Dive into Diversity: Celebrating Inclusivity in Children's Literature for Book Week

Jun 03, 2024 by Alexa Bigwarfe, in News & updates
The topic of representation in literature continues to be a main discussion point, because there’s still not enough books in the marketplace to match the need. Everyone deserves to see themselves represented in literature. This is especially important for children, who are learning how to feel about themselves and others. As a children’s book publisher, we want to provide books that help children learn about others, and see themselves in books, which we believe will create a more empathetic and compassionate world
To this end, we’re providing a list of books that we love that can help!

Neurodiverse Representation 

Hi, It's Me: I Have ADHD!

 This child just wishes that adults could see inside her head. Everything feels too fast, and then too slow, and no one seems to   understand. 

 Based on the author's personal experience with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, "Hi, It's Me" shares the thoughts, feelings,   emotions, and experiences of a child dealing with the many challenges of ADHD.
 This book can help neurodiverse children feel empowered. Their diagnosis does not define them! With a list of tips and printable   coloring pages, this book can actively help your child with their ADHD. 

Different--A Great Thing to Be!

 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This joyful rhyming book encourages children to value the “different” in all people, leading the   way to a kinder world in which the differences in all of us are celebrated and embraced. 
 Macy embodies both similarities and differences, embracing kindness, grace, and bravery as she discovers her identity and   encourages others to appreciate the uniqueness in themselves and others. Children, inherently sensitive to diversity, require   guidance in understanding and valuing differences, fostering a culture of curiosity, acceptance, and celebration.


Brilliant Bea: A Story for Kids With Dyslexia and Learning Differences

 Beatrice, despite grappling with dyslexia, discovers her talent for storytelling with the support of a compassionate teacher and   innovative techniques. Through the use of EasyReading font, the book conveys the message that learning differences like dyslexia   do not define one's identity.
 This book succeeds as a story about dyslexia not because the characters spout definitions of dyslexia, but rather because the story   opens a window into the mind of one dyslexic child, Bea, and shows readers how adults can make a significant impact on the   emotional state, and therefore the education, of children with learning differences… A heartwarming story that will expand the   understanding of dyslexia for children and adults. ― School Library Journal


Masterpiece: an inclusive kids book celebrating a child on the autism spectrum

 Masterpiece, an award-winning book, celebrates diversity through the story of Samuel, a boy with autism whose unique   perspective transforms ordinary moments into extraordinary beauty. Through colorful illustrations and valuable lessons of   empathy and acceptance, the book encourages readers of all ages to embrace their gifts and differences, making it a perfect   addition to any classroom.
 Masterpiece is one of those rare and inspiring books that tackle the theme of inclusion, and it is effective in handling the subject   with sensitivity, compassion, and encouragement. This is a highly recommended read for parents, children, teachers, civic   groups, and counsellors. --Readers' Favorite Awards


Too Much!: An Overwhelming Day

 In a compassionate rhyming picture book, author Jolene Gutiérrez explores the challenges of sensory overload from the   perspective of a sensitive child, offering reassurance and coping strategies. Young readers learn it's okay to feel overwhelmed   and discover ways to find calm amidst sensory overload. The book includes an author's note providing valuable insights and   guidance for caregivers and educators on supporting children with overstimulated nervous systems.

 The author describes the struggles of a sensorily sensitive child in a way that all children can understand. Written in short   rhymes with kid-friendly illustrations, this book belongs in every classroom library. - Elizabeth, Verified Purchase


Children with Physical Disabilities

All children deserve to feel empowered and special. Sometimes children with disabilities can feel different instead of special. It's important that they are made to feel special and like they can do anything they want to. 

Mike Nero and The Superhero School    

 First days can be tough, especially for someone as shy as Mikey but Mikey's new school is a little different. On his first day, he meets   his principal and some incredible children who help him discover his own superpower within and he learns that no matter what we may   look like on the outside, everyone has something that makes them valuable.

 By reframing disabilities as superpowers, this book encourages readers to focus on what makes people special and unique and   emphasizes ability rather than vulnerability.


Books with People of Colour And Minority Groups

Different cultures have different experiences and it’s important that these are represented so that children can see their own experiences and learn about others. 

Mama's Sleeping Scarf

 Every night before going to sleep, Mama wraps her hair in a sleeping scarf. Chino loves this silky scarf and looks after it during the day. 

 This story raises awareness for different cultures in a very loving and joyful way. 

Girls can be Anything!

It's so important that young girls are shown that there is more than one way to be a girl. That they can do anything they put their mind to. They can love the colour pink and be a lawyer. They can play in the mud and be a fashion designer. There is no limit to what they can do. 

Princess Monroe and Her Happily Ever After     

 "I am a Princess AND a Warrior."  Princess Monroe doesn’t wait around for a man, she saves herself. This bi-racial princess wants to   explore, learn, play, get dirty, and find her own way in the world. While her Mom wants her to be a more traditional princess, Princess   Monroe proves that she can do anything she wants and gets her happy ending. 


LGBTQIA+ Friendly 

Identity and relationships are so important to children’s social and emotional learning. Not every boy will want a girlfriend, some might like to wear dresses and some might actually feel like girls. Equally, some girls might like another girl or change their assigned gender. These kinds of important discussions should be opened up for children and books can be the best way to do this.

The Dress in the Window

 In this story, the boy defies gender stereotypes and celebrates the joy of being authentically yourself. Wanting to buy the most beautiful,   sparkly red dress in the shop window, the boy resists gender stereotypes. Afterall, everyone can love things that sparkle and shine. 

Do you have some favorite books that are representative or help children learn about other children who are different from them? We’d love to hear your suggestions as well!