We live in a time when we are confronted with the complex realities of race, racial identity and racism every day. Sometimes it’s not easy to know how to talk to kids about race, but starting these conversations and getting your kids thinking about it is important. Choosing books that acknowledge that all of us are different in some way, and seeking out stories of multidimensional characters living complex lives can help to cultivate a diverse library and help us to know where and how to start.
We’ve put together a list of picture books that might help you start conversations with your kids about honouring the beauty of people’s differences.
All are Welcome
No matter how you start your day, What you wear when you play, Or if you come from far away, All are welcome here.
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcome. A school where children in patkas, hijabs, baseball caps and yarmulkes play side by side. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions. A school where diversity is a strength. Warm and inspiring, All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, and they are welcome in their school.
Celebrate diversity and inclusion with this New York Times bestselling picture book about a school where all are welcome!
Happy in our Skin
Is there anything more splendid than a baby’s skin? Cocoa-brown, cinnamon, peaches and cream.
As children grow, their clever skin does, too, enjoying hugs and tickles, protecting them inside and out, and making them one of a kind.
Fran Manushkin’s rollicking text and Lauren Tobia’s delicious illustrations paint a breezy and irresistible picture of the human family and how wonderful it is to be just who you are.
Babies around the World
Bonjour! Ça va? Say hello to international babies as you tour the world from morning to nighttime.
The journey starts on a sunny day in New York City and ends on a beautiful San Francisco night, with stops in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, London, Paris, Cape Town, Cairo, Beijing, and Tokyo.
These friendly babies welcome us to their cities with delightful greetings in their original languages (with English translations) in a simple narration that will appeal to any global mini citizen.
More, More, More, Said the Baby
Vera B Williams
The spontaneity and delight of play is captured perfectly in this trio of multigenerational, multiracial “love stories” about three pairs of babies and their grown-ups. Told in a natural, colloquial tone, the simple, engaging text is finely honed with a rhythm that is musical.
The adorable and multicultural More, More, More Said the Baby gives parents an opportunity to talk about the different races of the characters and then expand that conversation at the same time to talk about people of different ethnicities in your child’s life.
Whoever you are
Every day all over the world, children are laughing and crying, playing and learning, eating and sleeping. They may not look the same. They may not speak the same language. Their lives may be quite different. But inside, they are all alike.
Stirring words and bold paintings weave their way around our earth, across cultures and generations. At a time when, unfortunately, the lessons of tolerance still need to be learned, Whoever You Are urges us to accept our differences, to recognise our similarities, and-most importantly-to rejoice in both.
I’m Australian Too
Many people from many places have come across the seas to make Australia their home. How Australian is that? From countries near and far, many have made their home in Australia, sharing it with the original inhabitants, and living in peace beneath the Southern Star. Mem Fox celebrates Australia’s incredible multicultural heritage in this beautiful book illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh.
We’re Different, We’re the Same
Who better than Sesame Street to teach us that we may all look different on the outside, but it’s important to remember that deep down, we are all very much alike. We all have the same needs, desires, and feelings.
Elmo and his Sesame Street friends help teach toddlers and the adults in their lives that everyone is the same on the inside, and it’s our differences that make this wonderful world, which is home to us all, an interesting and special place.
This enduring, colourful, and charmingly illustrated book offers an easy, enjoyable way to learn about differences and what truly matters. It is an engaging read for toddlers and adults alike.