Books are such a wonderful way to introduce kids to the world and teach them about important topics. The world is full of so many different kinds of people and families. Learning about cultural differences and cultural diversity can be a lot of fun. Add these books to the 10 Cultural Diversity Activities For Elementary Students to create a fun cultural unit!
These children’s book on diversity are a great starting point to introducing kids to the topics of diversity, race and tolerance.
Children’s Books About Diversity
Don’t forget to check out my other favorite children’s books lists.
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Whoever You Are was written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Leslie Staub. This book takes the reader around the world, showing how we may all be different in so many ways, but we have so much in common as well. The sweet message is accompanied by vividly colorful illustrations showing diverse people, families and homes.
Chocolate Milk, Por Favor: Celebrating Diversity with Empathy was written by Maria Dismondy and illustrated by Donna Farrell. This book, inspired by a true story, follows a young boy who moves to a new school where everyone speaks a different language. One of the other boys in school doesn’t want to accept him, but he soon learns an important lesson of friendship and kindness from his peers reminding the reader how beautiful cultural diversity can be.
I’m Like You, You’re Like Me: A Book About Understanding and Appreciating Each Other was written by Cindy Gainer and illustrated by Miki Sakamoto. This bright and colorful book shares lots of ways that we can be different from one another, as well as all the ways that we are the same. The sweet story also includes lots of easy tips for kids to be better friends and accept each other’s differences.
We’re Different, We’re the Same was written by Bobbi Kates and illustrated by Joe Mathieu. In this book from Sesame Street, readers are introduced to the idea that all the parts of us are the same, but also can be different. This is a great way to introduce the idea that something can have similar and different qualities.
A Rainbow of Friends was written by P.K. Hallinan. This sweet story shows why we should strive to gather a rainbow of friends. Diversity is beautiful. The adorable illustrations and simple rhyming text introduce the idea that we have lots of different kinds of friends, and they are all special.
The Colors of Us was written and illustrated by Karen Katz. When a little girl named Lena decides to paint a picture of herself, her mother teaches her that all of her friends and family have different shades of color for their skin.
Shades of People was written by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly. This book uses simple text and colorful photographs to introduce young readers to the many different shades of color that skin can be. This is a great toddler children’s book about diversity.
The Skin You Live In was written by Michael Tyler and illustrated by David Lee Csicsko. This rhyming book teaches readers to be proud of their individual skin, but also realize that the skin you live in doesn’t define you. We all have skin, and we have more similarities than differences!
People was written and illustrated by Peter Spier. Take a trip around the world in this story, exploring the ways that we are similar and different. The illustrations include all kinds of people, experiences, homes and families in incredibly detailed illustrations.
Same, Same But Different was written and illustrated by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw. This book follows Elliot and Kailash, two penpals across the world who write letters back and forth. The interesting tidbits about their lives on opposite sides of the world showcase how we are the same but different.
All the Colors of the Earth (Mulberry Books) was written and illustrated by Sheila Hamanaka. This story celebrates the wide range of skin colors in the world, as well as all the beautiful colors found in nature. The lyrical text is combined with beautiful illustrations highlighting all the beautiful colors.
It’s Okay To Be Different was written and illustrated by Todd Parr. Through simple text and Parr’s signature brightly colored illustrations, this book shares lots of examples of ways that we can be different, and reassures the reader that being different is okay.
All the Colors We Are/Todos los colores de nuestra piel was written by Katie Kissinger with photography by Chris Bohnhoff. This book explores the different colors that skin may have, and explains how we get the skin that we have. The illustrations show people of various skin tones and ages, while the text is written in both English and Spanish.
Same Difference was written and illustrated by Calida Garcia Rawles. Lida and Lisa are first cousins who do everything together. When they play dress up one day, they start to see the differences in their appearances. Their wise grandmother helps them see that they can be different and still the same.
The Sandwich Swap was written by Queen Rania Al Abdullah with Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Tricia Tusa. Lily and Salma are best friends who do everything together. When they get into an argument about their sandwich choices, they learn an important lesson about accepting differences and learning from one another.
What I Like About Me! was written by Allia Zobel Nolan and illustrated by Miki Sakamoto. This fun rhyming story introduces a wide variety of kids who all have something that makes them different. They are all proud of their differences, teaching kids to embrace what makes them unique.
Happy in Our Skin was written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Lauren Tobia. This rhyming book shows a diverse group of babies who are all happy in their skin. The sweet illustrations and rhyming text show readers all the ways that our skin is similar.
We All Sing With the Same Voice was written by J. Philip Miller and Sheppard M. Greene and illustrated by Paul Meisel. This illustrated version of the popular Sesame Street song shows that kids all over the world may be different, but they are also incredibly similar.
Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship was written by Irene Latham and Charles Waters and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. This collection of poems follows two kids named Irene and Charles as they work together on a poetry project. The book is split into side by side poems showing the similarities and differences in the lives and experiences of Irene (who is white) and Charles (who is black).
A handful of buttons: Picture book about family diversity was written by Carmen Parets Luque. All families are different, but all families are special in their own way. The author introduces readers to the many different types of families in the world through simple text and creative illustrations of stick figures and buttons.
I hope you enjoyed this list of my favorite children’s books about diversity.
Do you have any favorites? Leave a comment below!