Embrace similarities and honor differences with this evolving book list.
This collection sets the stage for big conversations about the differences and similarities between us all. Plus, they are outstanding stories your whole family will want to re-read! (For a list of books for older children, please see our Diversity - Chapter Books page.)
What can be learned from considering various points of view?
Imagine you are one of the characters in these stories. How would you feel?
What are some things you can do every day to celebrate differences?
Good Eggs: a recipe for tolerance. Teach tolerance over breakfast with this thought-provoking recipe.
Make your home reflect cultural diversity by the art, music, and books you display; the movies and television shows you choose to watch; and the restaurants your family frequents.
Or, try this: On a sheet of paper, draw a Venn diagram, list the things that are unique about you on the left side, the things that are unique about a character in one of these books on the right side. Add similarities in the middle. Take time to respectfully discuss these differences and similarities as a family.
An Apple for Harriet Tubman by Glennette Tilley Turner
An Apple for Harriet Tubman is the story of the life of Harriet Tubman, from her childhood working in the apple orchard on a plantation to her adulthood as a free woman and the conductor on the Underground Railroad.
The Big Orange Splot by D. Manus Pinkwater
Celebrate creativity and individuality with this fun story. Children of all ages will discover how different ways of seeing the world can enrich our lives.
The Friendly Four by Eloise Greenfield
Told through engaging poetry, this story celebrates friendship as the best antidote to a "bummer summer."
The Judgemental Flower by Julia Cook
When Purple moves to the Blue Patch, all of the flowers struggle a bit to know the right way to react. In the end, they take their cue from the bees, the birds, and the wind, who treat all flowers the same.
Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hoose, Hannah Hoose, and Debbie Tilley
Practice empathy by stepping into the smallest shoes imaginable. Seeing the world from such a different point of view offers a great starting point for imagining how different people experience the world.
Let's Talk about Race by Julius Lester
Even the youngest children will be drawn into a thoughtful conversation about race with this remarkable little book. Julius Lester, a Newbery-Honor-winning author helps kids understand race as just one of many chapters in a person's story.
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
When a young unicorn is born to a family of narwhals, he can't help but notice the many ways he stand out. Is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? Join young Kelp on his sweet journey to discover who he his and how to celebrate differences while emphasizing what he has in common.
One Green Apple by Eve Bunting
Imagine how you might feel if you suddenly lived in a new country where everyone spoke differently, dressed differently, and ate differently. Celebrate ethnic and cultural diversity with this heart-warming story of Farah, an immigrant who is relieved to discover some familiar sights on a field trip to an apple orchard, where she begins to create new friendships across differences.
Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle
The author weaves his family's personal history into a bewitching story about a boy, his grandmother, and the challenges faced by modern American Indian families.
The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
What happens when you organize the world into them versus us, plain-belly sneetch or star-belly sneetch? This children's classic makes a mockery of superficial judgments, providing the perfect starting point for a conversation about similarities, differences, and acceptance.
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
This simple, lyrical book is the perfect bedtime story for young children and an exceptional reminder that across the world children everywhere share profound similarities along with fascinating differences.
For rich resources celebrating diversity through children's literature, browse these outstanding blogs.
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The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.