Don't miss out on incredible deals! shop now

Diversify Your Bookshelf: Top Children’s Books

Melissa Sulley | | Comments 0

Jump to Section


There's something truly magical about the wonders that unfold when you get lost in the story of a really good book with your little ones. As you flip through the pages, their little minds embark on a journey of discovery, navigating enchanted landscapes, befriending quirky characters, and unravelling tales that spark creativity and curiosity. The joy of getting lost in a book fosters a love for storytelling that stays with them, igniting a lifelong passion for exploration and the limitless adventures that can be found within the pages of a cherished story. 

But have you ever stopped to really think about the books you share with your little ones? Who is reflected in the stories? Which cultures and backgrounds and ethnicities are being represented?  

Reading with your children isn’t just about captivating bedtime stories. It has the incredible power to introduce them to the vast tapestry of human experiences and diverse perspectives. Diverse books act as mirrors, reflecting the faces and stories of children from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures. Reading about diverse experiences fosters empathy, dismantles stereotypes, and instills a profound appreciation for our interconnected world. When a child sees characters who look like them, who share their experiences or introduce them to new perspectives, it instills a sense of validation and belonging. 

Today, we are diving into how to diversify and expand your bookshelf. Grab a comfy pillow, dim the lights, and come dive into the beautiful world of diverse books with us!

10 Practical Tips

Diversifying your bookshelf isn’t just about grabbing new books for your kiddos. It starts with you! Here are some practical tips to help you expand and explore diverse stories with your little ones.

  1. Visit Diverse Libraries & Bookstores: Explore libraries and bookstores that prioritize diversity in their collections. Librarians and bookshop staff often provide valuable recommendations for age-appropriate, diverse reads. 

  2. Embrace Multilingual Literature: Incorporate books that include multiple languages or explore stories set in different linguistic environments. This exposes your children to linguistic diversity and promotes an appreciation for various languages. 

  3. Highlight Underrepresented Voices and Characters: Look for books that amplify voices and show characters that are often underrepresented in literature. This can include stories featuring characters with disabilities, LGBTQ+ characters, or protagonists from marginalized communities. Representation really does matter. When children find characters that mirror their experiences and struggles, it fosters a sense of belonging and self-worth.

Some of our faves that we carry are: 

  • The Pronoun Book: Featuring eye-catching illustrations of a diverse cast of people and simple text, this book is a joyful celebration of people and their pronouns. 
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls Book: This special edition, leather-bound keepsake book highlights the lives of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present and is illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world. 
  • Where’s the Doctor?: For your tiny ones, this short felt flap book features a series of diverse characters that you may see in a hospital.  
  • Nerdy Baby Book Series: An adorable board book series that feature people of colour as the main characters and encourage your littlest ones to explore the natural world around them.  
The Pronoun Book

Bundle & Save!

Harper Collins Canada

The Pronoun Book

$10.99

Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls Book

Sale

Bundle & Save!

Graphic Image

Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls Book

Sale Price: $99.88

Regular Price: $142.99

Save 30%

Where's the Doctor? Book

Bundle & Save!

Penguin Random House

Where's The Series Books

$11.99

Nerdy Babies Book Series

Bundle & Save!

4. Choose Books with Diverse Authors and Illustrators: Support books   written and illustrated by creators from different cultural backgrounds. This not only diversifies the content but also provides opportunities to explore unique storytelling styles and artistic perspectives. 

We love:  

  • Beautiful You, Beautiful Me: This story about a multiracial child navigating identity and belonging draws from author Tasha Spillett-Sumners own experience growing up as an Afro-Indigenous girl. Lyrical text and warm, lively illustrations show Izzys journey as she learns to celebrate the differences that make her uniquely beautiful, and the connection to her mother that transcends physical traits. 
  • I Sang You Down from the Stars: Written in simple and lyrical text, author Tasha Spillett-Sumner draws from her cultural heritage in order to celebrate Indigenous traditions and the universal nature of a mothers love. 
  • Baby Loves…. Series?: These beautiful board books for your little ones, illustrated by Irene Chan, explore the basics of science and feature numerous characters of colour. 

5. Highlight Community and Kindness: Read books that instill values of empathy and belonging in children, fostering a sense of social responsibility and helping your children grow into compassionate humans.

Some of our favourites are: 

Each of these books highlights that kindness helps build friendship and community, and that ultimately change starts with us! 

Baby Loves Science Books

Bundle & Save!

Penguin Random House

Baby Loves Science Books

$10.99

One Love Musical Book

Bundle & Save!

Raincoast Books

One Love Musical Book

$13.99

Kindness Makes Us Strong

Bundle & Save!

Penguin Random House

Kindness Makes Us Strong Book

$16.99

A New Alphabet for Humanity

Bundle & Save!

Little Big Friends

A New Alphabet for Humanity

$24.99

 

6. Celebrate Different Family Structures: Include books that portray various family compositions. Whether it's single-parent families, LGBTQ+ families, extended families, or non-traditional setups, exposing children to diverse family structures helps them appreciate the richness of human connections. 

Some cool family books we carry:  

  • Love Makes a Family: This fun, inclusive board book celebrates the one thing that makes every family a family...and thats LOVE. 
  • Why Mommy Works: From the award-winning Other Life Lessons book series, this book explores the realities of working mothers.  
  • My Cool Family Book Series: These board books for babies and toddlers feature characters of colour and explore families with tattoos and beards!   
  • Family Reunion: This beautifully illustrated book is a modern kids-eye view depiction of a Black American extended family celebrating the importance of kinship and intergenerational ties.  
Love Makes a Family Book

Bundle & Save!

Penguin Random House

Love Makes a Family Book

$16.99

My Cool Family Book Seies

Bundle & Save!

Penguin Random House

My Cool Family Book Seies

$11.99

Family Reunion Paperback Book

Bundle & Save!

barefoot books

Family Reunion Paperback Book

$10.99

7. Celebrate Cultural Holidays: Integrate books that celebrate cultural holidays and traditions into your collection. This book provides deeper understanding and makes learning about different cultures a joyous experience. 


8. Engage in Conversations: Use story time as an opportunity to engage in conversations with your children. Discuss the themes, characters, and cultural elements presented in the books. Encourage questions and reflections.  


9. Involve Children in Book Selection: Encourage your children to be a part of the book selection process. Allow them to choose stories that capture their interest and curiosity, fostering a sense of ownership and enthusiasm for diverse reading. 


10. Stay Curious and Open-Minded: Keep an open mind and stay curious. Embrace the opportunity to learn alongside your children as you explore the vast and wonderful world of diverse literature together.

Reading diverse books with your children is not only about the stories themselves but about the profound impact they can have on shaping young minds. These books open the door to conversations about identity, empathy, and acceptance. They allow children to see the world from multiple perspectives and challenge the norms they encounter. As parents, we have the responsibility to provide our children with diverse stories that reflect the world they live in and nurture their growth into compassionate, inclusive individuals.  

Let's embark on this journey together, enriching our children's reading experiences and fostering a future generation that cherishes and celebrates the beauty of diversity!

More Book Options

Want to add more great books to your kiddo's collection? Snuggle Bugz carries a wide variety of options to suit all preferences. From Soft Books for all-ages and Board Books that will stand the test of time, to Story Books that will inspire imagination and Educational Books that will ignite a lifelong passion for learning, we have something for every budding bookworm!


Melissa Sulley

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Coach

Melissa Sulley is an accredited Pregnancy + Infant Loss Grief Coach with a Bachelor of Psychology and Education from Western University. She is the mother of three children earth-side and seven children waiting for her in the stars. 

Her personal experiences with pregnancy, parenting, and loss have fuelled her passion to empower families through parenthood and grief. She has chronicled her journey on her blog and built an online coaching business to support others through loss. 

Aside from her work, you can often find Melissa sipping margaritas with her single mom friends, café hopping, laughing at ridiculous memes, or curled up with a good book on the couch.  

More about Melissa Sulley