10 Best Children’s Books for Gifts

10 Best Children’s Books for Gifts v2

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.

The Story Tree PB w CD

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)

The Family Book

2. 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)

Anna Hibiscus

3. 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)

Mama's Saris

4. 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)

The Keeping Quilt

5. 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)

The No. 1 Car Spotter

6. 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)

The Empty Pot

7. 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)

Whoever You Are

8. 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 Stone Magazine

9. 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)

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns A Muslim Book of Colors

10. 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 Pin


  1. 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 store.barefootbooks.com/the-story-tree-4.html?bf_affiliate_code=000-1l9f

    Jen Allan
    Barefoot Books Ambassador


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