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Multicultural Picture Books and Graphic Novels

Picture books and graphic novels cover a multitude of topics and are often a gateway to discussion with not only young children, but students across all ages and courses of study.

Representation matters. Students need to see our world’s expansive diversity reflected in what they are reading: those who look, live or learn like they do and those who do not. This gathering of picture books and graphic novels seeks to highlight and celebrate books featuring people of underrepresented groups in literature: our First Nations, diverse ethnicities and colors, varying faiths, differing abilities, and the spectrum of gender identity and sexuality.

Additionally, touching on topics such as colonialism, racism, war, religion and differing cultures can be a difficult, but necessary part of education at all levels of learning (Pre-K through college and beyond). Incorporating picture books and graphic novels into lessons can help break the barriers of conversation, using the pictures and words to spark questions, learn new vocabulary, make visual connections and allow students to process information in a different manner than if they were simply reading a text, especially if the book is read aloud (visual and audio processing).


Our Collection

The selection of titles chosen for these pages are by no means an exhaustive list of all the global children’s books in the Alma College Library collection, but have been cultivated based on: diverse ethnic, religious, marginalized peoples and people of color; gender identity and sexuality; mental and physical ability; accurate and respectful representation of the characters’ culture(s); length; extended information (forward, afterword, author’s note, glossary); and how current the selection is.

Also included on each page are titles that are not in our collection, but may be obtained through MelCat.


Please Note

A title that is a picture book or graphic novel does not necessarily mean that it is appropriate for all children. A majority of the titles selected here are appropriate for all children however, some books, particularly historically accurate texts, may contain situations and/or strong language that may not be suitable for young audiences. Please do your due diligence when selecting materials. Books with situations such as abuse, violence or strong language have been marked with an * and will have more information in the description. Recommended grade level appropriateness has been given, however you know your audience best.



If there is a title you believe would be a beneficial addition to the Alma College Library multicultural juvenile picture book and graphic novel collection, please send the title, author and edition (if applicable) to Beth Jachimiak.


The Books

Native and Indigenous Peoples of the World

Black and African Communities and Cultures

Spanish and Portuguese Speaking Peoples

Asian and Asian American (including Middle Eastern countries)


World Religions

Historical Figures