Imagine a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book. For example, my family is multiracial. Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t be able to find a children’s book that portrayed our uniqueness. Even just five years ago in 2015, 73.3% of children’s books depicted white characters. That percentage decreased to 50% by 2018, but since 27% instead featured animals or inanimate objects as characters, that meant only 23% of children’s books published depicted non-white human characters. Those numbers are dismal, and not at all reflective of our children. We need more diversity!

Luckily, the tides are changing. More and more children’s books are being published that feature beautifully diverse characters and families! This list is just a sampling of some of my recent favorites that I find myself recommending over and over again to friends. I’ve also included some resources at the end of this post to help you continue to diversify your child’s at-home library. 

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

Look at that girl – LOVE HER! Dr. Kendi’s picture book is also now available in board book format. It has 9 simple steps to raising an antiracist child from the beginning.books about diversity

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

Discover a school where—no matter what—young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated. Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other’s traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be.

books about diversity

Be Who You Are by Todd Parr

Who better than Todd Parr to remind kids that their unique traits are what makes them so special? With his signature silly and accessible style, Parr encourages readers to embrace all their unique qualities.

books about diversity

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López have teamed up to create a heartening book about finding the courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

books about diversity

Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley

A beautiful book that brings Bob Marley’s beloved song, “Three Little Birds” to life for a new generation. This is a universal story of a boy who won’t let anything get him down, as long as he has the help of three special little birds.

books about diversity

I am Enough by Grace Byers

This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena

This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share.

15 Books to Diversify Your Child's At-Home Library

Little Humans by Brandon Stanton

A 40-page photographic picture book for young children combined with original narrative from Brandon Stanton becomes a heartwarming ode to little humans everywhere.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

This beautifully illustrated board book showcases 18 trailblazing black women in American history. 

Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

This fun, inclusive board book celebrates the one thing that makes every family a family … and that’s LOVE.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o

A powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

15 Books to Diversify Your Child's At-Home Library

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World by Matt Lamothe

Follow one day in the real lives of seven kids from around the world—Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia. This genuine exchange provides a window into traditions that may be different from our own as well as mirrors reflecting our common experiences. 

We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty

Through illness and health, in celebration and disappointment, families stick together. Some families are made up of many people, and some are much smaller. Sometimes family members look like each other, and sometimes they don’t! But even though every family is different, the love is all the same

What Makes Us Unique?: Our First Talk about Diversity by Jillian Roberts

When it comes to explaining physical, cultural, and religious differences to children, it can be difficult to know where to begin. What Makes Us Unique? provides an accessible introduction to the concept of diversity, teaching children how to respect and celebrate people’s differences and that ultimately, we are all much more alike than we are different

Who We Are!: All About Being the Same and Being Different by Robie H. Harris

This book is geared towards helping preschoolers understand what makes us who we are — from our height to our hair, from the shade of our skin to our eyesight.

More Diverse Book Resources

Diverse Families Bookshelf 

This comprehensive bibliography is being updated constantly with hundreds of children’s books read cover to cover and cataloged for your perusal. Thanks to a handful of librarians at the University of Central Florida, you can easily locate books featuring a variety of family relationships, racial diversity, cultures & ethnicities, disabilities & health topics, as well as LGBTQ+! 

Where to Find Diverse Books 

This list may take you some time to read through, but it is a motherlode of updated recommendations for representation. The non-profit organization, We Need Diverse Books, is a huge advocate in the publishing world in the push toward producing and promoting literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

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Alexandra is a native Floridian, born and raised by the ocean in Daytona Beach. She graduated from Florida State University in 2011 with a Bachelors in English Literature and in 2013 with a Masters in Library Science. During her time in Tallahassee, she also met and fell in love with her husband, Paul. Soon after getting married, they settled down in St. Augustine and began a family as Alexandra pursued her dream job as a librarian with the St. Johns County Public Library System. When she’s not leading storytimes, checking out books, and running the library, you can find her hopping around town with her family. She’s a proud mama to three little boys, born in 2015, 2017, and 2019! Her husband is a phenomenal stay-at-home-dad, and can often be spotted babywearing all over St. Augustine.