Picture books with Racial or Ethnic Diversity

The second post in my Multicultural Book List series showcases non-narrative picture books that don’t really have a protagonist and feature a diverse cast of people. These are picture books aimed primarily at toddlers and preschoolers. These are all books that have read and include illustrations of people of various skin colors, racial and ethnic identities, disabilities, and family structures. If you know of a book you would like to see on this list, please leave a comment below.

Ages 1-3

  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
  • Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, illustrated by Marla Frazee
  • The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It by Laura Freeman
  • Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
  • Ten Tiny Babies by Karen Katz
  • Now I’m Big by Karen Katz
  • Touch and Tickle by Sanja Rešček
  • Flip-a-Face: Baby Talk by Sami
  • What a Wonderful World by George David Weiss and Bob Theile, illustrated by Ashley Bryan
  • Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
  • Clap Hands by Helen Oxenbury
  • Feelings by Susan Canizares
  • Sleepy ABC by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Karen Katz
  • My Nose, Your Nose by Melanie Walsh

Ages 4-6

  • Brothers and Sisters by Ellen B. Senisi
  • Toys Galore by Peter Stein, illustrated by Bob Staake
  • If You’re Happy and  You Know It, by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Sophie Flatus
  • Animal Boogie by Debbie Harter
  • Bread, Bread, Bread  by Anne Morris, photographs by Ken Heyman
  • Hats, Hats, Hats by Anne Morris, photographs by Ken Heyman
  • Houses and Homes by Anne Morris, photographs by Ken Heyman
  • Smiling by Gwenyth Swain
  • Wash Up by Gwenyth Swain
  • Only You by Robin Cruise, Illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

If you like this post, you may also like my list of Picture Books with Protagonists of Color.


Picture books with protagonists of color

Following the publication of the 2013 statistics on children’s books by and about people of color by the Children’s Cooperative Bookstore (CCBS) the showed that of 3,200 books surveyed only 93 were about black people (either Africans of any nationality or African-Americans), Walter Dean Meyers and Christopher Meyers wrote moving op-eds for the New York Times about what this disparity means for young people of color.  Both men are accomplished authors of children’s literature and their essays speak eloquently to the larger issues that the numbers in the CCBS study represent.

I often see parents posting in online forums for recommendations of multicultural children’s books. This blog post is the first in a series of book lists I am compiling to make finding books about under-represented groups of people a little easier to find. All of these lists are a work in progress, so please post suggestion in the comments and check back often for updates. All of the books listed here are books I have personally read where the main character is a person of color. Because racial, cultural, or ethnic identity is not always obvious if they are not the focal point of the story, I am including all picture books with protagonists of color in this list. When the protagonist’s racial, cultural, or ethnic background is explicit in the text or otherwise obvious, I have included it in parentheses in the list. Links are to reviews on this blog. Without further ado, the list: Continue reading

Ronia, the Librarian’s Daughter?

A few quick updates about my life are in order.  First of all, my family has grown by one: the lovely Ronia born on February 12, 2014. Weighing in at 10 pounds, 13 ounces at birth, she is eating, sleeping, and growing well.


And in professional news, I have been accepted into the MLIS/MA dual degree in Library Science and Children’s Literature at Simmons for the fall of 2014!