Why Diversity is so Important in Children’s Books

By Sailaja Joshi

In the midst of so much chaos and hurt in the world, it is important more than ever to instill love and inspire acceptance into the hearts of everyone we can. And a perfect place to start is with our children.

As parents, we have an amazing ability to mold and shape these young minds and create lifelong morals and values that will help them better themselves and the world.

Having such frank and important discussions with your kids can seem awkward and ineffective. So it is important for parents to find ways to instill these values without seeming like they are preaching to their children and forcing them to take on such big concepts head on.

But how do we as parents instill the message of diversity and acceptance in our children?

Well, a great way to start is with books. Whether it’s during playtime, before bed, or anywhere in between, a good book can be a great way to start the conversation and create a new way of thinking without your children even realizing it.

What Exactly Does Diversity in Books Mean? Books About Different Cultures and People

This is by far the most obvious way to include diversity in a children ’s book by making the subject of the book revolve around the concept of diversity. Whether it is teaching children about diversity through a story of acceptance, or focusing on a child’s version of real-life events revolving around diversity issues.

Books That Include Diversity in The Background

The theme of diversity included in the book doesn’t always need to be the center of attention.

When you are dealing with illustrated children’s books you can easily include diversity by including a wide variety of characters. Not all books necessarily flesh out the characters, but simply including visual representation can be enough to show children that there are many different kinds of people in our beautiful world.

Books Written by Culturally Diverse Authors

Authors of diverse backgrounds such as different cultures, ethnicities and appearances and disabilities can offer a different perspective on life and help widen your child’s views on the world.

The author can be writing about anything from cultural traditions and legends to personal experiences and will provide a different point of view than what your child may be accustomed to.

Why Is Diversity So Important in Children’s Books?

Young Children Easily Absorb Things

Young children are like sponges, absorbing everything they see and hear. So, it only makes sense to start incorporating diversity and acceptance when they are most likely to take it in.

Think of how quickly they learn words and how much they mimic what they see around them. If you include diversity from the start, it will instill those ideas and form a sense of acceptance and understanding in your children.

It Is Much Easier to Teach Early On

If you want to start instilling values and teaching acceptance in your children, it is best to do it from the start. If you wait too long to start introducing them to the concept and importance of diversity, it is more likely that you will get hesitation and even refusal from your children to want to learn completely new concepts that challenge what they already know.

Books Are A Great Way to Bond

Bedtime stories are a fantastic way for you to bond with your children and spend quality time together.

If your child comes to expect and enjoy reading together, then it is easy to incorporate plenty of books with a large variety of topics and messages. If you want to get your child reading and instill important values then the best way to do that is to do it together.

It Makes Diverse Children Feel More Accepted

Children of color, with disabilities or with any other kind of diversity,  can sometimes seem different and it is important to represent them in books. It is also crucial to make it easier to accept themselves and understand that there is nothing wrong with them. If your child only ever sees white children in books, it can make the children of other races seem out of place.


As parents, we have a responsibility to our children to teach them about diversity and acceptance in the world. So to get the conversation going at a young age and instill these values, you should incorporate books about and including diversity to your child’s collection and use it as a great way to not only teach your kids but spend time with them and bond over reading.