7 Books for Babies and Toddlers That Celebrate Diversity

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What's an easy way to raise a little mensch? Read your child diverse books! 

Babies and toddlers spend so much of their day intently studying faces that by the time they turn five, they’re able to identify and label facial expressions with almost as much accuracy as adults.

When you read your child books with diverse characters and messages of love and acceptance, they learn to embrace differences, develop empathy, and explore the world around them.

Here's a short list of adorable, sweet, (and durable for teethers) books, perfect for toddlers and babies. 

Related: Resources For Talking With Children About Race and Racism

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers

Every day, everywhere, babies are born. They're kissed and dressed and rocked and fed--and completely adored by the families who love them. With an irresistible rhyming text and delightfully endearing illustrations, here is an exuberant celebration of playing, sleeping, crawling, and of course, very noisy babies doing all the wonderful things babies do best. Description provided by Bookshop.org.


Dream Big, Little One

Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison

This beautifully illustrated board book edition of instant bestseller Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History showcases women who changed the world and is the perfect goodnight book to inspire big dreams. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come. Description adapted from Little, Brown and Company.


Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

This fun, inclusive board book celebrates the one thing that makes every family a family . . . and that's LOVE. Description from Bookshop.org.


The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

With the ease and simplicity of a nursery rhyme, this lively story delivers an important message of social acceptance to young readers. Vivid illustrations of children's activities for all cultures, such as swimming in the ocean, hugging, catching butterflies, and eating birthday cake are also provided. This delightful picturebook offers a wonderful venue through which parents and teachers can discuss important social concepts with their children. Description provided by Goodreads.


My Face Book by Star Bright Books

Babies adore looking at faces -- whether they’re smiling or frowning, all expressions are captivating. This book offers up some Hebrew while also presenting a variety of fascinating baby faces. Your little one will want to “read” these faces again and again!


Sign Language Shabbat by Alisa Greenbacher & Jennifer Rosner

Many families celebrate Shabbat with special meals at home or with friends. The children in this book are signing words for some of the things people do on Shabbat, such as eat challah (braided egg bread), drink wine or grape juice, sing Shabbat songs, and read books. No matter how you and your loved ones choose to mark Shabbat, sharing quality time together is the best part


We Are Jewish Faces by Debra B. Darvick

The book overflows with clear, colorful images of faces of all ages and ethnicities dancing the hora at a wedding, hugging a Torah, eating matzah, blowing a shofar, lighting a menorah, hula hooping, and playing musical instruments. Yemenite, Asian, African American, and Caucasian faces giggle, smile, frown, and celebrate joyous moments on the playful pages of this gentle rhyming book.


More

These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids via The New York Times
Free Bookish Printables, Crafts and Coloring Sheets with Diverse Characters via Here Wee Read
How to Talk to Kids About Race: Books and Resources That Can Help via Read Brightly