Multicultural Books for Preschoolers

Multicultural books for preschoolers or multicultural books for kids in general, continue to become a bigger part of the children’s books that are being published each year.  Children need to see themselves in books.

Scan your own bookshelves, how many multicultural books can you count?  If you were like me, not enough!

Though the choices in multicultural books are growing, publishers still have bigger strides to make.  I find that I have to be very intentional in seeking out great multicultural books to fill our shelves.

To make your life easier, I’ve created a list of some of our favorite titles for preschoolers.  This list just scratches the surface. Let’s start exploring.

multicultural books for preschoolers

Multicultural Books for Preschoolers

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Gracias~Thanks by Pat Mora uses simple English and Spanish text to explain being grateful for things during the day from dawn until dusk.  This is a wonderful book to introduce the idea of gratitude journals with kids.

Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke is an award winning book. It is the story of a mother and her baby who visit a market in South West Nigeria. While Mama shops, different sellers give the adorable baby different foods to sample and keep. Baby fills Mama’s basket with lots of extra market samples. It’s not until the end of the story that Mama discovers her heavy load.  Also, check out Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke.

Of all the books on this list, the illustrations in this one rank at the top for me. In a Village by the Sea by Muon Van begins with a Vietnamese fisherman on a boat thinking about his home.  Each page zooms in closer to his home where we find his wife in the kitchen all the way to a cricket in a whole in the wall.  There is just as much to explore in the illustrations as there is within the words.

Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin is a fun one to enjoy with preschoolers.  In Saffron Ice Cream kids learn about the common pleasures of swimming and enjoying ice cream in two different parts of the world- Iran and Brooklyn, NY.

Celebrate the World Series Each board book introduces little ones to the world through cultural celebrations. These are board books but are really relevant to the preschool crowd. There are currently four books in the series- Lunar New Year, Ramadan, Dia de los Muertos, and Diwali.

Red is a Dragon by Roseanne Thong not only exposes kids to colors but also learning about the Chinese-American culture.

Another book about colors but themed around a Hispanic culture is award winning, Green is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Thong.  It’s a very rhythmic read and the illustrations are vibrant and engaging.

One of my son’s all-time favorite books is Bee-Bim-Bop by Linda Sue Park.  The rhythmic text makes it a perfect read-aloud book.  A Korean family busily preps for dinner together.  It’s all about food AND family.  And, you have to try the recipe included in the book.  It’s fantastic!  Also, check out No Kimchi For Me by Aram Kim.

Rainbow Stew has appeared on Growing Book by Book before.  I love it.  In fact, I’m featuring it in my new e-book, Read, Create & Share. An African-American family venture out into the wet garden with grandpa to pick produce for the vegetable stew.  It’s great for teaching kids about gardening, healthy eating and color recognition.  Plus, there is a recipe included to do some cooking with your preschooler.

All children should see themselves in books.  I’m always amazed at the patience African-American little ones need to display when they have their hair done.  Kids will truly see themselves in I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley.  A few other books to check out are Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cutby Derrick Barnes and Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry.

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz is the story of a little girl who wants to paint a picture of herself. After a walk through the neighborhood with her mom, she discovers that there are lots of different shades of color in the people that she meets.  We are all people, but we are each unique is the overriding theme.

Under My Hijab by Hena Khan and published by showcases the different ways a hijab can be worn as well as featuring when they are and aren’t worn by women. It’s a wonderful book to bring awareness to this dressing practice by Muslim women.

I’m always a softie for books about books. Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter is about a man that travels on his two burros named Alfa and Beto through the Colombian hills bringing books to people in small villages. One warning…there was one page that I felt was out of place and not really needed.  While the man is traveling, he encounters a bandit with a gun.  The bandit ends up taking a book since the man doesn’t have money.  My boys were a bit surprised by the gun and we had to spend a great deal of time talking about it.  The book is based on a true story.

Printable Preschool Multicultural Book List

best preschool multicultural books for children

Grab a printable book list of the books shared above.

This list doesn’t cover every culture, but it is a start.  I’d love to hear what multicultural books you think every preschooler should enjoy.

Related Posts

Multicultural Books for Babies

Favorite New Books for Preschoolers

Favorite Books for 4-5 Year-Olds

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More About Multicultural Children’s Book Day

See more multicultural books HERE.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings,

Platinum

Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls,

Gold

Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS: A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,

Silver

Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,

Bronze

Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers Books, TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books, Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

Author Sponsor 

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Lauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylinkHere Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

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  • This post first appeared on Growing Book by Book on 1/11/16.

 

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Multicultural Books for Preschoolers