17 Baby & Toddler Books That Celebrate Diversity & Inclusion

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Books are a powerful way to connect with your child and to promote important values like kindness and acceptance. Fill your child’s library with books that encourage diversity and inclusion in all forms. Your baby’s first literary lesson can be that differences are what make us special.

Happy and You Know It! by Vanja Kragulj
Learn this kid-favorite song with a book full of smiling children of different races. This Indestructibles book is designed for littles; it's washable and won't rip or tear.

Available at workman.com, $5.95.

Completely Me by Justine Green, Ed.D.
A young girl learns she's different only when other people point it out. She stands up for herself and teaches the people around her (and readers!) about self-acceptance and embracing our differences.

Available at barnesandnoble.com, $12.99.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard
Through this picture book ode to fry bread, readers learn through their senses; how it looks, smells and sounds while cooking. There's also a recipe to make your own fry bread.

Available at amazon.com, $14.52.

The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez
Teach kids about Black history and culture from A to Z. P is for Power; H is for Zora Neale Hurston. Written in rhyming text, the book includes information about the important folks, places and events mentioned.

Available at workman.com, $14.95.

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
Learn how to cultivate a more equitable world by following the nine steps in this book, which is filled with thoughtful rhymes and beautiful, bold illustrations. 

Available at amazon.com, $8.99.

Baby Young, Gifted and Black by Jamia Wilson
This lyrical board book introduces babies to Black leaders and changemakers from the past and present. A mirror in the back lets kids see themselves alongside these heroes.

Available at amazon.com, $9.99.

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, illustrated by Marla Frazee
This simply written and sweetly illustrated board book shows babies of all origins being cared for in all sorts of ways. Small babies, tall babies, summer and fall babies. One thing they all have in common is that they’re all kissed and fed and rocked to sleep by people who love them.

Available at amazon.com, $6.95.

We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty, illustrated by Ryan Wheatcroft
No matter how your family came to be or what it looks like, your commitment to stick together is what really matters. That’s the focus of this inclusive book for children that showcases fams of different sizes, races, abilities and more.

Available at amazon.com, $11.83.

Baby Talk by Stella Blackstone
A great book for older siblings to read to younger ones, Baby Talk is all about the simple but powerful ways in which we interact with babies. Told with accompanying high-contrast, black and white photos, it's also perfect for developing baby's eyesight.

Available at amazon.com, $6.99.

Carry Me (Babies Everywhere) by Star Bright Books
It’s rhyme time for babies and tots in this simple story showing young children carried by bicep, blanket, basket, backpack, and more. Beginner book lovers will be fascinated with this collection of photographs depicting young children being carried by doting caregivers.

Available at amazon.com, $6.99.

Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children
Colorful photos abound in this board book featuring babes from 17 different countries throughout the world. Sneak a peek at the lives, cultures and traditions of families with wee ones far and wide.

Available at amazon.com, $6.95.

Nursery Rhymes and Rhythms by Ijeoma Ntukogu
"Black Boy Joy" and "Black Girl Magic" are two of the stories in this inspiring collection of new tales and classic nursery rhymes retold with a modern twist. These uplifting tales celebrate empathy and connection while featuring, and affirming, black and brown children.

Available at amazon.com, $9.99.

Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora
Introduce your babe to the sounds of different languages with a glimpse at a diverse neighborhood full of people speaking Spanish, French, Japanese and more. The kid-friendly collage pictures also make for an exciting glimpse of some diverse cultures.

Available at amazon.com, $7.19.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
Watch as a diverse mix of children wearing everything from pigtails and patkas to glasses and hijabs and yarmulkes make their way through school. The illustrations full of young families of all kinds are what make this picture book a feast for little eyes.

Available at amazon.com, $14.06.

Pink and Blue by Ritu Vaishnav, illustrated by Vishnu M Nair
Some people will insist that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. But many of us know that simply isn’t true. Pink and Blue goes well beyond color to break down gender stereotypes and start an early and often dialogue about how boys and girls should question such traditional, nonsensical ideas.

Available at amazon.com, $6.03.

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
It’s not easy being the new kid in school, especially when your teachers and classmates can’t pronounce your name. Unhei is suddenly self-conscious of her Korean name and decides to choose a new one. Until her new friends convince her to keep it!

Available at amazon.com, $7.99.

Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long
From George Washington to Georgia O’Keeffe, and from Jackie Robinson to Maya Lin, this piece of U.S. history in a picture book sheds light on the diverse faces, qualities and achievements of thirteen Americans. Perusing its pages is like looking at our country’s own yearbook.

Available at amazon.com, $6.81.

When Charley Met Emma by Amy Webb, illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard
Charley feels different from other children. Sometimes he likes to play with his friends, but other times he prefers to draw by himself. Then he meets Emma, who is also different. She has no hands and uses a wheelchair. Their meeting and interactions can inspire parents to talk to their little ones about disability and kindness and inclusion starting at an early age.

Available at amazon.com, $12.37.

Whitney C. Harris


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