Childs hand reaching for books

Given the racial injustice and recent events in our country, parents are grappling with how to explain it to their children and ensure they raise children that not only love themselves, but love one another. 

Teaching kids to celebrate diversity and inclusivity is always important, and now is a great opportunity to start if you haven’t yet done so. If you’re struggling to find a way to start the conversation with your little ones, books are an age appropriate way to go. Whether you’re looking for ways to explain skin color differences or just want to celebrate diversity, we pulled together a list of some of the top children’s books for preschoolers through age 8 to get you started. 

We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Kates 

Who better than Sesame Street to teach us that we may all look different on the outside—but it's important to remember that deep down, we are all very much alike. Elmo and his Sesame Street friends help teach toddlers and the adults in their lives that everyone is the same on the inside, and it's our differences that make this wonderful world, which is home to us all, an interesting—and special—place. Ages 4-8. ($4.88)

I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont 

High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves—inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! Here's a little girl who knows what really matters. Ages baby-3. ($6.59)

Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora 

Emphasizing the rich diversity of America's neighborhoods, this simple portrait of a child's day provides a great introduction to the joy of language. Ages 3-5 ($6.99)

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold 

This New York Time Bestseller is a warm, welcoming picture book that celebrates diversity and gives encouragement and support to all kids. All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school. Ages 4-8 ($10.99)

This is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe

In Japan, Kei plays Freeze Tag, while in Uganda, Daphine likes to jump rope. While the way they play may differ, the shared rhythm of their days—and this one world we all share—unites them. This genuine exchange provides a window into traditions that may be different from our own as well as mirrors reflecting our common experiences. Ages 5-6 ($10.89)

Lovely by Jess Hong 

Big, small, curly, straight, loud, quiet, smooth, wrinkly. Lovely explores a world of differences that all add up to the same thing: we are all lovely! Ages 4-8. ($13.69)

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz 

Through the eyes of a little girl who begins to see her familiar world in a new way, this book celebrates the differences and similarities that connect all people. Ages 4-8. ($10.25)

It’s OK to be Different by Todd Parr 

It's Okay to Be Different cleverly delivers the important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in an accessible, child-friendly format. Targeted to young children first beginning to read, this book will inspire kids to celebrate their individuality through acceptance of others and self-confidence. Ages 3-6. ($7.99)

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara 

A is for Activist is an ABC board book written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for. Ages 4-7. ($9.97)

Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai

Malala's first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. Ages 4-8. ($14.24)

 The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson 

This New York Times Bestseller is a  poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone. Ages 5-8. ($11.53)

 I am Enough by Grace Byers 

This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another. Ages 4-8. ($13.28)

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers 

Every day, everywhere, babies are born. They're kissed and dressed and rocked and fed--and completely adored by the families that love them. With an irresistible rhyming text and delightfully endearing illustrations, this board book is an exuberant celebration of playing, sleeping, crawling, and, of course, very noisy babies doing all the wonderful things babies do best. Ages 2-3. ($6.89)

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal 

What’s in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from — and who she may one day be. Ages 4-8. ($12.29)

Let's Talk about Race by Julius Lester 

In this acclaimed book, the author  shares his own story as he explores what makes each of us special. A strong choice for sharing at home or in the classroom. Ages 4-8. ($7.99)

 The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes 

A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten, by the Newbery Honor-winning author of Crown. This New York Times Bestselling empowering story will give new kindergarteners a reassuring confidence boost. Ages 3-6. ($11.93)

Red: A Crayon’s Story

Red: A Crayon's Story is about being true to your inner self and following your own path despite obstacles that may come your way. Age 4-8. ($11.98)

Chocolate Me! By Taye Diggs 

A timely book about how it feels to be teased and taunted, and how each of us is sweet and lovely and delicious on the inside, no matter how we look. Age 4-8. ($5.99)

Same Same but Different 

Elliot lives in America, and Kailash lives in India. They are pen pals. By exchanging letters and pictures, they learn that they both love to climb trees, have pets, and go to school. Their worlds might look different, but they are actually similar. Same, same. But different! Age 4-8. ($24.99)

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler 

With the ease and simplicity of a nursery rhyme, this lively story delivers an important message of social acceptance to young readers. This delightful picture book offers a wonderful venue through which parents and teachers can discuss important social concepts with their children. Ages 4-8. ($17.85)

Families, Families. Families by Suzanne Lang 

This adorable book shares the messages that no matter your size, shape, or pedigree--if you love each other, you are a family!Moms, dads, sisters, brothers — and even Great Aunt Sue — appear in dozens of combinations, demonstrating all kinds of nontraditional families! Ages 3-7. ($14.12)