Diversify Your Shelves: Children’s Books {January 2019}

I am very passionate about developing an inclusive and diverse library collection. And I want to help YOU diversify your own collections. So I am curating a list of the diverse books coming out every month to help make sure you see them and add them to your purchase lists.

For Children’s Books, I am sorting them by type: Picture Books, Early Readers, and Chapter Books. I will also tag each book with the diverse traits represented (to the best of my knowledge). I will be as specific as I can be with my (tagging), but as I do not want to mis-label any race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality identities, sometimes my tags will be generic if I am not sure.

Titles will link to Goodreads page.

So, without further ado, here are January’s diverse Children’s books (for Elementary Schools)!

Picture Books


The Thundermaker by Alan Syliboy   (Own Voices, Indigenous/bilingual, Mi’kmaw nation)

Honeysmoke: The Story of Finding Your Color by Monique Fields, Illustrated by Yesenia Moises  (Own Voices, Biracial)

What is Given from the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack   (Own Voices, Black family)

The Duchess and Guy by Nancy Furstinger, Illustrated by Julia Bereciartu   (Biracial Duchess)

Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham, Illustrated by John Holyfield   (POC Illustrator, Black boy)

The Pinata that the Farm Maiden Hung by Samantha R. Vamos, Sebastia Serra   (Own Voices, Latinx, Bilingual)


Hands Up by Breanna J. McDaniel   (Own Voices, black girl)

Dress Like A Girl by Patricia Toht   (Diverse girls)

Yugen by Mark Reibstein, Illustrated by Ed Young   (POC Illustrator, Asian)

Dragonfly Kites by Tomson Highway, Illustrated by Julie Flett   (Own Voices, Indigenous/Cree)

Under My Hijab by Hena Khan   (Own Voices, Desi/Pakistani, Muslim)

Early Readers

Pass the Ball, Mo by David A Adler   (Black Boy)

Our Principal’s in his Underwear by Stephanie Calmenson   (POC)

Chapter Books

Craftily Ever After: Breaking the Piggy Bank by Martha Maker   (POC Creators, Black characters)

Jada Jones: Sleepover Scientist by Kelly Sterling Lyons   (Own Voices, Black girl, STEM)

Shai and Emmie Star in To The Rescue by Quvenzhane Wallis   (Own Voices, Black Girl)

Mighty Meg and the Magical Ring by Micah Player   (Black Girl)

Sarai Saves the Music by Sarai Gonzalez   (Own Voices, Latinx Girl)

So that’s it for January. You can find a list of Diverse Young Adult books here and a list of Diverse Middle Grade books here.

And if I missed something really cool, let me know in the comments!

And come back on Wednesdays in February for more diverse books!

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  1. Thanks so much for featuring THE DUCHESS AND GUY, with our favorite Biracial Duchess! I wasn’t a “royal watcher,” but when my agent said I needed to write a book about Meghan Markle’s rescued beagle, I gave him four paws up as animal rescue is near and dear to my heart (and Meghan’s as well).