10 Books to Teach Children About Diversity and Inclusion

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

We all want to raise our children to be respectful and kind individuals. And it’s never too early to start. A study from the 2000s showed that infants as early as 6 months start to categorise people by colour.  And as early as three years, children are starting to show bias towards colour and gender.  

For parents, talking to children about inclusive behaviour can be complicated. Books are a fantastic way to start - introducing little ones to the concept of diversity and normalising those differences. Luckily there are many books available that talk to diversity - from race, religion, even different households. Here are a few to get you started.  

1. I’m Australian Too, By Mem Fox

Australian children’s author Mem Fox is known for her children’s books that encourage respectful relationships and promote equality. I’m Australian Too is a wonderful book that celebrates Australia’s multi-cultural heritage. Highlighting all the different places where Australian’s originate – from China, Greece, Afghanistan and everywhere in between. The book ends with a lovely message around welcoming all cultures to our beautiful country.

2. Welcome to Country, By Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin and Lisa Kennedy

Welcome to Country depicts a traditional Aboriginal ceremony, brought to life in beautiful, soulful and earthy illustrations. Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy is a respected senior Wurundjeri elder of the Kulin alliance. She has created an accessible book that introduces young readers to the customs and symbols of Indigenous Australia.

3. Here We Are, By Oliver Jeffers 

Anything by Oliver Jeffers is sure to be a stunning children’s book, and this one is possibly one of his best. Here We Are is a book written for Oliver’s child, introducing them to Planet Earth and all it’s beauty. This book highlights just how unique and small the world is, and how we are all citizens of Earth that should love, accept and support each other.

4. 10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes, By Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury

This is another great book from Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. This classic book highlights plenty of opposites, but when it comes down to it we are all the same... Happy little people with 10 little fingers, and 10 little toes. 

5. The Colors of Us, Karen Katz

This book is a positive, uplifting look at skin colour through the eyes of a young girl. Lena wants to paint a picture of herself and selects a brown paint for her skin. But her mother decides to take her for a walk and show her that brown, like skin colour comes in many different shades. And that's what makes our world wonderful.

6. Love Makes A Family, By Sophie Beer 

This positive, fun book is by Australian author Sophie Beer. Featuring single parents, two mums, two dads, one of each , or grandparents and more. This book will teach little ones that families come in all shapes and sizes.  But there is one thing that makes a family a family... and that's love.

7. All Bodies Are Good Bodies, By Charlotte Barkla

Bold and beautiful, loud and proud, All Bodies are Good Bodies in this uplifting book about different body features and types. It promotes the development of body acceptance and celebrates inclusivity and individuality.

8. Hats of Faith, By Madeia Cohan 

Hats of Faith is a simple and striking introduction to the shared custom of religious head coverings. With bright images and a carefully researched interfaith text, this thoughtful book inspires understanding and celebrates our diverse world.

9. I am Enough, By Grace Byers

This book is a beautiful and inspiring ode to loving who you are. With messages of being proud of who you are, accepting of others and embracing your uniqueness, this is a particularly powerful book for young girls to build their confidence and to accept others. 

10. Little People Series, By Isabel Sanchez Vegara

There is no better way to show children the importance of equality, than by showing them the stories of real people who overcame hardship to achieve big things. This series highlights a range of different famous faces from history who overcame adversity from racism, disabilities, and gender bias to achieve great things.

Michelle Lomas is a content marketing specialist who recently launched her own small business.  

Michelle has 15 years’ experience working in content and digital marketing.

She has worked in senior positions in publishing houses in both New York and Sydney.  But after the birth of her son, she realised her high-powered busy life needed to change. She is now on a journey of transformation, building her own business and finding a better balance for her and her family.  She is passionate in sharing her journey with others to help them find the support to transition into motherhood their way, and to know they are not alone. 

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