By Margaret Miller
The youngest of readers will enjoy seeing their little colleagues in this collection of adorable portraits. They will see that smiles, pouts, and wrinkly noses, come in many different shades and colors. Because babies learn to recognize faces long before they recognize objects, seeing a representation of racial and ethnic diversity in the first year of life will help them understand and appreciate the differences between us as they continue to grow. Global Babies is another book worth considering.
by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee
Babies are born every day and everywhere. They’re kissed and dressed and rocked and fed, cared for by their loving families. This board book is an exuberant celebration of the world’s babies, playing, sleeping, crawling, and other little adventures in the new big world.
By Ezra Jack Keats
A touching series of books about the little protagonist discovering the world around him. This is an intimate portrait of the playful little boy, who is also thoughtful, attentive, and sensitive. Other books in the series A Letter to Amy, Hi, Cat!, and Whistle for Willie are worth exploring as well.
By Karen Katz
This book follows a little girl who wants to paint a picture of herself and discovers that her skin is just one shade of brown amongst many many others. After taking a walk through the neighborhood, she begins to see her familiar world in a new way. Through the beautiful story and colorful illustrations, author invites us to celebrate the differences and similarities that connect all people.
by Spike Lee, Tonya Lewis Lee, and Kadir Nelson
Toddlers and parents will recognize the adorable antics of the main character, described with delight and exasperation by the authors/parents, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Spike Lee and his wife, producer Tonya Lewis Lee. Artist Kadir Nelson’s illustrations capture the exuberant moments of childhood in all of its glory.
By Vera Williams
No amount of tickles, kisses, and hugs from the beloved caretakers is enough for the children in Vera B. Williams’ book! The book shows three little vignettes, each taking place in a different family. While each family comes from a different ethnic background, love for the adorable youngest members is equally strong in all of them. Rhythmic text and colorful illustrations help make this book one for the most recommended pieces of writing on cultural diversity for ages 1-4!
By bell hooks
A beautiful classic from a feminist author and activist bell hooks talks about the love of a family, which is made sweet by the intimacy, forgiveness, and shared joy. This is a priceless read at a time when learning to love each member of our global family is all that we need to build a better, “sweeter” world.
By Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
This book may be targeted towards pre-school aged kids, but your toddler might be able to appreciate it all the same. The author brings together two pen pals from across the globe, who may be different from each other in many ways, but also have a lot in common. Turns out, climbing trees and playing with pets is as fun in America as it is in India! This is a great book to show that cultural differences exist, but our humanity is what brings us together.