What’s better than a big Sunday family picnic? Nothing, I tell you. NOTHING. There’s food and shady cousins and Bible-thumping grandmas and petty aunties and more good food and lots and lots of indelible memories. That’s what makes Jacqueline Woodson’s “We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past,” the last installment of “Good Night MyBrownBaby,” so downright delicious: Jacqueline manages to capture all the color, love and magic of a family get-together, told through little Teeka’s eyes. It’s such a juicy presentation; when Mari was little, she’d make me read it again and again, and every time, she’d giggle about Aunt Martha and her nasty pie. Diane Greenseid’s illustrations, with all those round, moon-pie faces, make “We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past” all-the-more delicious.

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 out 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 “We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past” reading: those who shared the video on FB qualified for a giveaway, this time for either of these two gifts: one of the upcoming books on my new children’s book imprint, Denene Millner Books, or a copy of “Neo Soul Nursery Rhymes,” a ceedee of awesome children’s songs as produced and sung by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, the illustrator of my upcoming book, “Early Sunday Morning,” and her sister and a few other awesome singers.  Congratulations to:

Jamal Robinson, who wins a copy of Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s “Neo Soul Nursery Rhymes: Volume 1.”

Maria Pitts Roberts, who wins a copy of my upcoming parenting book, “MyBrownBaby: the Joys and Challenges of Raising African American Children.”


If you and your babies loved “We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past,” cop a copy here, or pick it up at your local bookstore or library.

And don’t forget to check in for our next Good Night MyBrownBaby Facebook Live reading, featuring me, Denene Millner, reading the divine Debbie Allen’s , “Dancing In the Wings.” I’ll be reading live from the MyBrownBaby Facebook Fans page on Tuesday, February 21, 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!

* * *

Teeka’s family had a picnic this Sunday past. Everyone was there, from mean old cousin Terrance who put fake flies on the sweet corn, to Bible-toting Reverend Luke to Auntie Kim (Teeka’s all-time favorite). And they were all dreading the arrival of Cousin Martha and her pie, which was always a bit on the dry side (but you had to eat every bit so you didn’t hurt her feelings). But this year, where was Cousin Martha? And where was that dried-out apple pie?

Jacqueline Woodson’s warm, lyrical prose and Diane Greenseid’s exuberant artwork bring to life the humor, love, and of course, the wonderful food of the quintessential family picnic.

To enhance your child’s reading experience:

• Help your baby organize photos of a family gathering; talk about the family members in the pictures.
• Have your child write a story or draw a picture about his favorite family gathering.
• Make a sweet treat from a family recipe—one that celebrates your family.

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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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