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Bookface Friday Kid Lit Inspiration Featuring Black Protagonists

What is Bookface Friday Anyway?

If you follow us on Instagram, you’ve likely seen some of our popular Bookface Friday photos.  Over the past few months I’ve really come to enjoy participating and scouting out potential books featuring Black protagonists for us to showcase.  Although we don’t post a bookface photo every Friday, I really get into it when we do and so do my kids. They actually look forward to posing for their photos now.

I think the New York Times summarizes exactly what a bookface is the best:

Bookface involves strategically lining up your face or another body part alongside a book cover that features a matching body part so that there appears a melding of life and art. Librarians and other book lovers post these photos weekly on visual apps like Instagram, using the caption #BookfaceFriday.

In addition to the #BookFaceFriday hashtag, I recently learned about the hashtag #BookFootFriday too.  This is the same concept as bookface photos except you line up the book cover with your feet or legs instead.

What qualities do bookface or bookfoot worthy books possess (in my opinion)?  Beautiful, high-quality, close up illustrations that are big enough to take up a full page on their own.  There are some illustrators who I think draw the best illustrations for potential bookface photos including: Kadir Nelson, Frank Morrison, Vanessa Brantley-Newtown, Don Tate and Floyd Cooper just to name a few.  I also think the bookface craze is great for helping books gain additional exposure and for highlighting talented illustrators.

Below I’ve rounded up 17 of the best bookface photos we’ve featured on Instagram to date.  There are 15 books for children and two bonus diverse books for adults.  If you’re looking for a few book recommendations featuring Black protagonists to use for your bookface or bookfeet photos, I hope these pictures and books will provide some inspiration for you.  Enjoy!

I Just Kept Spinning   (This is our most popular bookface/bookfoot photo to date!)


Props used to pull this off: a cute tutu

Emi’s Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair

Props used to pull this off: a hot pink colored shirt

One Million Men and Me

Props used to pull this off: Hubby wearing a gray shirt and my daughter wearing a pink hoodie shirt

Ellington Was Not a Street

Props used to pull this off: a white pair of leggings

Something Beautiful

Props used to pull this off: a striped shirt with similar design

Hank’s Big Day

Props used to pull this off: a red shirt, white pants

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

Props used to pull this off: a red shirt

I Have a Dream

Props used to pull this off: a black shirt

Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born

Props used to pull this off: a matching gray shirt

Peekaboo Bedtime


Props used to pull this off: a pillow and comforter with a similar color scheme/design

Fishing Day

Props used to pull this off: a pair of jeans

Ron’s Big Mission

Props used to pull this off: a matching yellow shirt

Michelle

Props used to pull this off: a white shirt

We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song

Props used to pull this off: a matching denim shirt (can use overalls or a dress too)

Where’s Rodney?

Props used to pull this off: a matching orange shirt

Bonus Diverse Book for Adults: November Blues

Props used to pull this off: no props needed for this one

When Dimple Met Rishi

Props used to pull this off: a matching orange shirt

Your turn: What book titles would you add to this list?  Feel free to share your recommendations in the comments.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Bonnie

    I love these! So cute and clever!

    August 12, 2017 at 1:23 am
    • Reply Mrs. G

      Thank you so much, Bonnie!

      August 12, 2017 at 1:25 am
  • Reply Cecilia

    Wow! This is very creative! It’s my first time to hear about bookface.

    August 14, 2017 at 4:56 pm
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