Our Favorite Diverse Books

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

Prepping Your Playroom For Teaching Equity Through Reading

Curious about what your children know? Talk with them about books you read!

Books are a powerful tool to teach about America’s history, Black experience, equity, and empathy. However, just reading a book is not enough to teach your child to be anti-racist.

Instead, it is the conversations you have while you’re looking at the front cover, how you pause as you’re reading, and your reflections at the end of the story that will help your children form new ideas and inspire new skills. So, let’s shift how we think of books. The juicy, learning content does not just exist between the front and back covers; books are not just something to read because reading is good for the developing brain. Rather, books are tools for change because they are a safe launching pad for the complex, and sometimes uncomfortable conversations that have to happen to build an anti-racist generation.

Rather, books are tools for change because they are a safe launching pad for the complex, and sometimes uncomfortable conversations that have to happen to build an anti-racist generation.

It is equally important to fill your home library both with books highlighting Black historical figures and also with everyday stories and fictional adventures starring characters who are Black and People Of Color. This shows children that all people, no matter what they look like, can equally explore, solve problems, and be heroes of stories!

Before we dive into a couple of books we’re reading right now, as an early childhood expert, and a play expert, I HAVE to give you some ideas about how to play with books!

  • Puppets to retell or add on to the stories you read!

  • Storytelling Felt Board to set up the scene your reading about

  • Art to draw your favorite image in the story

  • Imagination to dress up and reenact the story

Here are just our favorites!

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Board Books For Your Littlest Activist and Anti-Racist Ally

Global Babies

From Guatemala to Bhutan, this board book features seventeen beautiful photographs that celebrate the diversity of babies from around the world.

Everywhere Babies

"Every day, everywhere, babies are born." This board book shows diverse families caring for and loving on their babies.

A is for Activist

An ABC board book that addresses activism, environmental justice, civil rights etc. while using rhymes and alliteration.

Picture Books For Your Slightly Bigger Little Activist and Anti-Racist Ally

Last Stop On Market Street (BIPOC Author)

We follow CJ and his grandma's trip across town on the bus. Through poetic text and beautiful illustrations we hear grandma's answers about why and how their family is different from others'.

Jabari Jumps

Jabari has passed his swim test and is ready to jump off the diving board. With encouragement and support from his father, he works to overcome his fears.

Those Shoes

Jeremy wants the new cool pair of shoes that all the other kids at school have. His grandma works with him to understand the difference between wants and needs.

Word Collector

Sweet story about Jerome who loves to discover new words, especially words that connect and empower.

Come on, Rain

On a hot summer day, Tess hopes for rain. When it comes, she, her friends and their mothers celebrate and dance in their fresh new neighborhood.


A curious bear leaves his shop shelf in search for his button so he can find a real home with a new friend!

Snowy Day

We follow Peter on his adventure of the first snow fall of the season.

Ada Twist, Scientist

Ada is extremely curious. She is ever experimenting and going on fact finding missions to answer her questions. A fictional character based on real-life makers Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie.

The Colors Of Us

Lena goes on a tour of her neighborhood with her mother who is an artist. She learns that brown comes in many different shades. It is a celebration of the differences that make her community beautiful.

Not So Different (BIPOC Author. Local Author. )

From a Local (DC) Author. A conversation and celebration of the many ways we are both different and similar

I Am Enough (BIPOC Author. CODA -child of deaf adults- author)

A poetic story about the many ways we are all different and why it is a beautiful thing!

Little Leaders, Bold Women in Black History &

Little Leaders, Exceptional Men in Black History (BIPOC Author)

These two books bring to life stories of black men and women throughout history in brief biographies.

Parker Looks Up (BIPOC Author. Local Author)

The sweet story of a little girl and her family experiencing the powerful portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery.

Sulwe (BIPOC Author)

Sulwe's skin is darker than the people in her family and her friends at her school. This whimsical story inspires children to see their individual beauty.

I am human

A beautifully illustrated poetic book about human emotion, compassion, and empathy. A great conversation starter about listening to others, using words and seeking kindness.

Hair Love (BIPOC Author)

Zuri's dad has a lot to learn about her hair! He steps in to style it for a special occasion and works hard to make her happy!

We hope you found this post helpful! If you have questions or want to chat, join the conversation on Instagram!

Anne + Jodi

Read more about Black Lives Matter and raising anti-racist kids:

Read our feature post:

Why purchasing diverse books and toys is not enough to raise anti-racist children.

Notice something missing? TOYS!

Oh, don't worry. We just had too much to say about them. You can find Our Favorite Diverse Toys List here.