We are regularly asked for recommendations about diverse picture books, namely the distinct lack of them, so we pulled together some of the books that have caught our eye for that exact reason, from gender, race, disability, sexual orientation and religion, to name but a few of the core areas.
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Walker Books)
This powerful but gentle read transcends gender stereotypes, body-shape ideals, ethnic background and family dynamics in one rich and illuminating story.
Quite possibly one of the best books to promote acceptance, encourage individuality and diversity in a whole host of ways.
We’re All Wonders by R J Palacio (Puffin Books)
A story about craving belonging and to be seen for who we truly are inside. Promoting inclusion and kindness this is a great book to share with a young audience.
Surely all any child wants is to be accepted for who they are. After all, we’re all different and we’re all wonders in our own way.
We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty & Ryan Wheatcroft (Caterpillar Books)
A wonderfully diverse celebration of families everywhere and an exemplary introduction to a beautifully diverse world of families.
Celebrating and embracing our similarities and differences.
What is a Child? by Beatrice Alemagna (Tate Publishing)
In this diverse picture book we celebrate every child’s uniqueness and it provokes us to think about our own identity.
In the only way she knows how, Alemagna captures the individuality in every single child with creative flair and in a style all of her own.
I’m A Girl by Yasmeen Ismail (Bloomsbury)
As a parent of a girl who isn’t in the least bit restricted by gender stereotypes, yes she may like to play with the odd doll or two, but equally she enjoys skateboarding and is a demon cricketer.
We meet a tshirt-and-short clad girl who likes speed, spontaneity and noise and who is regularly mistaken for a boy.
Home by Carson Ellis (Walker Books)
With delicately illustrated spreads, each one wildly different from the last, you can’t help but get lost in each new home.
We are invited to share an eclectic range of homes, from a wide and varied range of occupants.
Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow (Gecko Press)
A visually hilarious game of hide and seek that won’t fail to tickle even the older children (adults) in your household.
Elephant wants to play hide and seek, but who knew he’d be so good at it?
Quite simply a refreshing story about a boy, Morris Micklewhite, who loves to wear his tangerine dress.
Mainly because he likes the way it sounds as he walks and it reminds him of tigers, the sun and his Mother’s hair.
The Five of Us by Quentin Blake (Tate Publishing)
It’s rather refreshing to see a range of diverse characters in Quentin Blake’s book and at the heart of the story. Their disabilities perhaps not abundantly evident by looking at the cover, but it soon becomes clear from Blake’s iconic illustrations, that these friends are totally unique, each with their own strengths and their own challenges.
Pass It On by Sophy Henn (Puffin Books)
This story positively oozes joyfulness and invites us to find happiness in the smallest things in life. From a chuckle to a hug, it reminds us to share the love and ‘Pass It On’.
It’s so refreshing to see a range of children depicted throughout this uplifting story.
Mermaid by Cerrie Burnell (Scholastic)
Cerrie’s books are heart-warmingly diverse and totally inclusive.
Whilst clearly able to write from experience, Cerrie doesn’t intentionally set out to write about diverse issues, but we’re so glad she does!
Pool by JiHyeon Lee (Chronicle Kids)
From the predominantly black and white images at the beginning of the story, to the warm, magical illustrations by the end of the book, we are taken on an unfurling underwater adventure.
We meet a solitary individual, a rather shy, lone figure, lost in his own world, about to take a magical adventure.