Diversity in children’s literature gives kids of color the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the books they read but it also makes it possible for all children to see experiences other than their own. As the mission of the nonprofit organization We Need Diverse Books says, “embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality.”
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year. All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school.
Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner
Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal bring to life a secret underwater world. In this book, readers will discover the plants and animals that make up the rich, interconnected ecosystem of a mountain pond. Over the pond, the water is a mirror, reflecting the sky. But under the pond is a hidden world of minnows darting, beavers diving, tadpoles growing. These and many other secrets are waiting to be discovered…over and under the pond.
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, from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers. Perfect for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation. We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.
Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs
Mom and Dad say I’m a blend of dark and light. “We mixed you perfectly, and got you just right.” Mike has awesome hair. He has LOTS of energy! His parents love him. And Mike is a PERFECT blend of the two of them.
Still, Mike has to answer LOTS of questions about being mixed. And he does, with LOTS of energy and joy in this charming story about a day in the life of a mixed-race child.
The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Princess Magnolia and Princess Sneezewort have plans . . . mysterious plans, like a princess playdate! They dress-up slam! They karaoke jam! But then a shout from outside Princess Sneezewort’s castle interrupts their fun. It’s a monster! This is a job for the Princess in Black. Yet when the Princess in Black gets there, she finds only a masked stranger and no monster in sight. But all is not as it seems! Action and humor abound in this ode to friendship that proves that when shape-shifting monsters intrude on your plans, two heroes are better than one.