My Body, My Skin: Books for Young Children

Young girl's face behind falling leaves

These books celebrate the amazing work our bodies do every day and many different ways to take care of them and keep them moving. The titles on this booklist also highlight our rich diversity in appearance and abilities.

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For related children's books and activities, see:

A Rainbow All Around Me

Colorful pictures of diverse children
Illustrated by: Myles Pinkney
Age Level: 0-3, 3-6

There are colors all around and each one evokes feelings and ideas. Here these colors are celebrated in lively language and full-color photographs that present — and celebrate — a multicultural cast of kids.

Bein' With You This Way

Diverse kids in a park
Illustrated by: Laura Bryant
Age Level: 3-6
Language: English

Product Description: On a beautiful sunny day, an African American girl visits the park and rounds up a group of her friends for an afternoon of fun and playground games. As they play, this happy crew discovers that despite their physical differences — straight hair, curly hair; brown eyes, blue eyes; light skin, dark skin — they are all really the same. With the irresistible and exuberant beat of a playground rap, Bein' with You This Way invites readers of all ages to join in this celebration of diversity.


Young girl in tutu
Age Level: 3-6, 6-9

The first picture book written and illustrated by award-winning creator Vashti Harrison traces a child’s journey to self-love and shows the power of words to both hurt and heal. With spare text and exquisite illustrations, this emotional exploration of being big in a world that prizes small is a tender portrayal of how you can stand out and feel invisible at the same time. Winner of the Caldecott Medal.


Grandmother braiding girl's hair
Illustrated by: Margaret Lindmark
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Meet Abuela and Isabela, who tell each other stories while Abuela braids and unbraids Isabela's hair every day. When Isabela discovers Abuela can't read, she finds a wonderful way to help her grandmother. Lovely illustrations bring Isabela and Abuela to life in this heartwarming book about the importance of passing down traditions across generations.

Brown Is Beautiful: A Poem of Self-Love

Illustration of young girl and flowers
Illustrated by: Noor Sofi
Age Level: 6-9

On a hike with her grandparents, a young Indian-American girl makes note of all the things in nature that are brown, too. From a nurturing mother bear, to the steadiness of deep twisting roots, to the beauty of a wild mustang, brown is everywhere! On her way, the girl collects the beautiful brown things she encounters as mementos for a scrapbook to share with a very special new addition to her family — a baby brother!

Everybody Wears Braids

Young diverse kids with braids
Age Level: 3-6
Language: English, Spanish

A celebration of the many different ways a multiracial group of seven friends braid their hair. Spanish version available.

Eyes That Kiss at the Corners

Illustration of young girl
By: Joanna Ho
Illustrated by: Dung Ho
Age Level: 3-6, 6-9

A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother's, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future. Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment.

Hair Story

Two girls talking about their hair
Illustrated by: Keisha Morris
Age Level: 3-6

Preciosa has hair that won’t stay straight, won’t be confined. Rudine’s hair resists rollers, flat irons, and rules. Together, the girls play hair salon! They take inspiration from their moms, their neighbors, their ancestors, and cultural icons. They discover that their hair holds roots of the past and threads of the future. With rhythmic, rhyming verse and vibrant collage art, author NoNieqa Ramos and illustrator Keisha Morris follow two girls as they discover the stories hair can tell.


Mother and daughter touch each other's hair
Illustrated by: Terry Ybàñez
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

"Everybody in our family has different hair," begins this loving celebration of diversity among family members. Papa's hair is like a broom, Nenny's hair is slippery, and Mama's hair looks like rosettes and smells like warm bread. Terry Ybàñez's colorful illustrations, bordered by imaginative drawings, capture the uniqueness of each family member and their joy in being together.

Happy to Be Nappy

Young black child with braids
Illustrated by: Chris Raschka
Age Level: 3-6

Exuberant language and jaunty illustrations seem to jump off the pages to celebrate "girlpie" hair, soft and billowy. With encouraging individuality, these girls love and accept themselves just the way they are.

I Am America

Age Level: 3-6
Language: English

Look how different we are and see how much we are the same! Readers will surely see themselves in the pages of this book, which is full of color photographs of children's faces. The rhyming text and images celebrate the tapestry of cultures, religions, and physical appearances of children throughout the United States.

I Am Golden

Young girl lifting her hands up
By: Eva Chen
Illustrated by: Sophie Diao
Age Level: 6-9

What do you see when you look in the mirror, Mei? Do you see beauty? We see eyes that point toward the sun, that give us the warmth and joy of a thousand rays when you smile. We see hair as inky black and smooth as a peaceful night sky. We see skin brushed with gold.

I Am Latino: The Beauty in Me

Photos of young Latino children
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish vocabulary featured

Product Description: I Am Latino: The Beauty in Me is a celebration of Latino children in all of their various shades, cultures, and customs. Poetic, affirmative text accompanies the bright and striking photographs of children and uses the five senses to lead the reader on an exploration of Latino foods, music, language, and more.

I Color Myself Different

Illustration of a young Colin Kaepernick holding up a colorful sign
Illustrated by: Eric Wilkerson
Age Level: 6-9

When Colin Kaepernick was five years old, he was given a simple school assignment: draw a picture of yourself and your family. What young Colin does next with his brown crayon changes his whole world and worldview, providing a valuable lesson on embracing and celebrating his Black identity through the power of radical self-love and knowing your inherent worth. I Color Myself Different is a joyful ode to Black and Brown lives based on real events in young Colin's life that is perfect for every reader's bookshelf.

I love my hair!

Young African American girl with braids
Illustrated by: E.B Lewis
Age Level: 3-6

As an African American mother combs her daughter's hair, she not only helps the child see its possibilities but recognize its beauty. Rich imagery is created through accessible language and radiant watercolors as well as the loving relationship between parent and child.

Let's Talk About It: Extraordinary Friends

Child talks to another child in a wheelchair
Age Level: 3-6, 6-9

Until children get to know someone who may seem different, they often respond to them with fear or anxiety. That usually changes when people become known as individuals. Six children with different disabilities are introduced in an even, calm text and authentic photographs while typical children’s responses to them are explored and validated.


Diverse people standing in front of blue sky
By: Jess Hong
Age Level: 3-6, 6-9

Big, small, curly, straight, loud, quiet, smooth, wrinkly. Lovely explores a world of differences that all add up to the same thing: we are all lovely!

My Body (Scholastic Discover More)

Child holding up picture of skeleton
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

MY BODY answers children’s questions about their own bodies in an incredibly simple and appropriate way. Each spread is focused on a particular part of the body or movement a child understands. Body actions such as breathing, the food journey, and blood are touched on, as well as fun subjects such as hiccups, earwax, and goosebumps. The simple text is perfect for beginning readers. The photographs provide impact for children less interested in reading with big, bright pictures of the inside and outside of the body.

My Face Book

Young baby looking at the camera
Age Level: 0-3
Language: Bengali, Bosnian, Burmese, Chinese, Dari, Diné (Navajo), Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Pashto, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp), Urdu, Vietnamese

Babies love looking at other babies and these charming baby faces . . . smiling, frowning, laughing, being silly or serious are sure to captivate and delight toddlers and babies. Children will enjoy looking at this book repeatedly. This book is available in multiple languages.

My Five Senses

By: Aliki
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish

Children are encouraged to explore their world and their five senses in this informative and engaging introduction to sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound.

My People

Young African American boy looking up
Illustrated by: Charles Smith
Age Level: 6-9

Handsome, artistic sepia portraits of young and older African Americans combine with Hughes' short poem. Together image and word presents a memorable celebration of beauty and diversity of a people. Smith includes a note describing how he approached the classic poem.

Nina Bonita

Young girl on Caribbean shore
Illustrated by: Rosana Faria
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

This delightful book is set on a Caribbean island and features a little white rabbit who admires a beautiful black girl. He asks her what her secret is and she tells him to drink lots of black coffee and to eat lots of black beans. He doesn't give up though and in the end finds what change he can make.

Pretty Brown Face

Young baby with father
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Age Level: 0-3

Who is that beautiful face in the mirror? Why it is baby, held by a loving daddy. This simple yet appealing book is presented in a format appropriate for the youngest reader to hold.

Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children

Photographs of Black children
Illustrated by: Myles Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6, 6-9

Children come in many colors, and their different colored eyes in different shapes and various types and colors of hair combine to create beautiful and unique black people. Lyrical language is paired with well-composed photographs in this handsome book which celebrates black children specifically and all children in general.

Tan to Tamarind: Poems About the Color Brown

Painting of diverse brown people
Illustrated by: Jamel Akib
Age Level: 6-9

This collection of multicultural poetry celebrates the color brown and all of the delicious and familiar places it can be found, from the reddish-brown mountains of the Southwest to the tamarind paste used in Mumbai to the acorns found on a city street. Author Malathi Michelle Iyengar uses the poems to express an appreciation for the many ethnic backgrounds who describe their skin color as "brown" around the world. Jamel Akib's warm drawings are a perfect complement to the poetry.

The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story

A girl in a tree costume doing tree pose
Illustrated by: Ruth Jeyaveeran
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Product Description: Meena is excited about the class play, a new and improved version of Red Riding Hood, until she learns that she must play one of the trees in the forest. She is just too clumsy to be a quiet, steady tree. One day at the Indian grocery store, Meena sees a yoga class in progress, and the store owner convinces her to try the children's class. Little does Meena know she is about to find a way to grow from the inside out, just like a tree, and move beyond her feelings of clumsiness and frustration.

Toddler Two

Two toddlers play outside
Age Level: 0-3
Language: Spanish, Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Product Description: This entertaining book for young children features two adventurous toddlers on an afternoon romp through their backyard. As they blow bubbles, pull their wagon, dig in the sandbox, play hide-and-seek, ride on swings, and play with toys, young readers discover what comes in twos: hands, feet, eyes, ears, legs, and arms.

Twist: Yoga Poems

Illustrated by: Julie Paschkis
Age Level: 6-9

Simple, evocative poetry suggest the meanings which inspire various yoga stances, movements, and more. The short poems coupled with handsome illustrations encourage imagination as together they show how a movement or pose can suggest something quite different.

We're Different, We're the Same (Sesame Street)

Illustration of Sesame Street monsters and friends
Illustrated by: Joe Mathieu
Age Level: 0-3, 3-6

Elmo and his Sesame Street friends help teach toddlers and the adults in their lives that everyone is the same on the inside, and it's our differences that make this wonderful world, which is home to us all, an interesting — and special — place. This enduring, colorful, and charmingly illustrated book offers an easy, enjoyable way to learn about differences — and what truly matters.

Whose Knees Are These?

Baby's brown knees
Illustrated by: LeUyen Pham
Age Level: 0-3

Lilting language and bold shapes in flat colors encourage response as the narration asks who do these knees belong to? And in another book by Asim, your child will discover Whose Toes Are Those? The author's background as a poet is evident in the simple and evocative writing.

Your Skin Holds You In

Photo of young boy
Age Level: 3-6, 6-9

Everything you never knew you wanted to know about skin is presented in an engaging, light combination of photographs and drawn lines. The result is an informative book that can be shared in layers, demonstrating that "it's your skin that holds you in!"

Yum! Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds

Children making sounds as they eat
Illustrated by: Sue Rama
Age Level: 3-6

No matter where they're from, people the world over share many emotions — though the way those feelings are expressed sounds a bit different in different places. In this companion to Mung-Mung, the sounds humans make when happy or exasperated are shown through clear illustration and interesting sounds.