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Updated by Susan Stephenson on Jun 19, 2020
Headline for Picture Books that Celebrate Diversity
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Picture Books that Celebrate Diversity

Here is a list of children's picture books, many of them reviewed at the Book Chook, that celebrate diversity in some way. These are books to share with kids that introduce concepts like acceptance, being special, understanding that each of us has weaknesses and strengths etc

My Two Blankets

"This children's picture book ... tells the story of a little girl who has been displaced by war, and her struggles to adapt to life in a new country. We begin to understand how difficult it is not to understand the language of a new country, and how friendly smiles and interest can make all the difference to a new citizen." Read more in my article Excellent Resources for Anzac Day.

Children’s Book Review, Be a Friend

'At its core, this book is a heartwarming story of self-acceptance, courage, and unbreakable friendship for anyone who has ever felt "different."' Read more at The Book Chook.

Children's Book Review, Tatiara

" I like the way our young heroine is so matter-of-fact about her physical disability - a curved spine, for which she wears a back brace. She longs to swim with her injured seal friend, Tatiara, but she must make do with a bathtub instead. It doesn't stop her catching fish for Tatiara, even though the seal pup is perfectly capable of catching them herself. " Read more at The Book Chook.

Children's Book Review, An Aussie Year

In An Aussie Year "we're introduced to five children from different ethnic backgrounds who tell us about special days and happenings throughout the Australian year. The child characters introduce themselves, then share snippets that make each month special for them. For instance, Lily, whose Mum is from China, tells us that she gets red money-filled envelopes in Chinese New Year." Read more at The Book Chook.

Children's Book Review, Mirror

"As we gaze and absorb, we become aware that despite all the differences between the two families, their lives revolve around the same routines and needs we all share. Despite the differences, when we really get to know other families, it's like looking into a mirror and seeing ourselves. " Read more at The Book Chook.

Children’s Book Review, I’m Australian Too

"I loved the emphasis in I'm Australian Too on celebrating Australia’s cultural diversity, but doing it in a matter-of-fact way that avoids the tub-thumping kids don’t need to hear. Instead, we meet a range of kids who share their backgrounds with us." Read more at The Book Chook.

Children’s Book Review, Silver Buttons

"Silver Buttons is a book to ponder, one that makes a great curriculum resource for teachers and librarians who want children to gain an understanding of human connections and connectedness." Read more at The Book Chook.

Children's Book Review, Vampyre

This is a picture book for older kids. "The boy/vampyre must live in darkness, yet longs for the light. We can think of many reasons someone might long to live a different life to the one his family espouses, making this an excellent prompt for meaningful discussions. There's so much in Vampyre that is not said - provoking thought, and bringing emotions to the surface." Read more at The Book Chook.

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Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

Excerpt from my review at The Book Chook: "Every public and school library will want this book. It’s so important for us to try to understand the plight of people whose countries have been torn apart by war. Stepping Stones allows us to enter into the feelings and experiences of a young refugee girl, and by so doing, get an idea of her past and her future. It’s a moving story, and one that I hope touches many hearts."

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Reena's Rainbow

Reena's Rainbow

"It’s important for children to read about other kids like them. With over 15% of the world’s population living with some form of disability, the message in Reena’s Rainbow about accepting individual differences and strengths is one we certainly want to share with kids." Read more at The Book Chook.

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Leaf

Leaf

"Leaf is a beautiful quality children’s picture book. Its message is one about acceptance and friendship, and also touches on climate change. I believe many children will recognize the way we humans tend to be suspicious of anyone who seems different, and react with anger, driven by fear." Read more at The Book Chook.

Reviews: Picture Books about Family

"It’s great to see so many books published for children nowadays that celebrate diversity. Children who grab this book have a good chance of finding a family scenario like theirs - perhaps a baby lives with two dads, or shares his home with just Mum. The story introduces many different babies but returns often to the one baby whose big sister is telling the story." Read more at The Book Chook.

Picture Books that Celebrate Diversity

"I loved the language McKinlay uses in this lovely children’s picture book. We read of “the woolly wild of winter and the smooth sweep of summer”, and delight in the poet’s voice so much in evidence. Rudge’s illustrations fill in so many details for us. Her use of colour and pattern is brilliant, underscoring the change from familiar to exotic as the little rhinoceros travels." Read more at The Book Chook.

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Room on our Rock

Room on our Rock

"I think deep down, all of us know the world gets along better when we share. Here’s a picture book that makes a useful resource for encouraging kids to think about sharing with other kids, and of course the wider implications about welcoming others to our country and town." Read more at The Book Chook.

Children’s Book Review, Puffin the Architect

"This is a picture book that kids will pore over. I certainly did. It’s a story about a grown up Puffin who’s an architect and trying to figure out what sort of home to design for two pufflings. The young birds see inside many homes, reading excellent rhyming poems about the houses’ contents, but are never quite satisfied, until …. At the end of the story we discover Puffin’s gender, and who the pufflings belong to, making the book even more satisfying." Read more at The Book Chook.

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Goat on a Boat

Goat on a Boat

"Goat on a Boat would be great to share with older kids when exploring topics like sharing, benefitting from other cultures, refugees, acceptance, fear of what we are not familiar with etc. " Read the rest of the review at The Book Chook.

The Wall in the Middle of the Book

"Why do we build walls between ourselves and others? Are all walls physical? Can walls always protect us? Are all the fears we feel justified, or might we be afraid of something we just don’t understand?" Read more in my review at The Book Chook.