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Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History

4.68  ·  Rating details ·  458 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Author-illustrator Vashti Harrison shines a bold, joyous light on black men through history in this #1 New York Times bestseller.

An important book for readers of all ages, this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of black men in history. Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and artists, politicians and pop stars,
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published November 21st 2019 by Puffin (first published November 19th 2019)
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Average rating 4.68  · 
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Kavitha Sivakumar
Amazing achievements against all odds making (black) history!
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cutest thing ever. Gives us more history on prominent black figures than most history lessons. I loved it.
Kier Scrivener
I love Vashti Harrison's series of books that highlight the historical figures beside her gorgeous drawings.

It is also amazing that she writes in a way that is accessible for children to understand history but is by no means boring for an adult to read.

I was able to share this book with several people who noticed the beautiful art. And it was beautiful to see their immediate desire to share it with everyone they know and put in schools.

I love the detail and art done for these extraordinary men.
Much like Harrison’s other book “Bold Women in Black History”, this book is jam packed full of inspirational stories, but instead of bold black women, we’re learning about exceptional black men who have pushed boundaries, challenged perceptions and fought for change. Through reading this book I learnt names and stories that I knew little or nothing about beforehand and I think that will be the same for quite a few other readers too, but what better way to educate yourself than through an easily ...more
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Linda Higgs, for bringing this wonderful book to my attention. I learned so much about Black men who should be famous. Thank to the bibliography, I can learn more. Just put Little Leaders, Vashti's book about Black women on hold at the library. Read these books with children, or on your own as an adult. Just read them! ...more
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another interesting book by Harrison with some interesting, accomplished men I didn’t know (as well as some like Prince that I did 🙂). I really wish I could commission my own illustration by Harrison and will continue reading all of her books!
Megan Sanks
My favorite part was learning about Dwayne McDuffie, who created Static Shock. I really miss that TV show.
Filipa H
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book for learning a bit about lots of black men in history.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
A nice collection of African American men throughout history. Not your typical well known men but instead the people behind the scenes who gained notoriety. Highly recommend.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve had such a deep admiration for Vashti Harrison’s “Little Leaders” series since I bought the very first book for my then 4-year-old little sister. I was so grateful that such a book existed so that everyone, especially young Black girls, could connect with Black history and to be able to identify with the extraordinary historical figures represented in the book. I was beside myself (squealed with glee even) when Vashti Harrison announced that this book centering Black male historical figures ...more
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
I first discovered Vashti Harrison's illustrations in Little Leaders: Visionary Women Around the World. I enjoyed the collection so much that I continued on with Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History and now to her newest biographical collection, Little Legends: Exceptional Men In Black History.

This collection features 35 exceptional men that have made their mark on history. From inventors to Revolutionary War spies, to famous musicians and Supreme Court justices. Little Legends includes m
Vashti Harrison's series of collected biographies for kids is truly wonderful, and Little Leaders is a brilliant addition to the series. It was wonderful to see men who were famous for a broad variety of things (from music to science to sports to activism to filmmaking and more), who were from a broad variety of countries (while the USA was the focus, there were also men from Ghana, Senegal, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, the UK, and more), and just variety everywhere. I thought it was brilliant to ...more
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"I see this book as a sibling to my first, but I don't think of this as "the boy book" or a book for boys. My books are for all readers. Here, I feature the stories of men, but they are for everyone, just as Little Leaders is." -Vashti Harrison, author

I have seen these Little Leaders books pop up from time to time but I always figured I was too old to enjoy them. Oh, how wrong I was! I learned so much from this book! This book features mini-biographies of 35 Black men throughout history. A few o
Hannah Fay
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
Each page in this book is filled with incredible stories about exceptional men in black history. This book is an awesome way to teach black history. It is filled with amazing men who rose above adversity and became influential and world changing. It tells the real life stories of legendary astronauts, scientists, athletes, activists and musicians. This books goes through the life of Benjamin Banneker, Louis Armstrong, Bill Russell, John Lewis, Frederik Douglass, Harold Moody and so many more.
Apr 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't help smiling throughout this. It was inspiring, even despite the bitesize teaching. It's the perfect amount of information for a young audience and I hope my nephew is inspired by these men as he grows up (I've bought it for his 4th birthday).

I loved that the author chose to include a large selection of lesser known men, rather than just the more well known. There was some extra history at the back that I enjoyed as well as some directions to further resources and a lovely little sect
Ben Truong
Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Vashti Harrison which focuses on forty trailblazing black men in American History. Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectation.

Harrison's text is simplistic, easy to understand, informative, and demonstrated what these amazing black men did through their lifetimes. The art is simply w
This little book is both visually and tactically pleasing. When you hold this book in your hands, you'll know what I mean about tactically pleasing. The author has both written and illustrated "Little Legends." Although her intended audience is children, I am an octogenarian and I was delighted by and learned much from it. I would say this is for all ages of readers who are interested in learning about little known, but influential people in history (and not just black history!). It should be pa ...more
The Library  Mouse Tales
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book teaches you all about black men throughout history who have achieved amazing things because of their cleverness, talent, kindness or hard work.
It is a collection of short biographies to celebrate positive role models. Each biography has an amazing illustration to show you what the people were like.
I really enjoyed learning about all these fantastic people and the wonderful things they have done. As it is Black History month, it is the perfect time to learn more about black icons such
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grades 4 and up
86 pgs. This is a delightful book with so many interesting history-makers. I learned so much about these exceptional people. I think it is a great book for reports, comparisons, and recreational reading. The format is very user-friendly with colorful, detailed illustrations of each man. There are additional people with less information at the back of the book, along with "further reading" section "sources," and a "Draw Your Own Little Legend" activity. Kids will enjoy reading and learning about ...more
Holly Foley (Procida)
Vashti Harrison has gorgeous books filled to the brim with positive and interesting insights into famous people of color. I want so many copies, and one to pull apart, laminate and have students read and sort these people into groups... what are the commonalities ? the differences ? Who might have met up in real life ? who are you most like ? who are you least like ? what fields/interests are missing representatives ? who could we add ? what can we learn from each one ? So much learning to be ha ...more
Maureen Tully
An outstanding collection of mini-biographies of truly exceptional men! Vashti Harrison never fails to amaze me with how much information she can pack into her one-page bios of each person and her beautiful illustrations. Another signature part of her books is the "Further Reading" at the end with a wide variety of resources to find out more. As if that wasn't enough, she also included a template and hints for drawing your own little legend. Love, love, love her writing!!! ...more
This was really cute! I liked that the author acknowledged that black men have a privilege over black women that made her hesitant to make this book, but that she was able to pick historical figures who challenged how we stereotype black men. There's a mix of well-known and lesser-known men featured, and the person-first language (saying someone was enslaved instead of a slave) is so refreshing to read. ...more
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this aloud, a few pages at a time, to my son, as we lay in bed in the mornings, not quite ready to get up! He’s 3, so I know he’s not retaining all of it, but I want him to see diversity in our home, even in our picture books! He likes being read to, and my husband and I have learned about some historical men we didn’t know about! It’s a win-win!

I recommend this book to anyone who likes short biographies about world changers!
Judah Copeland
In 35 brief illustrated biographies, Harrison highlights the achievements of black men through centuries of world history, including renowned figures like Frederick Douglass and Prince and lesser-known, but equally important, men such as Benjamin Banneker, who built the first full-sized clock in America, and Oscar Micheaux, the first black man to make a feature-length film. These incredible men influenced both their contemporaries and future generations.
Mckenna Ross
Apr 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
Summary: This book shares the stories of 35 black men that helped shaped history.
Analysis: I would not read this book aloud to my class because the pages are filled with text that would be very hard for children to sit through.
How I would use this book in my classroom: I would read this book during black history month and have each student pick one of the men from the book and present them to the class.
My preschooler set us a reading goal to read 723 different books this year and while looking for different things at the library I found this gem! I read him a few people a night and he ate it up. The artwork is fantastic and the book is so informative we will definitely be looking into adding it to our library.
Back at it again, Harrison decides to dive into exceptional black men and it's just as fabulous as her first one. The digital illustrations accompanied with the one-page biography of the man is accessible for all ages. Nothing is muddied with additional graphics or text features- it's beautiful in its simplicity and focus. ...more
Kevin Alexander
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing as it provides the readers with little biographical sketches of some of the most incredible African American men throughout history. This book was obviously geared towards the audience of children but it helped me become immensely intrigued and will be the start of my own research for my own personal edification.
I saw some people (on Amazon) criticize the men who were included in this book. They must not have read the author’s note at the start and end of the book. She clearly states she set out to include many people who didn’t already have piles of books written about them. I didn’t know about many of these men, and enjoyed learning about them.
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Vashti Harrison, author and illustrator of the bestselling Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, is an artist, author, and filmmaker with a passion for storytelling. She earned her MFA in film and video from California Institute of the Arts, where she snuck into animation and illustration classes to learn from Disney and DreamWorks legends. There she rekindled a love for drawing and paintin ...more

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