We are so lucky to be in a world with people of all different cultures, while also having the level of technology for which we can share and learn about our lives and cultural backgrounds! In our modern age, we are gifted with the ability to interact with people from all over the world, share what our lives look like, and appreciate people from all different backgrounds. As we raise new people in this world, we can teach them the importance of diversity, starting with the books they read. It may be overwhelming when starting to look at different diverse children’s books, as there are so many options to choose from, so here are some special picks that are some great options to diversify your library!

1. It’ll be Irie by Donn Swaby

This book depicts the story of a young boy who immigrates from Jamaica to New York, where he tries his hardest to learn about American culture in order to fit in, only to learn that the real beauty is in who he already is, and what he has to offer the world as a young Jamaican boy!

2. Three Pockets Full by Cindy L. Rodriguez

This book depicts Mexican culture, particularly through a traditional wedding shirt, called a guayabera. As a little boy Luis dreads wearing a shirt to a wedding, he learns its significance in his culture and how to embrace and appreciate his heritage.

3. Raja’s Pet Camel by Anita Amin

A young boy from India dreams of having a pet, but most of the animals in India, where he lives, are used and trained for working. This adorable story follows a young Indian boy, filled with beautiful illustrations of his hometown and neighbors.

4. I Can Be All Three by Salima Alikhan

This story shares the story of a young mixed race girl, who is Indian and German, learns to appreciate all aspects of her culture and identity, as she incorporates both heritages, along with her own personality and interests, into her daily life, and how she chooses to express herself. This is an adorable story about appreciating every part of what makes up your personal identity, along with the beauty of different cultures!

5. My Shadow is Purple by Scott Stuart

My Shadow is purple follows a young child who does not identify within the gender binary, and learns to appreciate their own identity, while respecting others as well. Expressing your identity goes beyond ethnicity, as we all have our own identities that make up who we are as an individual, and it is important to share that it is okay to not be like everyone else!

While these are only a few suggestions, there are many other books that share stories of different identities and cultures, all of which that can share the importance of respecting and appreciating yourself and others. Give all these books a read and share with those around you, as they are beautiful stories that not only diversify your library, but your perspective!

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Emma Bender is a third-year student at Michigan State University, studying English Literature and History. Outside of classes, she enjoys working at a coffee shop and bookstore, as well as holding the title of Vice President of MSU’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, a national English honor society.