This is a list of picture books featuring characters of varying ethnic backgrounds and experiences. I have read and enjoyed every book here with my sons ages 0-5. See over 60 more titles at
by Ezra Jack Keats The Snowy Day
This simple yet moving book is about a boy named Peter enjoying the wonders of winter.
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by Matt De La Pena Last Stop on Market Street
C.J. and his Nana ride a city bus on their way to serving at a soup kitchen. This beautiful story shows the importance of dignifying and loving all people.
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by Cathryn Falwell Feast for Ten
This book follows one family as they grocery shop and then prepare and enjoy a meal together at home. Lovely, collage-style illustrations.
follows the same family as they celebrate Christmas. Christmas for Ten
by Natasha Antastasia Tarpley Bippity Bop Barbershop
This book shares the story of Miles as he and his father go to the barbershop. Miles’ father shows him how to be brave for his first haircut. An upbeat, encouraging book.
by Debbie Carter The Animal Boogie
Children sing along as they discover jungle animals. The rhythmic language and vibrant illustrations make the book engaging.
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by Karen Hesse Come On, Rain!
A beautiful, lyrical book about the joy of rain after a drought and the ways people come together as a community.
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by Anna McQuinn Lola Reads to Leo
This book follows Lola as she welcomes a baby brother into the family. A gentle introduction to welcoming a younger sibling and a reminder of parents’ continued love for the older sibling.
by Lisa Brown The Airport Book
A young family navigates the airport together. This is a sweet, funny, informative book.
by Gaia Cornwall Jabari Jumps
This book is about a boy who faces his fears. His father encourages and cheers him on.
by Don Freeman Corduroy
This book follows a teddy bear in a department store on who looks for his lost button. A little girl shops with her mother, takes the bear home, and mends his overalls. Short and sweet.
by Julie Flett Birdsong
A poignant story about a girl who moves to a new home and finds a kindred spirit in her elderly neighbor.
by Leo and Diane Dillon Love and the Rocking Chair
This book tells the story of a family heirloom as it moves through generations. A beautiful story of family connectedness.
by Maurie J. Manning Kitchen Dance
A family enjoys an evening at home together. Mom and Dad dance into the night and the children come down to the kitchen and join them. Warm and exuberant.
by Ezra Jack Keats Peter’s Chair
Peter is not excited about a baby sister joining the family. He wrestles with the change and in the end accepts his new role.
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by Angela Johnson Do Like Kyla
A younger sister follows her older sister’s example throughout the day. A sweet winter story.
by Oge Mora Thank you, Omu!
An elderly woman makes a fragrant stew and shares it with neighbors. Celebrates generosity and community.
by Norton Juster The Hello, Goodbye Window
This book is about a young girl’s visit with her grandparents. Told from her perspective, it is filled with wonder, joy, and tenderness.
by Elizabeth Dale Off To Market
This heartwarming book reinforces the importance of putting others’ needs above your own. The words are rhythmic and and the illustrations are expressive and lighthearted.
by Pete Oswald Hike
This is a wordless picture book about a father and son who go on a hike and continue a family tree-planting tradition. Sometimes with wordless books it is difficult to trace the story arc and kids lose interest. This one is exceptionally engaging and our boys keep asking to read it. Plus it reinforces values like spending time outside, overcoming fears, and experiencing closeness with a family member.
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Multiethnic Picture Books