CHILDRENS BOOKS WITH DIVERSE CHARACTERS: A selection by Glimmer
Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Looking to diversify your child’s literature so that they are able to see themselves and others in the books they read?
When we read books that show diverse characters with our children, it helps them to recognise that although someone may be different to them on the outside that they may share some similarities and that their hopes, dreams and ideas may be the same.
Glimmer has lovingly selected a few books that portray diversity in their characters. The selected books will have stories about kids who love dinosaurs, nature, and exploring but also have messages of love, kindness and resilience. We believe that while its important for our children to learn about different individuals and cultures its great for them to also to see what makes us all the same.
Here are some extracts from some online reviews of the books to give you an idea of the messages involved:
Strictly No Elephants: Lisa Mantchev
“The gentle message of acceptance and helping others left a warm and fuzzy feeling in my tummy. An instant family favourite!”
“it makes you think about some important things in our life, no matter what is your age — about friendship and kindness to each other. And it will touch your heart without a doubt. The book also has absolutely amazing, beautiful and of course very cute illustrations of excellent quality.”
“a story for all ages brilliantly disguised as a young child's book. The pace and rhythm of the story and the vibrant illustrations instantly engage the youngest readers, while the important themes of friendship, inclusion, resilience and self-confidence are thoughtfully and imaginatively presented.”
The Extraordinary Gardener: Sam Boughton
This is such a beautifully illustrated picture book about a young boy whose world outside his flat is very grey. He dreamed of colour and flowers and plants, so he decides to do something about it, and he plants one tiny apple seed....🍎 Then he waits..
Dinosaur Department Store: Lily Murray and Richard Merrit
“This is such a good book! My little boy loves it! Rhyming and a great story! You need this book!”
Green Pants; Kenneth Kraegel
“shows the special nature of children, and how each child is a unique individual. We love this author's writing, his incredibly detailed illustrations, and his creativity. I strongly recommend this book for all children! It is a boost to their confidence and will make you smile!”
“wonderful and silly and the illustrations are beautiful. I especially love the parenting modelled in this book, which is firm but gentle and allows the main character to make important decisions independently, but with guidance.”
Izzy Gizmo: Pip Jones
“The story is great fun, a good message behind it to encourage children to keep trying and not give up. The illustrations are great.
The "moral" of the story is to not give up so easily, if something doesn't go right, it's ok to be disappointed and frustrated about it but to then keep trying, just because the first (or 5th) attempt didn't work, it doesn't mean you're a failure.” “For unconventional families/single parent homes etc., this is also a breath of fresh air as it only features a grandfather, not parents.”
“A book that highlights father/child relationships”
I cannot recommend this book enough. I knew it would be a hit when I ordered it and I wasn't disappointed.”
“The story isn’t about race. Jabari is just a little boy contemplating a big leap, who happens to have brown skin.”
Ellies Magic Wellies: Amy Sparkes
“A lovely fun and magical book that both of my children love but which has certainly struck a cord with my daughter and her wellies and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to any parent thinking about it.”
“The expressions on the characters' faces and the characters themselves are delicious. The colours are vivid, the illustrations well-balanced. They really bring the story to life. The simple though engaging story, written in appealing rhyming couplets, adorable”
Do not bring a dragon to the library: Julie Gassman
Great illustrations that are very inclusive of different demographics.
The illustrations are lively and I appreciate the diversity in the book (for example, one of the background kids just happens to be in a wheelchair -- that is so rare in children's books and deserves props). oved the illustrations nice to have a book with all nationalities featured without making a fuss about it. Funny story for kids who loves books
My Pet Star: Corrinne Averiss
“a great place to start in teaching your child empathy and compassion. It describes in a simple way how being kind can have life changing effects on others around us.”
One Love: Cedella Marley
“Great illustrations can really sing along to this story. Granddaughter loves this book and looking for the 3 little birds on each page
Whilst reading/singing you can’t help but feel happy! Lovely!!! More more more please”
Ada Twist and The Perilous Pantaloons :Andrea Beaty (for age 6-10)
“the second in a series, but I hadn't read the first and I don't think children will miss anything. Ada Twist, Scientist, is a girl who can't stop asking questions. “
“promotes science… in a fun, inviting and interesting way”