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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

The Diversity List: Picture, Easy, and Early Chapter Books of 2016

northandosjourneyNot too long ago I created the 31 Days, 31 Lists series where I counted down a list of top 2016 books every day.  When I initially came up with the idea I briefly wondered if I should make lists celebrating specific kinds of diversity.  Top African-American Picture Books of 2016 or Best Diverse Titles.  Instead, I made certain that each list was wholly diverse in and of itself.  After all, I knew that I had today’s list waiting in the wings.

Since January of 2016 I’ve kept track of all picture books, easy books, and early chapter books published in ’16 that contain diversity on their pages.  They are placed here in order of publication date.  Please note that you will not find board books, nonfiction, or young adult books on this list.  I also apologize beforehand that sometimes the notes here do not mention the specific ethnicities of the characters.  Often this is because the book itself has not specified anything.  For these titles, you will need to look at the books individually.

If you see something missing here please note it in the comments. Also, if you think I’ve included wrong information about a book, let me know so that I can make the change.

Title                                      Author                                        Pub Date     Age         Subjects                                                Type

Museum Mysteries: The Case of the Stolen Space Suit Steve Brezenoff, ill. Lisa K. Weber 1/1/2016 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, Muslim, mysteries Chapter Book
Cici, A Fairy’s Tale: Believe Your Eyes Cori Doerrfeld, ill. Tyler Page 1/1/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, fairies, Latino Chapter Book
Freedom in Congo Square Carole Boston Weatherford 1/5/2016 Ages 4-7 African-American, history, slavery, dance Picture Book
First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation On Trial Susan E. Goodman 1/5/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, African-American, segregation, American history Picture Book
Worm Loves Worm J.J. Austrian 1/5/2016 Ages 3-6 marriage, gender roles, worms Picture Book
Kenya’s Art Linda Trice, ill. Hazel Mitchell 1/5/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, recycling, art Picture Book
Lola Levine Drama Queen Monica Brown, ill. Angela Dominguez 1/5/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, Latino, Jewish, theater Chapter Book
I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) Rachel Isadora 1/12/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, senses, friendship Picture Book
Northando’s Journey Jill Apperson Manly, ill. Alyssa Casey 1/19/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Africa, animals Picture Book
Spirit Week Showdown Crystal Allen 1/26/2016 Ages 6-9 Diverse Main Character, friendship, bullying Chapter Book
Spare Dog Parts Alison Hughes, ill. Ashley Spires 1/26/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, pets, dogs Picture Book
Henry Wants More! Linda Ashman, ill. Brooke Boynton Hughes 1/26/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, bi-racial, bedtime Picture Book
Don’t Call Me Grandma Vaunda Micheaux Nelson 2/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, grandparents, family Picture Book
I See and See Ted Lewin 2/1/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, everyday life, drawing Picture Book
Looking for Bongo Eric Velasquez 2/1/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, toys, mystery, African American, Latino-American Picture Book
How to Catch a Leprechaun Adam Wallace, ill. Andy Elkerton 2/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, engineering, STEM, holidays Picture Book
Little Bitty Friends Elizabeth McPike 2/2/2016 Ages 2-4 Multi-ethnic Cast, concepts, size, baby animals Picture Book
Who Is Happy? Jarvis 2/4/16 Ages 3-6 Multi-Ethnic Cast, feelings, emotions Picture Book
A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting Michelle Robinson 2/9/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, how-to guide, nature, bears Picture Book
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville Pat Zietlow Miller, ill. Frank Morrison 2/9/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, American history, friendship, sports Picture Book
Into the Snow Yuki Kanecko, ill. Masamitsu Saito 2/9/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, weather, snow Picture Book
Bringing the Outside In Mary McKenna Siddals, ill. Patrice Barton 2/9/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, spring, playtime, friendship, cleaning Picture Book
If I Had a Gryphon Vikki Vansickle, ill. Cale Atkinson 2/9/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, pets, monsters Picture Book
Lily’s New Home Paula Yoo, ill. Shirley Ng-Benitez 2/15/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, moving, friendship, cities Easy Reader
Want to Play? Paula Yoo, ill. Shirley Ng-Benitez 2/15/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, friendship, games Easy Reader
Get a Hit, Mo! David A. Adler 2/16/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, baseball, sports Easy Reader
Always Remember Cece Meng 2/16/2016 Ages 3-6 Death, sea creatures, oceans Picture Book
The Importance of Being 3 Lindsay Ward 2/16/2016 Ages 2-4 Multi-ethnic Cast, preschoolers, ages Picture Book
Ida Always Caron Levis 2/23/2016 Ages 4-7 Death, polar bears, friendship, zoos Picture Book
Emma and Julia Love Ballet Barbara McClintock 2/23/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, ballet, dance, dreams Picture Book
EllRay Jakes Stands Tall! Sally Warner 2/23/2016 Ages 6-9 Diverse Main Character, sports, basketball Chapter Book
The Dead Bird Margaret Wise Brown 3/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, death, emotions Picture Book
The Fintastic Fishsitter Mo O’Hara 3/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, zombies, vampires, pets Picture Book
Samira and the Skeletons Camilla Kuhn 3/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, science, body parts Picture Book
The Sound of All Things Myron Uhlberg, ill. Ted Papoulas 3/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Disability, Deaf, New York Picture Book
Have You Seen Elephant? David Barrow 3/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, games, friendship Picture Book
Are We There Yet? Nina Laden, ill. Adam McCauley 3/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, family vacations, imagination Picture Book
Treat Mary Sullivan 3/1/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, dogs, pets, family Picture Book
Wild Eggs: A Tale of Arctic Egg Collecting Suzie Napayok-Short, ill. Jonathan Wright 3/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Inuit, grandparents, family Picture Book
Good Morning Yoga Mariam Gates, ill. Sarah Jane Hinder 3/1/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, exercise, yoga Picture Book
Dario and the Whale Cheryl Lawton Malone, ill. Bistra Masseva 3/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Latino, whales, friendship, single mothers Picture Book
Salad Pie Wendy BooydeGraaff, ill. Bryan Langdo 3/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, friendship, sharing Picture Book
Normal Norman Tara Lazar, ill. Stephan Britt 3/1/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, Science, animals, individuality Picture Book
Friends Aiko Ikegami 3/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, friendship, differences Picture Book
Shabbat Hiccups Tracy Newman, ill. Ilana Exelby 3/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Jewish, hiccups, holidays Picture Book
Andy & Sandy’s Anything Adventure Jim Lewis 3/8/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, friendship, imagination Easy Reader
When Andy Met Sandy Jim Lewis 3/8/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, friendship, playgrounds Easy Reader
Babies Don’t Walk, They Ride! Kathy Henderson 3/8/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, babies, families Picture Book
How to Find Gold Viviane Schwarz 3/8/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, imagination, treasure hunt, friendship Picture Book
Puddle Hyewon Yum 3/8/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, imagination, rain Picture Book
Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph Roxane Orgill 3/8/2016 Ages 6-9 Multi-ethnic Cast, History, Jazz, New York City Picture Book
Bye-Bye Binky Maria Van Lieshout 3/8/2016 Ages 2-4 Diverse Main Character, behavior, pacifiers Picture Book
The Typewriter Bill Thomson 3/8/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, words, imagination Picture Book
Every Breath We Take: A Book About Air Maya Ajmera & Dominique Browning 3/8/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, air, environment Easy Reader
The Kicks: Settle the Score Alex Morgan 3/8/2016 Ages 7-9 Multi-ethnic Cast, sports, soccer, friendship Chapter Book
Green City Allan Drummond 3/15/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, environment, disasters Picture Book
More Than Enough: A Passover Story April Halprin Wayland 3/15/2016 Ages 4-7 Jewish, holidays, Passover Picture Book
You Are One Sara O’Leary, ill. Karen Klassen 3/15/2016 Ages 1-3 Multi-ethnic Cast, toddlers, growing up Picture Book
Missing Nimama Melanie Florence, ill. Francois Thisdale 3/15/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Native Americans, absent parents Picture Book
California and the Magic Island Doug Hansen 3/15/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, California, history, animals Picture Book
I Want a Monster! Elise Gravel 3/15/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, monsters, pets, funny, readaloud Picture Book
Malaika’s Costume Nadia L. Hohn, ill. Irene Luxbacher 3/15/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Carribean, holidays, costumes Picture Book
Isaac and His Amazing Asperger Superpowers Melanie Walsh 3/22/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, Aspergers, superheroes Picture Book
Captain Jack and the Pirates Peter Bently 3/29/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, pirates, imagination Picture Book
The Storm Akiko Miyakoshi 4/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, weather, disappointment Picture Book
Kopecks for Blintzes Judy Goldman, ill. Susan Batori 4/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Jewish, fables Picture Book
Luis Paints the World Terry Farish, ill. Oliver Dominguez 4/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, military families, art Picture Book
Fishing With Grandma Susan Avingaq & Maren Vsetula, ill. Charlene Chua 4/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Inuit, fishing, grandparents Picture Book
Not Opposites Linda Ragsdale, ill. Imodraj 4/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, bullying, friendship Picture Book
Elliot Julie Pearson, ill. Mason Gauthier 4/4/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, foster care, developmental issues Picture Book
The Data Set: March of the Mini Beasts Ada Hopper, ill. Sam Ricks 4/5/2016 Ages 6-9 Multi-ethnic Cast, science, adventure Chapter Book
D is for Dress Up Maria Carluccio 4/5/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, imagination, alphabet, dress-up Picture Book
The Data Set: Don’t Disturb the Dinosaurs Ada Hopper, ill. Sam Ricks 4/5/2016 Ages 7-9 Multi-ethnic Cast, science, dinosaurs Chapter Book
Are We There Yet? Dan Santat 4/12/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, multi-racial family, family vacations Picture Book
Maggie and Michael Denise Fleming 4/12/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, getting dressed, family, pets Picture Book
Playing From the Heart Peter H. Reynolds 4/12/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, music, family Picture Book
Brave Like Me Barbara Kerley 4/12/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, military families, absent parents Picture Book
Tell Me a Tattoo Story Alison McGhee, ill. Eliza Wheeler 4/12/2016 Ages 3-6 Tattoos, family, bedtime Picture Book
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood F. Isabel Campoy & Theresa Howell, ill. Rafael Lopez 4/12/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, art, urban renewal Picture Book
Joseph’s Big Ride Terry Farish, ill. Ken Daley 4/15/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, African, refugees, bicycles Picture Book
Maya Mahak Jain, ill. Elly MacKay 4/15/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, India, single parent, fears Picture Book
Teachers Rock! Todd Parr 4/19/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, teachers, school Picture Book
The Lending Zoo Frank Asch 4/19/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, libraries, zoos Picture Book
Girl With the Parrot On Her Head Daisy Hirst 4/26/2016 Ages 2-5 Diverse Main Character, friendship, change Picture Book
Twenty Yawns Jane Smiley 4/26/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, bi-racial family, bedtime Picture Book
Little Shaq Takes a Chance Shaquille O’Neal, ill. Theodore Taylor III 4/26/2016 Ages 6-9 Diverse Main Character, sports, self-esteem Chapter Book
The Fantastic Frame:Danger! Tiger Crossing Lin Oliver, ill. Samantha Kallis 4/26/2016 Ages 7-9 Multi-ethnic Cast, friendship, art, history Chapter Book
The Fantastic Frame: Splat! Another Messy Sunday Lin Oliver, ill. Samantha Kallis 4/26/2016 Ages 7-9 Multi-ethnic Cast, friendship, art, history Chapter Book
I Have Cerebral Palsy Mary Beth Springer 4/30/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, disability, differences Picture Book
A Morning With Grandpa Sylvia Liu, ill. Christina Forshay 5/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Asian-American, yoga, exercise Picture Book
Real Sisters Pretend Megan Dowd Lambert, ill. Nicole Tadgell 5/1/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, adoption, family, African-American Picture Book
Dragonfly Kites Tomson Highway, ill. Julie Flett 5/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Native American, nature Picture Book
The Boy Who Said Nonsense Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, ill. Nichola Anderson 5/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, counting, autism spectrum Picture Book
Before We Met Laura Krauss Melmed 5/3/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, new baby, parenting Picture Book
If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T! Elise Parsley 5/3/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, Diverse Main Character, beach Picture Book
Suite for Human Nature Diane Charlotte Lampert 5/3/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, music, myth Picture Book
The Chameleon That Saved Noah’s Ark Yael Molchadsky, ill. Orit Bergman 5/3/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, Jewish, Bible stories, nature Picture Book
I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin’ Work Doyin Richards 5/3/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, fathers, family Picture Book
One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree Daniel Bernstrom, ill. by Brendan Wenzel 5/3/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, rhyming stories, folktales, funny Picture Book
Hiccups! Holly Sterling 5/5/2016 Ages 2-4 Diverse Main Character, readalouds, dogs, pets, hiccups Picture Book
Thunder Boy Jr. Sherman Alexie 5/10/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, Native Americans, names Picture Book
Blocks Irene Dickson 5/10/2016 Ages 2-4 Multi-ethnic Cast, friendship, cooperation Picture Book
More-igami Dori Kleber, ill. G. Brian Karas 5/10/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, origami, patience Picture Book
The Airplane Book Lisa Brown 5/10/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, Airplanes, Family Picture Book
Beard Boy John Flannery 5/10/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, fathers, family Picture Book
The Girl Who Saved Yesterday Julius Lester, ill. Carl Angel 5/10/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, family, memory, ancestors Picture Book
Blocks Irene Dickson 5/10/2016 Ages 2-4 Multi-ethnic Cast, toys, cooperation, friendship Picture Book
Leo Can Swim Anna McQuinn, ill. Ruth Hearson 5/10/2016 Ages 2-4 Diverse Main Character, African-American, swimming Picture Book
We Came to America Faith Ringgold 5/10/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, immigration, America Picture Book
Marisol McDonald and the Monster / Marisol McDonald Y El Monstruo Monica Brown, ill. Sara Palacios 5/15/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Latino, monsters, fear, interracial marriage Picture Book
Rosa’s Very Big Job Ellen Mayer, ill. Sarah Vonthron-Laver 5/15/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, imagination, grandparents Picture Book
Over the Ocean Taro Gomi 5/17/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, imagination, world Picture Book
Excellent Ed Stacy McAnulty, ill. Julia Sarcone-Roach 5/17/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, dogs, pets, family Picture Book
The Two Tims Dave Elliott, ill. Gabriel Alborozo 5/24/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, friendship, jealousy, feelings Picture Book
The Gold Medal Mess David A. Kelly, ill. Scott Brundage 5/24/2016 Ages 7-9 Multi-ethnic Cast, mystery, sports Chapter Book
The Seven Princesses Smiljana Coh 5/24/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, bi-racial, princesses, siblings Picture Book
The Soccer Surprise David A. Kelly, ill. Scott Brundage 5/24/2016 Ages 7-9 Multi-ethnic Cast, sports, mysteries Chapter Book
Princess! Fairy! Ballerina! Bethanie Deeney Murguia 5/31/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, imagination, dress-up, girl power, friendship Picture Book
A Charmed Life / Una Vida Con Suerte Gladys E. Barbieri, ill. Lisa Fields 5/31/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Latino, immigration, Picture Book
I’m a Girl Yasmeen Ismail 5/31/2016 Ages 3-6 girl power, gender norms, girls Picture Book
Those That Cause Fear Neil Christopher, ill. Germaine Arnaktauyok 6/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Inuit, myths, folktales Picture Book
Police Officer Lucy M. George, ill. AndoTwin 6/7/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, community helpers, police Picture Book
Steamboat School Deborah Hopkinson, ill. Ron Husband 6/7/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, American history, reading Picture Book
A Piece of Home Jeri Watts, ill. Hyewon Yum 6/14/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Asian-American, grandparents, immigrants Picture Book
Mama the Alien / Mama la Extraterrestre Rene Colato Lainez, ill. Laura Lacamara 6/15/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, mothers, aliens, immigration, Latin America Picture Book
City Shapes Bryan Collier 6/21/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, shapes, New York City Picture Book
Maybe Mother Goose Esme Raji Codell, ill. Elisa Chavarri 6/21/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, nursery rhymes, funny, readalouds Picture Book
The Storyteller Evan Turk 6/28/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, storytelling, fables, Morocco, Africa Picture Book
Dan Can! Marie Powell, ill. Amy Cartwright 7/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, word families, phonetics Easy Reader
Stop, Pop! Marie Powell, ill. Amy Cartwright 7/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, word families, phonetics Easy Reader
When, Jen? Marie Powell, ill. Amy Cartwright 7/1/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-Ethnic Cast, word families, phonetics Easy Reader
The Class Boni Ashburn, ill. Kimberly Gee 7/5/2016 Ages 4-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, first day of school, Kindergarten Picture Book
The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read Curtis Manley, ill. Kate Berube 7/5/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, reading, cats, pets Picture Book
Ming Goes to School Deirdre Sullivan, illus. by Maja Löfdahl 7/5/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, first day of school, friendship Picture Book
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth Cathy Camper, ill. Raul the Third 7/5/2016 Ages 7-9 Latino, graphic novels, adventure Chapter Book
Mission: Back to School Susan Hood, ill. Mary Lundquist 7/5/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-Ethnic Cast, first day of school, Kindergarten, spies Picture Book
Lola Levine and the Ballet Scheme Monica Brown, ill. Angela Dominguez 7/5/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, Latino, Jewish, ballet, soccer, sports Chapter Book
Sing With Me! Naoko Stoop 7/12/2016 Ages 0-2 Multi-ethnic Cast, nursery rhymes, songs Picture Book
Mitzi Tulane, Preschool Detective in What’s That Smell? Lauren McLaughlin, ill. Debbie Ridpath Ohi 7/12/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, African-American, mystery, birthday Picture Book
Look Up! Jung Jin-Ho 7/15/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, disability, friendship Picture Book
La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for Los Ninos Susan Middleton Elya, ill. Juana Martinez-Neal 7/19/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, nursery rhymes, Spanish Picture Book
Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion Alex T. Smith 7/26/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, fairy tales, Africa, strong girls Picture Book
Apple Picking Day! Candice Ransom, ill. Erika Meza 7/26/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, apples, fall Easy Reader
Princess Easy Pleasy Natasha Sharma, ill. Priya Kuriyan 7/26/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, princess, picky eaters, travel Picture Book
The Sound of Silence Katrina Goldsaito 8/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Japan, cities, sound Picture Book
You Belong to Me Mamoru Suzuki 8/1/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, parents, family Picture Book
That’s Not a Hippopotamus! Juliette Maclver, ill. Sarah Davis 8/1/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, zoo, mystery, animals Picture Book
Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library Julie Gassman, ill. Andy Elkerton 8/1/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, libraries, dragons Picture Book
When I Am With Dad Kimball Crossley, ill. Katie Gamb 8/1/16 Ages 3-6 Divorce, single parents, fathers Picture Book
Underneath My Bed: List Poems Brian P. Cleary, ill. Richard Watson 8/1/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, poetry, funny Picture Book
Dear Molly, Dear Olive: Molly Meets Trouble (Whose Real Name Is Jenna) Megan Atwood, ill. Lucy Fleming 8/1/16 Ages 7-9 Multi-ethnic Cast, friendship, epistolary Chapter Book
Dear Molly, Dear Olive: Olive Spins a Tale (and It’s a Doozy) Megan Atwood, ill. Lucy Fleming 8/1/16 Ages 7-9 Multi-ethnic Cast, friendship, epistolary Chapter Book
Ellie Ultra: An Extra-Ordinary Girl Gina Bellisario, ill. Jessika von Innerebner 8/1/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, superheroes, self-esteem Chapter Book
Ellie Ultra: Queen of the Spelling Bee Gina Bellisario, ill. Jessika von Innerebner 8/1/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, superheroes, school Chapter Book
Me and My Cat Michael Dahl, ill. Zoe Persico 8/1/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, pets, cats Picture Book
The Flower Girl Wore Celery Meryl G. Gordon, ill. Holly Clifton-Brown 8/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Jewish, same-sex marriage, weddings Picture Book
Mary Had a Little Glam Tammi Sauer, ill. Vanessa Brantley-Newton 8/2/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, fashion, nursery rhymes Picture Book
Kiviuq and the Mermaids Noel McDermott, ill. Toma Feizo Gas 8/8/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, Inuit, mermaids, scary Picture Book
Chirri & Chirra Kaya Doi 8/9/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, Japan, imagination Picture Book
10 Busy Brooms Carole Gerber, ill. Michael Fleming 8/9/16 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, witches, Halloween Picture Book
A Case of Sense Songju Daemicke, ill. Shennen Bersani 8/10/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, senses, greed Picture Book
Goodby Summer, Hello Autumn Kenard Pak 8/16/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, seasons, autumn Picture Book
The Sleeping Gypsy Mordicai Gerstein 8/22/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, painting, lions Picture Book
Marta Big & Small Jen Arena, ill. Angela Dominguez 8/23/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, Spanish, bilingual, opposites Picture Book
Can One Balloons Make an Elephant Fly? Dan Richards, ill. Jeff Newman 8/23/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, zoo, imagination Picture Book
Box Min Flyte, ill. Rosalind Beardshaw 8/23/16 Ages 2-4 Multi-ethnic Cast, imagination, playtime Picture Book
Cleonardo, the Little Inventor Mary GrandPre 8/30/16 Ages 4-7 strong girls, gender norms, girls, inventions Picture Book
Pedro: First Grade Hero Fran Manushkin, ill. Tammie Lyon 9/1/2016 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, friendship, differences Chapter Book
Yosef’s Dream Sylvia Rouss & Ambassador Asher Naim, ill. Tamar Blumenfeld 9/1/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Jewish, Ethiopia Picture Book
Cici, A Fairy’s Tale: Truth in Sight Cori Doerrfeld, ill. Tyler Page 9/1/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, fairies, Latino Chapter Book
ADH-Me! John S. Hutton, ill. Lisa M. Griffin 9/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, disability, ADHD Picture Book
Is It Sukkot Yet? Chris Barash, ill. Alessandra Psacharopulo 9/1/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, Jewish, holidays, autumn Picture Book
All Aboard for the Bobo Road Stephen Davies, ill. Christopher Corr 9/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Africa, transportation Picture Book
Ollie Outside: Screen-Free Fun Michael Oberschneider, ill. Guy Wolek 9/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, screens, technology Picture Book
Rainbow Weaver / Tejedora del Arcoiris Linda Elovitz Marshall, ill. Elisa Chavarri 9/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Latino, Guatemala, weaving Picture Book
A Hanukkah with Mazel Joel Edward Stein, ill. Elisa Vavouri 9/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Jewish, holidays, Hanukkah Picture Book
My Little Book of Bedtime Prayers Anna Jones 9/1/16 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, bedtime, prayers, Christianity Picture Book
A Squiggly Story Andrew Larsen, ill. Mike Lowery 9/6/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, reading, storytelling Picture Book
Dear Dragon Josh Funk, ill. Rodolfo Montalvo 9/6/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, epistolary, dragons, friendship, differences Picture Book
Tinyville Town Gets to Work Brian Biggs 9/6/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, cities, community workers, engineering Picture Book
Beautiful Stacy McAnulty, ill. Joanne Lew-Vriethoff 9/6/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, girls, self-esteem Picture Book
Ada Twist, Scientist Andrea Beaty, ill. David Roberts 9/6/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, science, curiosity Picture Book
15 Things NOT To Do With a Grandma Margaret McAllister, ill. Holly Sterling 9/6/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-Ethnic Cast, biracial, grandparents Picture Book
Libby and Pearl: The Best of Friends Lindsey Bonnice 9/6/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, pigs, friendship, adoption Picture Book
I Am a Story Dan Yaccarino 9/6/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-Ethnic Cast, stories, history, books Picture Book
Even Superheroes Have Bad Days Shelly Becker, ill. Eda Kaban 9/6/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-Ethnic Cast, superheroes, emotions Picture Book
Six Dots Jen Bryant, ill. Boris Kulikov 9/6/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, disability, blindness Picture Book
I Am Not a Number Jenny Kay Dupuis & Kathy Kacer, ill. Gillian Newland 9/6/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, Native Americans, history Picture Book
Hurry Up, Henry Jennifer Lanthier, ill. Isabelle Malenfant 9/6/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, time, birthdays Picture Book
Yitzi and the Giant Menorah Richard Ungar 9/6/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Jewish, holidays, kindness Picture Book
Come Over to My House Dr. Seuss, ill. Katie Kath 9/6/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, houses, international Easy Reader
Where Do They Go? Julia Alvarez, ill. Sabra Field 9/6/16 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, death, poetry Picture Book
Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf Greg Wolfe, ill. Howard McWilliam 9/6/16 Ages 4-7 Jewish, holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah Picture Book
Hat On, Hat Off Theo Heras, ill. Renne Benoit 9/9/16 Ages 2-4 Diverse Main Character, babies, clothing Picture Book
The Water Princess Susan Verde, ill. Peter H. Reynolds 9/13/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Africa, water, memoir Picture Book
Pond Jim LaMarche 9/13/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, nature, history, friendship Picture Book
A Family Is a Family Is a Family Sara O’Leary, ill. Qin Leng 9/13/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, families, differences Picture Book
Home at Last Vera B. Williams, ill. Chris Raschka 9/13/2016 Ages 4-7 Same-sex parents, adoption, family Picture Book
Book Uncle and Me Uma Krishnaswami, ill. Julianna Swaney 9/13/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, books, community activism Chapter Book
Farmer Falgu Goes on a Trip Chitra Soundar, ill. Kanika Nair 9/13/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, India, folktale Picture Book
Did You Ever See? Joanna Walsh 9/13/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, senses, concepts Picture Book
Hank’s Big Day: The Story of a Bug Evan Kuhlman, ill. Chuck Groenink 9/13/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, insects, friendship Picture Book
Cinderella (Once Upon a World) Chloe Perkins, ill. Sandra Equihua 9/13/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, Latino, fairy tales Picture Book
Snow White (Once Upon a World) Chloe Perkins, ill. Misa Saburi 9/13/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, Japan, fairy tales Picture Book
Love Is a Truck Amy Novesky, ill. Sara Gillingham 9/13/16 Ages 3-6 Multi-Ethnic Cast, trucks, transportation Picture Book
Pablo Finds a Treasure Andree Poulin, ill. Isabelle Malenfant 9/13/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, Latino, homelessness, poverty, bullying Picture Book
The Journey Francesca Sanna 9/13/16 Ages 4-7 Immigration, family, refugees Picture Book
Beautiful Stacy McAnulty, ill. Joanne Lew-Vriethoff 9/13/16 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, girls, self-esteem Picture Book
The Three Lucys Hayan Charara, ill. Sara Kahn 9/15/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, Muslim, war, cats, death Picture Book
You Are Two Sara O’Leary, ill. Karen Klassen 9/15/16 Ages 2-4 Multi-Ethnic Cast, new baby, birthdays Picture Book
Yellow Time Lauren Stringer 9/20/2016 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, fall, colors, seasons Picture Book
In Plain Sight Richard Jackson, ill. Jerry Pinkney 9/20/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, African-American, grandparents Picture Book
What Is a Child? Beatrice Alemagna 9/20/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-Ethnic Cast, self-esteem, individuality, childhood Picture Book
Everything Is Awkward Mike Bender & Doug Chernack 9/20/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-Ethnic Cast, funny, self-esteem, family Picture Book
This Is Me: A Story of Who We Are and Where We Came From Jamie Lee Curtis, ill. Laura Cornell 9/20/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-Ethnic Cast, identity, immigration Picture Book
Daydreaming Mart Tatulli 9/27/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, toys, imagination Picture Book
Lark Holds the Key Natasha Deen, ill. Marcus Cutler 9/29/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, twins, mystery, dyslexia Chapter Book
The Barefoot Book of Children Tessa Strickland & Kate DePalma, ill. David Dean 10/1/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-Ethnic Cast, international, differences Picture Book
Up Joe Cepeda 10/1/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, autumn, weather Easy Reader
Akilak’s Adventure Deborah Webster, ill. Chalene Chua 10/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Inuit, animals Picture Book
Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Rules New York Jacqueline Jules, ill. Miguel Benitez 10/1/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, New York City, Latino, superheroes Chapter Book
Calling the Water Drum LaTisha Redding, Aaron Boyd 10/1/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, immigration, family, refugees, Haiti Picture Book
Kamik Joins the Pack Darryl Baker, ill. Qin Leng 10/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, dogs, Canada Picture Book
A Bike Like Sergio’s Maribeth Boelts, ill. Noah Z. Jones 10/4/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, lower-income, honesty, truth Picture Book
Fairy Felicity’s Moonlight Adventure Alison Murray 10/4/2016 Ages 2-4 Diverse Main Character, fairies, birthday party Picture Book
The Worst Breakfast China Mieville, ill. Zak Smith 10/4/2016 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, funny, food Picture Book
The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes Duncan Tonatiuh 10/4/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Mexico, folktales Picture Book
Isabella: Girl in Charge Jennifer Fosberry, ill. Mike Litwin 10/4/16 Ages 4-7 strong girls, gender norms, history, politics, president, elections Picture Book
Maggie McGillicuddy’s Eye for Trouble Susan Hughes, ill. Brooke Kerrigan 10/4/16 Ages 3-6 Multi-Ethnic Cast, imagination, knitting Picture Book
The Last Kappa of Old Japan Sunny Seki 10/4/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Japan, mythology, environment Picture Book
Max Speed Stephen Shaskan 10/11/2016 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, funny, superheroes, imagination Picture Book
Sticker Girl Janet Tashjian, ill. Wilmink 10/11/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, Latino, shyness, stickers Chapter Book
We Are Like the Clouds / Somos Como Las Nubes Jorge Argueta, ill. Alfonso Ruano 10/11/16 Ages 7-9 Latino, poetry, refugees, immigration Picture Book
Lila and the Crow Gabrielle Grimard 10/11/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, bullying, self-esteem Picture Book
Melena’s Jubilee Zetta Elliott, ill. Aaron Boyd 10/11/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, African-American, family Picture Book
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love Michelle Edwards, ill. G. Brian Karas 10/11/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, Jewish, knitting, friendship, empathy Picture Book
Father’s Road Ji-yun Jang, ill. Tan Jun 10/15/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, China, history Picture Book
Pirates in the Library Nadia Ali, ill. Jake Tebbit 10/15/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-ethnic Cast, libraries, pirates Picture Book
Rudas: Nino’s Horrendous Hermanitas Yuyi Morales 10/18/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, siblings, sisters, Latino, Mexican wrestling Picture Book
Andy & Sandy and the First Snow Tomie dePaola & Jim Lewis 10/18/16 Ages 4-7 Multi-Ethnic Cast, snow, winter Easy Reader
Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey Margriet Ruurs, ill. Nizar Badr 10/18/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, refugees, family, immigration Picture Book
Little Shaq: Star of the Week Shaquille O’Neal, ill. Theodore Taylor III 10/18/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, basketball, pets Chapter Book
The Littlest Family’s Big Day Emily Winfield Martin 10/18/2016 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, biracial, bears, family, exploring Picture Book
The Shady Tree Demi 10/25/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, China, fables, greed Picture Book
Tomo Explores the World Trevor Lai 10/25/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, exploration, engineering, inventions Picture Book
Lost and Found: Adele & Simon in China Barbara McClintock 10/25/16 Ages 4-7 China, seek and find, international history Picture Book
Dinosaur Rap John Foster, ill. Debbie Harter 11/1/16 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, dinosaurs, readalouds, rhyming Picture Book
The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito Tomson Highway, ill. Sue Todd 11/1/16 Ages 4-6 disability, self-esteem, theater Picture Book
French Toast Kari-Lynn Winters, ill. Francois Thisdale 11/4/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, immigration, race, self-esteem Picture Book
How Do You Say? Como Se Dice? Angela Dominguez 11/8/16 Ages 3-6 Bilingual, Spanish, giraffes Picture Book
Adrift at Sea: A Vietnamese Boy’s Story of Survival Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch with Tuan Ho, ill. Brian Deines 11/11/16 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, immigration, family, refugees, Vietnam Picture Book
How to Find a Fox Nilah Magruder 11/15/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, foxes, outdoors Picture Book
Every Color Erin Eitter Kono 11/15/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, colors, travel Picture Book
Nina the Neighborhood Ninja Sonia Panigrahy, ill. Hazel Quintanilla 11/22/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, African-American, empathy Picture Book
Alkilak’s Adventure Deborah Kigjugalik Webster, ill. Charlene Chua 11/22/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Native people, bravery Picture Book
I Love You Americanly Lynn Parrish Sutton, ill. Melanie Hope Greenberg 12/1/16 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, United States of America, geography Picture Book
Popo’s Lucky Chinese New Year Virginia Loh-Hagen, ill. Renne Benoit 12/1/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Asian-American, holidays Picture Book
Trouble Next Door Karen English, ill. Laura Freeman 12/6/2016 Ages 7-9 Diverse Main Character, moving, bullies, honesty Chapter Book
What Do You Love About You? Karen Lechelt 12/6/16 Ages 3-6 Diverse Main Character, self-esteem, animals Picture Book
Lotus and Feather Ji-li Jiant, ill. Julie Downing 12/13/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, Chinese, endangered animals, environment Picture Book
Be Who You Are Todd Parr 12/20/16 Ages 3-6 Multi-ethnic Cast, self-esteem, bullying Picture Book
Lucky Lazlo Steve Light 12/27/16 Ages 4-7 Diverse Main Character, theater, love Picture Book

Looking for more titles? I kept a similar list last year. Go here for all the 2015 titles I could find as well.  And please help me fill in the gaps and let me know which books I’ve missed.  As long as they have a 2016 publication date, aren’t too old, and aren’t nonfiction they’re fair game.  Thanks!

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About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.

Comments

  1. I love you Multiculturally. Thanks for including my book, Betsy!

  2. Barbara Carney-Coston says:

    What a treasure trove! Thank you.

  3. Thank you for this information.

  4. I’d like to have my middle grade books considered for this list: The Science
    Project, The Ocean’s Way, Who Do Voodoo. The characters reflect the diversity of New York City.
    Thank you.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Sure. I didn’t include middle grade if only because I don’t read as much of it. If any enterprising citizen wishes to create such a list (or a YA one for that matter) that would be fantastic.

      • Thank you Betsy for compiling this list. I’d like to use it as a resource for my picture book class this spring. And I’d actually love to compile a similar list for MG books but because I work less than half time at a bookstore, I’m afraid I might miss many titles that we just don’t carry in a shop of this size. But if you know of a librarian who would like to partner with me on that project, I’m all ears. I know the gang at The Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors blog would give the list a regular home.

      • Elizabeth Bird says:

        Yep, it would be tricky. The most ideal person would work at a publisher or a large library system. It’s too late for me to do it for 2017 (I started getting books mid-2016) but maybe I should try for 2018. It certainly would find a home.

  5. Wowsa, just what I was looking for! Thank you!

  6. Thank you for this list. Mira Forecasts the Future (by me and illustrated by Lissy Marlin, Sterling Children’s, June 14, 2016) has a diverse main character. It’s for ages 4-7 and about weather and science.

  7. Terrific list with lots to read. Thank you.

  8. Thanks for including us, Betsy. Great list and I’m sure it’s going to be a very useful resource for many.

  9. I have published La Madre Goose in 2016 with Penguin, which is a retelling of European fairy tales with a Latino twist.

    IN 2017 I have La Princesa and the Pea, also with Spanish and a new retelling, also from Penguin.

    Juana Martinez Neal is the illustrator for both, and she has drawn and put her Peruvian roots intp the princess book.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Oh yes! It was on my 31 Lists, 31 Days series in the Poems & Nursery Rhymes category. Because libraries shelve them under a nonfiction Dewey number I hadn’t considered it for this list. Makes sense, though! And thanks for the 411 on La Princesa and the Pea. Will be looking out for that one.

  10. I meant nursery rhymes, not fairy tales.

  11. I’m not sure what the breaking point of early chapter books and chapter books, but I hope you’ll consider Twist and Shout from my Mermaid Tales chapter book series. I strive to make it a culturally diverse series. In this book, I wanted my mermaid Echo to be in a wheelchair. That was edited out and she is on ‘crutches’. http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Twist-and-Shout/Debbie-Dadey/Mermaid-Tales/9781481440783

  12. Would you consider my ebook, currently available on amazon/kindle: White Bear’s Big Adventure?

  13. Great list! Please consider “Lil’ G and The Dirty Faced Angels”, published in December 2016 with a main theme of Unity In Diversity! We call it a graphic novel, but it’s for young children (not middle schoolers, unless they are struggling readers). Please check it out. We’d love to be on your list! Same goals!

  14. Great list – I don’t see many South Asian titles! See this post for some: https://kitaabworld.com/blogs/news/south-asian-kid-lit-in-2016-our-favorites

  15. Would you perhaps consider my book in E-format through smashwords.com or paperback through amazon.com titled Body Of Music – a fiction story about a biracial girl from New York. Published July 20, 2015!?!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Every Sydney Taylor Award winner ought be be on this list. I think some were omitted, such as the inspiring Gold Medalist winner, I DISSENT!, the insightful Silver Medalist THE LIFE OF LEONARD NIMOY, and the poignant Notable THE TREE IN THE COURTYARD,

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