The greatest children's books about diversity often win one or more literary awards because of their message, text, or illustrations. Children's books that celebrate diversity include topics like accepting differences, religious diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion. Check out these award-winning books for kids all about cultural diversity.
Award-Winning Children's Books About Cultural Diversity
List of Children's Books About Diversity
Board books, picture books, and chapter books are all considered children's books. The topic of cultural diversity in books highlights the differences among people because of their ethnic or racial background.
Each of these books has won at least one literary award, but many have won multiple awards.
Drawn Together by Minh Le
A young boy and his grandfather don't speak the same language, but they learn to communicate despite their cultural differences. Their shared love of art is beautifully illustrated by Dan Santat. Drawn Together by Minh Le won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in the Picture Book category in 2019 among numerous other awards.
The Faithful Friend by Robert D. San Souci
The Faithful Friend by Robert D. San Souci is a tale of friendship that can't be broken by cultural diversity. One of the main characters is black while the other is white, but this doesn't affect their loyalty to each other. This picture book is illustrated by Brian Pinkney and won the Caldecott Medal in 1996.
Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say
Grandfather's Journey, written and illustrated by Allen Say, won the Caldecott Medal in 1994. The author shares the story of his grandfather's cross-cultural experience as a man who loves both America and Japan in this picture book.
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly is a chapter book that won the Newbery Award in 2018. The story is told from two points of view as it follows a group of diverse neighbor kids from different backgrounds. The plot deals with bullying and cultural diversity as all the character's lives become entwined.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena won the Caldecott Medal and Newbery Award in 2016. This picture book is about a boy who questions all the differences he sees among people on the bus route while riding through town with his grandma. Illustrator Christian Robinson uses a unique art style to highlight the cultural diversity.
Lovely by Jess Hong
In Lovely by Jess Hong, the author/illustrator showcases how our differences make us each beautiful. The book subtly challenges stereotypes by presenting words with unique illustrations that go against what you might expect to see. The book won the Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Book of the Year in 2018.
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
A young Korean girl and her classmates explore how different names can be and what makes those diverse names great in The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. This longer picture book was an Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Master List Winner in 2003.
People by Peter Spier
People by Peter Spier is a comprehensive picture book encyclopedia of similarities and differences of people from different cultures. The book won the Christopher Award for Books for Young People in 1981.
The Way to Start a Day by Byrd Baylor
The Way to Start a Day by Byrd Baylor won the Caldecott Medal in 1979. Paintings by Peter Parnall show how different cultures throughout history have celebrated dawn. Each page of this picture book encourages readers to practice greeting the sun in the ways others do.
Explore Cultural Diversity
Kids can learn the concept of cultural diversity by reading great books with that theme. You can take your multicultural reading to the next step by checking out children's books about specific cultures or books about social justice and racism.