20 Books for Teaching Diversity to Kids

As parents and educators it is our responsibility to reflect kindness and bring down the wall of racism the best we know how.   While I don’t have all the answers, I do know we can start by exposing our children to the importance of being kind to one another regardless of what we look like and the things we have.   To help this, I have created a list 20 books for teaching diversity to kids.

These children’s books about diversity are geared for early childhood educators and parent with kids ranging from 3-8.  Ironically, while each book has it’s own title and beautifully designed cover, they all reflect kindness and compassion to all!

 

Books for Teaching Diversity to Kids

 

Children’s Books about Teaching Diversity

Here is a more in depth look at each of the books listed above.

1.  I Am Enough

ANew York Timesbestseller and Goodreads Choice Awards picture book winner! I Am Enough will teach kids about positive self image, and encourage kids to love themselves even when they look different from their friends.  This is number one on my list because it is THE most recommended book when searching for ideas on teaching diversity to young kids.

2.   We’re Different, We’re the Same

Our favorite children’s show, Sesame Street, has done it again.  They remind us that even though we make look different on the outside, we are very similar on the inside.  This is a great book to teach little kids about diversity, and to open up the discussion with kids about racism.  It’s hard, but Sesame Street, and their cherised characters, make it easier with this great book about diversity for kids.

3.    Listening With My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion

Listening With My Heart is a reminder of the importance of being friends to ourselves.  This children’s book also touches on the universal themes of friendship, empathy and kindness.  Best of all, it also includes mindfulness and self-compassion activities that you can do with your kiddos.

4. The ABC’s of Black History

I first saw this book when my family and I were killing time in a book store.  I highly recommend having this book in your collection of books about teaching diversity, and your Black History books for kids.

 

 

5.   Be Your Own Hero

We’re all looking at each other to see who’s going to fix the problems going on in our world.  But, maybe we need to teach the kids to start with themselves, first.  In Be Your Own Hero, Lisa King reveals what it takes to be a real-life hero – having the courage to believe in yourself, overcome obstacles, and make the world a better place for everyone. 

6.  When God Made You

A beautifully written and illustrated book for children of all races!  There is without a doubt representation of diversity in this book.  Teach kids that they were all put on this Earth for a reason, and each have a unique representation of what they have to offer.

7.   Love Your Hair

Sure, teaching diversity isn’t centered around hair.  But to an African American child, seeing themselves represented and understood is so important.  Furthermore, kids with all hair styles need to learn to love what they were given 🙂 Dedicated as an African American book for kids, Love Your Hair  shares a story about a girl named Phoenyx who loves her hair and wants every beautiful brown skin girl to love their hair too! 

8.  One Love

Ahhh, I can just feel the happiness now!  This book, written to the lyrics of Bob Marley’s song, One Love, is a beautiful illustration of coming together and loving each other regardless of race.  This would be good to read aloud, as a picture book for teaching diversity, and as a visual to be shared during a school musical program about kindness!

9.  Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

This book has a list of awards that scream it should be a part of every children’s book collection.  It’s a catchy, rhythmic, read-aloud book that celebrates an African American boy’s self-esteem and confidence after leaving the barber chair.

 

 

 

10.   Hair Love

Are you seeing the trend?  Yes, hair acceptance is a significant part of an African American child’s development.  If it wasn’t, this book wouldn’t have been a best-seller.  In fact, you probably first heard about Hair Love at the Academy Awards, when Matthew A. Cherry, proudly accepted his directors award for this short film.

11. Skin Like Mine

This is an easy to read book about diversity for kids.  I was reading through the reviews and saw that many parents and teachers purchased this book to help their kids identify with friends and classmates, regardless of skin color.

12.   All Are Welcome

This book was a part of the Amazon’s Best Children’s Book of the Year Selection.  This picture book about teaching diversity and welcoming everyone with open arms will leave you feeling awesome about spreading the message to your kids.

13.   I Am Mixed

Children from all races can learn the impeccable message spread throughout this short book about diversity.


 

 

14.   Dream Big, Little One

A board book packed full of amazing African American women who’ve followed their dreams.  Perfect for teaching about African American leadership, powerful women role models, or as a reference book during Black History Month.

 

15.   Teach Your Dragon About Diversity

A #1 Best Seller, this book about diversity, teaches your kids to accept differences, and respect others regardless of diversity.

 

16.    Chocolate Milk, Por Favor

Imagine how it would feel to start school in a place where you didn’t know their language.  You have no friends, nor do you know how to speak to them to make new friendships.  Chocolate Milk, Por Favor celebrates diversity with empathy, teaching kids that kindness is a universal language.


 

17.   One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike Than Different

A #1 best-seller in the Children’s Christian Emotions and Feelings section of amazon!  One Big Heart reminds us that we are all more alike than different, even when we see different skin, hair, eyes, and interests.

18.  All Kinds of People

This board book is a great addition to your books about teaching diversity to kids.  Simple photographs quickly remind us of how many shades of colors there are when you step out your front door.  Better yet, it celebrates the families who also share many shades of colors, too!

19.   Last Stop on Market Street

This book shows appreciation for simplicity rather than materialism, as well as recognizing and respecting ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity. 

20.   Sulwe

I suppose I may have saved the best for last.  This book has been recommended by thousands of parents and educators that are teaching kids about diversity! A New York Times bestseller! Written by Lupita Nyong’o, an academy award-winning actress, this book delivers a powerful message about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that within each of our souls comes true beauty!

 

Celebrating Black History

Along with reading books about diversity to your kiddos, continue to celebrate black history with age appropriate activities.  For example, you can print off this Black History Write the Room, and get your kids actively involved learning about the following famous African Americans:

  • Booker T Washington
  • Fredrick Douglass
  • George Washington Carver
  • Jackie Robinson
  • Jesse Owens
  • Marcus Garvey
  • Ruby Bridges
  • Sarah E Goode
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Thurgood Marshall 

 

 

 

Before you go, here are a few blog posts you may enjoy:

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Books for Teaching Diversity