Diversify your child's bookshelf books about diversity

Books to Diversify your Child’s Bookshelf

If you are looking ways to diversify your child’s bookshelf, we are here to help and learn with you. A few years ago, when my children noticed that their skin color was a different color than some of their friends and family members, I made a more intentional effort to diversify their reading as well. Reading is a great way to spark deeper conversations and learn about viewpoints that are different than our own. It also happened to be winter, and we were headed to the library, a weekly habit of ours, for new books. When we arrived at the Oconomowoc library, the children’s area had books set out in February for Black History month. We picked a few of the books set out on display and went home to learn. We did this again in March for Women’s History month. One valuable thing we learned was that it is important to learn about different people, cultures, and perspectives all year long. 

"The whole world opened up to me when I learned to read”

Mary McCleod Bethune

Books to Diversify your Child's Bookshelf

In the past few weeks, we have done even more learning and listening. The following list was compiled by local Black mother Ashley H. Ashley has been instrumental in communicating with Lake Country Family Fun, sharing resources and more! This book list that she compiled is written and illustrated by a diverse group of authors and artists. Some books are about Black culture, some are about American culture in general, some are about the joys of childhood, some are about the struggles of growing up, some are about kindness. Thank you Ashley for compiling this list for Lake Country Family Fun readers!

There are additional links below the list from Lisa B. from Books and Company. When possible, we’d encourage you to shop small and reach out to your local bookseller to purchase these books or head to your local library to read more as well. Some of the following books may be on back order due to their popularity. *Books and Company in Oconomowoc can order books that they don’t have in stock, as long as they are in print and available for order.

Board Books

Rain Feet by Angela Johnson

My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith

Fiesta by Ginger Foglesong 

I Can Do It Too by Karen Baicker

The Babies and Doggies Book  by John & Molly

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers 

More More More Said the Baby by Vera B Williams

Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang

Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora 

Ten Tiny Babies by Karen Katz 

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Lottie Paris Lives Here by Angela Johnson

Little You by Richard Van Camp 

Global Baby Boys by Maya Ajmera

Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Goodnight New York City by Adam Gamble 

Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats 

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox 

Whose Toes Are Those by Jabari Asim

Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children (**Ashley’s favorite for her toddler)

Children’s Books

Thank You Omu! by Oge Mora

Saturday by Oge Mora 

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

The Story of Harriet Tubman by Christine Platt

Little Dreamers: Visionary Women around the World by Vashti Harrison

Little legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashati Harrison

Something Happened in our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Ann Hazzard, Marianne Celano, and Marietta Collins

The Ana & Andrew series by Christine Platt 

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Ordinary Terrible Things) by  Anastasia Higginbotham 

Lila and the Crow by Gabrielle Grimard

Let’s Talk about Race by Julius Lester

Race Cars by Jenny Devenny

Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon by Kelly Starling Lyons

Say Her Name by Zetta Elliott

The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne by John Perra 

Bread for Words: A Frederick Douglass Story by Shana Keller

Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina by Lea Lyon and Alexandria LaFaye

This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World by Matt LaMothe (**Ashley’s favorite with her daughter)

Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton Johnson

Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S.K. Ali

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Welcome to the Party by Gabrielle Union

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Dream Big Little One by Vashti Harrison

Grandmas Tiny House by JaNay Brown-Wood

Addtional anti-Racist resources

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