Our first Good Night MyBrownBaby story time reading, featuring “Precious and the Boo Hag,” by Patricia C. McKissack and Olawumi Jean Moss, was a blast! There were beautiful words! Gorgeous illustrations! Some singing! Lots of action—pow pow! And, best of all, babies all across America tuned in to hear how little Precious smartly and bravely kept Pruella the Boo Hag from getting into her family house.

If you missed the reading, or you just want to watch it with your babies again, the video is up top—just push play. Every reading we do from here on our will live here on MyBrownBaby and on the MyBrownBaby YouTube page, so you’ll have instant access to these incredible bedtime stories for your babies.

Good Night MyBrownBaby is a part of the MyBrownBaby mission to help introduce parents to great books for kids, featuring kids that look like ours. I figure if we help our beautiful babies fall in love with good literature early, they’ll love it forever. And if we support Black authors who celebrate our babies’ humanity in literature, we’ll be creating a want and need for more books just like them—a want and need publishing companies like mine will respond to.

As I mentioned in the Good Night MyBrownBaby “Precious and the Boo Hag” reading: those who shared the video on FB qualified for a giveaway of two of the upcoming books on my new children’s book imprint, Denene Millner Books. Congratulations to:

  • Liz de Souza, who wins a copy of my upcoming parenting book,”MyBrownBaby: the Joys and Challenges of Raising African American Children.”
  • D’Angela Shanell, who wins a copy of my upcoming children’s picture book, “Early Sunday Morning.”

Congrats, ladies!

If you and your babies loved “Precious and the Boo Hag,” cop a copy here, or pick it up at your local library.

If you and your babies loved the Ba-beez dolls I featured in the video, check them out and buy one for your baby here.

And don’t forget to check in for our next Good Night MyBrownBaby Facebook Live reading, featuring Tracey Michele Lewis-Giggetts, who will be reading “Peeny Butter Fudge” by Toni and Slade Morrison. Tracey will be reading live from the MyBrownBaby Facebook Fans page on Tuesday, December 27, at 7:30 p.m. sharp!

RSVP with your email addy or phone number to goodnightstories@mybrownbaby.com, and I’ll send out an invitation/be there reminder so you can get your babies together and ready for the reading—which will be really helpful so that I’m not sitting there reading to a wall. That would not be cute.

See you at the next Good Night MyBrownBaby!
* * *

“Precious and the Boo Hag”
by Patricia C. McKissack, Onawumi Jean Moss, Kyrsten Brooker (Illustrator); Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

This is a delightfully clever and (a smidge) scary tale about a courageous little girl too smart to be fooled by Pruella the Boo Hag, a legendary creature from the Gullah tradition. It opens with the main character, a cute, round-faced little girl named Precious, who stays home alone with a stomachache while her family goes to plant corn. Before he leaves, Precious’s brother warns her that the Boo Hag may try to get into the house, which of course gets Precious quite scared. To calm her nerves and make sure she remembers not to let the Boo Hag in the house, Precious makes up a little ditty that she sings incessantly. Sure enough, Pruella shows up and wants in, and even tries to fool Precious by changing into various forms. But each time Pruella transforms, Precious figures out the Boo Hag’s game, and refuses to let her through the door.

This was a favorite in my daughter Lila’s kindergarten class; the kids got a kick out of Precious’s courageousness, and especially how smart the little girl was to recognize and ward off the Boo Hag’s trickery. They also loved the song (I croaked my own melody to the lyrical prose and they still let me continue reading!), and were happily held in suspense the entire story through as they waited to see if the scary Boo Hag would trick sweet little Precious. You and your child will also love the incredible illustrations, a mixture of oil painting and collage work give a charming glimpse into Precious’s world.

To enhance your child’s reading experience:

• Have your child write her own “Boo Hag” story.
• Give him a basket-full of colored paper, buttons, lace, and yarn, and let him make his own version of a Boo Hag.
• Let her check out Gullah Net, a children’s site that explores South Carolina’s Gullah culture. There are stories, a glossary of Gullah terms, and some pretty amazing history about the transformation of African music into today’s more popular musical genres.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

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