• Natasha Hart

Ten Diverse Kids' Books You Need To Read Now

It’s never too early to start educating our children about diversity. It should be celebrated, accepted and if taught from a young age, children will learn that diversity is normal, and great.

That’s when we got thinking: what better way to teach children to celebrate diversity than from the books that they read?

Lots of children come from diverse backgrounds and experiences that may differ from our own. Here at The Book Nook we want all children to feel represented and loved, and that’s why we’re going to focus on sharing some of our favourite diverse kids’ books regularly with you.

We want all children to see themselves in the books that they read.

If we teach children to celebrate diversity in all forms, we’re on our way to a happier, brighter world for all.

The books below preach kindness and acceptance, amazing qualities for growing kids! With diverse characters and stories, we hope you love what we’ve chosen for our first post, and your reading becomes a little brighter because of it.

1. Dream Big Little Leader by Vashti Harrison

This book is an amazing choice if you want to encourage confidence in your little ones and for them to dream big. With lovely illustrations and words from Vashti Harrison, this is a beautiful book to lull your children to sleep with, to fill their dreams with encouragement and hope.

2. Mixed by Arree Chung

This is an inspiring story about colour. About Blues, and Reds, and Yellows, who all want to be the coolest colour, to be the best. In order to do that, they have to overcome their differences and accept them. This is a sweet story that is full of humour and charm.

3. Chocolate Me! By Taye Diggs & Illustrated by Shane W. Evans

A tale about learning to accept and champion your own differences. This book encourages all people, especially kids, to love themselves, and how beautiful they truly are.

4. Birdsong by Julie Flett

This is a lovely little story about intergenerational friendships and overcoming loneliness. Who said that friendships need an age limit? When a young girl moves to a new town, she feels lonely. That is, until she meets the elderly woman next door. Read on as their friendship blooms, as they discover they both need each other, despite their differences. The colourful images of birds and flowers and landscapes bring this little girl’s world to life. This is a gorgeous book you definitely want in your collection.

5. Chapatti Moon by Pippa Goodheart & Illustrated by Lizzie Finlay

This is a hilarious take on the traditional runaway pancake story, where Mrs Kapoor, along with all her animal friends, chase her cheeky chapatti as it runs away from them. Will they catch-up to it? What adventures will she have along the way? This is a lovely read for younger children.

6. A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold & Illustrated by Charles Santoso

This is the first book of a series, so a great opportunity to really engage young readers in the discussion of disability and acceptance. The story is a powerful and thoughtful tale about a boy dealing with so much – divorce, autism, and friendship, but only wanting to convince his mum that the baby skunk belongs in their family. With superb illustrations this book is surely going to melt your heart.

7. If All the World Were… by Joseph Coelho & Illustrated by Allison Colpoys

Written by poet and playwright Joseph Coelho, this story is a lyrical picture book that delves into the complex emotional narrative of a young girl’s love for her grandad. It’s a beautifully illustrated, uplifting tale, one that is a good introduction to death for children.

8. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold & Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

The ultimate book to teaching children about diversity and promoting inclusivity. At this school, diversity is a strength. All Are Welcome helps children to understand that no matter what, they have a place, they are loved, they have a space. The bright illustrations bring the story to life in this warm and inspiring tale.

9. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox & Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

This is a great book to help teach younger children about diversity. The premise of the story is that every baby is different, but every one of them has ten little fingers and ten little toes in which to play, to laugh, to wave with. A gentle rhyming narrative that’s essential for teaching about diversity to toddlers and babies alike.

10. Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival

Every now and again, we find ourselves overcome with worry. It can take over our whole world at points, making us sad. It’s no different for children, and this book aims to help children come to terms with their worries and anxieties, to let them know it’s okay and normal to feel like that. It allows parents to open-up about the discussions needed about such feelings, whilst talking through the story of Ruby. A great read for an anxious child.

So, those were our first 10 diverse kids’ books! We want to try and make this a regular thing so that all children are represented, and their own personal stories appreciated. Is your favourite book on the list? If not, leave a comment below telling us what is your favourite and we’ll check it out!

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