A Rainbow of Books

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We finished our Colors unit of Busy Toddler’s Playing Preschool this week and I was inspired to create a rainbow of books that promote diversity, belonging and gender equality. This was one of my most popular posts to date so I thought I would archive it on my blog for future readers. (For a recap of the activities we did for the Colors unit, head over to my Instagram or Facebook).



  • Pink is for Boys by Robb Pearlman // Illustrated by Eda Kaban // Published by Running Press Kids uses all the colors of the rainbow to depict things that boys and girls alike enjoy. Boys and girls like to wear pink and get dressed up and dance. Girls and boys can wear blue and play baseball on the same team.

  • Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal // Candlewick Press is a heartwarming look at heritage and identity.

  • Festival of Colors by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal // Illustrated by Vashti Harrison // Published by Beach Lane Books is an explanation and celebration of the Indian festival of Holi celebrated in springtime.

  • Sticks by Diane Alber // Published by Diane Alber Art, LLC is a lighthearted look at finding your worth and where you belong.

  • When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan // Illustrated by Lorraine Rocha // Published by Sterling Kids is a multi-generational discovery of work ethic and what truly brings joy.

  • Mixed A Colorful Story by Arree Chung // Published by Henry Holt Kids is a starting point for conversations about race and segregation using the three primary colors. But when a Blue and a Yellow make a new color, it is a message of hope and acceptance.

  • The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad // Illustrated by Hatem Aly // Published by Little Brown Young Readers is a touching depiction of a Muslim teenage girl's first day of hijab as told through the innocent eyes of her adoring little sister.

  • The World Needs More Purple People by Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart // Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman // Published by Random House Kids. In a world divided into "red" and "blue" this book is a guided look at how to be a "purple" person, someone who works hard, is curious, kind, silly and inclusive.

  • A Boy Like You by Frank Murphy // Illustrated by Kayla Harren // Published by Sleeping Bear Press is an encouragement to boys to be strong AND vulnerable, brave AND able to ask for help, confident AND kind. See also A Girl Like You.

  • Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy // Illustrated by Ekua Holmes // Published by Roaring Brook Press is a celebration of Black history and culture told through the eyes of a young girl embracing her identity.

This was a fun and colorful list to create but each of these books is important and timely because what we read with our children matters! See my Book List for more books that promote diversity and inclusion, even board books for babies!


See also: A Companion to Busy Toddler's Playing Preschool Curriculum: Unit 2 - Colors, Playing Preschool with Busy Toddler: Lesson Learned from Year 1


Psst: If you haven't purchased the curriculum yet, it is still 25% off with the code "HOME25". Click here to purchase.

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