60+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Hair & Skin

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Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin


As part of developing a positive body image and sense of identity, it is important that children of colour learn to love their hair and their skin from an early age. The gorgeous multicultural children’s books about hair & skin on this extensive list show children their beauty in a fun and inspiring way.

Enjoy browsing and make sure to also check out the activity books about hair and skin at the end of the post!

60+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Hair & Skin

Babies & Toddlers

Bright Brown Baby
by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“Brown baby, born bright. / Greet the world. Spread your light. / Sparkling eyes blink hello. / Bright brown baby, you will GO!” With rhythmic text and whimsical illustrations, Bright Brown Baby celebrates Black and brown babies and the joy, tender moments, and boundless love shared between children and their caregivers. ~African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: Top 10 Multicultural Bedtime Stories for Babies & Toddlers

The Hair Book
by LaTonya Yvette

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“Covered hair, Bun Hair, Party Hair… No matter your hair—YOU are welcome anywhere!” With bold, colourful graphics and poetic rhyme, The Hair Book is a stunning tribute to every kind of hair, perfect for fans of Hair Love. ~ Diverse – Babies & Toddlers

Brown Sugar Baby
by Kevin Lewis

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“Brown sugar baby, dark eyes spark bright with glee…Pie of my eye, stay right here with me.” The first book in a new series, Brown Sugar Baby is a lyrical celebration of the powerful love and protective, comforting instincts of a mother for her child. With soothing rhymes and charming illustrations, t’s the perfect bedtime book. ~African – Babies & Toddlers

My Hair is Beautiful
by Shauntay Grant

Celebrate natural hair with Governor General’s Award-nominated author Shauntay Grant in this joyful board book. With accessible text and vibrant photos of toddlers sporting afros, cornrows and everything in between, My Hair is Beautiful brings a powerful message of self-love. ~African – Babies & Toddlers

I Love My Beautiful Hair
by Elissa Wentt

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

For her first-ever trip to the hair salon, little EJ wants to find a special hair style. But with so many options… how can she choose? Should she try afro puffs, with ribbons and bows? Or twisty spirals that tickle her nose? Luckily, Mommy is there to offer reassurance: “Your hair is curly, like clouds in the sky. It’s beautiful no matter which style you try!” With bright illustrations and rhyming text, I Love My Beautiful Hair celebrates family tradition and Black hair. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: Top 10 Multicultural Bedtime Stories for Babies & Toddlers

Brown Baby Lullaby
by Tameka Fryer Brown

With expressive illustrations and Spanish words sprinkled throughout, Brown Baby Lullaby follows two new parents as they lovingly care for their beautiful brown baby boy: From playing outside, to dinner and bath time, and finally a warm snuggle before bed. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 11 Multicultural Lullabies

Peek-a-You! (A Bright Brown Baby Board Book)
by Andrea Davis Pinkney

“Peek-a-you, peek-a-you, can you see? / Here’s the pretty brown face of me?” Cuddle up with your little one and play a happy game of peekaboo! With bouncing, rhythmic text and warm, whimsical illustrations, Peek-a-You is a joyful celebration of perfectly huggable, oh-so-lovable bright brown bundles of joy! ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Happy Hair
by Mechal Renee Roe

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“Full ‘fro, cute bow! I love being me! Smart girl, cool curls! I love being me!” Girls of all ages will love seeing strong reflections of themselves in this cheerful picture book celebrating the diversity of Black hair. With simple text and vibrant illustrations, Happy Hair is a great read-aloud to promote self-love from an early age. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

Bedtime Bonnet
by Nancy Redd

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“In my family, every night when the sun goes down, our hair goes up!” But one night the little narrator of the story cannot find her bonnet… Bedtime Bonnet is a cheerful and heartwarming celebration of a Black family’s nighttime hair rituals. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers


I Am Golden
by Eva Chen

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“What do you see when you look in the mirror, Mei? Do you see beauty? We see eyes that point toward the sun, that give us the warmth and joy of a thousand rays when you smile. We see hair as inky black and smooth as a peaceful night sky. We see skin brushed with gold.” Written in the form of a letter from immigrant parents to their child, I Am Golden is a joyful and lyrical ode to the immigrant experience and a celebration of Chinese American identity. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 180+ Asian &  Asian American Books for Children & Teenagers

Black Girl Magic
by Mia Harris

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“You are a mysterious piece to a magical puzzle!” Black Girl Magic is an expressively illustrated book that will inspire little black girls to love themselves, their hair and their skin. It promotes self-confidence and encourages them to know that they are pretty just the way they are. ~  African – Preschool

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books To Help Build Self-Esteem

Bippity Bop Barbershop
by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin Shop

Bippity Bop Barbershop follows little Miles as he bravely sits through his first haircut. The beautiful watercolour illustrations emphasize the loving family interactions and add to the warm feel of the story. ~ African – Preschool

I Love My Hair!
by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin: I Love My Hair!

I love my hair! tells the story of how young Keyana learns to take pride in her hair, even though it hurts when Mama combs it. The beautiful watercolour illustrations emphasize the loving family interactions and add to the warm feel of the story. ~ African – Preschool

Brown Like Me
by Noelle Lamperti

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin: Brown Like Me

Lamperti tells her own story, an adopted African American girl growing up in a white community and trying to find herself reflected in the people and things around her. Brown Like Me is an authenic picture book that can help black children build a strong and positive self-image. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 70+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families// 28 Multicultural Children’s Books about Adoption

by Lupita Nyong’o

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family and in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. But a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything. Gorgeously illustrated Sulwe is a powerful and moving debut picture book by Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o that will inspire children everywhere to see their own unique beauty. ~ African – Preschool

Princess Hair
by Sharee Miller

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin: Princess Hair

“Some princesses wear puffs and play pretend. / Others wear twist-outs and twirl around.” From dreadlocks to blow-outs to braids and more, Princess Hair is an affirming book that celebrates the beauty and diversity of African hair, showing young readers that every kind of hair can be princess hair. ~ African – Preschool

I’m Growing Great 
by Mechal Renee Roe

“Lovely and wise, shine at sunrise! I am growing each day!” Beautiful Black and brown girls with gorgeous natural hairstyles full of flowers, butterflies, and other garden treasures are the stars of this vibrant, rhythmic picture book. Follow-up to Happy Hair, I’m Growing Great! is an empowering picture book that encourages growth and positivity. ~ African – Preschool

Cool Cuts
by Mechal Renee Roe

“When the stars shine, the world is mine! I am born to be awesome! My hair is free, just like me! I am born to be awesome!” Black Boys will love seeing strong, happy reflections of themselves in this vibrant, rhythmic book full of hip hairstyles. From a ‘fro-hawk to mini-twists and crisp cornrows, Cool Cuts features adorable illustrations of boys with cool curls, waves, and afros, accompanied by a positive message. ~ African – Preschool

Hair Twins
by Raakhee Mirchandani

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Every morning Papa combs through his daughter’s waves like he does his own—parting it down the middle, using coconut oil to get all the tangles out. Some days he braids her hair in two twists down the side of her face. Other days he weaves it into one long braid hanging down her back, just like a unicorn tail. But her favourite style is when he combs her hair in a tight bun on the top of her head, just like the joora he wears every day under his turban. They call this their hair twin look! Hair Twins is charming story about a Sikh father and daughter with a special hair bond. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 60+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Fathers

How a princess survives hair day
by Danielle Gordon

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Most little girls with curly hair dread ‘hair day’ as it means sitting still for hours waiting for their hair to be finished. But, since it has to be done, why not make it more fun? How A Princess Survives Hair Day is filled with fun rhymes, ideas, and suggestions to do just that. Hair day may take all day, but that is okay!  ~ African – Preschool





Brown: The Many Shades of Love // Black: The Many Wonders of My World
by Nancy Johnson James


In Brown: The Many Shades of Love a boy describes the many beautiful hues of his family, including his own—gingerbread. Mama’s brown is chocolate, clear, dark, and sweet. Daddy’s brown is autumn leaf, or like a field of wheat. Granny’s brown is like honey, and Papa’s like caramel. In Black: The Many Wonders of My World a girl describes the many wonders of her world—from the black of starry nights to her own black eyes, clear and bright. ~ African – Preschool

I Need You to Know: The ABC’s of Black Girl Magic
by Lora McClain-Muhammad

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

With encouraging words, I Need You To Know The ABC’s Of Black Girl Magic celebrates Black girls, from their skin complexion to their hair type. A children’s colouring book filled with all things Black Girl Magic from A to Z! ~ African – Preschool

Related: 12 Multicultural Colouring Books for Children

My Hair
by Hannah Lee

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“My birthday’s coming up so soon, / I’ll need new clothes to wear. / But most of all, I need to know, / How shall I style my hair?” Will it be dreads or a twist out? Braids or a high-top fade? Joyous and vibrant, My Hair captures the excitement of getting ready for a celebration, as well as showcasing a dazzling array of intricate hairstyles. ~ African – Preschool

The Night Is Yours
by Abdul-Razak Zachariah

“Little one, so calm and so happy, the darkness of the night is yours like the darkness of your skin.” Narrated by her father, The Night Is Yours follows little Amani on an evening game of hide-and-seek with friends at her apartment complex. The moon’s glow helps Amani find the last hidden child as well as spotlights her beauty and strength. This is an empowering bedtime read-aloud that celebrates blackness and self-confidence. ~ African – Preschool

Laxmi’s Mooch
by Shelly Anand

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Laxmi never paid much attention to the tiny hairs above her lip. But one day while playing farm animals at recess, her friends point out that her whiskers would make her the perfect cat. She starts to notice body hair all over–on her arms, legs, and even between her eyebrows. With her parents’ help, Laxmi learns to accept her body hair. With affirming text and endearing illustrations, Laxmi’s Mooch is a celebration of body confidence and heritage. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 180+ Asian & Asian American Books For Children & Teenagers

Don’t Touch My Hair!
by Sharee Miller

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin: Don't Touch My Hair!

Wherever Aria goes, someone wants to touch her fluffy curls – in the streets, under the sea, in the jungle, and even in space!  She is chased by a mermaid and monkeys, and poked by aliens… until, finally, Aria has had enough! Don’t Touch My Hair is a fun and imaginative book that encourages children to tell people not to touch their hair. ~ Preschool

Basking in My Brown
by Fatima Faisal

A young girl loves the feeling of sitting out in the sun, basking in her beautiful, brown skin. Her skin comes with a rich history and power that should be celebrated. It is strong, it is ambitious, it is bold, it is soft, it is sweet, it is fearless, it is special. Basking in My Brown is a poetic tribute to the dark-skinned girls of the world. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 180+ Asian &  Asian American Books For Children & Teenagers

Skin Again
by bell hooks

“The skin I’m in is just a covering. It cannot tell my story. If you want to know who I am, you have got to come inside and open your heart way wide.” From legendary author and critic bell hooks and multi-Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka comes a book that helps talk about race and identity with the youngest readers. Skin Again celebrates all that makes us unique and different and offers a strong and timeless message of loving yourself and others. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 100 Children’s Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination

I Color Myself Different
by Colin Kaepernick

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

At 5 years old, Colin Kaepernick was given a simple school assignment: draw a picture of yourself and your family. What young Colin does next with his brown crayon changes his whole world and worldview, providing a valuable lesson on embracing his Black identity through radical self-love and knowing your inherent worth. I Color Myself Different is an inspiring story of identity and self-esteem from celebrated athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 44 Children’s Books About Extraordinary Black Athletes

Hair to Share
by Sylvia Walker

Suri was born with more hair than anyone had ever seen on a baby.  As she grew, so did her hair until it eventually reached all the way down to her knees! When she makes a new friend who has no hair, Suri wants to find a way to help her feel comfortable and confident. Hair To Share is a joyful exploration of friendship, generosity, and confidence that comes from within. Includes backmatter about medical hair loss. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Friendship

Hey You!: An Empowering Celebration of Growing Up Black
by Dapo Adeola

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“Remember to dream your own dreams / Love your beautiful skin / You always have a choice.” Lyrical Hey You! addresses–honestly, yet hopefully–the experiences Black children face growing up with systemic racism, and delivers a message of hope and empowerment to a new generation of dreamers. To mirror the rich variety of the Black diaspora, this book showcases artwork from Dapo Adeola and eighteen more incredible Black illustrators. ~ African – Preschool





Our Skin: First Conversations About Race
by M. Madison & J. Ralli

Based on the research that race, gender, consent, and body positivity should be discussed with toddlers on up, the new First Conversations series offers adults the opportunity to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe, and supported way. With stunning art and simple, interactive text, Our Skin begins the conversation on race, with a supportive approach that considers both the child and the adult. Includes additional resources. ~ Diverse – Preschool

Also available: Being You: A First Conversation About Gender // Yes! No!: A First Conversation About Consent

Curls // Glow
by Ruth Forman 

“Me / Morning / Mirror Smile / Shine big / hair love”. Curls is a poetic board book that stars four friends celebrating their hairstyles,  from bouncing curls to swinging braids. “I shine / night too / smooth brown / glow skin.” Glow is a playful board book that stars a young boy celebrating his dark skin with a bright moon at the end of a perfect day. ~ African – Preschool

The Skin You Live In
by Michael Tyler

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin: The Skin You Live In

“Think how lucky you are / that the skin you live in, / so beautifully holds the “you” who’s within.” With bouncy rhyme and cheerful illustrations, The Skin You Live promotes diversity, friendship and self-esteem. Children’s of different cultures are presented enjoying the same things, from swimming in the ocean, hugging, catching butterflies, and eating birthday cake. A wonderful start for conversations about diversity and self-acceptance! ~ Diverse – Preschool

Stella’s Stellar Hair
by Yesenia Moises

It’s the day of the Big Star Little Gala, and Stella’s hair just isn’t acting right! What’s a girl to do? Simple! Just hop on her hoverboard, visit each of her fabulous aunties across the solar system, and find the perfect hairdo along the way. Stella’s Stellar Hair celebrates the joy of self-empowerment, shows off our solar system, and beautifully illustrates a variety of hairstyles from the African diaspora. Backmatter provides more information about each style and each planet. ~ African – Preschool

I Am Perfectly Designed
by Karamo Brown

In this empowering ode to modern families, a boy and his father take a joyful walk through the city, discovering all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other. I Am Perfectly Designed is an exuberant celebration of loving who you are, exactly as you are, from Karamo Brown, the Culture Expert of Netflix’s hit series Queer Eye. ~ African – Preschool

Hair It’s A Family Affair
by Mylo Freeman

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Hair It’s A Family Affair is a celebration of natural hair, through the vibrant and varied hairstyles found in a single family. With Mylo Freeman’s trademark colourful illustrations, this delightful book will show young black children the joys that can be found through their natural hair. ~ African – Preschool

We’re Different, We’re the Same
by Bobbi Kates

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Who better than Elmo and his Sesame Street friends to teach young children that though we may all look different on the outside—deep down, we are all very much alike? We’re Different, We’re The Same is a fun and charmingly illustrated picture book that offers an age-appropriate way to learn about differences and reinforces that we all have the same needs, desires, and feelings. No list of multicultural children’s books about hair & skin complete without this classic!  ~ Diverse – Preschool

Related: 25 Multicultural Books About Children Around The World

Hair Like Mine // Skin Like Mine
by LaTashia M. Perry

  Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Hair Like Mine follows a little girl who doesn’t like that her naturally curly hair looks different from the other kids around her. On her quest to find someone with hair like hers, she soon realizes we are all unique and special in our own way. Skin Like Mine celebrates different skin colours in a fun and relatable way. These two books are our favourites for preschool on this list of multicultural children’s books about hair & skin! ~ African – Preschool

Also available: Hair Like Mine Coloring and Activity Book

Big Hair, Don’t Care
by Crystal Swain-Bates

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Lola has really big hair, much bigger than the other kids at her school.  Her hair gets in the way from time to time (it’s hard to play hide and seek when your hair is so big!) and she gets lots of stares from other kids, but that doesn’t stop her from confidently telling anyone who will listen just how much she loves her big beautiful hair!  Big Hair, Don’t Care is a beautifully illustrated story about celebrate what makes you uniquely YOU! ~ African – Preschool

My Rainbow
by DeShanna & Trinity Neal

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Trinity, a Black transgender girl, likes to play with her siblings, her dolls, and her pet pig, Peter Porker. One day, she realizes that she needs long hair to express who she truly is. So her family takes a trip to the beauty supply store, but none of the wigs is the perfect fit. Determined, Mom leaves with bundles of hair in hand, ready to craft a wig as colorful and vibrant as her daughter. Written by mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal, My Rainbow is a powerful story about showing up as our full selves. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 90 Multicultural LGBTQIA Books for Children & Teenagers

Not Quite Snow White
by Ashley Franklin

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Tameika is a girl who belongs on the stage. She loves to act, sing, and dance—and she’s pretty good at it, too. So when her school announces their Snow White musical, Tameika auditions for the lead princess role. But the other kids think she’s “not quite” right to play the role. They whisper, they snicker, and they glare. Will Tameika let their harsh words be her final curtain call? Not Quite Snow White is a delightful and inspiring picture book that highlights the importance of self-confidence and encourages children to let their magic shine. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 14 Multicultural Children’s Books About Spunky Princesses

Elementary School

More Than Peach 
by Bellen Woodard

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

When Bellen Woodard’s classmates referred to “the skin-colour” crayon, she knew just how important it was that everyone understood that “skin can be any number of beautiful colours.” More Than Peach spreads Bellen’s message of inclusivity, empowerment, and the importance of inspiring the next generation of leaders. Bellen created the More Than Peach Project in order to transform the crayon industry and grow the way we see our world. Includes back matter about becoming a leader and improving your community just like Bellen. ~ African – Elementary School

Josey Johnson’s Hair and the Holy Spirit
by Esau McCaulley

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Josie is spending the day with Dad―getting her hair braided at Monique’s Beauty Shop, and picking out a new red dress for Sunday. Because Sunday is Pentecost! In the process, she learns to celebrate the differences she sees all around her as part of God’s plan for his creation. Josey Johnson’s Hair and the Holy Spirit invites children to join Josey as she learns of God’s wonderfully diverse design. ~ African – Elementary School

I am Flippish!
by Leslie V. Ryan

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin: I Am Flippish!

Sean is sad and confused when one of his classmates says that his dad is not his dad because he has a different colour skin. The teacher instructs the children to ask their parents about their ancestry. Sean realises: “I Am Flippish!” and learns to take pride in his biracial Filipino/Irish heritage. ~ Asian – Elementary School

Related: 70+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families

Beauty Woke
by NoNieqa Ramos

Beauty is a Puerto Rican girl loved and admired by her family and community. At first, she’s awake to their beauty, and her own—a proud Boricua of Taíno and African descent. But as she grows older, she sees how people who look like her are treated badly, and she forgets what makes her special. So her community bands together to help remind her of her beautiful heritage. Beauty Woke is a powerful story of pride and community, told with bold lyricism and the heart of a fairy tale. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: Pura Belpré Award Winners 1996 – 2022

The Me I Choose To Be
by N.A. Tarpley

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award

What will you choose to be? A free spirit? A weaver of words? A star dancing across the night sky? A limitless galaxy? The possibilities are endless in this uplifting ode to the power of potential. With lyrical text and expressive images, The Me I Choose To Be is an immersive call for self-love that highlights the inherent beauty of all Black and brown children. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books To Help Build Self-Esteem

Black Is a Rainbow Color
by Angela Joy

“Red is a rainbow color. / Green sits next to blue. / Yellow, orange, violet, indigo, / They are rainbow colors, too, / but my color is black . . . And there’s no BLACK in rainbows.” Stunningly illustrated Black Is A Rainbow Color follows a young girl as she reflects on the meaning of being Black in this moving and powerful anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 250 Children’s Books Celebrating Black Girls

Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration
by Samara Cole Doyon

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

A succession of young girls compares the colours they see in nature (trees, rivers, honey etc) to the colours of their skin, eyelashes and eyes. With vivid illustrations and lyrical text, award-winning Magnificent Homespun Brown is a beautiful celebration of feeling at home in one’s own skin. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children

I Am Unique!
by Jennifer D. Vassel

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Erin has a birthmark on her face and a passion for acting. When she wants to try out for the leading role in her school’s play, her best friend questions whether she would suit the role because of her birthmark. Erin has to decide if she’s going to let a perceived “flaw” get in the way of her dream. I Am Unique! is an empowering story about self-love and celebrating your uniqueness. ~ African – Elementary School

Just Like Me
by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“I am a canvas / Being painted on / By the words of my family / Friends / And community.” Just Like Me is an engaging collection of poetic mini-stories about girls of all kinds: girls who feel happy, sad, scared, powerful; girls who love their bodies and girls who don’t; country girls, city girls; girls who love their mother and girls who wish they had a father. With engaging text and unique illustrations, this book invites readers to find themselves and each other. ~ Diverse – Elementary School





I Am Brown
by Ashok Banner

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“I am brown. I am beautiful. I am perfect. I designed this computer. I ran this race. I won this prize. I wrote this book.” Brown-skinned children around the world laugh, love and play together in this infectiously joyful book. I Am Brown is a joyful celebration of the skin you’re in―of being brown, of being amazing, of being you. ~ African – Elementary School

Hair Love
by Matthew A. Cherry

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Zuri’s hair is beautiful but it has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he loves his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her happy. Hair Love is a tender and empowering ode to loving your natural hair — and a sweet celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere. ~ African –  Elementary School

Related: 60+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Fathers

The Blacker the Berry
by Joyce Carol Thomas

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

“We are color struck / The way an artist strikes / His canvas with his brush of many hues / Look closely at these mirrors / these palettes of skin / Each color is rich / in its own right.” Black is dazzling and distinctive, like toasted wheat berry bread; snowberries in the fall; rich, red cranberries; and the bronzed last leaves of summer. The Blacker The Berry is a lyrical and luminous poetry collection that celebrates the many shades of Black. ~ African –  Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children

My Hair is a Garden
by Cozbi A. Cabrera

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

After a day of being taunted by classmates about her unruly hair, Mackenzie seeks guidance from her wise and comforting neighbour, Miss Tillie. Using the beautiful garden in the backyard as a metaphor, Miss Tillie shows Mackenzie that maintaining healthy hair is not a chore nor is it something to fear. Most importantly, Mackenzie learns that natural black hair is beautiful. My Hair Is A Garden is a gorgeously illustrated story about loving your hair. Includes hair care tips. ~ African –  Elementary School

The Hue of You
by Jade Richardson

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Imani and her sister, Crystal, love going to their grandmothers house on the weekends to help with her garden. However, one weekend, a comment from Imani stuns her grandmother, quickly turning a simple day of gardening into a day filled with eye-opening conversation about self-love and the nature of acceptance. Expressively illustrated The Hue of You is about loving who you are. ~ African –  Elementary School

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books To Help Build Self-Esteem

Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship
by I. Latham & C. Waters

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

How can Irene and Charles work together on their fifth grade poetry project? They don’t know each other . . . and they’re not sure they want to. Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is Black, use this fictional setup to delve into different experiences of race in a relatable way, exploring topics such as hair, hobbies, and family dinners. Accompanied by artwork from acclaimed illustrators Sean Qualls and Selina Alko, Can I Touch Your Hair? is a remarkable collaboration that explores race and childhood. ~ African –  Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
by Derrick Barnes

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them. A fresh cut makes boys fly. With rhythmic text and dynamic illustrations, award-winning Crown is a real confidence-boosting book for young Black boys. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: Multicultural 2019 ALA Youth Media Award-Winning Books

Bintou’s Braids
by Sylvianne Diouf

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

Bintou wants long, pretty braids, woven with gold coins and seashells, just like her older sister and the other women in her family. But she is too young for braids. Instead, all she has are four little tufts of hair; all she ever gets are cornrows. However, when Bintou saves the lives of her two young cousins and is offered a reward of her choosing, Bintou discovers that true beauty comes in many different forms. With rich, earthy illustrations and a heartwarming story line, Bintou’s Braids captures the spirit of a West African village in this wise tale about a girl who learns she’s perfect just the way she is. ~ African – Elementary School

Different Differenter: An Activity Book about Skin Color
by Jyoti Gupta

Multicultural Children's Books about Hair & Skin

This beautifully illustrated activity book takes children on a playful and creative discovery of skin colour and bias. Children will make art, cook a yummy dessert, perform a play and much more. Along the way they will be introduced to new words, historical facts and possible solutions to issues like bullying. Different Differenter is a fantastic starting point for conversations about self-awareness, identity, diversity and social justice. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Related: 11 Multicultural Activity Books for Children

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4 Responses

  1. Maria Wen Adcock
    | Reply

    What a comprehensive list of recommendations! Thanks for putting this together!

  2. Frances
    | Reply

    Thank you for participating in #ReadYourWorld and for your support as a reviewer and co-host! Great book list!

  3. Leanna
    | Reply

    Such a great list! Thank you for participating in Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

  4. AR
    | Reply

    These are great choices! Another you might add to future lists is Sunflower Sisters by Monika Singh Gangotra. I really liked the fact that it used a friendship to help kids see that colorism affects kids across cultural lines – it’s a good reminder that any given child is not alone.

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