Multicultural Children’s Book Day is an online celebration rooted in the frustration of two moms who wanted to see diversity in their children’s literature. They organized and created this national event back in 2012 and it has been celebrated yearly ever since (leave it to moms to shake up the world)! Their mission is to “raise awareness for children’s books that celebrate diversity by getting more of these books into classrooms and libraries.” They also “strive to shine the spotlight on the diverse books and authors that often get overlooked by mainstream publishing and media.“*
Well, I’m here for all of that! And in the spirit of these two rock stars I created my own list of multicultural children’s books that I think will be beneficial to any child’s home and/or classroom library. In fact, a few of these gems are actually books that I read to my babies when they were younger! It is my hope, that after reviewing the list, you will find space for at least one or two of these awesome books on your bookshelf.
Happy Multicultural Children’s Book Day!
Ambitious Girl – Meena Harris
This empowering and inspirational book demonstrates to young girls how they can can reframe, redefine, and reclaim words meant to knock them down. It reminds young girls everywhere that “Ambitious girls get things done!”
Nappy Hair – Carolivia Herron
This is one of my all time favorite books! It tells the empowering story about a little girl’s knotted-up, twisted, nappy hair and how it got to be that way! Told in the Black Folk “call and response” tradition, this story leaps off the page, and is a great read aloud!
I Am Every Good Thing – Derrick Barnes
This book infuses melanated boys with confidence and pride. It is a symphony of affirmations that soothes the ear and the heart. I encourage every adult who is responsible for shaping and molding a little boy of color to include this book on their bookshelf. It reminds them of how creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and good they really are. Our boys are every good thing. This book makes certain that they never forget that.
I Am Because I Choose – Patrice McLaurin
This is an engaging picture book that encourages children to embrace their most amazing SUPERPOWER which is their power to CHOOSE! Each page demonstrates to children how they actually choose their behavior all while highlighting the positive consequences that can result from making good choices! This book is also an entertaining way to promote the core competencies of SEL!
What a Truly Cool World – Julius Lester
This is a beautifully illustrated creation story that is entertaining and fun to read! And I’ll admit that one of my favorite parts about the book is the fact that God, and all of his helpers, are Black!
My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World – Malcolm Mitchell
This is a captivating book about Henley, an all-around good kid, who hates to read. When he’s supposed to be reading, he would rather do anything else. But one day, he gets the scariest homework assignment in the world: find your favorite book to share with the class tomorrow. Will Henley find a story that speaks to everything inside of him? Read the book to find out!
Teach Me About Garvey – James Wilson
Through rhyme and awesome illustrations, children will learn about and become inspired by the legendary Marcus Garvey.
Rocket Says Look Up! – Nathan Byron
This is an awesome STEM book that inspires readers of all ages to dream big. It shares the story of Rocket, an aspiring astronaut intent on getting her community to LOOK UP from what they’re doing and reach for the stars! This book is perfect for fans of Ada Twist, Scientist and Cece Loves Science.
Qiana’s Braids – Chanda Austin
Qiana’s Braids is about an African-American girl’s first experience getting her hair braided. This story takes you on a journey from Africa to the local hair salon.
Have You Thanked an Inventor Today? – Patrice McLaurin
Another great STEM read, this book chronicles the school day of a little boy, highlighting different inventions he uses throughout his day, all of which were invented by black people!
Sophie Washington Book Series – Tonya Duncan Ellis
This book series is a wonderful way to introduce your young readers to chapter books. Sophie Washington is a hilarious 11-year-old who experiences some pretty exciting adventures!