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Updated by Nicole Lawton on Oct 11, 2018
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Passport To Reading

This list features multicultural and diverse books about children around the world. The fiction and nonfiction picture books featured in this Listly have been curated for preschool educators and librarians.


Because Amelia smiled / [by David Ezra Stein].

A little girl's smile as she skips down the street in New York inspires a neighbor to send cookies to her grandson in Mexico, and the good will soon spreads around the world.

Can you say peace? / Karen Katz.

Children around the world wish in many different languages for peace.

Deep in the Sahara / Kelly Cunnane ; illustrated by Hoda Hadadi.

An Arab girl of the Sahara who wants to wear a malafa, the veiled dress worn by her mother and older sister, learns that the garment represents beauty, mystery, tradition, belonging, and faith.

Drum dream girl : how one girl's courage changed music / poems by Margarita Engle ; illustrations by Rafael...

Follows a girl in the 1920s as she strives to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums, and that there has never been a female drummer in Cuba. Includes note about Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who inspired the story, and Anacaona, the all-girl dance band she formed with her sisters.

Encore -- Last stop on Market Street / by Matt de la Peña ; illustrated by Christian Robinson.

A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

Encore -- My heart fills with happiness / Monique Gray Smith ; illustrated by Julie Flett.

International speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote My Heart Fills with Happiness to support the wellness of Indigenous children and families, and to encourage young children to reflect on what makes them happy.

Everybody cooks rice / by Norah Dooley ; illustrations by Peter J. Thornton.

A child is sent to find a younger brother at dinnertime and is introduced to a variety of cultures through encountering the many different ways rice is prepared at the different households visited.

Goldy Luck and the three pandas / Natasha Yim ; illustrated by Grace Zong.

One Chinese New Year, her mother sends Goldy Luck to the pandas next door with a plate of turnip cakes, but the pandas are out and disaster follows. Includes a recipe for turnip cakes and an explanation of Chinese New Year.

Houses and homes / Ann Morris ; photographs by Ken Heyman.

A simple discussion of different kinds of houses and what makes them homes.

I am the world / Charles R. Smith, Jr.

Illustrations and rhyming text celebrate the diversity of cultures, languages, countries, and people of the world.

joseph's big ride book cover - Google Search

When Joseph, a refugee from South Sudan, moves to America, he encounters a curly-haired girl with a red bicycle just his size, and tries to convince her to let him ride

Maya's blanket / story, Monica Brown ; illustrations, David Diaz ; Spanish translation, Adriana Domínguez =...

"When a little girl's cherished baby blanket becomes old and worn, it is made into a dress, and over the years it is made into even smaller and smaller items, eventually ending up as a bookmark and inspiring the creation of a book. Includes an author's note and a glossary"-- Provided by publisher.

One world, one day / by Barbara Kerley.

This beautiful photo book follows the course of one day in our world. Sunrise to sunset is captured in the essential things we all do daily, wherever we live in the world, and in the different ways we do them. The first meal of the day will take on a whole new dimension for American kids as an American pancake breakfast is contrasted with porridge in North Korea and churros in Spain.

Round is a mooncake : a book of shapes / written by Roseanne Thong ; illustrated by Grace Lin.

As a little girl discovers things round, square, and rectangular in her urban neighborhood, she is reminded of her Chinese American culture.

The story of noodles / by Ying Chang Compestine ; illustrated by Yongsheng Xuan.

Left alone to prepare their family's prize-winning dumplings for the annual cooking contest, the young Kang boys accidentally invent a new dish, "mian tiao," or noodles. Includes a cultural note and a recipe for long life noodles.

The wheels on the tuk tuk / Kabir Sehgal & Surishtha Sehgal ; illustrated by Jess Golden.

In this twist on the classic song "The Wheels on the Bus," the wheels on the tuk tuk go round and round all over the city in India.

This is the way we go to school / Laine Falk.

Children around the world go to school in many different ways.

Wash up! / Gwenyth Swain.

All around the world, people wash themselves in different ways.

Whoever you are / by Mem Fox ; illustrated by Leslie Staub.

Despite the differences between people around the world, there are similarities that join us together, such as pain, joy, and love.