If you’re on a mission to diversify your child’s bookshelf, I’ve compiled 25 of my family’s favorite books to help you get started!
Whether your children read independently or read together, books are powerful tools to introduce new ideas and reinforce important values to your family. In our home, we aim to teach our children acceptance, compassion, and kindness towards themselves and others, and we’ve been fortunate to find amazing books that support these objectives.
When we look for books for my children, we first seek characters and situations that my children can identify with.
This increases their self-awareness and self-confidence. My daughters have brown skin and curly black hair, and they are overjoyed when we find books that include kids with brown skin and curly black hair. Children who see themselves reflected on the pages they read learn to value themselves and appreciate what makes them special.
As we shop for books, we also look for characters and situations that they can learn from.
There are so many different types of people in the world, most we will never have the opportunity to meet in person, and books allow us a small peek into their lives. The more we discover about others, the more empathy and understanding we will possess.
The books I’m sharing with you today are filled with uplifting words, beautiful illustrations, and scenarios that embrace and empower all backgrounds and abilities. This list is far from exhaustive! There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, more children’s books that will accomplish the same goals, but this is a wonderful place to begin.
A New Alphabet for Humanity by Leesa McGregor
This is a fun way to practice the alphabet while sharing age-appropriate examples of how everyone can contribute more positively to the world.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
This book features a group of students during a school day, joyfully acknowledging their backgrounds and abilities while ensuring that every child feels included.
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
The Colors of Us is about a little girl who goes on a walk with her mom through their neighborhood. They talk about how each person they see is a different shade of brown, from deep chocolate to peachy tan, and how beautiful every single color is.
Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho
A young girl recognizes the beauty and strength in her eyes that are shaped just like the other women in her family.
Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin
From the way it to looks to the wonderful things it can do, there is so much to love about our skin!
I Am Human: A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde
No one is perfect, but we can choose how we learn from our experiences and mistakes.
I Am Enough by Grace Byers
This empowering book shares messages about respecting others, knowing your worth, and overcoming adversity.
I Believe I Can by Grace Byers
Filled with positive affirmations, this book teaches all children that they have limitless inner power and are capable of achieving anything they dream.
I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont
No matter their traits, personality, or mood, there is so much for every child to appreciate about themselves!
Just Ask by Sonia Sotomayor
Written by one of our Supreme Court Justices, this book introduces a group of differently-abled children and encourages readers to “just ask” to learn more about one another.
Just in Case You Want to Fly by Julie Fogliano
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
We love this endearing story about a young boy and his nana, as they describe the different people they meet on their weekly trip across town.
Most People by Michael Leannah
Although scary events can happen in the world, this book serves as a reminder that most people are helpful, caring, and kind.
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
A young Korean girl moves to the United States with her family and goes on a journey to discover her new identity.
Pink is for Boys by Robb Pearlman
Our little ones are surrounded by stereotypes, but this encourages boys and girls to express themselves with the entire rainbow.
The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad
This is a heartwarming story about a little girl’s concern and admiration for her older sister as she wears a hijab for the first time.
Remarkably You by Pat Zietlow Miller
No matter your interests or talents, you have something to offer the world just by being yourself.
The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania Al Abdullah
Two best friends experience a conflict over their lunches, and learn a lesson about accepting differences.
Say Something by Peter H. Reynolds
Finding your voice can be a challenge, but you should always let your thoughts be heard and speak up for what’s right.
Skin Like Mine by Latashia M. Perry
All skin colors are beautiful, and we should celebrate how different hues and shades make each of us special.
The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts
Even if you’re small, you can have a big voice to promote positive change around you.
This is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe
Follow seven kids from different countries around the world as they eat, go to school, and spend time with their families and friends.
Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Mendez
“Where are you from?” seems like a simple question, but this little girl finds that a meaningful answer is more complex than she expected.
The World Needs More Purple People by Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart
This fun book explores what it means to be “purple” and what we can each do to make the world better for everyone.
The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be by Joanna Gaines
We all have unique gifts and skills that deserve to be recognized and cherished.
You Matter by Christian Robinson
Even when you feel lonely or unimportant, you still have worth and matter in this world.
You can find all of these titles, plus a few more, by clicking on this Amazon list. If any of them sparked your interest, consider purchasing them for your home, borrowing them from the library, or even gifting them to friends and family!
What books would you add to this list?