Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to culture. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about culture.
Our list includes board books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about culture, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. to popular sellers like Bringing in the New Year to some of our favorite hidden gems like Ten Little Rabbits.
We hope this list of kids books about culture can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Learn all about the most influential explorers who searched the world far and wide in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for pioneers-in-training! Little explorers discover a great big world. The follow up to This Little President, now even the youngest adventurers can learn about the greatest explorers in history with this bright and playful board book. Highlighting ten memorable pioneers, parents and young discoverers alike will love sharing this fun historical primer full of age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.
A counting rhyme with illustrations of rabbits in Native American costume, depicting traditional customs such as rain dances, hunting, and smoke signals. On board pages.
The classic story of Cinderella gets a fresh twist in this vibrant Mexican spin on the beloved fairy tale! Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a little cottage with her stepmother and two stepsisters… The classic tale of Cinderella gets a fresh twist in this debut title of a brand-new board book series, Once Upon a World. With Mexico as the backdrop, and vibrant artwork from Mexican illustrator Sandra Equihua, Cinderella is still the same girl with a fairy godmother and a glass slipper—but she’s totally reimagined. Once Upon a World offers a multicultural take on the fairy tales we all know and love. Because these tales are for everyone, everywhere.
At the end of October each year, it’s time to celebrate an ancient tradition: Dia de los Muertos! With vibrant illustrations by Golden Globe–winning Mexican illustrator Jorge Gutierrez, this festive board book teaches that Dia de los Muertos honors ancestors and loved ones who have passed. From sugar skulls to papel picado, this is a holiday that truly commemorates the cycle of life.
The classic story of Rapunzel gets a fresh twist in this vibrant Indian spin on the beloved fairy tale! Once upon a time, there was a girl with long, long hair, who lived in a tall, tall tower… The classic tale of Rapunzel gets a fresh twist in this third book of a brand-new board book series, Once Upon a World. With India as the backdrop, and vibrant artwork from illustrator Archana Sreenivasan, Rapunzel is still the same girl who lets down her beautiful hair—but she’s totally reimagined. Once Upon a World offers a multicultural take on the fairy tales we all know and love. Because these tales are for everyone, everywhere.
Good Night Outer Banks - Good Night Outer Banks highlights the Duck Town Boardwalk, North Carolina Aquariums, Jennette’s Pier, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Carova Beach and wild horses, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Currituck Beach Lighthouse, pirates, ghost crabs, and more. This book is part of the bestselling Good Night Our World series, which includes hundreds of titles exploring iconic locations and exciting, child-friendly themes. Many of North America’s most beloved regions are artfully celebrated in these board books designed to soothe children before bedtime while instilling an early appreciation for the North America’s natural and cultural wonders. Each book stars a multicultural group of people visiting the featured area’s attractions as rhythmic language guides children through the passage of both a single day and the four seasons while saluting the iconic aspects of each place. This charming and educational board book takes young readers on an unforgettable tour of the Outer Banks. From beaches and lighthouses to fishing and sea turtles, no seashell is left unturned!
Good Job, Athena! - After Athena ties Arachne’s shoes for her, Arachne takes the credit for Athena’s hard work. But when their friends ask Arachne to teach them how to tie their shoes, Arachne must admit the truth. So Athena comes to the rescue and teaches everybody this important skill. All is forgiven, and the girls are friends again. Conceived and crafted by Greek-mythology expert Joan Holub and illustrated by the bestselling Leslie Patricelli, this book also includes a summary of the original Arachne myth.
Mini Myths: Be Careful, Icarus! - After little Icarus and his dad make a bird-shaped kite, Dad warns Icarus to hold on to the string and not let it fly too high. But Icarus disobeys, and soon the kite gets caught in the trees! Dad helps him repair the kite so they can play with it again, and Icarus learns the importance of being careful. Joan Holub’s carefully crafted text is brought to life by Leslie Patricelli’s famously humorous illustrations. Includes a summary of the original Icarus myth.
Mini Myths: Make a Wish, Midas! - Midas wants everything to be his favorite color—yellow! He chooses yellow clothes, eats yellow foods, and uses only the yellow paint at his easel. But when he impulsively paints his beloved green Dinoboo, Midas discovers that too much of a good thing is a big mess! Joan Holub’s carefully crafted text is brought to life by Leslie Patricelli’s famously humorous illustrations. Includes a summary of the original Midas’s Wish myth at the end.
Hats of Faith is a simple and striking introduction to the shared custom of religious head coverings. With bright images and a carefully researched interfaith text, this thoughtful book inspires understanding and celebrates our culturally diverse modern world.
This truck-shaped, lift-the-flap board book combines food with things that go for a novelty that has more than gears under the hood. Go on a culinary adventure with this exciting new lift-the-flap book that serves as an amuse-bouche introduction to different types of food from around the world. From the standard burger and taco truck to Japanese, Italian, Indian, and Chinese (with a health food and ice cream, too), this parking lot is filled with good eats for readers to find under every flap. With inviting truck characters on each page, little ones will love flipping through the visual menus hidden in each spread as they learn more about food…and about trucks—two things that go, go, go great together to make a well-balanced book.
This Mythical Creatures board book offers babies and toddlers a glimpse into the colorful, whimsical world of dragons. Discover what makes them so magical! Moonlight and courage and sparks, oh my! That’s what dragons are made of. Did you know that dragons don’t just breathe fire…they sneeze it? Or that they love to barbecue—even their vegetables? Fantasy lovers will be tickled to learn all sorts of “facts” about these Mythical Creatures in Holly Hatam’s (#1 New York Times bestselling illustrator) unique new series. Look for Unicorns are Real, too!
When Odysseus goes shopping with his mom, she tells him to stay close, and he does—until he is tempted by The Odyssey-inspired play area in the mall and wanders off. He has fun at first, but when he can’t find Mom, he gets scared. Not to worry: Mom was always close behind, and, reunited, they make their way home together. Conceived and crafted by Greek-mythology expert Joan Holub and illustrated by the bestselling Leslie Patricelli, this book also includes a summary of the original journey of Odysseus.
Learn all about the traditions of Diwali with this third book in the delightful board book series Celebrate the World, which highlights special occasions and holidays across the globe. Each autumn we gather with our friends and family and light our brightest lanterns. It’s time for Diwali, the festival of lights! In this lovely board book with illustrations from Archana Sreenivasan, readers learn that the five days of Diwali are a time to pray for a bountiful season, celebrate the special bonds between siblings, and rejoice in the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.
Lunar New Year - Learn all about the traditions of Lunar New Year—also known as Chinese New Year—with this fourth board book in the Celebrate the World series, which highlights special occasions and holidays across the globe. After the winter solstice each year, it’s time for a celebration with many names: Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, and Lunar New Year! With beautiful artwork by Chinese illustrator Alina Chau, this festive board book teaches readers that Lunar New Year invites us to spend time with family and friends, to light lanterns, and set off fireworks, dance with dragons, and to live the new year in harmony and happiness.
Bringing in the New Year - A Chinese American family prepares for and celebrates the Lunar New Year, in a book that includes endnotes discussing the customs and traditions of the Chinese New Year.
How Do You Say Good Night? - Snuggle up and learn how to say “good night” in ten different languages with this heartwarming bedtime board book! A lovely bedtime follow-up to How Do You Say I Love You?, this sweet lullaby featuring adorable illustrations by Shirley Ng-Benitz is the perfect way for parents to wish their little ones a good night’s sleep. From Mexico, Vietnam, Kenya, and beyond, this charming board book teaches little ones how to say “good night” in ten different languages: Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, Swahili, Arabic, Vietnamese, German, and Korean!
Little Thor Gets Mad - Little Thor is MAD and he doesn’t know what to do about it. Little Thor is very strong. He can lift very heavy things. But when Loki knocks over the city of blocks Little Thor has worked very hard to build, Thor gets very, VERY mad. Should Little Thor use his hammer to destroy everything around him—or should he take a moment, think about why he’s angry, and talk about it? This board book about coping with emotions is perfect for any kid who knows what it’s like to feel mad.
Medusa refuses to care for her hair, her long locks getting knottier and dirtier with each passing page. Her hair rebellion elicits frozen expressions of shock from her family, but nothing will convince Medusa to brush. Only her hairdresser approaches Medusa with bravery and a blade, successfully solving the problem . . . with a short haircut! All are pleased with this drastic yet adorable solution. Leslie Patricelli’s depictions of this physical comedy bring a lively visual narrative to Joan Holub’s expertly focused text. Includes a summary of the original Medusa’s Wild Hair myth at the end.
There’s a TARDIS cookie jar in our kitchen. A Picard air freshener in our car. And we won’t even mention Harry Potter in the bathroom. We’re geeks and proud of it! But is there nothing for baby? Inconceivable! Introducing 100 First Words for Little Geeks, a deliciously nerdy primer for kids learning their first words! Forget apple and dog. Little geeks are ready for holy grail, warp core, and intergalactic catastrophe (okay, forget that last one, but they’ll learn tribble and that’s about the same thing). Packed with hilarious illustrations and 100 words every geek baby should know (before any others, of course), 100 First Words for Little Geeks is the perfect board book for geek families everywhere. Great Scott!
Drawing on the myth of the Chinese zodiac, The Animals of Chinese New Year follows twelve animals as they speed across a river, competing to represent the imminent new year in a race held by the Jade Emperor,the most powerful Chinese god. Each animal competes in its own unique way.The ox works hard, the tiger is brave, the dog smiles kindly, but who will win? Bright photographs of babies demonstrating the same traits as the animals in the text, complemented by traditional Chinese graphic elements, accompany Sookfong Lee’s lively text. Orca Book Publishers is pleased to offer this book as a dual-language (English/Simplified Chinese) edition.
Tomie dePaola’s simple text and bright illustrations perfectly capture the joy of this special holiday. Young readers will love learning more about the traditional celebrations of the day.
This unique and adorable concept board book offers a fun introduction to Jewish culture, celebrations, food and more. Adorably illustrated alphabetical entries provide a fun taste of all things Jewish. A must-have for any Jewish baby’s nursery, this tiny tome covers quintessential foods such as bagels and brisket, rituals and holidays including Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Shabbat, and Hanukkah, as well as important cultural references (with a little Yiddish thrown in). Parents and grandparents will love sharing every concise, funny entry with the little ones in their lives.
Mini Myths: Be Patient, Pandora! - When Pandora is warned by her mother not to open a box, her spirited curiosity trumps her obedience. Pandora harmlessly touches the box, innocently leans on the box, and eventually, albeit accidentally, bursts the box open! The cupcakes that were hidden inside are ruined, except for one last vestige, which Pandora presents in the hope that her mother still loves her. Leslie Patricelli’s depictions of this physical comedy bring a lively narrative to Joan Holub’s carefully crafted text. Includes a summary of the original Pandora’s Box myth at the end.
The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. - An easy-to-read biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his impact on society.
Diwali Lights - Every year in October or November people come together to celebrate Diwali. It is the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals. The stories woven into the festival of Diwali celebrate the victory of good over evil and light over darkness, and people celebrate this festival of lights by lighting clay lamps and candles, sharing sweets, exchanging gifts, offering prayers to gods and goddesses and watching fireworks. Introduce your little one to the awe of this brilliant festival through dazzling photographs and Singh’s lyrical prose.
Holi Colors - Experience Holi with every color of the rainbow! This Hindu celebration known as the festival of colors and the festival of love signifies the end of winter, the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil. A time to laugh, play, visit friends and get messy! Little ones will love exploring the colors of Holi through the vibrant photographs and Singh’s playful rhymes in this brilliant concept book.
Light the menorah and celebrate eight days of fun with this interactive book!
It?s time to celebrate Hanukkah! From learning the story of the Macabees to making potato latkes and playing dreidel, kids will love reading along with this fun book. A pull-tab on each page allows children to “light” the candles of the menorah.
Hercules is not as interested in “playing nice” as he is in playing strong! But when one feat of strength destroys his little sister’s 12-piece tower, he must use his powers for good to restore the tower and seek her forgiveness. She forgives him indeed, and then shows her own strength by gleefully knocking down the stacked blocks herself! Joan Holub’s expertly focused text pairs perfectly with Leslie Patricelli’s famously humorous illustrations. Includes a summary of the original Hercules’s Twelve Labors myth at the end.
In English and Mandarin Chinese, Belle Yang’s bilingual board books celebrate the natural world with simple concepts and beautiful, bold illustrations. It’s summer, and the meadow is in full bloom. As some bunnies hop along, they see blue sky, white clouds, and yummy green grass. How many more colors can be found? Look for an explanation of tonal marks at the end of the story, along with pinyin translation of the Chinese characters.
Young readers learn their first numbers one to ten. Beautiful designs inspired by the basket weaving of the Ye’kuana people of southern Venezuela who live along the Orinoco River illustrate a variety of animals such as jaguar, snake, armadillo, monkey, scorpion, and bat.
Follow mothers and their children on a sweet adventure through every season! When it’s only my mamá and me…. We sip cocoa in mugs, And share frosty nose hugs. We twirl on the ice and shout, “WINTER’S NICE!” When it’s only my mamá and me. When it’s only my ima and me… We let our kites fly, And watch clouds dancing by. We smell flowers and sing, “HOORAY! IT’S SPRING!” When it’s only my ima and me. The double flaps in this book reveal mothers and children of different cultures as they share special moments. This book is perfect for Mother’s Day or any day of the year.
My First Picture Book about the Qur'an - The perfect book to introduce children to the teachings in the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book.