Celebrating Diversity Reading List

Children's Books that Celebrate Diversity

We're Different, We're the Same by Bobbi Jane Kates
Elmo and an array of classic characters help teach toddlers that everyone is the same on the inside and that it is differences that make our world wonderful, in a lighthearted celebration of diversity, that features nostalgic illustrations by a veteran Sesame Street artist.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce a school where diversity is celebrated.

Shades of Black : a Celebration of Our Children by Sandra L. Pinkney
A husband and wife team presents a collection of full-color photos with lively read-aloud text which celebrates the beauty and diversity of African-American children.

Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins
The six-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and four-time Caldecott Honor recipient presents a celebration of the wonder and potential of black children, applying his signature evocative cultural imagery to Perkins' inspirational poem.

Children's Books that Encourage Acceptance

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
The National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and author of the Coretta Scott King Award-winning Brown Girl Dreaming combines lyrical, reassuring text with artwork by the award-winning illustrator of Book Fiesta to inspire readers to find the courage to connect with others.

The Skin You Live in by Michael Tyler
Themes associated with child development and social harmony, such as friendship, acceptance, self-esteem, and diversity are promoted in simple and straightforward prose, offering a venue through which parents and teachers can discuss important social concepts with their children.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o
The Academy Award-winning actress presents the story of a little girl with beautiful, midnight-colored skin that makes her feel different from everyone, until a magical journey in the night sky transforms her perspective. Illustrated by the creator of Little Leaders.

Am I a Color Too? by Heidi Cole
A young boy whose father is called Black and whose mother is called White wonders if he is a color, too, even as he observes that people around him dream, feel, sing, smile, and dance in every color.

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Although a classmate says that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.

Children's Books that Deepen Understanding

Just Ask! : Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor
The boundary-breaking Supreme Court Justice and the award- winning author of Book Fiesta present a celebration of the world’s diversity that explains why different people make the world more vibrant and wonderful, just the way a variety of plants and flowers enhance a garden.

The Sandwich Swap by Rania Al-Abdullah
Best friends Lily and Salma disagree over their preferred foods, but after trading sandwiches to see how they taste, the girls change their minds.

Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed
Helping prepare his favorite dish from South Asia, 6-year-old Bilal invites a growing number friends to join his family for a meal and wonders if they will like slow-cooked lentil daal as much as he does. By the award-winning author of Written in the Stars.

Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park
In bouncy, rhyming text, a hungry Korean-American child tells about helping her mother make bee-bim bop--a traditional Korean dish of rice, meat, and vegetables--as they shop for the ingredients, prepare the meal, set the table, and finally sit down with the family to enjoy the child's favorite dish.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things. By the author of the celebrated picture book A Nation's Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis.

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
When Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela asks her father why she has so many names, she hears the story of her name and learns about her grandparents.

Informing Books

Racism: Deal With it Before it Gets Under Your Skin  by Anne Marie Aikins
Examines the many forms of racism and the ways to handle situations involving racism.

Something Happened in Our Town: a Child's Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano
After discussing the police shooting of a local Black man with their families, Emma and Josh know how to treat a new student who looks and speaks differently than his classmates.

Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel
A young girl lifts her hands up during everyday moments—including greeting the sun, getting dressed and playing basketball—before finally raising her hands in resistance at a protest march.

The Civil Rights Movement for Kids: a History with 21 Activities by Mary Turck
Young readers discover that children played an important role in the Civil Right Movement through this inspiring and informative book with 21 activities.

Book descriptions provided by LibraryAware