Here is a great list, from Parents.Com, of books for babies to preschoolers that can help teach kids about the diverse world we live in – different cultures, languages, rituals, religions, etc. Mutual respect and understanding differences is key to peace!
Books to Help Teach Kids About the World
By John Steptoe
The love between two African-American siblings is told in a series of simple, repeated baby words (“uh-oh,” “no, no”). The book is great fun to read aloud.
By Samantha R. Vamos
Members of a Latino family await the arrival of the new baby. Mami says to her: “Tu papi recited poesia cantada while strumming su guitarra, and tu abuela felt you kick.” Check for translations in the glossary at the end.
By Vera B. Williams
Written in musical prose, these three culturally diverse stories featuring white, black, and Asian-American babies will delight your own little doodle.
By the Global Fund for Children
Your little one will love looking at the gorgeous faces in this peek-around-the-world book.
By Mem Fox
You can count your little one’s fingers and piggies as you read this sweet picture book about babies from all over the world.
Selected by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy
Introduce your bebesita to these well-loved American Southwest and Latin-American rhymes, lullabies, and songs. English translations included.
To Be a Kid
By the Global Fund for Children
From Australia to Mozambique to the Philippines, kids are kids wherever you go. They explore, play, care for the earth and animals, share secrets with friends, and dream big.
By Stella Blackstone
Count Granny’s purchases (six Kenyan drums! seven Russian nesting dolls!) as she travels around the world on her flying carpet.
By George David Weiss and Bob Thiele
Combining the colorful drawings of children of many backgrounds with the lyrics of the song made famous by Louis Armstrong, this book is a wonderful way to show kids the beauty and friendship of the world around them.
By Karen Katz
We’re cinnamon, French toast, the reddish brown of fallen leaves. These boldly illustrated pages celebrate the many-splendored shades of the skin we’re in.
By Marjorie Priceman
Take a culinary tour of the globe while gathering ingredients: milk from England, semolina wheat from Italy, sugarcane from Jamaica, and apples from Vermont.
By Selina Alko
Writing through the eyes of her son, the author, part of an interracial couple, asks — “Baby, what shade will you be? Pure coal black or coffee with lots and lots of cream? Ginger-cookie brown or midnight licorice purple?”
A Pair of Red Clogs
By Masako Matsuno
A young Japanese girl delights in the sound her new wooden shoes make on the stone road — “kara koro, kara koro” — until she cracks them. Will her mom buy her a new pair?
By Patricia Polacco
When Larnel, a young African-American boy, asks an elderly Jewish widow to care for a scrawny kitten, a cross-cultural friendship is born.
By Leonore Look
A bossy older sister is in charge of preparing her baby brother’s one-month birthday celebration. Dyeing eggs a lucky red and cooking up Chinese specialties is a lot of hard work for Jenny but worth it all when Henry smiles.
By Chih-Yuan Chen
A Taiwanese father asks his little girl to go to the store and get the ingredients they need for their dinner’s fried rice. Her walk is a magical adventure that speaks to every child’s sense of imagination.
By Anna McQuinn
The first book of the My Friend series (the second is My Friend Mei Jing) features playfully visual kid’s-eye views of friendship that celebrate both childhood connection and cultural diversity.
By Muriel Feelings
Each page of this Swahili alphabet book will teach your child a new word as well as shine a light on East African culture. (“Karibu means welcome. A caller says, ‘Hodi?‘ This means ‘May I come in?’ The reply is always ‘karibu.'”)
Originally published in the May 2009 issue of Parents magazine.
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- 8 Books to Teach Your Kids About the World (tripbase.com)