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Here is a list of children’s picture books about acceptance and diversity.
We all wish for our children to be resilient and accepting of others.
Teaching children to celebrate difference and diversity, supports them in accepting themselves as individuals.
By recognising their own strengths and weaknesses, children can develop a sense of self awareness and individuality.
This also helps them also accept others as individuals with each their own set of strengths and weaknesses.
Best Children’s Books About Acceptance and Diversity
Recognising and celebrating diversity is a way of celebrating the unique role we each have to play as a part of our much wider community.
A child who loves building could be our next leading architect, however may not be interested in Biology.
Another child who may be fascinated with Biology may find a cure to an illness but show no interest in building.
Without the the building the architect designed, the biologist may not have had the facilities to conduct their research.
We all have a role to play.
Whether it is the role we play in our small circle of friends and family, to that in wider communities such as schools, suburbs, cities, states and country.
This collection of children’s picture books about acceptance and diversity harness the celebration of each individual for being their unique, true self.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
A sense of belonging is a fundamental need for children to be successful both in school and beyond.
In 1943, an American psychologist published his hierarchy of needs to explain human motivation. The five needs he listed were
- Physiological: food, water, warmth, rest, exercise
- Safety: Physically and emotionally, a home and stability
- Love: Connected, included and sense of belonging
- Esteem: Being recognised, sense of achievement, having power to make choices
- Self-actualisation: Achieving potential, being able to create and celebrating the unique and special qualities that make ones self
Maslow placed these needs in a pyramid configuration, demonstrating the fundamental need for basic needs to be met before the next could be achieved.
A List of Children’s Books About Acceptance and Diversity
By Thrity Umrigar
A touching story of a young girl who remembers a story told by her mother that empowers her to recognise that she too is accepted and a part of a new home.
By Jacqueline Woodson
There are many reasons to feel different. This book reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.
By James Foley
A worthy and timely story about having the courage to follow your dreams and believing in yourself.
By Giles Andreae
A funny, touching and triumphant picture book story about a giraffe who finds his own tune and confidence.
By Anna McGregor
When three different groups of kangaroos – red, blue and yellow – all come to the same watering hole, they aren’t sure what to make each of other at first. But they soon they discover that they aren’t so different after all.
By Aaron Blabey
Join Thelma the unicorn on a journey of friendship and self discovery, learning to love who you are even if you don’t have sparkles.
By Mike Austin
Celebrate along with the hilarious monsters in this wild and energetic picture book. Mixing and discovering colour has never been so much fun!
By Josie Layton
Reggie Red tells the story of a little girl who discovers that beauty is far more than what you see on the outside.
By Jane Yolen and Heidi Elisabet Yolen Stemple
Not every girl has a passion for pink. However, all young ladies will love this empowering affirmation of their importance and unlimited potential.
By Joanna Francis
Lucia is creative. Lawrence loves numbers. A story about friendship and acceptance.
By Paige Britt
A thoughtful, poetic exchange between two characters who don’t realize they are thinking and asking the very same questions. This beautiful celebration of our humanity and diversity invites readers of all ages to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we. If the first step toward healing the world is to build bridges of empathy and celebrate rather than discriminate, Why Am I Me? helps foster a much-needed sense of connection, compassion, and love.
By Karen Beaumont
Exuberant rhymes and wild illustrations celebrate self-acceptance and self-love.
By Kristen Bell & Benjamin Hart
A hilarious and joyous read-aloud that offers a wonderful message about embracing the things that bring us together as humans.
By Keturah A. Bobo
An ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.
By Charlotte Barkla
Bold and beautiful, loud and proud, All Bodies are Good Bodies is an uplifting book about different body features and types.
By Tyler Feder
This body positive picture book is a vibrant, joyful, and judgement-free celebration of every body shape and size.
By Tracey Turner
We are All Different reinforces that everyone has something to offer, that diversity enriches our lives, and it also considers what all human beings have in common – that there is more that unites us than divides us.
By Robie H. Harris
New York Times best-selling author Robie H. Harris helps preschoolers understand what makes us who we are – from our height to our hair, from the shade of our skin to our eyesight.
By Lee Beaman
Everything in the world is different. Just look around! The clouds, the leaves, and the rocks are all different. Every person in the world is different. We are all different for a reason.
By Dr. Shanthy Edward
This colorful and engaging children’s book highlights the message that our differences make us special.
By Jo Dodd
Joseph has a big family who all like different things. In this delightful, engaging picture book, Joseph shows us that being different doesn’t have to be scary, instead it can be fun!
By Mem Fox
A compelling exploration of the differences between children that make them unique as well as the common humanity that unites them.
By Michael Hall
This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone.
By Jangsook Choi
From acclaimed creator Yangsook Choi comes the bestselling classic about finding the courage to be yourself and being proud of your background.
By David McKee
Elmer is different. Elmer is patchwork.
The grey elephants all love him, but he soon starts to wonder what it would be like to be just the same as them. Elmer’s subtle message, is that it is OK to be different.
By Jen Wojtowicz
Inspired by the experiences of her brother, who is on the autism spectrum, Jen Wojtowicz’s heartwarming tale encourages children to empathize with and reach out to others.
By Lupita Nyong
Sulwe is a powerful, moving picture book about colourism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.
By Amy June Bates
A story about acceptance, hospitality and welcoming others. Don’t worry that there won’t be enough room under the umbrella. Because there will always be room.