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    15 Inclusive Children's Books To Diversify Your Family's Bookshelf

    My family has read (and loved!) every single one of these — and I hope you like them, too.

    An illustrated header: 15 Kids Books To Diversify Your Bookshelf
    Alexa Fishman / BuzzFeed

    Hello! I'm Kathleen, and I have the absolute joy of reading to my 3.5-year-old son and my 18-month-old daughter every day. And we read A LOT.

    The author's son reads a book on a couch with his dog.
    Kathleen Shea-Porter / Via BuzzFeed

    There is no shortage in our house of books featuring animals (turns out, we REALLY love dogs). But I'm always on the lookout for new books featuring, ya know, real humans.

    Every couple of months, I do an audit of our book rotation to ensure we're reading books that feature things like BIPOC protagonists (not just historical figures, but everyday people, too), multi-cultural authors and illustrators, families of all types and structures, children with disabilities, etc.

    We've spent this past year mostly at home, so books have been one of the best tools to teach my children about the world. Growing up, I don't remember having many books that reflected my own multiracial family, so seeing so many wonderful options out there for children now just feels good.

    And real talk: Doing my best to raise kind, anti-racist children feels like one of the most important things I'll ever do. I'm so grateful to have books to help me on that journey.

    After all, there is so much more to reading a book to a child than just reciting the words on the pages. Experts and educators agree that books can be a powerful tool to teach things like equity and empathy to developing minds.

    Here are some of my recent favorite books. They are all pulled from my own research as well as recommendations from experts and bookstagrammers I follow. My family has read (and loved!) every single one — and we hope you like them, too. 📚

    Quick pro tip: We haven't gone to the library in the past year (can't wait to eventually go back!), but we have "checked out" picture books using the Libby app. It's not the same as having the books in your hands, but it's a great option if you aren't looking to purchase a book.

    1. Kamala and Maya's Big Idea by Meena Harris

    2. Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho

    3. Why Do We Cry? by Fran Pintadera

    4. The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com / Via youtube.com

    Okay, so this book recommendation comes from two people I WISH were my friends. (BTW, this video of Barack and Michelle Obama reading The Word Collector is one of my go-tos when we need a quick break and I am too tired to do the reading.) As a self-described word nerd, this one spoke to me. It was also a helpful tool to introduce new vocabulary.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.65 or Bookshop for $16.54.

    5. Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari

    6. Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

    7. The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali

    8. Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

    9. Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard

    10. What Does it Mean to Be American? by Rana DiOrio and Elad Yoran

    11. A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu

    12. Corduroy by Don Freeman

    The cover of the classic children's book, Corduroy
    Viking Books for Young Readers

    This is a classic book and a charming story about an adventurous bear, but also features a young girl named Lisa. As a kid, you love Corduroy's adventure in the store and relate to the little girl who finally takes him home. As an adult, you notice and appreciate so much more about the book. And those last couple of pages? They hit me hard during our last reading.

    Get it from Amazon for $4.41 or Bookshop for $7.35.

    13. IntersectionAllies by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi

    14. The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi

    15. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

    I'm already looking for our next book! What are your favorite books featuring BIPOC characters? Who are your favorite authors? Let me know in the comments!

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