100 books like Moja Means One

By Muriel Feelings, Tom Feelings (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Moja Means One fans have personally recommended if you like Moja Means One. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Sulwe

Christine Ieronimo Author Of A Thirst for Home: A Story of Water across the World

From my list on stories from Africa with strong protagonists.

Who am I?

I am passionate about writing books for children that create windows to the world, teaching empathy. Children that are empathic grow up to be kind and compassionate adults. I write because I long for a world that is more accepting and compassionate.  

Christine's book list on stories from Africa with strong protagonists

Christine Ieronimo Why did Christine love this book?

Sulwe is a little girl with skin the ‘color of midnight’. But she just wants to be like her mother and sister, who are lighter skinned. This is an emotional read with stunning illustrations that teaches us to love ourselves just as we were made and embrace our own unique beauty. 

By Lupita Nyong'o, Vashti Harrison (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Sulwe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colourism, self-esteem and learning that true beauty comes from within.

Sulwe's skin is the colour of midnight. She's darker than everyone in her family, and everyone at school.

All she wants is to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister.

Then a magical journey through the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

In this stunning debut picture book, Lupita Nyong'o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.


Book cover of Take Me Home

Kwame Nyong'o Author Of A Tasty Maandazi

From my list on what life is like in Africa for children.

Who am I?

As a Kenyan/American raised in both countries, I noticed growing up that there was very little creative content about Africa. Whilst in Kenya, I experienced much joy and fun in the culture and felt that other people in other parts of the world would also enjoy it. Loving reading, drawing, comics, and movies, I felt it would be useful to create such content about Africa. I was very fortunate to study arts at an undergraduate and graduate level in the US. This formal training, combined with extensive travel around Africa and the diaspora, has informed my sense of book and film creation and appreciation. I hope you enjoy this book list that I’ve curated!

Kwame's book list on what life is like in Africa for children

Kwame Nyong'o Why did Kwame love this book?

As a child, Take Me Home was my most favorite storybook. The way that the creators show the relationship between a father and son, and how they work together to achieve the goal of creating a matatu bus (a public transport bus common throughout Africa) is so palpably endearing. Set in 1970’s Kenya, the story offers a heartfelt slice of life that inspired me to want to go to Kenya and soak up the sights and sounds and be a part of this wonderfully intimate world. Unfortunately, the book is currently out of print, but if you can find a used copy out there it will be so well worth it.

By Nereas Gicoru,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Take Me Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Wooden Camel

Kwame Nyong'o Author Of A Tasty Maandazi

From my list on what life is like in Africa for children.

Who am I?

As a Kenyan/American raised in both countries, I noticed growing up that there was very little creative content about Africa. Whilst in Kenya, I experienced much joy and fun in the culture and felt that other people in other parts of the world would also enjoy it. Loving reading, drawing, comics, and movies, I felt it would be useful to create such content about Africa. I was very fortunate to study arts at an undergraduate and graduate level in the US. This formal training, combined with extensive travel around Africa and the diaspora, has informed my sense of book and film creation and appreciation. I hope you enjoy this book list that I’ve curated!

Kwame's book list on what life is like in Africa for children

Kwame Nyong'o Why did Kwame love this book?

Etabo dreams of being a camel racer but is thwarted by the fact that his family must now sell their camels because of impending drought.

What I find so interesting about this book is how the narrative does such an amazing job of showing a slice of life amongst the Turkana, a remote people in the deserts of Northwest Kenya. So very little of these amazing people have ever been shown in children’s literature and so I was so captivated by how this book gives such a great opportunity to peek into their world, illuminated by the tender illustrations and enthralling theme of not giving up on one's aspirations.

By Wanuri Kahiu, Manuela Adreani (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wooden Camel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Etabo dreams of being a camel racer. One day he might even beat his older brother when they race. But with the price of water rising, Etabo's father must sell the camels, and his siblings must find work. What will Etabo do now? From acclaimed Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu and Italian illustrator Manuela Adreani, this story of love and hope centers on the inspiring Turkana people of northwest Kenya. Told with gentleness and humor, it is a universal story about keeping one's dreams alive.


Book cover of Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti

Kwame Nyong'o Author Of A Tasty Maandazi

From my list on what life is like in Africa for children.

Who am I?

As a Kenyan/American raised in both countries, I noticed growing up that there was very little creative content about Africa. Whilst in Kenya, I experienced much joy and fun in the culture and felt that other people in other parts of the world would also enjoy it. Loving reading, drawing, comics, and movies, I felt it would be useful to create such content about Africa. I was very fortunate to study arts at an undergraduate and graduate level in the US. This formal training, combined with extensive travel around Africa and the diaspora, has informed my sense of book and film creation and appreciation. I hope you enjoy this book list that I’ve curated!

Kwame's book list on what life is like in Africa for children

Kwame Nyong'o Why did Kwame love this book?

Anansi the Spider is one of the classic African stories that inspired me to go into storytelling as a career. Reading this book, and watching its animated counterpart as a child, totally enthralled me. The combination of the bright, bold colours and graphical aesthetic, with the mystique of the folklore felt just like magic to me. The fable told here comes off as profound yet funny and quirky. This book is a must for anyone interested in fables and African folklore in particular.

By Gerald McDermott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anansi the Spider as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Anansi, one of the great folk heroes of the world, is saved from a terrible fate by his six sons in this traditional tale from West Africa.


Book cover of One Was Johnny: A Counting Book

Stephanie Calmenson Author Of Dinner at the Panda Palace

From my list on counting for young children.

Who am I?

I've written more than 100 books including the counting books Dinner at the Panda Palace (HarperCollins / PBS StoryTime) and Dozens of Dachshunds (Bloomsbury / Scholastic Book Clubs).  I also write easy readers such as Stomp! (Ready-to-Read / JLG) and early chapter books including the Our Principal series and, with Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole, The Adventures of Allie and Amy series. As a former early childhood teacher and children's book editor, I'm a big fan of counting books and look forward to writing – and reading – many more. 

Stephanie's book list on counting for young children

Stephanie Calmenson Why did Stephanie love this book?

This book, one of four in Maurice Sendak's Nutshell Library begins, "1 was Johnny who lived by himself." 

Wait till you see who joins him and the chaos that ensues! Children get to count from 1 to 10 and, when Johnny figures out how to get rid of the crowd, readers get to count back from 10 to 1.

The rhyme flows along merrily, the illustrations are Sendak-irresistible, and readers of any age can relate to Johnny valuing his "me" time. 

By Maurice Sendak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Was Johnny as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From one to ten and back again, children have been counting along with One Was Johnny for over fifty years!

Now in a larger, 5 x 7  trim size, this charming book about a boy and his many visitors is one that children and their grown-ups will want to count along with again and again.

This beloved classic from Maurice Sendak has helped introduce counting to generations of children. This edition is perfect for lap sharing and as a baby shower gift.


Book cover of 100 Bugs!: A Counting Book

Jeannine Atkins Author Of Grasping Mysteries: Girls Who Loved Math

From my list on starring math, bugs and strong girls.

Who am I?

I was a girl who looked under rocks. Besides caring about crawling things and forests, I liked to read and write about history, which became the passion I followed into college and a career. No regrets, but I sometimes wonder what might have become of me if an interest in science was more encouraged and I was nudged past my fear of math. 

Jeannine's book list on starring math, bugs and strong girls

Jeannine Atkins Why did Jeannine love this book?

This is a busy book in the best of ways. Counting is a start toward exploring the beauty and joy of creeping or flying bugs and the places they make as their homes. Honestly, what can be more fun to count than a variety of colorful bugs? We’re introduced to various ways to reach one hundred, an exhilarating number to aim for.

By Kate Narita, Suzanne Kaufman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 100 Bugs! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Little explorers will learn 10 different ways to count to 10, using 10 different kinds of bugs, and get all the way to 100 by the end of their adventure. With Suzanne Kaufman's bright, whimsical illustrations and Kate Narita's clever rhyming text, 100 Bugs! is part look-and-find, part learning experience, and all kinds of fun.


Book cover of Little Goblins Ten

Iza Trapani Author Of Haunted Party

From my list on rhyming Halloween books for children.

Who am I?

Born in Poland, I have fond memories of sitting on my Grandma’s lap listening to stories and poems. A favorite poem was about a crow who ate Swiss cheese and only left the holes. The concept made my noggin spin and spurred my imagination. When I immigrated to the U.S. at age seven, I learned English by reading a Mother Goose collection. Captivated by the fun rhyming sounds and art, I dreamed of making children’s books someday. Years later, my dream came true, I became an author/illustrator, with the majority of my books being extensions of the nursery rhymes which inspired me when I was a child. 

Iza's book list on rhyming Halloween books for children

Iza Trapani Why did Iza love this book?

This Halloween rendition of the traditional Over in the Meadow counting rhyme is so well done. The finely crafted verses feature goblins, ghosts, skeletons, and other spooky creatures. Beautiful, colorful, atmospheric scenes by Jane Manning compliment the story inviting the reader to pause on each page to admire the art, count the characters, and smile. As an illustrator myself, I appreciate the wonderful design and compositions. Both the story and characters are sweet and hardly scary, so it’s a great pick for younger children, especially those who might be easily frightened.

By Pamela Jane, Jane Manning (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Goblins Ten as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From author Pamela Jane and New York Times bestselling illustrator Jane Manning comes a delicious Halloween treat for readers to enjoy! Perfect for fans of The Spooky Wheels on the Bus and Ten Timid Ghosts. Now in paperback!

Over in the forest

Where the trees hide the sun

Lived a big mommy monster

And her little monster one.

From monsters to ghosties to goblins, everyone's favorite beasties haunt and howl and rattle their way through their forest home in this silly, spooky twist on the beloved nursery rhyme "Over in the Meadow."


Book cover of Counting Birds: The Idea That Helped Save Our Feathered Friends

Peggy Thomas Author Of For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson

From my list on for budding birders.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved birds, especially the red-winged black birds; their song was the first I learned to recognize as a kid. My first field guide was written by Roger Tory Peterson, and through that book and many others I’ve learned about the amazing world around us. Now, as a children’s nonfiction author, I get to share similar stories with young readers through my books and at school presentations. And as a writing instructor, I collect well-crafted and well-researched nonfiction, and use them to encourage budding children’s writers at workshops, in blog posts for the Nonfiction Ninjas, and as co-host of the annual Nonfiction Fest that celebrates true stories for children.

Peggy's book list on for budding birders

Peggy Thomas Why did Peggy love this book?

Believe it or not, a long time ago hunters would go out on Christmas day and shoot as many birds as they could. I know! What an awful tradition! Yikes! Fortunately, Frank Chapman thought it was awful, too. This book shows how he campaigned for bird lovers to count birds rather than shoot them. 

Today, millions of people participate in the Christmas Bird Count. Their data helps scientists keep track of bird populations. The best part is that anyone can participate. Counting Birds reminds us that one person really can make a difference.

By Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Clover Robin (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Counting Birds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Everyday kids learn how they can help protect bird species, near and far, with the award-winning book Counting Birds-the real-life story behind the first annual bird count.

What can you do to help endangered animals and make a positive change in our environment? Get counting! Counting Birds is a beautifully illustrated book that introduces kids to the idea of bird counts and bird watches. Along the way, they will learn about Frank Chapman, an ornithologist who wanted to see the end of the traditional Christmas bird hunt, an event in which people would shoot as many birds as possible on…


Book cover of One Big Pair of Underwear

Karen Deerwester Author Of The Potty Training Answer Book: Practical Answers to the Top 200 Questions Parents Ask

From my list on to survive potty training with humor and understanding.

Who am I?

I love supporting families through the challenges of potty training because I love deciphering the developmental puzzle of potty skill building – the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social pieces all coming together at the perfect time. As a “family time” teacher for over three decades, I know the stories and the setbacks. I want to be the voice for children learning to manage their bodies, their choices and their world. With a Masters and Specialist degree in Early Childhood, I have also conducted national webinars for Early Childhood teachers on collaborating with families on in-school potty training. I hope these books add some fun and sanity to your potty training experience!

Karen's book list on to survive potty training with humor and understanding

Karen Deerwester Why did Karen love this book?

Underwear! Underwear! Underwear is funny! It’s a proud moment when a child graduates to underwear. One Big Pair of Underwear is the perfect underwear book to launch your Underwear Parade through the house to celebrate your child’s potty success! Hoist those underwear flags and parade with family and friends.

This is a fun counting book about animals who learn to share from a pair of underwear. It’s a book about problem solving animals and no one is left out of this underwear parade! It isn’t a book about potty training but you will see, once your child finally says goodbye to diapers, there’s no looking back. Underwear just become the new funny normal. Underwear books never get old.

By Laura Gehl, Tom Lichtenheld (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Big Pair of Underwear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Count and share with...underwear! Come along on a zany adventure with this Classic Board Book edition of One Big Pair of Underwear from New York Times bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld!

What's one thing that two bears, three yaks, four goats, and six cats have in common?

They hate to share.

But look out-here comes a pack of twenty pigs ready to prove that sharing makes everything twice as fun!

This seriously silly Classic Board Book with artwork by the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site irresistibly combines the concepts of counting and sharing.


Book cover of Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin

Stephanie Calmenson Author Of Dinner at the Panda Palace

From my list on counting for young children.

Who am I?

I've written more than 100 books including the counting books Dinner at the Panda Palace (HarperCollins / PBS StoryTime) and Dozens of Dachshunds (Bloomsbury / Scholastic Book Clubs).  I also write easy readers such as Stomp! (Ready-to-Read / JLG) and early chapter books including the Our Principal series and, with Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole, The Adventures of Allie and Amy series. As a former early childhood teacher and children's book editor, I'm a big fan of counting books and look forward to writing – and reading – many more. 

Stephanie's book list on counting for young children

Stephanie Calmenson Why did Stephanie love this book?

In this perfect pairing of words and pictures, readers count along as instruments are added one by one, with musicians going from solo to duo to trio until a chamber group of ten is formed.

The language flows musically, "Gliding, sliding, high notes go low." 

The images soar and delight with detail. The book ends with calls for an encore and children are bound to ask for encore readings.

By Lloyd Moss, Marjorie Priceman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Caldecott Honor book that is the perfect introduction to musical instruments and a counting book that redefines the genre.

When this book begins, the trombone is playing all by itself. But soon a trumpet makes a duet, a french horn a trio, and so on until the entire orchestra is assembled on stage. Written in elegant and rhythmic verse and illustrated with playful and flowing artwork, this unique counting book is the perfect introduction to musical groups. Readers of all ages are sure to shout "Encore!" when they reach the final page of this joyous celebration of classical music.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in counting, Africa, and East Africa?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about counting, Africa, and East Africa.

Counting Explore 22 books about counting
Africa Explore 240 books about Africa
East Africa Explore 14 books about East Africa