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Diverse Books For All Ages

Books That Celebrate Every Story, Every Voice, Every Child

World Read Aloud Day: 12 Diverse Picture Book Read Alouds for Kids

Updated: Feb 1, 2023


World Read Aloud Day is an annual celebration, created by LitWorld, and sponsored by Scholastic, that calls attention to the importance of sharing stories. Participants are challenged to grab a book, find an audience, and read-aloud.

We believe that the kinds of stories we share is important too. That's why in celebration of World Read Aloud Day we've selected twelve fun picture books that share diverse stories representing a variety of people, cultures, and experiences. What will you be reading on World Read Aloud Day?

A little girl makes sure she walks out of the barbershop rocking the fabulous hair style she chooses.


Learn the importance of speaking up for what you want through this fun and empowering picture book.


When a little girl walks into her local barbershop, she knows she wants the flyest, freshest fade on the block! But there are so many beautiful hairstyles to choose from, and the clients and her mother suggest them all: parts, perms, frizzy fros, dye jobs, locs, and even cornrows!


But this little girl stays true to herself and makes sure she leaves the shop feeling on top with the look she picks!


Author Shauntay Grant's sweet, rhyming story encourages young girls to be self-confident and celebrates the many shapes and forms Black hair can take. Through their stunning illustrations, Kitt Thomas is able to bring life and movement to the versatile styles featured in this book.



This charming bilingual English/Mandarin counting book uses a stroll through Chinatown to introduce readers to the numbers one through ten in Chinese ... and will leave you hungry besides!


As Mia and her uncle Eddie travel the ten blocks from their apartment to the Big Wok restaurant, Mia spies one giant panda ride, two lion statues, three swimming turtles, four bonsai trees, five tai chi practitioners ... There are so many things to see in Chinatown! And when they reach the Big Wok, they find ten yummy dim sum dishes to eat. But what route should they take back home?


This sweet story about a girl, her uncle, and a little cat they meet on the way accomplishes multiple fun and useful aims: It's a fully bilingual counting book that teaches readers the numbers one through ten in both simplified Mandarin and English. It provides a fun tour of a typical Chinatown--a beloved neighborhood in many cities around the world. Children will enjoy spotting the kitten in every illustration as it trails Mia and Uncle Eddie through the streets. And with each item that Mia encounters on her walk, the book introduces some fascinating new aspect of Chinese culture or myth, as explained in the friendly backmatter. Join Mia and Uncle Eddie as they wander Ten Blocks to the Big Wok! savor each page and indulge in the power of imagination.



The Proudest Blue The Kindest Red Childrens Book

The sequel to the acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Proudest Blue shows the power of friendship and kindness, from Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad.


It's picture day and Faizah can't wait to wear her special red dress with matching hair ribbons, passed down from her mother and sister. Faizah's teacher starts the day by asking her students to envision the kind of world they want, inspiring Faizah and her friends to spend the day helping one another in ways large and small.


But when it's time for sibling pictures, Faizah realizes that she and her older sister, Asiya, don't match like her classmates do with their siblings. With help from her classmates inspired by Asiya's hijab, Faizah finds that acts of kindness can come back to you in unexpected ways.


From Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and fellow bestselling, award-winning creators S.K. Ali and Hatem Aly comes a heartfelt exploration of friendship, faith, and the joy of spreading kindness wherever you go.



Award-winning picture book creator Frank Morrison makes his author/illustrator debut in an exuberant story about being yourself.


Epic has tricks you won't believe. He's the kick flipping, big rail king. When his family moves to a new neighborhood, he can't wait to hit the street with his skateboard. But his old moves don't feel fresh without a crew to see 'em. Epic thinks about giving up his board to fit in, but an encouraging word from his dad helps him see that the trick to making new friends is to always be yourself. Be you. . . be epic!


Award-winning illustrator Frank Morrison offers a heartwarming, dynamic celebration of self-expression, inspired by his own journey through fatherhood.



Accompanied by Ken Daley's vibrant, sun-soaked artwork, Sadé Smith's debut picture book Granny's Kitchen is the perfect readaloud for budding chefs everywhere. Shelly-Ann lives with her Granny on the beautiful island of Jamaica. When Shelly-Ann becomes hungry, she asks her Granny for something to eat. Granny tells her "Gyal, you betta can cook!" and teaches Shelly-Ann how to get in touch with her Jamaican roots through the process of cooking.


As Shelly-Ann tries each recipe, everything goes wrong. But when Granny is too tired to cook one morning, Shelly-Ann will have to find the courage to try one more time and prepare the perfect Jamaican breakfast.



Pure joy and the power of community radiate from this sweet picture book about a young Black girl's perseverance and confidence in following her double Dutch dreams.


Africa's grandmother was a double Dutch legend, and Africa knows she can become the same. Her brother scoffs when she signs up for a double Dutch competition, though--how can she hope to compete when she's never done it before? But Africa has all the tools she needs: memories of her grandmother, her bestie Bianca's dance moves, her friend Omar's rhythm, and her classmates' Mary Mack timing and cartwheels.


If Africa can pull everything together to jump some winning moves, she might just fly, but it's the birthmark in the shape of her name that tells her she's always been a winner.



This lyrical, stunning picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate your Asian-shaped eyes, in the spirit of Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, and is a celebration of diversity.


A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother's, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.


Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages.



From debut author Antwan Eady and artist Gracey Zhang comes a glowing tale about the young dreaming big. A perfect story to demonstrate how pride in where we come from can bring a shining confidence.

When Nigel looks up at the moon, his future is bright. He imagines himself as...an astronaut, a dancer, a superhero, too!

Among the stars, he twirls. With pride, his chest swells. And his eyes, they glow. Nigel is the most brilliant body in the sky.

But it's Career Week at school, and Nigel can't find the courage to share his dreams. It's easy to whisper them to the moon, but not to his classmates--especially when he already feels out of place.



In this Caldecott Honor winning book, a generous woman is rewarded by her community. A Spanish edition, Gracias, Omu!, is also available for purchase.


Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?


Author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu's stew, with an extra serving of love. An author's note explains that "Omu" (pronounced AH-moo) means "queen" in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean "Grandma." This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora's life.



Under the full moon, Abuela leads an enchanted dance, bows to the sky and the night winds, and helps her curious grandson discover the rhythm of his heartbeat while listening to the great secret of the plátanos.


At first his tiny ears couldn't hear it, but Abuela shares that she can't teach something that only her heart knows. This loving and tender story of the magical union between a grandmother and her grandson was penned by Dominican author, Luz Maria Mack, and inspired by a dream where she and her Abuela met again to dance and share the secrets of the plátanos.

Sometimes the secrets of life are written in nature, under the stars, and in the sounds of the whispering leaves.



A debut picture book about loving your name, finding your voice, and standing up for yourself from the critically acclaimed illustrator of Bilal Cooks Daal and I Am Perfectly Designed.


Mirha is so excited for her first day of school! She can't wait to learn, play, and make new friends. But when her classmates mispronounce her name, she goes home wondering if she should find a new one. Maybe then she'd be able to find a monogrammed keychain at the gas station or order a hot chocolate at the cafe more easily.


Mama helps Mirha to see how special her name is, and she returns to school the next day determined to help her classmates say it correctly--even if it takes a hundred tries.



A little boy who loves storytelling but struggles with writing learns that it's okay to make mistakes in this charming and encouraging picture book from the author of Mommy's Khimar.


Abdul loves to tell stories. But writing them down is hard. His letters refuse to stay straight and face the right way. And despite all his attempts, his papers often wind up with more eraser smudges than actual words. Abdul decides his stories just aren't meant to be written down...until a special visitor comes to class and shows Abdul that even the best writers--and superheroes--make mistakes.


 

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