18 Children’s Books With Characters of Color

18 Children's Books with Characters of Color

After our post on raising race-conscious children, we wanted to share some books for kids featuring characters of different races and ethnicities. Some talk about race directly (like A Piece of Home), and some are simply about children’s everyday adventures (such as Airport). Here are 18 we like…

Do you have any other recommendations? We’d love to hear.

(Top image from the beautiful book Max and the Tag-Along Moon.)

  1. Shelly says...

    Corduroy! A favorite of mine, also a favorite of my daughter.

    Re: Ada Twist, my daughter loves that series! They also have Rosie Revere Engineer and Iggy Peck, architect (clearly STEM themed). She compares herself to Ada and Rosie when building with Duplos and problem solving. She often requests “Ada Twist buns” in her hair.

    Thanks for this list!

  2. Tiek Johnson says...

    What book is the the little boy with the golden sun from? Btw great post.

  3. Rachel says...

    My girls love the book, “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.”

  4. erin says...

    Revisited this page after this doozey of a week. Buying up a bunch of these books to donate this holiday season. Thank you again for being a positive force and for being one of the few bloggers not afraid to speak up before election day.

  5. Phylicia Q says...

    Thank you so much for posting this list! I’m an African American mom to an amazing 10 year old girl. I was VERY passionate about her seeing herself in her books as she grew so I’ve built a pretty cool library over the years consisting of many of the books already mentioned. I must say one of my faves is The Colors of Us by Karen Katz.

    A girl and her artist mom take a stroll through the neighborhood to see all the various skin colors of the wonderful people they live around. I love that the book refers to each skin tone so deliciously using words like honey, peaches and chocolate. Somehow we managed to score a giant size of this book. Such a beautiful way to teach about diversity. Still love it!

  6. Laura says...

    I didn’t see them on here when I apple-f’d, so I just thought I’d add:

    Everybody Eats Rice – a child visits his neighbors in a multiethnic neighborhood and each of them invite him to taste their own delicious recipes made with rice.
    Too Many Tamales – a latin family make tamales for Christmas.
    How My Parents Learned to Eat – a child tells the story of how his parents attempted to learn how to eat with different utensils (Japanese and Western) in order to impress the other.
    Jamaica Tag Along – a black girl learns to play with others.

    This is such a valuable list Joanna! It brings back so many good memories and has also made me aware that I was obsessed with food from a young age.

  7. Nina says...

    There is also this fabulous free app called WeReadToo that lists books by authors of color and feature characters of color

    We Read Too by Kaya Thomas

  8. Rebecca says...

    Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp by Mercer Mayer is one of our faves!

  9. Such a great post! Its great to find some great books with people who look like me. Growing up it was always so hard because there were no heroes of color so I always felt torn. Am I meant to be the bad guy? But nope there are apparently a ton of role models out there and luckily we have post like this one to unearth them! Great job!

  10. Jo-Ann says...

    Anything by Grace Lin especially “Dim Sum for Everyone!” and “The Ugly Vegetables.”

    • Yes to all the Grace Lin books! We also like the Ling and Ting stories. :)

  11. Julie says...

    Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang is one of my 2-year-old’s favorites!

  12. My husband is biracial and his mother read “Black is Brown is Tan” to all 4 of her kids (starting over 40 years ago !) and still gifts the book to families today.

  13. Cathryn Falwell says...

    So honored to see some of my books listed here. It’s so important for ALL children to have books that have diverse characters. Happy Reading, everyone!