Diversity Books for Children: 15 Kids Books That Celebrate Diversity
Looking for Diversity books for children? See below a list of multicultural children’s books about diversity and celebrating differences.
The Importance of Diverse Books for Kids
Research has shown the many advantages of reading with young children. The books a child reads can influence how his or her brain grows, changes, or makes connections and different patterns.
Children absorb all the information their senses can perceive. So it is important that they have a library of good books.
Diverse books are important; Books that teach empathy, kindness, and acceptance. Multicultural books that show people of different religions, customs, lifestyles, and races.
When children see themselves in a book, they can gain role models and inspiration. They have something to emulate. They feel validated. When children see others who are different from them, they learn that the world is diverse.
Children learn that not only can they be anything or anyone, but also to respect and appreciate everyone regardless of them being different. Simply because children are great imitators!
We’ve put together a list of diversity books for children. This list of multicultural kids books celebrate diversity in some way.
As is with any life lesson or habit, it’s easier and better to start reading to children as early as possible, and reading books about diversity no less. The younger you start reading diversity books, the quicker diversity gets normalized – because it is – and children wouldn’t know any different.
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Children’s Books about Diversity
These children’s books that celebrate diversity help teach kids compassion and be inclusive of all people from all walks of life. Make sure to also check out our list of multicultural books for kids, and anti-racism books for kids too.
Diversity Books for Children – Babies and Toddlers
This is a perfect multicultural book for babies and toddlers but can also be read for older children too. Each page contains a greeting in a different language and a child from the part of the world that speaks that language.
The art also illustrates what’s reminiscent of that city or country. This diversity book for kids is simple and a quick read, and perfect for little ones. And who knows, your baby may just learn how to say hello in different languages before he or she even walks!
Books can provide children with role models they can emulate. What is even better is when these role models look like them. This multicultural book for kids is just that. It is both inspiring and representative of women and women of color.
Exposing your little one to the names of women who paved the way to a realm of possibilities for the generations that come after them, encourages children to dream big and to realize that anything is possible. Representation matters and it leaves a lasting impression. This is the perfect children’s book about diversity.
In this diversity book for kids, the author writes about how babies and toddlers are loved and cared for everyday and everywhere. It not only highlights how children are loved and cared for in different ways, but also that they are different.
The rhymes in this children’s book are irresistible and employed great cadence. The illustration depicts babies of different shapes, sizes, and colors; as well as families of different types and appearances.
The ending says it all: Every day, everywhere, babies are loved, for trying so hard, for traveling so far, for being so wonderful, just as they are. What better way to emphasize to your child you love them just as they are than to read it rhythmically with this book?
Diversity Books for Children – Preschool / Early Elementary
This diversity children’s book is not only beautifully illustrated, but also well-written. The sentences are short and succinct, yet powerful enough to ignite tolerance and understanding of others who are different. It reiterates this message that often get lost among many adults – to welcome our differences, acknowledge our similarities, and find joy in both.
What’s even better is that it shows children, so it makes it easier for children reading this book to imagine themselves as part of the book. It makes it easier to connect the dots between diversity and acceptance.
This is another diversity book for children filled with inspiring women from all over the world. It has a short and easy to read rhyming verses and a short text with further explanation to the accomplishments of each woman.
Though this book seems to be geared toward girls, this can and should be read to boys too as it shows that women can do anything. And if further analyzed, it wasn’t too long ago when these women have triumphed and broken barriers.
This empowering book tells children that nothing is impossible and there are more barriers to break. There’s a question posed in the book: how will you change the world someday? It’s a thoughtful inquiry that renders the reader to take a positive action.
Mommy, Mama, and Me – Leslea Newman
Daddy, Papa, and Me – Leslea Newman
Rather than representing the “traditional family”, these fantastic children’s diversity books show how different families can be with the representation of same sex parents and gives a representation of the typical day in their lives.
The message in this children’s book about diversity is that all families are not the same, and that not everyone has a Mommy and Papa, sometimes there are two Mommy’ or two Papa’s.
The message is simple: girls can do anything. It defies gender stereotypes as it teaches girls, with each letter of the alphabet, about professions they can do when they grow up. There’s also a brief explanation of what all each job entails. It features a quantum physicist wearing a hijab and a software engineer in a wheelchair among others. This diversity book for children truly empowers.
This children’s book celebrating diversity was written by the author for her daughter whom she adopted from Guatemala. Karen Katz says, “I am fascinated by people from all over the world and what they look like and how they live and the differences that make us all unique.”
This book celebrates all the shades of brown and it puts a fun spin to it by describing the shades as a food item. It helps normalize diversity and children can realize how beautiful they are no matter their shade of brown.
This is a great diversity book for children to read about celebrating your own many-faceted skin and those of others’. It delivers the message of diversity and social acceptance in a fun, whimsical prose that’s both simple enough for young readers to read aloud themselves, and complex enough for parents to explain the meaning of some of the text.
There are many points that get brought up, so this can be read over and over again with a prominent, new topic each time such as acceptance and self-esteem. The perfect children’s book celebrating diversity.
This is an incredible children’s book that celebrates diversity depicting two school-age children, who live in different continents, who also find out the similarities and differences between them. It helps young readers realize they can reach out to someone different from them no matter what they live and find out they are not all that different from each other.
It also encourages children to explore the world of foreign lands and intriguing cultures and to talk. Talking and figuring out our similarities – can you imagine how our world would be? Same, same but different, indeed.
Diversity Books for Older Children
If you haven’t read this wonderful children’s book, make sure you pick up a copy along with the movie. It’s about a boy with facial deformities, who’s been homeschooled and is entering 5th grade. It’s not easy being the new kid at school, let alone the new kid, who also looks very different. The book is riddled with characters and uplifting, cohesive little stories that tug your heart.
The author also incorporates precepts and questions that invite the young readers to think critically about the world and the choices they make. What kind of people are we? What kind of person are you? What kind of person am I?
Written by young adult about personal, real-life trials she faced as she battled for her right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to get an education. These freedoms we often take for granted.
She talks about the struggles she has had to endure as a child, and yet she overcame. This is a brilliant diversity book for children that emphasizes how education is the most powerful tool. Reading her account of her life reminds young readers of the tenacity of a female minority amid adversity.
This diversity book depicts a 10-year-old’s journey to America as a refugee, written in free verse. It portrays human resilience and provides an enlightening look into an immigrant’s ups and downs as she traversed the ocean with her family and navigate a world very different from her own. The text also introduces non-English words, which encourages young readers to research and find out more about Vietnam.
Children’s Books about Diversity
Do you know any other children’s books about diversity or that celebrate differences? Let us know in the comments! We are always looking for new diversity books for children to add to the list.