Great Books for African American Children: Lola Reads to Leo


We picked up Lola Reads to Leo a few weeks ago and Annika was very charmed by it. It’s a sweet, simple book, really for slightly younger kids, more for 3-4 year olds, but she still likes simple storybooks sometimes even though we are reading chapter books for most our nighttime reading now.

Annika enjoyed this book because it was about a little girl whose mom is pregnant. Her parents are prepping her for her new little brother Leo. When Leo  finally arrives, Lola tells him stories. She reads to him while he is nursing. She reads to him while he is getting his diaper changed (and while she is on the potty). She reads to him while he’s in the bathtub. And big sister reads to him while he is tired. She tells him her best “sleepy story.”

Lola is becoming a big sister and as the story progresses, she matures. She is a big sister and she helps her mommy and daddy. But at the end of the day she reads her little brother another story.

Lola Reads to Leo is just the type of book that parents with children of color are always on the lookout for. It’s not about race or slavery or segregation. It’s just a nice story with people who happen to look more like our family. And that, is why I like it.

Lola Reads to Leo is written by author Anna McQuinn, a British children’s author who has written a number of storybooks with children of color as well as books with white children and books with both as friends. I think we will definitely be checking out more of her books.

Pick it up here on Amazon or check it out at your local library, like I did.