Does your home or classroom library reflect the diversity of our world?

Children internalize messages about themselves and others from a very young age. Their brains are wired to categorize things somewhat rigidly, which can often result in misconceptions. (“Only boys can be firefighters!”) Diverse and inclusive books encourage both positive self-image and acceptance of differences in others. But how can you know if the books you choose are really sending the right messages? Here are some helpful guidelines:

1. First and foremost, it should be a good book. Is it a good story or, in the case of nonfiction, is it interesting and age-appropriate? Are the illustrations artistic and inviting?

2. Seek out diverse human characters. Books with animal characters certainly have their place, but make sure you have books in your collection that feature diverse human characters too. (Download our quiz to learn about many types of diversity!)

3. Look out for stereotypes. Does the book contain stereotypes in either the language or illustrations? (Not sure if characters are stereotypical? Do some research on stereotypes that have historically been associated with a particular culture or group of people.)

4. Is it a “window” or a “mirror”? Both are important! Books can serve as windows through which children can learn about others, and also as mirrors in which they see their own lives reflected. Will children learn about others or see themselves in the book?

5. Make sure the information is accurate. If the book talks explicitly about a country, culture, or group of people, it should be specific and precise in its presentation. For instance, a book about Native American characters should include details about the particular tribe or tribes being represented, as opposed to lumping all Native American people or customs into one category.

6. Check to see if it’s relatable. Books that depict diverse characters doing everyday things help children build empathy by showing that we all share things in common.

7. Think about the author’s and illustrator’s qualifications. Do the author and / or illustrator come from the culture or group they are depicting? If not, what qualifies them to create this book sensitively, accurately and without bias?


Want to do a diversity audit on your home or classroom library?

 

 


Find diverse & inclusive books

  1. That's Mine!
    That's Mine!

    Starting at $8.99

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  2. Undies, Please!
    Undies, Please!

    Starting at $8.99

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  3. Rooftop Garden
    Rooftop Garden

    Starting at $9.99

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  4. Scrap Metal Swan
    Scrap Metal Swan

    Starting at $9.99

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  5. Nour's Secret Library
    Nour's Secret Library

    Starting at $9.99

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  6. Zahra's Blessing
    Zahra's Blessing

    Starting at $9.99

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  7. Yoga Pretzels
    Yoga Pretzels

    Starting at $16.99

    Rating:
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  8. Yoga Adventure!
    Yoga Adventure!

    Starting at $9.99

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  9. Dinosaur Rap
    Dinosaur Rap

    Starting at $9.99

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  10. Mindful Kids
    Mindful Kids

    Starting at $16.99

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  11. To Carnival!
    To Carnival!

    Starting at $9.99

    Rating:
    100%
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  12. Dinner on Domingos
    Dinner on Domingos

    Starting at $9.99

    Rating:
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  13. Dumpling Day
    Dumpling Day

    Starting at $9.99

    Rating:
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  14. Barefoot Books Children of the World
    Barefoot Books Children of the World

    Starting at $16.99

    Rating:
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  15. Global Kids
    Global Kids
    Rating:
    100%
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  16. From My Window
    From My Window

    Starting at $9.99

    Rating:
    80%
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  17. Baby's First Words
    Baby's First Words

    Starting at $7.99

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  18. The Bread Pet
    The Bread Pet

    Starting at $9.99

    Rating:
    100%
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  19. The Boy Who Grew Flowers
    The Boy Who Grew Flowers

    Starting at $6.99

    Rating:
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  20. The Book Tree
    The Book Tree

    Starting at $9.99

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  21. La Frontera
    La Frontera

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    Rating:
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  22. The Animal Boogie
    The Animal Boogie

    Starting at $9.99

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  23. Family Reunion
    Family Reunion

    Starting at $8.99

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  24. Run, Little Chaski!
    Run, Little Chaski!

    Starting at $9.99

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  25. My Friend Robot!
    My Friend Robot!

    Starting at $10.99

    Rating:
    100%
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  26. My Panda Sweater
    My Panda Sweater

    Starting at $8.99

    Rating:
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  27. A Place to Stay
    A Place to Stay

    Starting at $9.99

    Rating:
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  28. Here and There
    Here and There

    Starting at $9.99

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  29. Ruby's Baby Brother
    Ruby's Baby Brother

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  30. Lola's Fandango
    Lola's Fandango

    Starting at $9.99

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  31. Fiesta Femenina
    Fiesta Femenina
    was $16.99 Special Price $12.99
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  32. The More We Get Together
    The More We Get Together

    Starting at $9.99

    Rating:
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  33. Let's Celebrate!
    Let's Celebrate!

    Starting at $9.99

    Rating:
    80%
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  34. Five Little Mermaids
    Five Little Mermaids

    Starting at $10.99

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  35. Just Like Brothers
    Just Like Brothers

    Starting at $9.99

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  36. Dump Truck Disco
    Dump Truck Disco

    Starting at $9.99

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  37. Baby Food
    Baby Food

    Starting at $7.99

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  38. Baby Dream
    Baby Dream

    Starting at $7.99

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  39. Baby Play
    Baby Play

    Starting at $7.99

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  40. Baby Talk
    Baby Talk

    Starting at $7.99

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  41. The Farmyard Jamboree
    The Farmyard Jamboree

    Starting at $9.99

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  42. Outdoor Opposites
    Outdoor Opposites

    Starting at $10.99

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  43. Ready, Set, Go!
    Ready, Set, Go!

    Starting at $8.99

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  44. The Shape Song Swingalong
    The Shape Song Swingalong

    Starting at $10.99

    Rating:
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  45. Space Song Rocket Ride
    Space Song Rocket Ride

    Starting at $9.99

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  46. The Wheels on the Bus
    The Wheels on the Bus

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