7. Chocolate Milk, Por Favor!
This book came out in 2015, and with the racial tensions that still exist in our country, the timing was just right. The theme of Chocolate Milk, Por Favor! is “celebrating diversity with empathy,” and it’s a message that applies to any kid, regardless of race. In the story, we meet Gabe on his first day of school in America, where he doesn’t speak English. A simple act of kindness makes all the difference in making Gabe feel welcome and included in his new home. (Amazon.com, $11)
8. Alphabet Kids book series
This multicultural series of books features kids of all different ethnicities who experience intolerance but grow through the discovery of their own customs, strengths and appreciation of others’ differences. These affordable reads help promote tolerance and understanding of cultural diversity through situations with which kids can identify. The Alphabet Kids book series is geared toward kids ages 2 to 7. (AlphabetKids.com, $35 for the complete set)
9. The Sneetches
Unlike many of the Dr. Seuss books you know, this children’s book contains a number of short stories that weave a message of tolerance and teach kids about diversity. Through The Sneetches, The Zax and two other stories, the lesson that friendship is more important than differences is delivered through Dr. Seuss’s lovable way. The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss is great for kids ages 5 and up. (Amazon.com, $10)
10. The Sandwich Swap
When a small disagreement over a hummus sandwich causes two best friends to divide, the story spreads across the school and transforms into intolerance. In an effort to mend fences, the principal helps the girls to celebrate their differences while giving the student body a lesson in the beauty of cultural diversity. The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah and Kelly DiPucchio is a wonderful choice for kids ages 3 and up. (Amazon.com, $10)
11. Children Just Like Me
Based on interviews with youngsters from all around the world, this children’s book celebrates the beauty of cultural diversity while linking the worldwide similarities children of all walks of life share. Filled with photos and information on children of every continent in more than 140 countries, young readers will learn the foods, living conditions and fun in communities that are more similar to their own than they may first think. Children Just Like Me: A Unique Celebration of Children Around the World by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley was created in collaboration with UNICEF and is ideal for kids grades three to six. (Amazon.com, $16)
12. The Colors of Us
Through a little girl’s quest to paint a picture of herself, Lena and her mother take a walk through their neighborhood to understand that skin color comes in all sorts of shades. As Lena and her mother compare each person’s skin color to food, such as honey, cinnamon and more, diversity is put in a perspective even small children can grasp. The Colors of Us by Karen Katz is terrific for children ages 4 and up. (Barnes & Noble, $24)
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