Picture Books that Celebrate Diversity

We all know that books can broaden our views of the world and provide us a window or a door into the lives of people who are different from us: different cultures, ethnicities, historical time periods, and even worlds. Books can also be a mirror for us, showing us characters who are much like ourselves, facing life and challenges similar to our own. In difficult times, we turn to books to learn, to grow, to entertain, and to comfort. 

Stories can affect even the youngest children in the very same way. And what they learn from books can help shape who they become later on and how they will perceive people and events in their world.

In response to recent events—and because these are some of their best-loved choices, regardless – our children’s librarians have created a list of some of their favorite picture books that feature children of color.

Click on a book title below to take you to our online catalog where you can view a brief summary of the book and also place it on hold, if you’d like.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller and Jen Hill

The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan

Cece Loves Science by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes

City Green by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan

Cool Cuts by Mechal Renee Roe

Crown: Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes

Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Dear Dragon by Josh Funk

Double Bass Blues by Andrea J. Loney

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Early Sunday Morning by Denene Millner

Every Little Thing by Bob Marley and Cedella Marley

Grace for President by Kelly S. DiPucchio

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin

The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster

I Am Enough by Grace Byers

I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison

I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn

I Just Want to Say Good Night by Rachel Isadora

I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont

I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Imani’s Moon by JaNay Brown-Wood

Islandborn by Junot Díaz

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Keats’s Neighborhood by Ezra Jack Keats

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

Mama’s Nightingale by Edwidge Danticat

Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper

Mixed Me by Taye Diggs

My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera

My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best

Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin

Octopus Stew by Eric Velasquez

One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson

Parker Looks Up by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry

Raising Dragons by Jerdine Nolen

Reading Beauty by Deborah Underwood

Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne Naden

Saturday by Oge Mora

Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

That Is My Dream! by Langston Hughes

Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson

The Water Princess by Susan Verde and Georgie Badiel

We Are Grateful by Traci Sorrell

We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Kates

What If… by Samantha Berger

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

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