Baby Bump Storytime Can Improve Maternal Health

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About 700 women in the United States die every year from pregnancy complications, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Black mothers are dying at a rate nearly four times higher than white women. Senator Kamala Harris recently introduced the Maternal Care Act to help prevent maternal mortality and reduce racial disparities in maternal health outcomes. Right here in the district Mayor Muriel Bowser will be hosting the 2018 Maternal and Infant Health Summit on September 12, 2018 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The summit was created “to build on the growing public awareness and interest in this important issue and the District’s new approach to ensure the health of women, babies and families. The summit is an opportunity for elected officials, health officials and DC residents to explore strategies to improve perinatal health and address racial disparities in birth outcomes.” So how can books play a role in supporting this growing effort to improve maternal health?

Reading for leisure is a well-known stress reliever. And according to the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics, reading to your unborn child can, not only reduce stress, it can also create a meaningful bonding experience between family and child. Read more here Benefits of Reading to a Baby in the Womb. And there are types of books that are especially enjoyable to read to your unborn child. Books with rhyming words and a melodic rhythm. Here at Tutu’s Storybooks, we know how to bring diverse books to the community so check out a few of our picks for your next story time with your unborn child. We’re calling this list our “Baby Bump Booklist.” Let us know if these titles warm your hearts as much as they do ours. Click the link to gift all 10 titles included in our exclusive Baby Bump Bundle.


1. when's my birthday


2. baby blessing blog


3. did i tell you blog


4. jaha and jamil


5. hey black child


As a diverse children’s book fair and independent retailer that has been servicing communities in the Washington, DC metro area for the past five years this is our way of showing our support for the Mayor’s initiative and to thank her for her recent visit to our children’s book salon.

mayor bowser

To learn more about maternal and infant health in the DC area you can find more information at March for MomsDistrict Motherhued, and Mom Health DC.

And to learn more about our diverse book services please email us at or follow us on social media. And click the link to learn more about the Founder of Tutu’s Storybooks, Maimunah Marah.


12 Ways Children Can Read Black On Black Love


Seasons greetings BookPower Readers! Tis the season to gift YOU, our loyal readers, with our refined list of “Black on Black Love” titles for children. Too many of the recent diverse children’s book blogs have been centered around social justice themes and titles that specifically focus on the black plight through the sometimes over-use of what we call “struggle books.” Struggle books have there time and place. They are intended to help combat the current/ongoing political climate. Although those titles are powerful and necessary in that they can help open the lines of communication for children facing adversity, we must also acknowledge that our love and community building practices are just as powerful during difficult times. So who’s up for some literary love? May our exclusive 12 Ways Children Can Read Black on Black Love book list warm your homes and hearts this holiday season. #BOBLKidlit

1. Read about your love for stories, especially OURstories.

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2. Read-aloud books that celebrate your natural features.

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3. Read about how love can solve everyday problems.

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4. Gift books that celebrate our unity.

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5. Read books written by our LITerary heroes and sheroes.

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6. Recommend a book that inspired you to explore your own talents and gifts.

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7. Read about a champion you can relate to.

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8. Tell someone you love them today, while reading with them.

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9. Read at your favorite babershop/salon.

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10. Include more books about rural AND contemporary Africa at story time.

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11. Invite extended family over for a full house BookPower-Hour.

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12. Take a journey through the depths of Black on Black Love.

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Of course this list could go on and on. Use this list as a reminder that our self-love is the most effective tool we have to build strong families and communities. If you haven’t already, be sure to upgrade your bookshelves to reflect your “high shelf-esteem” for the new year. Shop independent for more titles at



6 Ways Young Children Can Read Black History

Happy Black History Month, readers! For me, it’s Black History Year. And among a few “woke” Educators, it’s Black Future Month. Yes, that’s right. This month we reflect and share our effective teaching strategies for building present and future Black leaders by reaching back, or honoring our past accomplishments and achievements. As well as recognizing the current brilliance in our communities, families, and of course our children. In my twenty years as an Educator I have had my fair share of teaching about Martin & Rosa. No shade! They, of course, were heavy-hitting civil rights activists. There’s no doubt about that. But how many other Black achievements and/or accomplishments have made it into traditional early childhood curriculum? And are young children ever even exposed to a Black history that was not in constant struggle or conflict with “the man?” Well we would like to share some of our child-friendly titles about Black history that have won over our young students all year round. Here are 6 ways (and titles) to read about Black history with young children.

1. Read stories that make Black history relatable and enjoyable.



2. Read stories that connect Black inventors to children’s everyday life.



3. Read stories that depict Black leaders as children making changes in their communities.


4. Read stories about Black leaders in expert roles.


5. Read stories showing Black leaders as one big connected family.


6. Read stories that celebrate the building blocks of Black history.


By no means is this list exhaustive. Please feel free to add your classroom’s Black history favorites in the comments below. Although the number of authentic children’s books with Black images is not even close to ideal, there are a number of quality picture books that are available that will keep young children engaged and leave a positive impression on them. Teaching Black history to young children should always be a pleasant exchange. Share your experiences in the comments below.