Diversify Your Bookshelf!

A few weeks ago, I wrote this post on talking to your kids about race. In it, I mentioned that one of the best ways you can introduce diversity into your home is through books – and today, I have a few of our favorite titles to share with you.

diversity in children's books | Kansas City Moms Blog
Infographic courtesy of blog.leeandlow.com

Even though there is a huge discrepancy in the number of books that feature People of Color (which is an issue in and of itself), these books are all available through the Johnson County Library system (and likely other local library systems, as well) along with many more options like them. (And while I’m on my library soapbox, I want to mention here for anyone who doesn’t know that through an awesome web page or phone app, you can choose books, reserve them, and request that they be delivered to the library closest to you. You will receive an email when they are ready to be picked up – bundled together for you. It could not be simpler!)

diversity in children's books | Kansas City Moms Blog

So, on to the books. Each book has a link to its listing on Amazon so you can read a little more about it. I left some comments by a few, but please know that I love and recommend all of these books regardless of if I had a little tidbit to add!

diversity in children's books | Kansas City Moms Blog

Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee & Tonya Lewis Lee

The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah – great for talking about perceptions of foods that are different than what you’re used to!

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers – fun rhymes and beautiful illustrations of babies of all shades and family structures

People by Peter Spier

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs – a fun counting book through a safari in Tanzania

Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco – spoiler alert: this one made me cry like a baby at the end … an endearing story about a Jewish woman and a young Black boy who befriends her

My Dadima Wears A Sari by Kashmira Sheth

I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes – a picture book version of Langston Hughes’ classic poem

Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth – a little girl searching for (and finding!) beauty where she lives

Don’t Spill The Milk by Stephen Davies – another one that was a tear jerker in the sweetest way … a story about a daughter’s love

Same, Same but Different – pen pals from across the world see similarities and differences in their lives

diversity in children's books | Kansas City Moms Blog


Biblioboro by Jeanette Winter – a wonderful true story about one man’s desire to get books to kids in remote villages

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox – a cute board book with babies in all kinds of environments

Kitchen Dance by Maurie J. Manning – a favorite bedtime book!

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi – a girl wavers between choosing a new easy-to-pronounce name or sticking with her real name, Unhei (Yoon-Hay)

Adelita by Tomie dePaola – a Mexican Cinderella story

It’s Okay to be Different by Todd Parr – one of our favorites! No focus on anything in particular, but just highlights all the beautiful ways we can be different from those around us – and why that’s okay.

My Nose, Your Nose by Melanie Walsh

 Duck for Turkey Day by Jacqueline Jules – Tuyet feels nervous that her Vietnamese family is going to have duck instead of turkey for ‘Turkey Day’

Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki – a wonderful story with themes of being yourself as well as the beauty in celebrating your culture

I Love Saturdays y Domingos by Alma Flor Ada – a story of a boy who spends his weekend with both his Euro-American grandparents and his Mexican-American grandparents and the differences within

I Love My Hair! by Nastasha Anastasia Tarpley

We’re Different, We’re the Same – a Sesame Street book about differences and similarities

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

 This is just a sampling of all of the wonderful options available to both introduce your kids to different cultures, as well as to help them see the beauty in differences. If you have any others that you would like to add as favorites, please leave the title (and a link, if you have it!) in the comments!

Katie is the mama to four little loves ages 4 and under through adoption and birth. While not native to the Kansas City area, she and her husband have called this beautiful place home since they moved here immediately after they married six years ago. A short stint living in Florida only confirmed what they knew - Kansas City is the place to be! When she's not wiping bottoms, getting or giving hugs, playing chase, buckling car seats, reading to many small ears, or hiding in the pantry with a piece of chocolate and a moment on Instagram, she can be found researching anything dealing with transracial adoption, postpartum wellness, and homeschooling. She blogs over at The Ballard Abode and loves connecting with other mamas. You can also find her on Instagram at @katieballard.


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