The best picture books about diversity & inclusion

Tanya Valentine Author Of Little Taco Truck
By Tanya Valentine

Who am I?

As the white parent of both a white child and a child of color, the discrepancies of representation and inclusivity in children’s literature is an important conversation in our home. Seeing themselves in books allows all children to dream big, feel seen, and know there is a place in this world for them. I hope both of my books, All Bears Need Love and Little Taco Truck do exactly that. I know the list of brilliant books I’ve suggested here are wonderful examples of inclusivity and diversity that young readers need.

I wrote...

Little Taco Truck

By Tanya Valentine, Jorge Martin (illustrator),

Book cover of Little Taco Truck

What is my book about?

Little Taco Truck serves up tasty treats to the hungry workers on Union Street. But when Miss Falafel arrives and parks in his space, Little Taco Truck's headlights dim. What if people like falafel more than tacos?When Jumbo Gumbo, Annie’s Arepas, and Hello Gelato arrive, there's no space left for Little Taco Truck. He swishes his wipers to hide his tears and heads home. At last, with some ingenuity and help from new friends, Little Taco Truck wins back his coveted parking spot. And guess what? There is room enough for everyone!

Packed with flavor and savory smells, this irresistible read-aloud about inclusion, determination, and friendship is perfect for even the youngest truck and taco fans.

The books I picked & why

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The Skin You Live in

By Michael Tyler, David Lee Csicsko (illustrator),

Book cover of The Skin You Live in

Why this book?

Any book that represents red-headed & freckled boys as well as kids with “warm cocoa dream skin” was a hit with my kids when they were young as they saw themselves and would shout “That’s me!”. The easy rhyme and adorable art help this story share the important message of acceptance, diversity, and inclusion to young readers. Children will recognize their family members, friends, and themselves in the “wonderful hues” decorating every page.

A Mother for Choco

By Keiko Kasza,

Book cover of A Mother for Choco

Why this book?

As an adoptive parent, A Mother For Choco tugs at my heart. It is an adorable story of a little bird looking for a mother but unable to find anyone who looks just like him. Along the way, he meets Mrs. Bear, who cares for him as a mother would. She brings him home to meet her other children – a piglet, a hippo, and an alligator. Keiko Kasza’s story celebrates family diversity and reinforces the idea that families come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Last Stop on Market Street

By Matt de la Peña, Christian Robinson (illustrator),

Book cover of Last Stop on Market Street

Why this book?

Every week, CJ and his Nana take the bus after church to help serve food at a shelter. The joy Nana finds in the diverse population on the bus, in the community, and at the shelter encourages him to seek out the beauty in others and celebrate everyone. This incredibly sweet and simple story of a boy and his grandmother is filled with warmth and encourages us to really see the people around us and notice the rainbows we might not otherwise see.

The Day You Begin

By Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael López (illustrator),

Book cover of The Day You Begin

Why this book?

This beautiful picture book gently reassures the reader that the world will ‘make some space,’ for them if they dare to share their stories – even if their story is different. There is always a commonality in our diversity and we should seek to find both – what makes us alike, and different – because both are important pieces of who we are in the world.

All Are Welcome

By Alexandra Penfold, Suzanne Kaufman (illustrator),

Book cover of All Are Welcome

Why this book?

All Are Welcome Here follows school children throughout their day to reveal and celebrate many cultures, backgrounds, nationalities, races, body types, clothes, food, etc. Everyone is represented in this beautiful book, allowing children to find themselves and their families among the pages. The repetition of “All are welcome here” throughout the story reinforces the simple and important Celebration of diversity and inclusivity. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

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