Pin It
Sunday, December 14th, 2014

10 Best Children’s Books for Gifts

Best Children's Books

Looking for that perfect children’s book to give to the special child in your life? Then look no further. Below are our top picks for multicultural children’s books by age. If you are going to buy any books at all this holiday season, make it a multicultural one as these books are perfect for kids of all cultural backgrounds and are also the ones that are not well represented at bookstores. These are stories that Meera (our Book Editor) and I’s kids love, so there’s a good chance your child, grandchild, niece, nephew or friend will love these too. We’ve made sure to note what age the book is appropriate for as well.


  1. The Story Tree PB w CD (ages 3 to 7) retold by Hugh Lupton and illustrated by Sophie Fatus


My girls who are now six and seven have loved this book for close to three years. They never tire of hearing the seven beloved stories from many different cultures. My youngest’s favorite is the African-American story, “The Sweetest Song” whereas my oldest loves the Russian Story, “Little Lord Feather-Frock.” (Recommendation by Stephanie)


  1. The Family Book by Todd Parr (ages 3 to 6)


In Todd Parr’s signature style this book celebrates families – both the differences and commonalities in families of all sizes and make-up. With very simple text and brightly colored illustrations, this is a wonderful read for the holidays. (Recommendation by Meera)


  1. Anna Hibiscus Early Chapter Book series by Atinuke (ages 5 to 8)


Fun stories around the life of Anna Hibiscus will amuse children. The fact that it is about a young girl growing up in a modern city in Africa, in a middle class family with many loving relatives, makes it refreshingly brilliant and truly one-of-a-kind. This one gets two thumbs up from me! (Recommendation by Meera)


  1. Mama’s Saris by Pooja Makhijani (ages 3 to 6)


A favorite at my home for several years now, me and my daughter easily identify with the context—a seven-year-old Indian-American girl delights in her mom’s collection of colorful ethnic wear, a common scenario in our house! (Recommendation by Meera)


  1. The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco (ages 4 to 8)


A heartwarming story spanning several generations and traditions—it dates back to the author’s great-grandmother’s initial immigrant days, from Eastern Europe, in America. This is a great story to open up a discussion about family ancestry and heritage. (Recommendation by Meera)


  1. The No. 1 Car Spotter by Atinuke (ages 5 to 8)


Funny and casual, this story is about “No.1”, our little boy hero who rises to the occasion several times, in small yet important ways, in a tiny village in Africa. Atinuke’s fluid writing is also what makes it an engaging and easy to enjoy book for early readers. (Recommendation by Meera)


  1. The Empty Pot (An Owlet Book) by Demi (ages 4 to 8)

Sometimes a simple story on a fundamental virtue is all what you want to read with your child. And that is exactly what this is. Illustrations infused with an oriental flavor gel well with the gentle narrative that reinforces truth and courage.  This one is a go-to book on many nights for my six-year-old son while my ten year old still claims it’s a great story! (Recommendation by Meera)


  1. Whoever You Are (Reading Rainbow Books) by Mem Fox (ages 2 to 5)


This is the perfect book to introduce diversity and acceptance to young children. It has simple language and a beautiful message. (Recommendation by Stephanie)


skipping stones

  1. Skipping Stones Magazine (ages 8 to 16)


A magazine subscription is one of my favorite gift ideas for children, and a multicultural one is even better! Articles, stories, and poetry cover themes from culture and religion, to environment and community. This is truly a gem in educational multicultural literature for older kids. (Recommendation by Meera)


  1. Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan (ages 2 to 5)


Written in rhymes, “Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns” is based around colors that represent meaningful concepts and objects in Islam. It’s beautifully illustrated and gives young children a gentle and fun introduction to a few concepts in Islam. (Recommendation by Stephanie)


10 best children's books for gifts

© 2014, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:

Almost African: My Childhood as a Serbo-Croatian in Sudan

The freedom of growing up as the only Serbo-Croatian in Sudan

Why African Toddlers Don't Have Tantrums

The secret of why African babies don't meltdown like Western ones.

9 Things You Should Never Say to Adoptive Parents

Have you made any of these mistakes?


Stephanie is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of InCultureParent. She has two Moroccan-American daughters (ages 5 and 6), whom she is raising, together with her husband, bilingual in Arabic and English at home, while also introducing Spanish. After many moves worldwide, she currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Leave us a comment!

  1. CommentsJen Allan   |  Saturday, 20 December 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Stephanie, Great article! Would you consider relinking your top book away from amazon and instead directly to the publishers’ website? Amazon no longer fulfills it and the publisher is small and independent so direct links make a big deal. The link to The Story Tree is

    Jen Allan
    Barefoot Books Ambassador

  2. CommentsRichard Allen   |  Wednesday, 24 June 2015 at 10:02 pm

    I like your post and also suggest to another book stores holder in USA. Login their site to get more detail

Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!

A Children's Book for Raising Global Citizens

Every life is a story. It’s easier to understand someone when you know their story.

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!
Unfortunately, the school and community are no longer there. The farm is being sold and there are tentative plans for a new iteration to be set up in Costa Ric...
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
HI! I love your website! Just read your review of books that teach about culture and food! I can't wait to try some of the recipes you've share...
From Armenian Recipe: Apricot Tart
Please, refrain from using "western /western society" for anglosaxon countries. Western can be Mexico and Spain as well, anything on the west side of the world is western ...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
We've tried to make use of, but It doesn't works by any mean...
From African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children
I'm back. Sorry, I stopped caring for this magazine for a while and forgot to discuss the meat of the matter. This article, as well as the linked article from 2011, fails to discuss cultural norms ...
From What Confused Me Most about Brits
Fascinating. I have been to Germany and met this guy who was soo rude! This article explains everything!! Since all Germans are so terribly rude it should come as no surprise that I should have met ...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@ Josep. How could you possibly comment on how Germans treat people if you have never even been there? A three-day stay in Berlin and a one day stop-over in Frankfurt was enough for me to see the ut...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I am trying to find a Sikh triangular Nishan Sahib flag and haven't found one. Do you know where I can find on...
From Vaisakhi Craft: Make a Flag
I have tried to buy a Sikh triagular Nishan Sahib flag and had no luck. Do you know where I can find on...
From Vaisakhi Craft: Make a Flag

More Multicultural Books, Etc.