Hello Colorful Pages Community! It has been a little while since I have posted consistently. Some of you know that this was because I was actually pregnant with my husband’s and my first child. It was an intense pregnancy and birth journey, but we were lucky to have a lot of support from our ohana and communities. And, at the end of June, our son was born! To respect our privacy, you will see me reference him as his nickname (that we’ve had for him since we found out we were pregnant): Bean. 

To celebrate and mark his birth, I thought it would be fun for me to do a list of Diverse Board Books! Below is a list of 10 Diverse Board Books that I have in Bean’s bookshelves and some I have even read to him already. Each one is written by authors of color and perfect for your babies and toddlers as they continue to grow. 

Happy Belated Birth Day, Bean! Māmā and Daddy love you so much already ❤️

Hi‘iaka Battles the Wind (Hawaiian Legends for Little Ones), by Gabrielle Ahuliߴi

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration

Hina shares the origin story of Hi‘iaka, one of Pele’s sisters. It has about 2 sentences per page to share the tale. The illustrations on each page are flowy and captivating! 

If you have been following Colorful Pages for awhile, you know I love Gabrielle Ahuli’i’s Hawaiian Legends for Little Ones so much! I have spent years using them in my own Kindergarten classroom and now I love reading them to my own little one (and I also display them in his nursery). 

Brown Sugar Baby, by Kevin Lewis

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration

In this board book, Kevin Lewis writes from the perspective of the parent as they share a comforting poem to their Brown Sugar Baby. Brown Sugar Baby showcases the relationship between loving parents and their adventurous baby. 

My mom bought this for our little one during his first week because she fell in love with the message and thought of our ohana. We have read this board book quite a few times because Bean loves the illustration of the baby!

Who Will You Be?, by Andrea Pippins

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Representation

Who Will You Be? is a board book that asks, “My child, my little one, who will you be when you are grown?” Andrea Pippins explores how family and community members add into who our children will become. 

I have not read this one to Bean yet, but I stumbled upon it when I went into my first baby shop while I was pregnant with him. It was so cool to find this Andrea Pippins board book because I love her illustrations in books for older kids (like Young, Gifted, & Black by Jamia Wilson). 

Baby Young, Gifted, and Black: With a Mirror!, by Jamia Wilson

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Between Exploration & Conversation

Jamia Wilson turned her book for older kids, Young, Gifted, & Black, into a board book that is perfect for babies and toddlers! In Baby Young, Gifted, and Black, each page has a self-affirmation for Baby that compares them to a Black Hero from history. It includes heroes such as Katherine Johnson, Nina Simone, the Obamas, and Nelson Mandela. At the end, there’s a mirror for Baby to look into and see themselves as literally part of the board book. 

Bean, his father, and I absolutely love this book. I cannot wait to see Bean’s confidence build throughout the years of reading this book via the self-affirmations and knowledge of his history and heritage. Bean also was fascinated by the mirror and spent a good two minutes looking at himself in the book!

My Heart Fills With Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Mostly Exploration

My Heart Fills With Happiness is a board book all about what fills our hearts with happiness. It features Indigenous children and families along with some cultural elements as well. The illustrations make readers’ hearts brighten through the color contrasting and the characters’ joy depicted. 

As you know, I am a huge Monique Gray Smith fan! This is another board book that I have used in my own classroom during SEL lessons. I have not read it to Bean yet, but it is on my bookshelf to include in our daily reading sessions soon. 

Dim Sum for Everyone!, by Grace Lin

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration

This is a fun board book about a Chinese-American family. The family sits down and enjoys a meal of dim sum. Grace Lin uses simplistic text and vibrant colors to make this enjoyable for any child.

Grace Lin has a couple board books that are perfect exploration books for babies and toddlers. I have included her books in my own classroom and Colorful Pages presentations throughout the years. 

Whose Toes Are Those?, by Jabari Asim

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration

Jabari Asim created a fun rhyme about a cute little baby’s toes! It was inspired by the classic game of This Little Piggy and is interactive. 

Our Doula actually recommended this board book to us and it is very playful. Mahalo Doula Vanessa! 

Lucha Libre: Anatomy – Anatomia, by Patty Rodriguez & Ariana Stein 

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration 

Lucha Libre: Anatomy – Anatomia is the perfect board book for introducing the names of body parts to our little ones. Each couple pages has a Lucha Libre showing a body part with the name in English and Spanish. 

This board book is super fun! Consider reading it to your little one and pointing to their body parts and the illustrations to help them make the connection. 

Animals Sing Aloha, by Vera Arita

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration 

Vera Artia wrote this ABC Board Book that sings about different animals and people. Each letter has a verse with alliteration featuring an animal, place, or person from Hawai’i. The illustrations are similar to those of Eric Carle through their shading and color choices. 

Bean and I read this book in his first week. He could NOT stop staring at all the illustrations! It is a longer book so I was surprised how engaged he was for a newborn. 

Global Babies, by The Global Fund for Children

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration 

Global Babies is a board book that features real pictures of babies from around the world. The text shares a cute sentiment of how babies everywhere are loved, special, and diverse. 

Bean’s Aunty Danielle got this book for him because she knows how much babies love real pictures! It also aligns well with Montessori practices, which we are trying out as a family with Bean (along with racial and social justice lens of course). 

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org where your purchases support local bookstores. I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for purchasing on our Bookshop! Any added funds are used to support Colorful Pages’s operations and keep our website resources free. 

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