Diversify your kid’s bookshelf


I’ve posted another piece here about classic children’s books that are actually racist. Today I’m listing some positive alternative options to add diversity to your kids’ bookshelves. Reading to children is a powerful tool to generate empathy and understanding and jump-start their literacy skills. But so many children’s books showcase the white/cis/male protagonist we miss the opportunity to truly expand our understanding of the human experience. As a parent during this tumultuous moment in history, I feel like we have an extra heavy weight on our shoulders: the prevalent systemic racism in our country is an outrage, and we can not raise another generation of complicit Americans.

I am linking these books to Amazon so that you can read the descriptions but many are available through our local library’s curbside pickup or you can order them through our local independent bookstore Brightside.

Racial Diversity

Hair Love By Mathew Cherry

I am Human: a book of empathy By Susan Verde 

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty 

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o 


LGBTQ+ inclusion

I am Jazz by Jessica Hershel and Jazz Jennings

Heather has two mommies by Leslea Newman

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love 

Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman

A Fire Engine for Ruthie By Leslea Newman

Multicultural Diversity

Bilal cooks Daal By Aisha syed

The Arabic Quilt by Aya Khalil

The Sandwich Swap By Queen Rania of Jordan al Abdullah 

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales 

Fry Bread By Kevin Noble Mainard 

Wangari’s Trees of Peace By Jeannette Winter 

We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrome 

This list is far from comprehensive, here are a few other resources and feel free to leave a comment! What are some of your favorite inclusive kids books?

 The conscious kid: an education resource and policy organization dedicated to equity and healthy racial identity development in youth.

Little Feminist: offers diverse children’s books subscriptions.