We celebrate different cultures and diversity in our home. I think it’s an important lesson for our children to understand how people are all different but all the same too. People always ask what race my daughter is. I get the same question a lot too. I calculated Zoe’s ethnicity today. She is definitely a celebration of many cultures combined.
- Filipino 37.5%
- White 25%
- Black 25%
- Chinese 12.5%
Here are 10 children’s picture books that celebrate diversity and our world. Our world is a big melting pot of people and cultures, and I hope we can raise our children to be compassionate about the people who live in it.
1. Every Human Has Rights by National Geographic: Take a beautiful and insightful journey about social issues based on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The photography is vivid and shares stories through poems and short essays written by young people.
2. Global Babies by Global Relief Fund: Explore different cultures through this simple board book of baby photos. This is a perfect book for very young children and babies to explore babies just like them from around the world.
3. It’s Okay to be Different by Todd Parr: Get lost in this book filled with bright images and simple statements that celebrate diversity with messages about self-acceptance and understanding. “It’s okay to be you.”
4. Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester: Join the conversation with the author in talking about how our insides are all alike even though our outsides might be different. The illustrations are bold and inviting. This book talks about race and how all people deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.
5. Shades of People by Shelley Rotner: Introduce your child to the many skin tones that exist in our world with this photo book of children. Your child will have a better way of processing the unique characteristics that make up people if you explore and talk with your children about differences in the home.
6. The Peace Book by Todd Parr: Celebrate diversity with your child by letting them know what it looks like to honor and respect our world with peace. Peace is about respect, empathy and helping others. And Todd Parr’s images and positive messages just help spread love to the world in a simple way.
7. The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss: Spark a conversation about tolerance, diversity and the fear of the unknown with the Star-Belly Sneetches and the Plain-Belly Sneetches. A classic story that touches upon some important moral issues in a fun and enlightening way.
8. We Are All Alike . . . We Are All Different: Fall in love with the Cheltenham Elementary School Kindergartner class as they celebrate their differences but recognize “we are all family”. They use their own stories and personal illustrations to show how they live and who they play with.
9. Whoever You Are by Mem Fox: Identify and recognize the cultural differences that exist around the world in this beautifully illustrated story. Embrace diversity and similarities with the gentle messages and themes, “their words may be very different from yours. But inside, their hearts are just like yours.”
10. You and Me Together: Moms, Dads, and Kids Around the World by National Geographic: Introduce your child to geography in this book of family photographs and a world map of where they live. This is an honest look into family life that is happening around the world everyday. Discuss the cultural differences and similarities of mealtime, play and family love.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PICTURE BOOK THAT CELEBRATES DIVERSITY?
What books would you add to this list? Share below– I would love to discover some new books that inspire dialogue about diversity and tolerance.