As a white adoptive mother of two Ethiopian children, I’m always on the lookout for good books that show people from all parts of the world.
The beautiful books that follow have become meaningful to our family. Please add your family’s favorite multicultural children’s books in the comments if you’d like.
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
Wonderful book for introducing diversity to young children. It describes skin tones with words like ‘mocha’ and ‘cinnamon’.
All the Colors of the Earth (Mulberry Books) by Sheila Hamanaka
Lovely book celebrating diversity by comparing skin tones to the colors found in landscapes and on animals. It also emphasizes differences in hair. ”Children come in all the colors of the earth and sky and sea.”
Whoever You Are (Reading Rainbow Books) by Mem Fox
A classic by Fox showing kids all over the world looking very different on the outside, and being very much the same on the inside. “But inside, their hearts are just like yours.”
Keats’s Neighborhood: An Ezra Jack Keats Treasury–a collection of stories by Ezra Jack Keats
This collection includes the classic, The Snowy Day.
We All Have a Heritage (People (Culture Co-Op)) by Sandy Lynne Holman
This book celebrates our differences by focusing on what we have in common. It uses the refrain, “We all have a Heritage, yes this is true. It doesn’t matter if your skin is black, white, yellow, brown, red, purple or blue.”
Little Night by Yuyi Morales
Perhaps my most favorite bedtime picture book, Beautiful Mother Night plays hide and seek with her darling daughter Little Night, feeds her a glass of milky stars, and plays catch with the moon.
Mama Panya’s Pancakes by Mary and Rich Chamberlin
A classic tale celebrating community and generosity.
Abuela (English Edition with Spanish Phrases) (Picture Puffins) by Arthur Dorros
Rosalba and her Abuela go on a grand and magical journey. Clever use of Spanish phrases, and bright illustrations of familiar places make this a delightful read.
It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr
Another winner from Parr reiterating that each family is different and that all families are special.
Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli
Kadir Nelson’s gorgeous illustrations bring this true story of Kenya’s brave Wangari Maathai to life.