8 Picture Books With a Black Santa Claus

I received several emails in my inbox this year, all asking the same question — “Can you recommend books with a black Santa Claus?”

Sadly, there aren’t that many children’s books out there that feature a Black or African-American Santa Claus. Or ANY non-white Santa Claus, for that matter.

Of the ones that do exist, several are out of print and hard to find. The publishing world doesn’t seem to think diverse representations of Santa are a priority. I hope this changes, because from what I have seen, the demand is definitely there.

A few of these books are pretty pricey if you look for them on Amazon, because they are out of print. I recommend checking your local library first, and keeping your eyes peeled at used bookstores or book sales.

Indianapolis friends: Here are some places where kids can meet an African-American Santa Claus this holiday season.

8 Books with a Black Santa Claus

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Twas the Night B’fore Christmas: An African-American Version by Melodye Benson Rosales

This retelling of the Clement Clark Moore classic poem features details and dialect that would fit an African-American family at the turn of the 20th century. This Santa Claus has “skin like molasses,” and the rich, luxurious illustrations will put you right in the middle of the story. This book is hard to find, but worth the search.

A Piece of Black Cake for Santa by Yolanda T. Marshall

Femi and her friends are so excited for Christmas to come! They can’t wait to attend the local Christmas fair, and they especially can’t wait to leave some Caribbean treats out for Santa, including black cake. This book gives insight into how Caribbean families celebrate Christmas in the United States and Canada, and the illustrations are bright and fun. 

The Night Before Christmas by Rachel Isadora

The Night Before Christmas

This lovely book is an African retelling of the Christmas classic. Isadora’s gorgeous illustrations give the story a whole new context. This book is excellent for showing a diverse representation of Santa, and also for giving insight to how Christmas is celebrated in other parts of the world.

Santa’s Husband by Daniel Kibbelsmith

What is Santa’s everyday life like? In this book, Santa is black, his husband is white, and they live together at the North Pole. We see glimpses of their wedding, their vacation, and taking care of pre-Christmas responsibilities. Sometimes this happy couple disagrees; but they always love each other.

Santa’s Kwanzaa by Garen Eileen Thompson

What does Santa do after Christmas is over? He goes back to the North Pole to celebrate Kwanzaa! From December 26th to January 1st, Santa and his family participate in Kwanzaa traditions together. This book is a great introduction to Kwanzaa, and is also perfect for families who celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas. (Check out some more of our favorite Kwanzaa books!)

Santa in the City by Tiffany D. Jackson

Deja has some concerns about Christmas. She lives in the city in an apartment, which means she doesn’t have a chimney to climb down. Will Santa be able to bring Deja her gifts? Deja’s family and friends come together to show her that Santa is for everyone who wants to believe in him, no matter where they live.

Jump at the Sun: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Rex Perry

This book is another retelling of Clement Clark Moore’s classic poem. In this version, a little girl anxiously awaits the arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. There are some contemporary updates that will make the book relatable for today’s children. The bright, bold illustrations make this a really fun book to read aloud with little ones.

Snowflake Kisses and Gingerbread Smiles by Toni Trent Parker

This gorgeous book features photographs of black children celebrating Christmas in all kinds of ways! The simple rhyming text makes this an excellent read-aloud to share with little ones. The bright and beautiful photos are full of Christmas joy! This book also features heavy cardstock pages, so tiny hands can enjoy it again and again.

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Crystal is an activist, feminist, and mom of three. She loves reading, crochet, and enjoying her family and friends. She lives with her family in Indianapolis.

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