The news, the Internet, and other media have been filled with current news including racism. Rallies, protests, and deaths are on every headline that even kids are bound to come across them. 

These happenings are too much for our kids to understand. Let’s break these concepts down by letting them read children’s books about race and diversity to provide context to today’s circumstances.

Literature offers more than just entertainment for kids. They tell stories of the experiences of people who are marginalised and discriminated against. Reading these books will help kids have a wider perspective on the world around them and, thus, become better individuals as they grow up. 

Read more: Racism Today: How Do We Approach This Topic With Our Child?

8 Children’s Books About Race And Diversity The Kids Will Love

1. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

children's books about race and diversity

This is a lyrical picture book that embraces the beauty of differences. It tells the story of children who are in situations where they feel out of place. It may be because of their skin colour, their accent, or even the lunch they bring to school. But “The Day You Begin” teaches us that our identities make us unique and beautiful. 

Not only is this book for children, but it’s also meant for older people to understand as well. You can create a conversation with your child about the different communities in your neighbourhood, school, or the television shows you are watching.   

2. My Hair Is A Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera

children's books about race and diversity

This book shares the story of a little girl who is constantly teased for her hair by her peers. Children need to belong and be accepted so when they are criticised by something they can’t control, such as their hair, it becomes devastating. 

“My Hair Is A Garden,” tells children that no matter what your hair looks like in its physical form, it is its health that matters the most. Like a garden, you have to tend to your hair before they grow strong. The book encourages children to cherish their hair as if it were a garden they can flourish with love and care. 

3. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

children's books about race and diversity

“All Are Welcome,” follows the story of a group of children in school who are in hijabs, baseball caps, and yarmulkes side by side as they learn from each other’s traditions and cultures. This book highlights the strength that is innate in diversity. This is a story that teaches children that whoever they are, they have space where they belong. 

4. Something Happened In Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice

This book follows the story of two families of different ethnicities discussing the death of a Black man by the hands of the police in their community. 

Racism is a difficult topic to tackle even more so with our children. This book helps break down their questions about historical and traumatic events that are currently taking place in the world today. 

5. Mama’s Saris by Pooja Makhijani

children's books about race and diversity

When this little girl catches sight of her mother’s collection of saris, she decides that she wants to wear one, too, despite her young age. This book explores the relationship between a mother and her daughter as they embrace tradition. “Mama’s Saris” portrays beauty in culture and how it is important to embrace them at a young age. 

6. My Name Is Yoon by Helen Recorvits

children's books about race and diversity

“My Name Is Yoon” follows the story of a little girl who is trying to find a place in a country that isn’t her home. She finds beauty in her name written in her native language, which is Korean but is forced to learn it in English. This inspiring story, together with beautiful pictures and dreamscapes, is perfect as a lesson for children especially those who are not in their homeland. 

7. Vinod And The Deepavali Dishes by Debra Francisco

children's books about race and diversity

As hinted by the title, “Vinod And The Deepavali Dishes” explores different Asian recipes as well as local festivities that families participate in. This book is great for those who are getting to know the culture of Singapore. For kids, this is an opportunity for them to embrace their own traditions through a delicious series of local cuisines!

8. Secrets of Singapore: Botanic Gardens by Monica Lim and Lesley-Anne Tan

children's books about race and diversity

This book creates a story around the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a famous exhibit to both locals and foreigners alike. With stories like these, kids will be able to have a newfound appreciation for things and places that they are already familiar with. Having books written about their own homeland and locally loved spots will give children a fresh perspective on their own culture, traditions, and even their identity. 

In A Nutshell…

A horrific topic such as racism can be tackled and broken down into something as digestible as a children’s book. There is always a way for us to educate our children as well as ourselves in such matters. More importantly, we must start at a young age as these are their formative years. 

Has your child read any of these children’s books about race and diversity? Let us know about what you think of these works in the comments section!