The Children’s Books Starring Girls of Color Every Kid Should Read

Did you know January 31 is National Multicultural Children’s Book Day? Well, now you do. And what better way to celebrate than by reading through a pile of the best and most beautiful children’s books on the market — all starring girls of color?

Teaching our kids about diversity is imperative; when we play and work with people of different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, abilities, religions, and perspectives, we do challenging mental work that enhances creativity. We become, in effect, smarter. And regardless of our kids’ own heritage or the diversity of our own neighborhood, we can positively introduce children to diverse stories through picture books — like our favorites ahead.

For children of color, who bear unequal stresses from racism, reading about characters who look like them can be inspiring and motivating. And for all children, reading about kids who don’t look like them can foster social and emotional intelligence and expand their worldview.

Ahead, we’ve rounded up nine picture books featuring modern, memorable girls of color. Combining great illustration with classic themes like love, growth and possibility, these are excellent books to read to children of all backgrounds. Because if there’s one thing this world needs, it’s more powerful, smart little girls.

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