15 Great Diverse Picture Books for a Welcoming School

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Amazing Grace. Mary Hoffman. (Pre-K – 1)  Although classmates say that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she’s black and a girl, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to.

Big Bob, Little Bob. James Howe. (Pre-K – 2)  Despite the fact that they share a name, they are different. Big Bob likes trucks, throwing balls and being loud. Little Bob likes dolls, jingling bracelets and being quiet. Yet, they become friends. When a neighbor teases Little Bob about dolls, Big Bob steps in with “Boys can do whatever they want.” 

The Family Book. Todd Parr. (Pre-K – K)  All kinds of families are celebrated in a funny, silly and reassuring way. Includes adoptive families, stepfamilies, single-parent families, two-mom and two-dad families and families with a mom and a dad.

The Great Big Book of Families. Mary Hoffman. (Pre-K – 2)  Features all kinds of families and their lives together. Each spread showcases one aspect of home life - from houses and holidays, to schools and pets, to feelings and family trees. 

Harriet Gets Carried Away. Jessie Sima. (Toddler – K) Harriet, an African American girl, with two dads loves costumes and can get a little carried away! A fun story about remembering where you belong, no matter how far you roam, or what you’re wearing when you get there. 

I am Jazz. Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. (K – 5)  From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. Based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings.

Julián Is a Mermaid. Jessica Love. (Pre-K – 2) While riding the subway with his abuela. Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. When Julián gets home all he can think about is dressing up just like them. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, about how Julián sees himself? A story about the power of been seen and affirmed. 

Looking Like Me. Walter Dean Myers. (K – 3)  An African American boy celebrates all of who is, including a dancer, an artist and a writer.  Colorful collage illustrations and catchy rhymes. 

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match / Marisol McDonald no combina. Monica Brown. (K – 2)  Marisol McDonald, a biracial, nonconformist, soccer-playing pirate-princess with brown skin and red hair, celebrates her uniqueness. Bilingual. 

The Name Jar. Yangsook Choi. (K – 2)  The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. 

One. Kathryn Otoshi. (Pre-K – 1)  Red picks on Blue. The other colors don’t know what to do until One shows them how to stand up, stand together, and count. Also see, Zero. 

Prince & Knight. Daniel Haack (Pre-K - 1) A prince searched near and far for a bride. When his lands were threatened by a dragon, the prince raced back to protect his kingdom and was met by a brave knight in a suit of brightly shining armor. Together they fought the dragon and discovered that special something the prince was looking for all along. 

Red: A Crayon's Story. Michael Hall. (Pre-K – 1)  A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis. Almost everyone tries to “help” him be red until a friend offers a new perspective. He’s blue! About finding the courage to be true to your inner self. This can be read on multiple levels. 

Stella Brings the Family. Miriam B. Schiffer. (Pre-K – 1)  Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.

Whoever You Are / Quienquiera que seas. Mem Fox. (Pre-K – 1)  A celebration of the world’s diverse cultures, both our similarities and differences. “Whoever you are, wherever you are, there are little ones just like you all over the world.

Wings. Christopher Myers. (K – 2)  Take flight with Ikarus Jackson, the boy with wings who remains true to his dreams despite taunts. One girl realizes he must be lonely and resolves to stop the hurtful words.