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Best Children’s Books about Diversity
Updated on
September 11, 2023

Best Children’s Books about Diversity

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Best Children’s Books about Diversity

As new parents, we often think about those tough parts of having a baby: the endless diapers, parenting on no sleep, and that general, pervasive feeling that you have no clue what you’re doing. We assume there’s time to worry about the bigger stuff—like actually raising those babies to be good people—later when we’re well-caffeinated and more rested. And inevitably, like all things in parenthood, that time creeps up on us quicker than we thought.

In fact, studies show that infants as young as 3 months old are able to categorize people by gender and race; by age two, they use those recognitions to reason people’s behaviors. By the time they’re in preschool, children make meaning of race, culture, disability, and gender and use those meanings to inform their own behavior. Those little babies in our laps soaking through 100 diapers a day are also soaking in the world around them in ways we can never understand. What we can do is make sure their views are as diverse as possible.

Books are a wonderful way for children of all ages to be exposed to lives and experiences that they may not otherwise see. When we see diversity around us, it gives us a chance to understand—and kids are the same way. Research has shown that when children are given opportunities to experience diversity, they gain comfort in racial, religious, language and lifestyle differences. That leads to kids who grow up to be tolerant and open-minded.

Organizations like We Need Diverse Books are making sure that more books celebrating diversity get published and are made accessible to young children, but it’s up to parents, family members and teachers to read those books to their little ones. If you’re looking to increase the diversity on your kids’ bookshelves, these are some of our favorite diverse books for children.

 A Is for All of Us - $23.34.

Learn about all kinds of kids, one for each letter A through Z. Simple words and joyful illustrations show all the things that make each child unique, and also just like every kid you know.

A Is for All of Us

$23.34
Little Feminist Celebrating Differences Book Set - Families, Hair And How We Eat - $29.97.

This box set includes fives titles: Families, Hair, On-the-Go, How We Eat and Celebrations, each book celebrating the diversity found across the world in the way our families look, the hair we have, how we move, how and what we eat and what we celebrate.

Little Feminist Celebrating Differences Book Set - Families, Hair And How We Eat

$29.97
Our Favorite Day of the Year  - $13.09.

At first, Musa thinks his classmates are too different from him to be his friends. They all celebrate different holidays, eat different foods and come from very different cultures. But the more they share about themselves, the more they realize they really can be best friends.

Our Favorite Day of the Year

$13.09
Bodies Are Cool - $12.79.

This book is a celebration of all the different ways human bodies can look, including shape, size, skin tone and hair type. With engaging illustrations and simple language, it encourages a love-your-body mindset and instills confidence and acceptance.

Bodies Are Cool

$12.79
Lovely - $13.99.

Whether your hair is fluffy or sleek, whether you’re tall or short, whether you wear braces, whether you have prosthetics, one thing is for sure: lovely is different, weird and wonderful, and we are all lovely!

Lovely

$13.99
IntersectionAllies: We Make Room For All - $18.95.

IntersectionAllies is a beautifully illustrated primer to intersectional feminism told through the stories of nine characters who advocate and support each other and show what it really means to be allies.

IntersectionAllies: We Make Room For All

$18.95
Dreamers - $11.99.

Dreamers tells the stories of immigrants and the many gifts and strengths they bring to the new places they call home. It’s a celebration of the inner strength it takes to navigate unfamiliar territory, make mistakes and find your own way, as told through poetic text and vivid illustrations.

Dreamers

$11.99
When Charley Met Emma - $10.99.

When Charley meets Emma, a girl with limb differences, he doesn’t know what to think. But after getting to know Emma, he realizes that different doesn’t mean weird, bad, sad or strange, it just means different. This book encourages kindness and respect for all, regardless of what we look like.

When Charley Met Emma

$10.99
 What Riley Wore - $11.99.

Riley loves wearing all kinds of different clothes, and their creative self-expression isn’t limited by gender. When other kids ask if Riley is a boy or a girl, they quickly realize that it doesn’t matter—a friend is a friend. What Riley Wore celebrates diversity in self-expression and encourages children to see beyond the gender of clothing.

What Riley Wore

$11.99
 All Kinds of Families - $8.99.

There are so many different kinds of families in the world! Families with two dads, or one mom, or one mom and one dad. There are families with grandparents or aunts and uncles instead, families with siblings or only one child or families who aren’t related by blood but who love each other just the same.

All Kinds of Families

$8.99
I'll Walk With You - $14.29.

This sweet poem is all about accepting others and being there for them no matter what they look like, where they’re from, how they get around or how old they are.

I'll Walk With You

$14.29
 All People Are Beautiful - $14.95.

With vivid images of just how different everyone in the world is, All People Are Beautiful illustrates the color and joy of a diverse global community, and imagines how boring things would be if everyone was the same. All people are colorful and unique in their own way, and all people are beautiful and worth celebrating.

All People Are Beautiful

$14.95
 The Big Umbrella - $9.99.

No matter how many people need shelter, no matter who they are, this umbrella is always big enough. In a charming metaphor for equality and acceptance, The Big Umbrella encourages children to make space for everyone, no matter what.

The Big Umbrella

$9.99

Babylist Staff

Editor

Babylist editors and writers are parents themselves and have years of experience writing and researching, coming from media outlets like Motherly, the SF Chronicle, the New York Times and the Daily Beast, and the fields of early childhood education and publishing. We research and test hundreds of products, survey real Babylist parents and consult reviews in order to recommend the best products and gear for your growing family.

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