well as accurate portrayals of their lifestyles. According to the Cooperation Children's Book Center (2020), only 400 books out of 3,299 are about Black Americans, while a little over half of that number are actually written by Black authors. Why should children of color have to suffice with reading books that have no connection to their real-world life? Black children should have access to and enjoy quality, award winning books that accurately represent their everyday lifestyles and not merely retell stories from the past. To address these concerns, this thesis examined 16 of the Coretta Scott King (CSK) Award and Honor picturebooks, awarded in 2013-2020, to explore the contents in terms of themes to support young Black American children on their journey of finding meaning and joy in reading. Within the analysis, a total of 16 picturebooks showed that 8 featured Black Americans in struggling contexts highlighting historical events, while 8 focused on the everyday lives and culture of Black Americans. Delving deeper, two trends, artistic expression and self-confidence, were identified. Within the eight books Within the books focusing on everyday Black culture, four themes were agreed upon: 1) Navigating real societal problems within the Black community, 2) Realizing empowerment within ourselves, 3) Valuing relationships with others, and 4) Finding value in everyday activities.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Roberts, Sherron Killingsworth


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


School of Teacher Education

Degree Program

Elementary Education



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date