8 Must-Read Picture Books With a Global Perspective

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Are you looking for some picture books with a global perspective to read aloud to your students? Look no further! This list of eight beautifully illustrated books will cultivate your students’ curiosity about the world and its people. Discovering the world through literature sparks curiosity and encourages readers to seek further knowledge about different countries, customs, and histories.

The books are linked to Amazon (I don’t receive any compensation from Amazon) so you can take a closer look. You really must see the illustrations!

Keep reading to discover these eight beautifully illustrated books that will captivate young minds with global wonders.

If the World Were a Village by David J. Smith, Illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong

“If the World Were a Village – A Book about the World’s People” is an informative and thought-provoking picture book written by David J. Smith and illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong. The book creatively presents complex global statistics and demographics in a way that is accessible and engaging for young readers. By imagining the world’s population as a village of 100 people, it simplifies the vast diversity of humanity and allows readers to grasp the distribution of languages, religions, access to resources, and other essential aspects of global demographics. Through colorful illustrations and concise text, the book promotes cultural awareness and understanding, encouraging readers to appreciate the rich tapestry of people and traditions that make up our global community. It serves as an excellent educational resource to spark discussions about global citizenship, empathy, and the importance of cooperation in addressing global challenges.

If You Lived Here: Houses of the World by Giles Laroche

“If You Lived Here: Houses of the World ” is an illuminating non-fiction picture book written and illustrated by Giles Laroche. This beautifully crafted book takes young readers on a global journey, exploring various types of houses and dwellings found in different cultures and regions. Through intricate paper-cut illustrations and concise descriptions, the book celebrates the diversity of human habitation, fostering an appreciation for cultural differences and architectural ingenuity.

Me on the Map

Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney, Illustrated by Qin Leng

“Me on the Map” is an educational and interactive picture book written by Joan Sweeney and illustrated by Annette Cable. The book introduces young readers to the concept of geography and cartography by guiding them through the process of understanding their place in the world, from their home to their neighborhood, city, state, country, and continent. With engaging illustrations and simple explanations, the book helps children develop spatial awareness and an appreciation for the larger world around them.

One Well The Story of Water on Earth

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss, Illustrated by Rosemary Woods

“One Well: The Story of Water on Earth” is an eye-opening and informative picture book written by Rochelle Strauss and illustrated by Rosemary Woods. The book sheds light on the crucial role water plays in sustaining life on Earth and the delicate balance of the global water cycle. With clear and concise text complemented by captivating illustrations, the book emphasizes the need for responsible water usage and environmental conservation to protect this vital resource for future generations.


One World, Many Colors by Ben Lerwill, Illustrated by Alette Straathof

“One World, Many Colors” is a vibrant and multicultural picture book written by Ben Lerwill and illustrated by Alette Straathof. The book celebrates the diversity of cultures and traditions around the world, focusing on the colors that represent each unique heritage. Through lively illustrations and concise descriptions, the book encourages young readers to appreciate and embrace the richness of human diversity and the beauty it brings to our global community.

This Is Our World: From Alaska to the Amazon ― Meet 20 Children Just Like You by Tracey Turner

“This Is Our World: From Alaska to the Amazon―Meet 20 Children Just Like You” is an enlightening and culturally enriching picture book written by Tracey Turner. The book introduces readers to a diverse group of children from different parts of the world, offering glimpses into their daily lives, traditions, and customs. Through engaging text and photographs, the book promotes empathy, understanding, and a sense of global interconnectedness among young readers.

Picture Books With a Global Perspective

Woven of the World by Katey Howes, Illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova

“Woven of the World” is a beautifully illustrated picture book written by Katey Howes and illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova. The book weaves together a tapestry of cultural diversity by exploring various textile traditions from around the world. With lyrical prose and intricate artwork, the book celebrates the artistry and craftsmanship of different cultures while highlighting the universal value of creativity and human expression through textile arts.

The World Around Me by Charlotte Guillain, Illustrated by Oliver Averill

“The World Around Me” is an engaging and educational picture book written by Charlotte Guillain and illustrated by Oliver Averill. The book explores the wonders of the natural world, introducing young readers to various ecosystems and the fascinating creatures that inhabit them. With descriptive text and captivating artwork, the book fosters curiosity about nature and inspires a sense of wonder and awe for the planet we call home.