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Ajuan Mance

What Do Brothas Do All Day?

Inspired by Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day?, these joyous portraits of Black men engaged in everyday life celebrate the deep roots and rich cultures of African American communities.

Have you ever wondered . . .
What do brothas do all day?
Brothas drive. Brothas dance. Brothas work. Brothas listen. And brothas love.

Scarry’s now-classic book, first published in 1968, is a richly illustrated guide to the places, jobs, and activities that defined the daily lives of grown-ups. Author-illustrator Ajuan Mance created What Do Brothas Do All Day?, like Scarry, in response to children’s innate curiosity about the activities and experiences of others, but also to meet the longing many kids have for characters and communities that look and feel like the people and places they know.

This joyous reflection of real Black men and boys engaged in everyday life is a gift for Black kids who rarely see themselves reflected in the pages of a book and an affirmation of their world and the people who populate it. From grocery shopping and waiting for a trim at the barbershop to singing, dancing, and laughing with friends, Mance captures the beauty in the ordinary, affirming the enduring strength of the Black community.

DIVERSE BOOKS FOR KIDS: This picture book features real Black men the author has observed in the world—everyday people, not models or stereotypes. One fan describes it as "just a rainbow of Black men, a beautiful rainbow of Black men."

LIBRARIAN LOVE: What Do Brothas Do All Day? began as an all-ages zine, but the author began to conceive of it as a children's book after being approached by two children's librarians.

INSPIRED BY A CLASSIC: As the author notes in the book, "I first encountered Richard Scarry’s work in the early 1970s when I was about six years old. The world of adults, with its grocery lists, PTA meetings, shopping trips, and dinner parties, seemed both tantalizingly exotic and impossibly complex. Today, those same descriptors can be applied to the ways that many people of all ages perceive Black men."

AN INVITATION: The book ends with an invitation, perhaps even a call to action: What will you do today?

Perfect for:
  • Parents and grandparents seeking engaging read-aloud and read-along picture books
  • Teachers and librarians looking for books featuring Black communities
  • Gift for readers of Jacqueline Woodson, Kwame Alexander, Cedella Marley, and Derrick Barnes books
  • Fans of Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day?

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