Celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day with these 11 Diverse Picture Books
Celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th
Eleven Of Our Family’s Favorite Diverse Children’s Books
(ages 0 – 2)
My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words (ages 2 – 6)
Stella Brings the Family (ages 4 – 8)
The Wheels on the Bus (ages 3 – 7)
There are certainly lots of versions of this classic song out there, but I love the Barefoot Books take because it’s set on a chicken bus in Guatemala. Not only do children get a peek into village life in Central America, but they also see all that women are capable of. When the bus breaks down, it’s a grandma and the mamis who fix a flat tire. The book includes a singalong CD (including an animated version that can be played on the computer), and endnotes about Guatemala.
Shopping With Dad (ages 3 – 7)
This light-hearted, funny book follows a slightly frustrated father and his curious, active daughter on a trip to the grocery store. It’s a great story for talking with children about what to do when accidents happen and how we can clean up the messes we make. If you’re looking for a book that shows a multi-racial family, that’s an added plus!
This deeply moving true story tells how Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah came to cycle 300 miles across Ghana with only one strong leg. Not only does this book help children explore another culture; it also spreads Emmanuel’s message that disability does not mean inability.
Lola’s Fandango (ages 4 – 9)
Lola’s older sister seems so much more glamorous and talented. But Lola’s discovery of her mother’s flamenco dancing shoes leads her to realize what her own special gift is. Through dancing lessons with her father, she sees that she has the duende (spirit) to dance in front of all their family and friends as a surprise gift for her mother’s birthday.
Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A Village Tale From Kenya (ages 4 – 9)
Adika is so excited that his mother is making pancakes that he invites everyone they see to dinner. How will Mama Panya feed so many people with the modest amount of food that she has? A beautiful tale of what makes for community, the book also contains endnotes on Kenyan life and a spicy pancake recipe.
Long before I was a children’s book blogger, I was a worker rights organizer. That’s when I discovered this gem of a book, which follows Carlitos and his immigrant mother as she goes on strike with other janitors in her city. This is an ideal book to spark a conversation about fairness and speaking up for what is right.
The Name Jar (Ages 4 – 8)
This story follows Unhei, an immigrant child who has just moved to the U.S. from Korea. After she’s teased about her Korean name on the first day of school, she becomes anxious about fitting in. Unhei decides that she should choose a new name, and her friends offer her many suggestions that they place in her name jar. Eventually after a friend shows intense interest in Korean characters, and her mother talks about how her name was chosen, Unhei decides to keep her own name.
Dara’s Clever Trap: A Story From Cambodia (ages 6 +)
If you’re concerned about your children having limited ideas about what princesses look like or what they can accomplish, this folk tale from Cambodia is a worthy read. Dara is an architect and engineer who must use her cunning and skill to save her husband from a wicked plot.
Diverse Children’s Book Giveaway In Honor of Multicultural Children’s Book Day