50 Picture Books About Diversity & Difference

Teaching children to recognise and celebrate diversity and accept differences is essential to healthy development – it not only helps children be more accepting of others, but to also accept themselves and their own strengths and weaknesses. This collection of picture books about diversity is about recognising what makes you special, celebrating being who you are, and celebrating the uniqueness of all those around you – family, friends, and those in the wider community.

This is a big and diverse list. It includes picture books that are suited to reading with toddlers right through to older elementary/primary (and dare say, even middle school) students. It includes books about accepting differences in gender, race, religion, language, appearance and abilities.

I think this might just be one of my all-time favourite booklists in our Best Books for Kids collection!

Children's Books About Diversity

50 Picture Books About Diversity & Accepting Difference

If you are unfamiliar with a particular title, or would like more information, each book listed includes links to an Amazon or Book Depository page (these are affiliate links) where you can find further information and age recommendations.

Froggy Green by Anna Walker
A fabulous first book for talking about differences with toddlers and preschoolers, Froggy Green was on high rotation with both of my children when they were small.
Available: Amazon  |  Book Depository
We Are All EqualWe Are All Equal by P. Crumble
A gentle, joyful introduction to equality to share with your youngest book lovers.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository
I Love Me: Books for Kids About DiversityI Love Me by Sally Morgan and Ambelin Kwaymullina
“I love my eyes, I love my nose, I love the way my curly hair grows!” A celebration of individuality and joyous self-esteem in bouncy, rhythmic prose and lively colour. Perfect for young story lovers.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont
This ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves–inside and out
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
Whatever your shape, size, colour, family makeup, likes or dislikes, in classic Todd Parr style we are reminded that it’s perfectly okay to be uniquely you!
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
The Big Umbrella: Kids Books about Diversity and DifferenceThe Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates
This simple, stunningly shared story about an umbrella with room to shelter all provides a beautiful conversation starter for important topics including inclusion, diversity and tolerance.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
The Same But Different TooThe Same But Different Too by Karl Newson
A wonderful book exploring the countless differences, big and small, between us all – with excellent rhyming text and beautifully vibrant illustrations. A great read aloud for younger children.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
An ABC of EqualityAn ABC of Equality by Chana Ewing
A is for ability, b is for belief, c is for class. All people have the right to be treated fairly, no matter who they are, what they look like or where they come from and An ABC of Equality introduces social justice issues with thoughtful definitions children can understand.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
What If We Were All the SameWhat If We Were All the Same by C.M. Harris
How boring the world would be if we were all the same! From our skin colour, interests, hair type and abilities, our differences make life interesting and unique. A celebration of our unique characteristics and abilities alongside acceptance and inclusivity for all people.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
All Are WelcomeAll Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, a place where everyone is welcome and kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers together to celebrate.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository

Kids Books about Diversity list continues below.

Fair skin black fellaFair Skin Black Fella by Renee Fogorty
A wonderful story demonstrating that prejudice can occur both within and between cultural groups, as Mary, a young, fair skinned Aboriginal girl, finds her place thanks to the wisdom of a community elder teaching the young people that identity transcends skin colour and that family, community, country, culture and spirituality is what being Aboriginal is really about.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository
The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler
The Skin You Live In presents themes of social harmony such as acceptance, diversity and friendship in a simple manner that young children to relate to.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Kids Books About Diversity and RaceThe Colors of Us by Karen Katz
A celebration of the many different colours of skin from an artist’s perspective – Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when she and her mother take a walk through the neighborhood, Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository
Skin Like MineSkin Like Mine by Latashia M. Perry
A fun, creative way to celebrate diversity with young children. Guaranteed to make you smile and you might just feel a bit hungry.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Same DifferenceSame Difference by Calida Garcia Rawles
Lida and Lisa are first cousins who love the same things and look the same…until one day they notice they don’t! With the help of their wise grandmother, the girls learn that their bond is deeper than what they see, and that it is our differences that make us beautiful and unique.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
IslandbornIslandborn by Junot Diaz
Lola’s school is multicultural so when Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can’t remember The Island as she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family, Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back!
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Amazing Grace: Books for Kids about Race and DiversityAmazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Grace loves to play pretend and act our stories, so when her school is putting on a performance of Peter Pan, Grace longs to play the part of Peter. But Peter was a boy. And he wasn’t black. A beautiful story about being true to yourself and not letting anyone hold you back.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Mixed: Books About DiversityMixed: A World of Color by Arree Chung
A story set in the fabulous world of colors provides a relatable and valuable basis for examining prejudice and the importance of diversity with children – not only on the basis of colour, but also culture, ability, faith, gender, sexuality, etc.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
A Kids Book About RacismA Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory
This book takes a complicated topic and makes it accessible to children. A great resource for facilitating conversations about race and racism.
Available: Amazon
Racism and IntoleranceChildren In Our World: Racism and Intolerance by Louise Spilsbury
A sensitive introduction to racism and intolerance are and how they affect children all over the world.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Under My HijabUnder My Hijab by Hena Khan
Grandma wears it clasped under her chin. Aunty pins hers up with a beautiful brooch. Zara styles hers to match her outfit. A young girl celebrates the differences between how each of the important women in her life wears their hijab, and how it reflects the unique person they are.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
My Two BlanketsMy Two Blankets by Irena Kobald
An award winning story sharing how people can live together despite coming from the most diverse backgrounds: one of hardship, deprivation and want, the other a place of peace, abundance and prosperity, with important messages of hope, acceptance and friendship.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
The Sandwich Swap by Rania Al Abdullah
Will these two best friends ever make up after an epic falling out over the differences in their lunch boxes?
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Spaghetti In A Hot Dog Bun: Having The Courage to Be Who You Are by Maria Dismondy
A fabulous story about differences, standing up for yourself and being proud of who you are.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Alma and How She Got Her NameAlma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
“Alma Sofia Esparanza Jose Pura Candela had a long name- too long if you asked her.” But when Alma learns where each of the pieces of her name come from, and the traits she shares with her ancestors, she is proud to carry their name.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
A classic story about learning to love what is uniquely yours, in this case an unusual name, even in the face of teasing by other school students.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
Being the new child at school is hard enough. But what if no one could pronounce your name? Unhei is worried the American children will not like her because of her Korean name and so begins the hunt for a new name that will help her to fit in.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository

Children’s Books about Diversity list continues below.

We're All WondersWe’re All Wonders by R.J. Palaccio
I know I can’t change the way I look. But maybe, just maybe, people can change the way they see…a wonderful picture book sharing the remarkable story of Auggie – a boy who feels like any other kids but is not always seen that way.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Julian is a MermaidJulian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
When Julian sees three women dressed spectacularly as mermaids, he dreams of making his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will his abuela think of his transformation?
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Not All Princesses Dress In Pink by Jane Yolen
Princesses come in all kinds and girls can jump in mud puddles and climb trees, play sports and make messes–all while wearing their tiaras… or not!
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository
Pink is for BoysPink is for Boys by Robb Pearlman
Pink is for Boys reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids to express themselves in every colour of the rainbow, encouraging both girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars or playing baseball or loving unicorns or dressing up!
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository
I'm a Girl Books ABout DiversityI’m a Girl by Yasmeen Ismail
This girl likes to win, she likes to be spontaneous, fast and strong, and because she also likes to dress in t-shirt and shorts, she is forever getting mistaken for a boy! A great way to challenge gender stereotypes with younger story lovers.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer
There are too many ruffly, sparkly princesses around these days, and Olivia has had quite enough. She needs to stand out! She has to be special!
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
“There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.” This award winning, positive and affirming book about the many reasons you might feel different, and starting in a new place when you know no one, and so much more. A great picture book for kids right up into middle elementary/primary grades.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
All the Ways to Be SmartAll the Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell
A sweet, rhyming ode to all of the different ways a person can be smart – not just book smart but clever at making crafts or drawing pictures, or dancing, or even being brave.
Available: Amazon  |  The Book Depository
We Are TogetherWe Are Together by Britta Teckentrup
“On our own, we’re special, and we can chase our dream. But when we join up, hand in hand, together, we’re a team.” A beautiful book exploring themes of teamwork and friendship with children of many races represented in the illustrations.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Why Am I MeWhy Am I Me? by Paige Britt
Two thoughtful children silently contemplate their place in the world, wondering “Why am I me……and not you?” Though these dialogues are unspoken, the boy and girl somehow sense their like-mindedness. A quiet, beautifully illustrated book of questions chosen to stimulate though and discussion about both identity and empathy.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
NeitherNeither by Airlie Anderson
A curious green creature is born in the Land of This and That, but as it is neither a blue bunny nor a yellow bird, it finds it difficult to fit in. Eventually driven away by unkindness, Neither finds the Land of All, where everyone is welcome. Shares the important message that it’s much more fun to be inclusive of everyone, not just those who are like you.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
The Smeds and The SmoosThe Smeds and the Smoos by Julia Donaldson
Alien Smeds and Smoos are absolutely not allowed to play with each other, but Janet, the Smed, and Bill, the Smoo, meet and fall in love! A wonderful story exploring important topics such as unknown ‘others’, difference, kindness, acceptance, friendship and teamwork.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
All around the world children are laughing, playing and living,though their lives may be quite different, inside they are all alike and in this book both similarities and differences are recognised and celebrated.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository

Children’s Books about Diversity list continues below.

An Aussie YearAn Aussie Year: 12 Months in the Life of Australian Kids by Tanya McCartney
Meet five very different Aussie children – at play, at school, at home, each enjoying their part of Australia – from the tropical north out to the rugged west and way down south too!
Available: Amazon  |  The Book DepositoryxxxAlso in this series: A New York Year | A Canadian Year | A Scottish Year | A Kiwi Year | An English Year | A Texas Year
The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires
Lou and her friends are brave adventurers but there is one thing Lou has never done and when her friend suggests it could be fun, Lou is not so sure she can!
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
The Dot by Peter H Reynolds
Vashti thinks she can’t draw. But her teacher is sure that she can. She knows that there’s creative spirit in everyone and her encouragement helps Vashti look differently at herself and her abilities.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
It’s Okay to Make Mistakes by Todd Parr
With Todd Parr’s unmistakable and colourful signature style, we learn that mistakes happen and that they’re not all bad.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Stellaluna is a young fruit bat who is separated from her mother and adopted by a family of birds, and along the way learns that although we may be very different, we are also very much the same.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds
Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd. One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle. Or is it?
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Picture books about diversityGiraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Gerald the tall giraffe would love to join in with the other animals at the Jungle Dance, but everyone knows that giraffes can’t dance…or can they?
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Josephine Wants To Dance by Jackie French
Josephine loves to dance but everyone tells her that kangaroos don’t dance, they hop! But on the day of the ballet recital Josephine may just have a chance to follow her dreams.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository
Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey
Thelma dreams of being a unicorn but when her dream unexpectedly comes true she learns a lesson in loving yourself…even without sparkles.
Available: Amazon | The Book Depository

For even more great books for kids supporting the development of social emotional skills – everything from making friends to bullying, check out our books about friendship collection.

Pin for later:

40+ Picture Books About Diversity

One Comment

  1. Great books! These are great picture books relating to children in a way they can understand. Thank you!

Comments are closed.