50 Books We Loved for a Skin Tone Picture Book Walk

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After posting Finding our Color Words Using Honeysmoke last week, readers asked me to share a list of the picture books that we used and loved for our skin tone picture book walk. I pulled these books thoughtfully and with my human skin tone palettes in hand, hoping to include as many shades as possible. The books that I showcase help to build my young readers’ understanding of the world around them, and representation matters. This felt like an opportunity to show my students that there are a wide range of humans in the world, and that stories are for everyone.

Here are the student favorites, if you’d like to see:

Honeysmoke, by Monique Fields

Yo Soy Muslim, by Mark Gonzales

Sulwe, by Lupita Nyong’o

Little Leaders, Little Dreamers, and Little Legends, all by Vashti Harrison (Little Dreamers pictured)

Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You, by Sonia Sotomayor

Sofia Valez, Future Prez, by Andrea Beaty

When Aiden Became a Brother, by Kyle Lukoff

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family, by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Hug Machine, by Scott Campbell

Princess Hair, by Sharee Miller

All are Welcome, by Alexandra Penfold

Drawn Together, by Dan Santat

Donovan’s Big Day, by Leslea Newman

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade, by Justin Roberts

Most People, by Michael Leannah

The King of Kindergarten, by Derrick Barnes

Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hemanitas, Yuyi Morales

David Gets in Trouble, by David Shannon

Under My Hijab, by Hena Khan

Viva Frida, by Yuyi Morales

The Undefeated, by Kwame Alexander

Sky-High Sukkah, by Rachel Packer


Mixed Me!, by Taye Diggs

Hair Love, by Matthew A. Cherry

You Hold Me Up, by Monique Gray Smith

Babymoon, by Hayley Barrett

Fancy Nancy, by Jane O’Connor

Don’t Touch my Hair!, by Sharee Miller

Why Am I Me?, by Paige Britt

A Big Mooncake for Little Star, by Grace Lin

Big Red Lollipop, by Rukhsana Khan

Uni the Unicorn, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

The Breaking News, by Sarah Lynne Reul

Ruby’s Wish, by Shirin Yim Bridges

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness, by Kerascoët

Rain School, by James Rumford

Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes, by Hena Khan

The Big Bed, by Bunmi Laditan

Gabi’s If/Then Garden, by Caroline Karanja

Cece Loves Science, by Kimberly Derting

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, by Patty Lovell

Just the Two of Us, by Will Smith

Fry Bread: A Native American Story, by Kevin Noble Maillard

Hands and Hearts, by Donna Jo Napoli

The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats

Salt in his Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream, by Deloris Jordan with Roslyn M. Jordan

Big Hair, Don’t Care, by Crystal Swain-Bates

Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del Arcoiris, by Linda Elovitz Marshall

Where Are You From?, by Jaime Kim

Are there any great picture books that we forgot? What would you add to this list?

Note: If you purchase something through the links in this post, it may earn Fitz Between the Shelves an affiliate commission at no cost to you. This post is not sponsored. All reviews are my own (and shared because I love talking about books!).

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