Diverse children’s books that we love


Very often, children’s media and media in general fails to capture the rich diversity of human experience.

The conversations around the Black Lives Matter movement have made us examine our own promotion of stories featuring children of color and underrepresented groups. We are committed to being more proactive — not just now, but as an ongoing practice.

A core Tinybop belief is that understanding starts with empathy. One way to build empathy is to share stories. Too often families have libraries of children’s books with a narrow range of perspectives. Children of color often don’t see themselves in those stories while white children often only see themselves. Giving your children access to a library of books with diverse characters and different points of view is a great way to start fostering more inclusive worldviews in children. Here are some great jumping off points.


Image from My Hair is a Garden

My Hair is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabera

    • Ages 5 - 8
    • After being bullied by her classmates for her natural hair, Mackenzie seeks guidance from her neighbor, Miss Tillie. Miss Tillie uses the analogy of her garden to show Mackenzie how to love and care for her beautiful natural hair.

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

    • Ages 4 - 8
    • Karen Katz wrote this book for her daughter Lena, whom she and her husband adopted from Guatemala. In this book, Lena wants to paint a picture of herself using brown paint. After taking a walk around the neighborhood, Lena realizes that brown can come in many different shades and learns to celebrate the differences in skin color.

Image from Jabari Jumps

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

    • Ages 4 - 8
    • Jabari Jumps is a sweet story about working up the courage to overcome fear. Jabari has passed his swim test and practiced his jumps, but he still needs encouragement from his father before jumping off of the diving board.

Image from Bee Bim Bop

Bee Bim Bop by Linda Sue Park

    • Ages 4 - 7
    • A funny and rhyming story about a hungry child helping her mother prepare a traditional korean dish. Perfect for young readers, Bee Bim Bop captures the excitement and pride that comes with dinner-time preparation.

Image from Round is a Mooncake

Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong

    • Ages 5 - 6
    • A little girl explores the shapes of her neighborhood: from round rice bowls and pebbles to rectangular dim sum and pizza boxes. Most items are asian in origin, and a glossary is included for cultural significance. You will find engaging rhymes and whimsical illustrations in Round is Mooncake which makes it perfect for reading aloud.

Image from I Got the Rhythm

I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison

    • Ages 2 - 5
    • On a trip to the park, a little girl and her mother hear music around them. They start dancing, and all the kids at the playground join them! The urban setting and diverse characters show the importance and beauty in difference.

Image from Same, Same but Different

Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

    • Ages 4 - 7
    • In this story, Elliot and Kailash are pen pals who exchange letters and drawings of their life. Through colorful illustrations and simple prose, this book can teach young kids how two people with very different backgrounds can be friends!

Image from Saturday

Saturday by Oge Mora

    • Ages 4 - 8
    • Every saturday, a mom and her daughter have a special routine that they look forward to each week.This particular saturday, things just keep going wrong. In this heartfelt story, the daughter reminds her mom of the real reason why saturdays are so special: the time that they can spend together.

Image from Mango, Abuela, and Me

Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina

    • Ages 4 - 7
    • When Mia’s abuela comes to live with her in the big city, Mia discovers that she can’t read the words in her favorite picture book. Mia and her abuela begin to find innovative ways to teach each other their languages and stories. Mango, Abuela, and Me is a great story that encourages learning new things and emphasizes the love between family members.

Image from Deep in the Sahara

Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunanne

    • Ages 4 - 8
    • Set in the muslim country of Mauritania, Deep in the Sahara follows Lalla’s journey to wearing her first malafa, which she has seen her mother and big sister wear to cover their head and clothing. Lalla must realize that the malafa is not just an accessory but an important part of prayer. Deep in the Sahara is an authentic picture book that explores Islamic culture.

Image from Hats of Faith

Hats of Faith by Medeia Cohen

    • Ages 2 - 4
    • A simple picture book that describes many of the different head coverings worn all over the world. Carefully researched and simply worded, Hats of Faith is a great introduction to many of the world’s religions and customs.

Image from I Am Enough

I Am Enough by Grace Byers

    • Ages 4 - 8
    • An inspiring lyrical ode to loving and respecting yourself. The simple and poetic message in I am Enough encourages self love and acceptance.

CJ’s Big Dream by C.J. Watson

    • 5 - 10 years
    • CJ’s dream is to play for the NBA, but right now he’s focused on playing in his biggest game yet. CJ’s Big Dream tells the story of how CJ prepares for his important basketball game and gets one step closer to reaching his goal!

Image from When We Were Alone

When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson

    • Ages 4 - 8
    • As a young girl helps her grandmother in the garden, she begins to notice and question her grandmother’s beautiful long hair, colored clothing, and tendency to speak another language and spend a lot of time with family. Her grandmother explains to her that a long time ago, these things were taken away from her at her First Nations Boarding School. When We Were Alone simply addresses and explains a difficult time in Canadian history while emphasizing the importance of remaining true to oneself.

Image from Island Born

Island Born by Junot Díaz

    • Ages 5 - 8
    • When Lola’s teacher asked the kids in her class to draw a picture of where their families are from, Lola feels sad that she doesn’t remember the island where she was born. She remembers that she can ask her friends and family about the island and we join Lola on a wonderful journey back to the place where she was born.

Image from Simone Visits the Museum

Simone Visits the Museum by Dr. Kelsi Bracmort

    • Ages 6 - 10
    • This story follows Simone as she spends the day with her mother exploring Washington DC and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Simone learns the importance of responsibility, family and also how easy it is to visit a museum!

We hope you and your kids enjoy this collection of beautiful picture books. Diverse books are a good place to start in promoting a world that is more inclusive of different backgrounds and cultures. These books highlight the importance of understanding and empathy which is so important in raising kids who will fight for a better world. Through these books, we learn how to stay true to ourselves and embrace our differences, whether those differences be the hats we wear, our hair, skin color, or beliefs.

If you are looking for even more diverse books to add to your library, you might want to check out resources such as Here Wee Read or We Need Diverse Books. We also highlight some of our other favorite inclusive children’s books here. If you have any other books that you and your children have enjoyed, we’d love to hear them! Please email us at support@tinybop.com. Thanks!