Review: I Wish I Learned The Alphabet With This Diverse Read

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A is for anthem, B is for beautiful, and C is for community! With The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez, kids will learn new things about Black history and heritage through every page turn.

This book goes through the alphabet, listing a word for each of the letters. Using easy-to-understand rhymes, it breaks down the word, explaining what it means and why it’s important to Black culture. For K, which was Kwanzaa, the author listed the seven principles celebrated on that day. In a nutshell, this book not only teaches young readers the alphabet, it exposes them to diversity in the process.

A lot of the alphabet books I read as a kid were ones that had simple words like “apple” and “ball”. Many alphabet books only show white kids on the pages. This book is so important for today’s generation of Black toddlers and children, so they can see themselves represented in such a simple book like this. I also enjoyed the illustrations by Lauren Semmer because they seemed to go hand-in-hand with the book.

I recommend this book to schools, especially for educators teaching kindergarten to second grade who like to read aloud to their students. This book can be a very helpful resource in the classroom because it’s a Black History Month book that isn’t just about Martin Luther King, Jr. or Ruby Bridges. They talk about certain themes like Great Migration, protesting, and singing; and I think everyone who reads this book will learn something new. I’m a little jealous I didn’t learn the alphabet with this book!

Four out of four roses!

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