10 multicultural children’s books that celebrate the world

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The world is quite an interesting place, filled with people of all shades, sizes, beliefs, and abilities. But teaching children to accept such differences and teaching them about tolerance and empathy can be tricky, especially for the little ones.

As with many life lessons, children’s books are a great way to introduce concepts of cultural diversity and the mix of lifestyles, backgrounds and traditions that make up our lives and those of everyone around us. . Using fun stories, relevant characters, and beautiful illustrations, these picture books give young readers a glimpse into the lives of children who may or may not seem similar or different to them? Books also show toddlers that “different” isn’t bad; in fact, it can be quite wonderful.

Coming up, we’ve put together a list of multicultural children’s books that feature characters from all kinds of ethnicities and races. These vibrant books provide age-appropriate stories and illustrations that artfully teach babies and children about the wonderfully diverse world we live in and the importance of respect for it all.

A glimpse of busy lives around the world

Here’s how we do it: a day in the lives of seven children around the world


A real lesson in diversity for young and old alike, This is how we do it gives toddlers a glimpse into the lives of children around the world, including Italy, Japan, India, Peru, Uganda and Iran. Young readers can see how other children live, what they eat and how they play. And while some things may be very different, there are many others that seem surprisingly familiar.


A tale of two cultures

In this cute book by Anna Kim, Danbi leaves Korea for the United States and is delighted with her first day at her new school. However, she soon realizes that things are different now and that she just can’t keep up with others. But with a little imagination and a pinch of moxie, Danbi turns things around and ends up giving everyone a fun parade that no one will soon forget.


Baby mother tongue learning book

In a wonderful celebration of diversity, Say hello! is the story of Carmelita and her dog Manny. When they take their daily walk, they meet and greet all the neighbors along the way. And in a bustling neighborhood filled with people from diverse cultures, Carmelita is even learning to say hello in languages ​​like Spanish, English, French, and Japanese.


A magical lesson in true beauty

In SulweOscar winner Lupita Nyong’o writes a powerful story about colorism, self-esteem and a lesson in true beauty. Sulwe was born “the color of midnight”, and she aspires to be like her mother, sister and classmates, so she prays for a miracle. Later that night, a magical journey into the sky shows Sulwe that she is unique and beautiful, and that true beauty comes from within.


A special bond that transcends time zones

It is the story of a little girl who is separated from her beloved grandmother when her family moves to America. Although he misses his Popo sorely, the two stay in touch, and Popo continues to be a big part of his life. This endearing story beautifully shows how love can transcend both time and space.


The community of a classroom

In this colorful book, Shannon Olsen expands the meaning of the word “family” to include teachers, classmates and friends. Filled with bright and whimsical illustrations that show all races, ethnicities and abilities, this book reminds us that school is more than reading, writing and arithmetic, it is also a place of social learning and emotional. For many children, school becomes a home away from home, where they feel safe, loved, included and accepted for who they are.


Multicultural correspondents

In The same but different, Elliot lives in the United States and Kailash lives in India. During an exchange of letters, these correspondents discover that while their lives may seem different, they are actually quite similar. With stunning illustrations on every page, this heartwarming story is an introduction to the themes of friendship, diversity, and ethnic harmony.


A positive focus on our unique differences

This book follows a group of kids as they build their own hot air balloons, and elegantly reminds our little ones that being different is a good thing. Filled with vibrant colors and beautiful illustrations, this book shows children that our lives are enriched when we build on our strengths and abilities, celebrate our differences, and work together to achieve something bigger than ourselves.


Dynamic multiculturalism in a big city

On a hot summer day in LA, nothing can beat an ice cube. So a little boy runs through the streets of his bustling neighborhood in search of his cold treat. But when he finally finds Paletero Jose, his pockets are empty – it seems he can only get some with the help of his neighbors. Dotted with vibrant illustrations and Spanish words and phrases throughout, Paletero man is a charming story about the power of love and community.


Find friendship in surprising places

Alluding delicately to the refugee crisis, Lubna and pebble is the sweet story of Lubna and her best friend, a pebble she found on the beach when she arrived in the “tent world”. Lubna shares her memories, fears, and hopes with Pebble, and it gives her comfort when there isn’t much to find otherwise. But when a new boy enters her life, Lubna shares Pebble with someone who might need them more than she does in an incredible act of kindness and friendship.


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