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Ebony Jr! and Little Golden Books Partner on a Mission to Ignite a Love of Reading

Updated: Jan 14

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links


Ebony Jr and Little Golden Book Black children's Books

Random House Children’s Books will publish a new line of books within the Little Golden Books imprint, in partnership with Ebony Media Publishing’s Ebony Jr. imprint. The books will be packaged by Lavette Books and written and illustrated by Black creators. Titles will be geared toward children ages 2 to 5 and include nonfiction and fiction.


Trailblazer John H Johnson of the Johnson Publishing Company created Ebony Jr! in 1973 to give Black children a magazine that was all their own. The magazine remained in print until 1985 and featured stories, comics, puzzles, and cartoons centering Black children with a mission to ignite a love of reading.


“We’re very excited to be partnering with such an iconic brand on stories for young readers and look forward to continuing to collaborate with Ebony Jr! together with Lavaille Lavette on additional publishing in the future,” says Fry. “The Ebony brand has had a tremendous impact on American culture, and these new books provide such important representation for young Black readers and their families.”


The first two Little Golden Books titles are Harry Belafonte: A Little Golden Book Biography and Beyoncé: A Little Golden Book Biography. Both of the books publish January 3, 2023, and are written by bestselling editor and author Lavaille Lavette, with illustrations by Anastasia Magloire Williams.


Two more titles that will be released later in 2023, Jayylen’s™ Juneteenth Surprise (May 2, 2023) and Jayylen’s™ Christmas Wish (Sept. 12, 2023), feature a fictional character named Jayylen™, a six-year-old boy with dreams to become an engineer. Both books are written by Lavaille Lavette and illustrated by David Wilkerson.


Check out the book covers and the publisher's descriptions below. Which ones are you looking forward to reading?


Created in partnership with Ebony Jr., this captivating Little Golden Book biography celebrates Beyoncé's rise from a shy little girl to a world-famous superstar.


Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. Beyoncé continues to inspire and demonstrate that dreams--no matter how big--can be achieved through hard work and determination. Michelle Obama has called her a role model for us all. Since 1945, Ebony magazine has shined a spotlight on the worlds of Black people in America and worldwide, telling their stories. Ebony Jr! was created in 1973 to give Black children a magazine that was all their own. The magazine included stories, comics, puzzles, and cartoons centering Black children. Its mission was to ignite a love of reading and a love of self in Black kids, and we're continuing that with our branded LGB program.


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Created in partnership with Ebony Jr., this Little Golden Book biography celebrates the life and legacy of singer, performer, and activist Harry Belafonte.


When Harry Belafonte was a little boy, he moved from Harlem, New York, to live with his grandmother in Jamaica. There, Harry fell in love with Calypso music. It was the seed that blossomed into a life dedicated to inspiring people through music. This moving biography chronicles his life and career--as an actor, a singer, and a civil rights activist who has always sought to make a difference while encouraging people to treat each other with respect and kindness. Since 1945, Ebony magazine has shined a spotlight on the worlds of Black people in America and worldwide, telling their stories. Ebony Jr! was created in 1973 to give Black children a magazine that was all their own. The magazine included stories, comics, puzzles, and cartoons centering Black children. Its mission was to ignite a love of reading and a love of self in Black kids, and we're continuing that with our branded LGB program.


FIND IT ON: BOOKSHOP


Created in partnership with Ebony Jr., this inspiring Little Golden Book tells the story of one young boy's first experience celebrating Juneteenth.


When Jayylen's grandfather, Paw Paw Jimmy, begins preparing for a big Juneteenth celebration, Jayylen has a lot of questions. Most importantly, what is Juneteenth? His mother and Paw Paw Jimmy explain that the holiday marks the anniversary of when enslaved African Americans found out that they were free. Paw Paw Jimmy plays some zydeco for him, which is the type of music they will dance to at the celebration. Jayylen practices every day so that he will be able to play the frottoir (a percussion instrument similar to a washboard) for everyone. But will he be able to pull off an even bigger surprise for the day?


Since 1945, Ebony magazine has shined a spotlight on the worlds of Black people in America and worldwide, telling their stories. Ebony Jr! was created in 1973 to give Black children a magazine that was all their own. The magazine included stories, comics, puzzles, and cartoons centering Black children. Its mission was to ignite a love of reading and a love of self in Black kids, and we're continuing that with our LGB program.


FIND IT ON: BOOKSHOP


Diverse Children's Books

Created in partnership with Ebony Jr., this inspiring Little Golden Book tells the story of one young boy's wish to have his whole family together for Christmas.


Jayylen is extra excited for Christmas this year. His brother Manuel, who is serving in the Army, will be home for the first time in three years! But when Momma gets the call that Manuel won't be able to make it because he's needed on base in Alaska, Jayylen doesn't know what to do. Can he figure out a way for the whole family to be together?


Since 1945, Ebony magazine has shined a spotlight on the worlds of Black people in America and worldwide, telling their stories. Ebony Jr! was created in 1973 to give Black children a magazine that was all their own. The magazine included stories, comics, puzzles, and cartoons centering Black children. Its mission was to ignite a love of reading and a love of self in Black kids, and we're continuing that with our LGB program.


FIND IT ON: BOOKSHOP

 

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