top of page
The Best Children's books Helping Kids Rise Picture Books Parenting.jpg

Diverse Books For All Ages

Books That Celebrate Every Story, Every Voice, Every Child

25 Diverse Children's Books Published in April 2023 (+ Free Printable)

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links


This resource list is a labor of love that includes publisher's descriptions along with links for more information. Publishing dates may change for a variety of reasons. These books were submitted to us by publishers, authors, and the Helping Kids Rise community.


If you notice a book that fits our mission that is not featured here, please send us an email to let us know. We'll be happy to add them to our Bookshop.


Related Reading: Check out our previous lists here: Gigantic List of Diverse Books Published

 
Diverse Childrens Book Cover

In this timely follow-up to the best-selling, genre-defining Young, Gifted and Black, you can meet 52 more Black icons from around the world - this time spanning even more countries and including inspiring figures from as far back as the 1500s right up to present-day heroes.


Featuring the stories of recent changemakers such as Amanda Gorman and Naomi Osaka, as well as historic talents such as Juan Latino and Yaa Asantewaa, Jamia Wilson has curated a new selection of inspiring black icons illustrated by Andrea Pippins' colorful and celebratory artwork.


Covering 52 figures, the book is ideal for educators and homeschoolers studying Black excellence, with a new figure to explore every week of the year. Biographies are ordered chronologically, and the range of figures showcases an even more global selection in line with the movement towards decolonizing our history and curricula.


The 52 icons: Juan Latino, Queen Nanny, Toussaint Louverture, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Olaudah Equiano, Alexander Pushkin, Yaa Asantewaa, Moses and Calvin McKissack, Ann Lowe, Albert Luthuli, Charles Drew, Thurgood Marshall, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, George Washington Gibbs Jr., Jackie Robinson, Bertina Lopes, Frantz Fanon, Hans Massaquoi, Coretta Scott King, Mariama Ba, Gladys Mae West, Chinua Achebe, Alvin Ailey, Miriam Makeba, Annie Easley, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Fela Kuti, John Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Angela Davis, Bob Marley, Octavia Butler, Thomas Sankara, Iman, Prince, Ozwald Boateng, Marcus Samuelsson, Leymah Gbowee, Laverne Cox, Phoebe Robinson, Lewis Hamilton, Michaela Coel, Colin Kaepernick, Kadeena Cox, Aisha Dee, Adenike Oladosu, Naomi Osaka, Amanda Gorman, Chloe x Halle, Ntando Mahlangu, Zaila Avant-garde, Mari Copeny.


Strong, courageous, talented, and diverse, these extraordinary men and women's achievements will inspire a new generation to chase their dream ... whatever it may be.

FIND IT HERE


Diverse Childrens Book Cover

Discover the incredible story of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who followed her childhood dream of becoming a lawyer and eventually became the first Black woman to sit on the US Supreme Court in this picture book biography.


After 232 years and 115 appointments, Ketanji Onyika Brown Jackson became the first Black woman appointed to serve on the US Supreme Court. With Tami Charles's sweeping lyricism and Jemma Skidmore's unforgettable illustrations, readers learn about the narratives that have shaped the Justice's life, and how this historic moment will be impressed upon the minds of the young dreamers of the future.


FIND IT HERE


A mermaid and a pirate build a friendship through kindness, empathy, and shared adventure in this heartwarming picture book by New York Times bestselling author Tracey Baptiste, with bright, bold illustrations by Leisl Adams.


Glub glub...


Aargh...


Mermaid and Pirate cannot understand each other. They speak different languages and come from different worlds. But they're quick to lend a hand, or a tail, when the sky grows stormy and waters get rough, and a friendship is born. Sometimes kindness and generosity speak louder than words.


FIND IT HERE


Farah loves mangos! She could eat them all day long and she wouldn't mind living in one either.


Every summer when she visits her Grandpa they always pick the ripe fruit from his mango tree.


This year, however, the tree is empty! Farah puts her mind to it and decides she will make the tree bear fruit. But perhaps Farah will learn there is more to a mango tree than just the fruit it bares?


FIND IT HERE


The Courage of the Little Hummingbird by Leah Henderson, illus by Magaly Morales | Publisher's Description

I want to be Big! by Tiffany Golden, illus by Sawyer Cloud | Publisher's Description

Sam and the Incredible African and American Food Fight by Shannon Gibney, Illus by Charly Palmer | Publisher's Description


A sweet sibling story all about making family traditions your own--perfect for fans of Alma and How She Got Her Name and Welcome to the Party


Today's the day! It's Baby Sister's naming ceremony, and big sister Amira could not be more excited. She has the perfect name picked out . . . or, at least, she hopes it's the perfect name.


One by one, friends and family arrive. As Amira greets them, she asks what name they have brought to give to Baby Sister. Each is more beautiful than the last--Shakira, Akahana, Uhwe. And each has its own special meaning--thankful, red flower, moonlight. Amira knows that Baby Sister will love these names. But will she love the name Amira has chosen? Is it special enough?


A story about rich traditions and the unique bond between sisters, Naming Ceremony celebrates multigenerational family and Black joy.


FIND IT HERE


From a multi-award-winning pair comes a deeply affecting portrait of determination against discrimination: the story of young spelling champion MacNolia Cox.


MacNolia Cox was no ordinary kid.

Her idea of fun was reading the dictionary.


In 1936, eighth grader MacNolia Cox became the first African American to win the Akron, Ohio, spelling bee. And with that win, she was asked to compete at the prestigious National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, where she and a girl from New Jersey were the first African Americans invited since its founding. She left her home state a celebrity--right up there with Ohio's own Joe Louis and Jesse Owens--with a military band and a crowd of thousands to see her off at the station. But celebration turned to chill when the train crossed the state line into Maryland, where segregation was the law of the land. Prejudice and discrimination ruled--on the train, in the hotel, and, sadly, at the spelling bee itself. With a brief epilogue recounting MacNolia's further history, How Do You Spell Unfair? is the story of her groundbreaking achievement magnificently told by award-winning creators and frequent picture-book collaborators Carole Boston Weatherford and Frank Morrison.


FIND IT HERE


The true story of John Meyers and Charles Bender, who in 1911 became the first two Native pro baseball players to face off in a World Series. This picture book teaches important lessons about resilience, doing what you love in the face of injustice, and the fight for Native American representation in sports.


Charles Bender grew up on the White Earth Reservation in Northwestern Minnesota. John Meyers was raised on the Cahuilla reservation in Southern California. Despite their mutual respect for each other's talents and their shared dedication to Native representation in baseball, the media was determined to pit them against each other.


However, they never gave up on their dreams of being pro baseball players and didn't let the supposed rivalry created by the media or the racism they faced within the stadium stop them. They continued to break barriers and went on to play a combined total of nine championships.


With text by Traci Sorell and illustrations by Arigon Starr that brings these two players to life, the stories of John Meyers and Charles Bender remain an inspiration for achieving and maintaining one's dreams in the face of prejudice.


FIND IT HERE


Internationally acclaimed poet John Agard recalls the journey made by the thousands of Caribbean children and their families who traveled to Britain between 1948 and 1971 as part of the Windrush generation.


With one last hug, Windrush child says goodbye to his grandmother and the shores of his Caribbean home before embarking on an adventure across the ocean--under a sky full of promise--to an unknown horizon. With sensitivity and tender lyricism, world-renowned and multi-award-winning poet John Agard narrates the epic story of a child's voyage to England aboard Empire Windrush. Joyous illustrations by debut artist Sophie Bass richly evoke the changing landscapes and the uncertainty, courage, and hope of those who step into history--and travel far in search of home.


FIND IT HERE


A delicious picture book about the ways plantains shape Latinx culture, community, and family, told through a young girl's experiences in the kitchen with her abuela.


Abuela says, "plátanos are love."

I thought they were food.

But Abuela says they feed us in more ways than one.


With every pop of the tostones, mash of the mangú, and sizzle of the maduros, a little girl learns that plátanos are her history, they are her culture, and--most importantly--they are love.


FIND IT HERE


In this love letter to the Philippines (and to grandmothers), a young girl comes up with a brilliantly delicious way to attract customers after a heat wave leaves her lola's store empty.


Nora loves spending summers with Lola at her sari-sari store, a treasure trove filled with everything you could need, from hair accessories to toys, creamy yema to sour tamarind candy. And this year, Nora is big enough to help her grandmother. But when a heat wave strikes and no one comes to the store, Nora worries that she won't get to spend the rest of the summer with her lola--until she gets a sweet idea. After all, the mangoes on the tree outside are finally ripe, and with a bit of measuring, mixing, and a good deal of tasting, Nora and Lola have a refreshing way to bring people together--and to the sari-sari store. With soft, heartfelt illustrations, Lynnor Bontigao's endearing picture book--featuring a recipe for making mango ice candy like Nora's--is an ode to ingenuity and to intergenerational relationships that's as sweet and gentle as a kiss on the cheek.


FIND IT HERE


Chasing God's Glory by Dorino Lazo Gilmore-Young, Illus by Alyssa de Asis | Publisher's Description

Peng's Vase by Yuen-Killick Angus &. Michael (Retold by), illus by Paolo Proietti | Publisher's Description

How to Write a Poem by Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido, Illus by Melissa Sweet | Publisher's Description


Explore under the sea and beyond with Ariel in the new picture book retelling of Disney's live action The Little Mermaid!


Ariel is a curious mermaid who has always wanted to explore the human world!


After saving a prince named Eric from a dangerous shipwreck, Ariel makes a deal with the Sea Witch, Ursula, so she can meet him and learn more about what life is like beyond her ocean home. But Ursula is full of tricks, and it will take all of Ariel's courage to save the human world and the ocean from the Sea Witch's devious plans.


FIND IT HERE


A rich, beautifully layered ode to the great city of Cairo, Egypt, its people, and culture.


Every night, my Ametti Fatma sings the sounds of Egypt to me as I fall asleep.


This is the Nile,

that flows through the city.

Swish, swoosh, swish.

This is the boat,

that glides on the Nile,

that flows through the city.

Swish, swoosh, swish.


Each night, a young girl's Auntie Fatma puts her to bed, singing a lullaby filled with rich imagery of her home in Egypt. As Auntie Fatma sings, we are given a glimpse of modern Cairo, from boats making their way down the Nile to gentle calls to prayer from the mosques to young children joyfully playing soccer in the streets.


Join Zeena Pliska and Hatem Aly on a vibrant journey to Cairo in this gorgeous, layered song.


FIND IT HERE


This touching picture book celebrates the custom of applying henna for special occasions through a mother and daughter who share family memories and stories.


The sweet smell of henna, and stories we carry, fill us with pride of a faraway home.


There's a wedding tomorrow! And one little girl sits patiently while her mother tenderly applies intricate, delicate henna designs on her hands. As she does, she shares family stories--about weddings, monsoons, and ancestors long gone. The little girl must be careful to protect her hands as the henna dries--one smudge could ruin a story! After a whole night of anticipation, when the flakes are washed away, what will they reveal?

Lyrical text pairs with vibrant illustrations for this poignant picture book that blooms with heart, connects us to our roots, and sweetly reminds us of the the garden of love we curate with those closest to us.


FIND IT HERE


A warm and inviting picture-book portrait of African American culinary legend Edna Lewis, who brought Southern cooking to the masses


Edna loved to cook. Growing up on a farm in Freetown, Virginia, she learned the value of fresh, local, seasonal food from her Mama Daisy, how to measure ingredients for biscuits using coins, and to listen closely to her cakes to know when they were done. Edna carried these traditions with her all the way to New York, where she became a celebrated chef, who could even turn traditional French food into her signature Southern style.


The author of several cookbooks and the recipient of numerous awards, Chef Edna introduced the world to the flavors of her home.


FIND IT HERE


The Forest Keeper by Rina Singh, illus by Ishita Jain | Publisher's Description

Happy with my Nappy by Gina Jarrell, illus by Lhaiza Morena | Publisher's Description

Last Flight by Kristen Mai Giang, illus by Dow Phumiruk | Publisher's Description

Courage Out Loud by Joseph Coelho, illus by Daniel Gray-Barnett | Publisher's Description


Grandad and Milly are back for another adventure, this time honoring the past and celebrating the future with a pride parade.


This heartwarming tale continues to wonderful journey that began with the Stonewall Honoree and Waterstones Best Illustrated Book, Grandad's Camper.


After Milly discovers a pride flag in Grandad's attic, this adorable pair are motivated by the past to start a pride parade in their small town. Activism and celebration go hand in hand as the town gathers to help "build a world where everyone is proud to be themselves." This beautiful follow-up to Grandad's Camper is filled with heart and purpose.


FIND IT HERE


A young girl stops to call out all the sights and sounds on her morning trip to pre-school, but that's not what makes her late--it is her dad's goodbye hug.


Kate was late for preschool, but not for the reasons you might expect. It wasn't because her daddy brushed her hair into poofs, or because they slowed to say hello to neighbors on the way to the bus stop. It wasn't even because she had to wave to all the trucks, cars, and street cleaners on the road. No, Kate was late because just after they arrived at school, her daddy swooped in to give her a great big goodbye hug that lasted a very long time.


Janice N. Harrington is the Ezra Jack Keats Award winning author of Going North. With Hurry Kate or You'll be Late, she has teamed up with illustrator Tiffany Rose to create a delightful picture book about a vehicle obsessed girl and her very patient father.


FIND IT HERE


A celebration of Black joy and the simple pleasures of a day at the beach from acclaimed poet Shauntay Grant


Follow along as a young boy spends the day at the beach with his family in this spare and poetic picture book from award-winning poet and picture book author Shauntay Grant.


With a simple story--and simply stunning illustrations from Candice Bradley--this book is an ode to celebrating summer's wonders big and small.


FIND IT HERE


 

FREE MARCH BOOK BINGO PRINTABLE

If you know someone who loves to read, they’re going to love this fun Book Bingo game. And if you know someone who doesn’t love to read, this free Book Bingo game can help make reading fun.

Not only is this Book Bingo tons of fun, it's also full of great prompts to help little readers diversify their reading. Reading diverse children's books can introduce children to worlds outside of their own and can also foster a spirit of empathy, kindness, and acceptance. Get your free download by clicking the button below:

 

Join our community of BOOK LOVERS on Instagram.





bottom of page