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Children’s Books that Highlight and Celebrate Diverse Families

Each child we work with is unique, with their own culture, family, and home life. Children are raised in a variety of different homes by many different caregivers, whether they are mom and dad, a single-parent, two moms/dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or other caregivers. To help your classroom or early learning program feel more inclusive and representative of these different types of families, you might consider adding some new, diverse books to your library.

In this article, we share children’s books that celebrate many different kinds of families to help you create an environment that is representative of the community that you work with. These books can also be supportive for social-emotional learning by helping to foster meaningful conversations with children who might have questions about differences they have observed between families.

Board Books for Infants, Toddlers, and Young Preschoolers

This inclusive story, by Sophie Beer, has illustrations that depict a variety of different families and the various ways that family members demonstrate their love for one another. The text is simple, with just a few words per page and colorful imagery, making this book a good option for young children.

Written by Suzane Lang and illustrated by Max Lang, this children’s book tells a story with characters from a variety of different animal families. The story depicts children raised by two moms, an aunt, and children who are adopted, and reminding readers and listeners that “if you love each other, then you are a family.” 

Picture Books for Preschool & Pre-K

This book, written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, with illustrations by Henry Cole, tells the true story of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who fell in love and wanted to start a family. A zookeeper helps the two penguins welcome their baby penguin, Tango. This story highlights same sex couples and adoption, with beautifully illustrated pictures of penguins and other animals at the zoo. The underlying theme is the importance of love and acceptance.

This children’s book, written by Shola Oz and illustrated by Shifa Annisa, celebrates diversity and multiculturalism through the story of a young girl who is mixed race. The book has simple, rhyming text and an inclusive and uplifting message that makes it wonderful for discussions about diversity with young children.

Written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, this book highlights a variety of different families, cultures, and traditions. The story includes same-sex parents, single parents, foster parents, separated parents, children who are adopted, and children who are raised by other family members. The book includes colorful, diverse illustrations of different families, and highlights how some family members all look the same, while others look different.

Tags:   children's books
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