The BEST 23 diverse children’s picture books staring BAME Boys

If you’ve ever tried to find diverse children’s books with BAME (black, asian or minority ethnic) characters, you’ll know that they are as rare as a Disney princess who can’t sing.

And as for picture books with a BAME boy as a main character? They are even harder to find.

Yet right here is where I’ve got the good news…

While there aren’t nearly as many as there should be, there are already some fabulous diverse children’s picture books out there staring BAME boys as main characters, and I’ve got the creme de la creme all lined up to share with you. So read on to find out all about them…

Pile of 23 picture books that star a BAME boy as the main character.
Our favourite picture books featuring BAME boy main characters.

In a hurry? Head to my picture-free quick list with links straight to Amazon!

23 BAME Boys, 23 BAME Heroes. Zero Sidekicks.

I have built up this little collection of diverse children’s picture books over several years, and I think they are all wonderful stories. And while I didn’t buy these originally because of their representations of diversity, I do treasure that aspect of them.

In fact, normally, we don’t even think of them as a collection; they are just stories on my children’s shelves, all jumbled up with the many other wonderful books they own.

But these 23 books do obviously have something in common. They reflect the diverse faces of our society in their stories.

This is something that is vitally important for all our children to see, whatever their ethic or cultural identity. If you’re interested, I’ve written a whole other post looking at the evidence why. And also what we can do about it.

And now, drum roll, please! In absolutely no order of preference, here are the best, most favourite, bees-knees-of diverse children’s picture books…

Our top 23 diverse children’s picture books staring BAME boys

Click on a book TITLE below to see my review and take a look at some inside pages. Or alternatively you can click on the book COVER if you want to look at the book on Amazon.

Links to Amazon are affiliate links, meaning I receive a small amount when you click through and buy. You can find out more on my ‘about affiliate links’ page.


by Julia Denos and E. B. Goodale

Read the review and see inside!

The Kiss

by Linda Sunderland and Jessica Courtney-Tickle

Read the review and see inside!

My Mum is a Supermum

by Angela McAllister and Alex T. Smith

Read the review and see inside!

The Prince of Pants

by Alan MacDonald and Sarah McIntyre

Read the review and see inside!

Over and Under the Pond

by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal

Read the review and see inside!

So Much!

by Trish Cooke and Helen Oxenbury

Read the review and see inside!

Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt De La Peña and Christian Robinson

Read the review and see inside!

Room for more diverse children’s picture books…

So that’s all 23 of our favourite diverse children’s picture books staring BAME boy characters. But why 23, and not a more pleasing number like, say, 25? Well, we do have a few other books I could have added to the list, but either they’re not as beloved by my kids as or are by an author already featured.

Therefore I decided I’m leaving those last few slots slot open. And so if you have a suggestion for a diverse children’s picture book that is excellent in every respect AND features a BAME boy as the starring character, drop me a line or leave a comment below!

Honourable Mentions

There are a more couple of books that I really love, featuring BAME grown-up boys. I didn’t include them here because this list is all about the kids, but do check them out as they are also awesome!

Anancy and Mr Dry-Bone

by Fiona French

Kitten and the Night Watchman 

by John Sullivan and Taeeun Yoo 

If All the World Were… 

by Joseph Coelho and Allison Colpoys

Farmer Falgu Goes Kite-Flying

by Chitra Soundar and Kanika Nair

The quick list of picture books with BAME characters

For those in a hurry!

Clicking on a book title here will take you over to Amazon. And a quick reminder that these are affiliate links, meaning any purchase will drop a few pennies in my penny jar to help run this site, without costing you anything extra.

Or click on ‘R&W Review’ next to any title to take a peek inside and find out what we thought about it.

Quick List – Top 23 Diverse Children’s Picture Books Staring BAME Boys

  1. Jabari Jumps   R&W Review
  2. Julian is a Mermaid   R&W Review
  3. Windows   R&W Review
  4. The Kiss   R&W Review
  5. Pet Show!   R&W Review
  6. Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library   R&W Review
  7. The New Small Person   R&W Review
  8. Have You Seen Elephant?   R&W Review
  9. Tomorrow, Most Likely   R&W Review
  10. My Mum is a Supermum   R&W Review
  11. The Prince of Pants   R&W Review
  12. I’ll Take You to Mrs Cole!   R&W Review
  13. Ish   R&W Review
  14. Over and Under the Pond   R&W Review
  15. So Much!   R&W Review
  16. Last Stop on Market Street   R&W Review
  17. The Extraordinary Gardener   R&W Review
  18. What Do You Do If Your House Is A Zoo?   R&W Review
  19. Lizard From The Park   R&W Review
  20. How to Look After Your Dinosaur   R&W Review
  21. Time to Go With Ted   R&W Review
  22. My Sister is an Alien!   R&W Review
  23. Ravi’s Roar   R&W Review

A pile of children's picture books featuring ethnically diverse boy main characters.
The best picture books for children that star BAME boy characters.


  1. What a great list of books, so many lovey stories there. Such a useful post x

  2. We have Julian is a Mermaid is it’s such a lovely book. Fab list here!

  3. In the past, I have often gone for a book because I love the illustrations. This looks like a great list.

  4. These are all fab and I always like to gift books too. I love the one My Sister is an Alien lol x

  5. Ah this is great! I don’t sometimes think about the main character and ethnicity really but probably should!!

  6. What a great list of books! We love ‘Julian is a Mermaid’ but the others are all new to me, I will have to check them out.

  7. What a fab list. So many interesting stories highlighting the diverse people we have in society. Definitely saving this for when we need to buy a child some books.

  8. Oh I love this list – thanks so much for sharing – we try to have as much diversity in my house as possible, as I am from South Africa and grew up in a very diverse country I want the same for my kids.

    Some of these would make great stocking or xmas gifts

    Laura x

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