3 Books That Celebrate Diversity

Join Mia, Zulay, and CJ in three wonderful picture books featuring diverse characters!

Picture books help expose young children to the world around them. Share these books to introduce children to characters with different abilities, cultures, and points of view.

"Mango, Abuela, and Me" by Meg Medina

Mia’s grandmother, Abuela, has left behind her sunny, tropical home to live with Mia and her family. Though Mia enjoys her grandmother’s company, she worries that she knows too little Spanish, and Abuela, too little English. With encouragement from her mother, and an unlikely helper, a parrot named Mango, Mia devises a wonderful plan to break down the communication barrier and help Abuela feel at home.

"The Last Stop on Market Street" by Matt de la Pena

Every Sunday after church, CJ and Nana take the bus to Market Street. This particular Sunday, CJ is full of questions. He asks why don’t they have a car, why do they have to wait for the bus in the rain, and why do they have to go to Market street. His grandmother lovingly and patiently encourages him to appreciate the wonderful people around them and to be grateful for what they have. When they finally arrive at their destination, CJ is happy that he and his grandmother have come to a very special place.

"My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay" by Cari Best

Zulay and her three best friends, Maya, Nancy, and Chyng, are thrilled to participate in Field Day. Zulay, who is especially excited, shocks everyone when she announces that she is going to run a race in her brand new pink shoes. Zulay has never run a race before and is blind. With help from her tutor, Ms.Turner, Zulay works really hard to prepare for the big race. Learning to run with her cane is tough, but Zulay never gives up. On Field Day, she runs to the finish line with Ms. Turner by her side and her friends cheering her on.

Alesha Lackey is a Children's Librarian with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.