Inspired by World Kit Lit Month, the annual celebration of world literature for children and young adults, use the month of September to travel the world and explore other cultures through literature, food, games, and more!
We were honored to be a sponsor for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. As part of this process, we shared some of our bilingual multicultural books with bloggers and book reviewers to get their feedback. We were thrilled with their responses! Click on the links below to read reviews of some of our favorite diverse children’s books.
Language Lizard is thrilled to offer a new, exclusive collection of must-read multicultural books for preschool and kindergarten children! This set of books gives you an instant, award-winning library of diverse books for your classroom or home. No need to search around! We’ve selected 25 of our favorite multicultural stories that expose children to cultural and ethnic diversity and celebrate differences. The books portray children from various backgrounds, including African American, Hispanic, Middle-Eastern, Asian and Native American. The set includes stories related to the immigrant experience, books that help children embrace their unique heritage, and folktales from around the world.
The entertaining and well-reviewed stories help students appreciate diversity and build community with those around them. Children in diverse classrooms will build self esteem as they read/hear books in which their culture or ethnicity is represented. (Note: All books in this set are in English. Educators looking for bilingual multicultural books, click here or visit Language Lizard’s language-specific pages.)
Stories Included in the Collection
An Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winner that explores the similarities of two children who live in very different communities across the world.
A child revels in who she is despite her differences. An ode to self-esteem, with fun and silly illustrations.
An Asian folktale in which a young child is rewarded for his honesty and loyalty. An IRA-CBC Children’s Choice and An American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists.”
A sweet story in which a girl helps her Tia (aunt) earn money for a new car (since much of their savings goes to relatives who live far away). Winner of an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, an Amelia Bloomer List Selection and an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book.
An introduction to Ramadan in which a young boy shares his experiences of this special time and wants to try to fast like the grown-ups do.
A book that looks at children all over the world and illustrates our common humanity.
A child is teased for looking different and learns how to celebrate his differences.
A book celebrating non-violent social change and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, illustrated by a three-time Caldecott Honor Recipient.
A Latino boy “conquers the world” (except his sisters!) while teaching kids about a theatrical, action-packed sport that is popular in many Spanish-speaking countries. A Pura Belpre Illustrator Award winner, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year and an ALSC Notable Children’s Book.
Observing the features that make us unique, a story that celebrates what makes each child special.
A Chinese girl learns to appreciate what her culture has to offer during an “American” holiday. An IRA Notable Book for a Global Society.
A simple introduction to racial and ethnic diversity that teaches children that you can’t tell what someone is like from the color of their skin. An ALA Notable Book.
A book with diverse characters that inspires and guides young children to recognize their self-worth and develop confidence in themselves. Includes a section of discussion questions, activities, games and tips.
A trickster gets into trouble when he tries to do what goes against his nature. Winner of an ALA Notable Children’s Book, an ABA Pick of the Lists, and a National Parenting Publications Gold Award.
A story that uses colors as the backdrop for sharing Muslim culture, with artwork that brings classical elements of Islamic art into a modern setting.
A classic Chinese legend in which a poor boy helps thwart a greedy emperor’s plan.
With bright, bold illustrations, an artistic child notices and appreciates the colors of her friends.
A young girl delights in her favorite Korean dish… with details about how readers can prepare it themselves!
A reassuring book that encourages kids to embrace their individuality and celebrate multiculturalism.
A lovely Native American folktale that cautions children against bragging and teasing. An NCSS-CBC Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies and a Parenting Magazine Reading-Magic Award Winner.
A look at different families around the world, what they do and how they help each other.
A Caldecott Medal winner, magical woodcuts are used in an Indian fable that explores big versus little, and the nature of pride.
A book celebrating different cultures illustrates that the things that make us different also make us special.
A simple story about friendship with culturally diverse characters and suggested after-reading activities.
A lovely book about the children of the world and their inherent similarities. Supports The Global Orphan Project.
Just a Few Reviews of the Books in this Collection
“Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love.” – Kirkus Reviews
“With its universal themes of wanting to fit in, self-acceptance, and self-esteem, this read-aloud is sure to strike a chord with many young readers/listeners, and on a variety of subjects, not just race.” – School Library Journal
“Explores the child’s experience of straddling two cultures – and serves up an ending as satisfying as sweet-and-sour pork and crusty dessert.” -The Washington Post
“A beautifully crafted book that will be enjoyed as much for the richness of its illustrations as the simplicity of its story.” – School Library Journal
“Children will appreciate the warm, personal narrative, as well as the connections with Muslims all over the world.” – Booklist
“Beautiful full-color illustrations portray this ancient Chinese folktale…” – Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies
“A splendid tale, perfectly paced for an amusing read-aloud” – Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
“… strong, dramatic woodcuts perfectly interpret the old fable.” – School Library Journal
“[An easy read] with child-friendly illustrations and easy-to-understand examples of real-life situations.” – Skipping Stones: A Multicultural Children’s Magazine.
“Expressive, child’s-eye watercolors get in on all the activity… in this celebration of a well-loved cultural dish” – Horn Book
“… [focuses] on positive thinking and assertive, kind behavior that can bolster children’s mental health, their relationships, and their performance in school.” – Sean Covey, best-selling author of The 7 Habits of Happy Kids
“Beautiful…. This will enrich and spark discussions of diversity.” – Booklist
“The Strength of family and the importance of pursuing one’s dreams are the bedrock of [this…] picture book.” – Publishers Weekly
“An essential book that acknowledges in the simplest of terms our common humanity.” – Kirkus Reviews
Supporting Dual Language Learners Bringing Multiculturalism to the Classroom!