Category

Diverse Representation

The Pirate Tree by Brigita Orel & Jennie Poh

When Agu spots a little girl called Sam playing in a tree he sees an opportunity to make a friend. He is new to the country but so far all of his attempts at friendship have failed. Poor Agu is heartbroken when Sam says she doesn’t want to play because she doesn’t know him. Why is making friends so hard?

He watches as Sam pretends to be a pirate amongst the gnarled bows of the old tree. She sings of her adventures but when she mentions stealing diamonds from Nigeria Agu steps in. He tells her there are no diamonds there, and he knows because this is where he comes from. Intrigued, Sam asks him what else he knows and just like that the door of friendship starts to open. Agu tells her all about his former home and slowly they start to play. Soon they are sailing together on the breeze, fighting pirates and searching for seashells.

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Splash Day by Nick Sharratt

Class One have worked really hard all year so the teachers have decided to reward them with a special treat – a Splash Day! When the children arrive, dressed in swimsuits, trunks and wet suits, the school playground looks very different to usual. There are buckets, sand trays, crates and washing up bowls everywhere, and each one is filled to the brim with water.

Anticipation rises when the teachers appear. Taking no chances they are armed with rain coats, shower caps and wellies! Mrs Thistle lays down a few ground rules before she blows her whistle and then the children are off. They splish, splash, splosh and spray until the whistle sounds again.

But just as they are reaching for their towels, Mrs Rose appears with a hose. She wouldn’t, would she?

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Felix’s New Skirt by Kerstin Brichzin & Igor Kuprun

Felix loves to wear skirts. He likes how they feel, how they spin, and he particularly likes the fact they mean he can run faster and climb more easily. Felix borrows them from his older sister and his supportive mum even takes him to buy one of his own.

When Felix starts school he’s really excited about the prospect of wearing his new skirt but his parents aren’t so keen. They are worried that the other children won’t understand and that he will be bullied. However after a few days they finally relent and Felix is very excited about showing his outfit to his friends.

However all does not go well at the school gates where he is met with laughter and confusion. His friends tell him he looks like a girl and even the other parents whisper to each other that it just isn’t right. Felix has a very sad day at school and doesn’t understand why everyone just points and laughs. Girls can wear trousers, so why can’t boys wear skirts?

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In Every House On Every Street by Jess Hitchman & Lili La Baleine

This gorgeous book celebrates the love, warmth and mayhem of a family home. The story follows a family of four as they take us on a tour of each of the rooms in their house.

First up is the kitchen where they bake, dance, sing and make a mess. Then we see the dining room where they eat, pretend to be pirates and tickle their parents feet under the table. The living room is for relaxing and getting things off your chest, whilst the bathroom is for washing and pulling funny faces in the mirror.

The richly worded rhyme and the warm illustrations show us love, laughter and tears against a familiar backdrop of toys, washing up and teetering piles of books.

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Autism With Lola: Playing With Bourbon Badger by Jodie Isitt & Lucy Smith

Lola the rabbit loves her art lessons at school. The splashing and sploshing of paint completely consumes her, until the bell rings for playtime and her happiness comes crashing down.

Lola is autistic and has a demand avoidant profile. This means she does not like loud noises or being told to stop an activity without any warning. As the children crash and bang around Lola becomes increasingly distressed.

Outside in the playground her discomfort continues. She doesn’t know how to join in with the other children and is scared of being rejected if she does something wrong.

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My Pet Star by Corrinne Averiss & Rosalind Beardshaw

As parents we naturally want to shield our children from sadness but it’s an important topic to touch on if we want to raise resilient future adults. There are now lots of titles on the market which feature loss or difficult goodbyes, but all too often we only seek them out in times of need. This beautiful book from Corrinne Averiss is an excellent addition to a child’s bookshelf as it gently weaves the subject in to a wonderful bedtime story.

A little girl finds a fallen star and gently nurses him back to health. She cleans him, feeds him and takes the time to learn all about her new friend. When he starts to get better she wants him to play but understands that he is a little different to her. He sleeps in the day and isn’t interested in toys but they soon find ways to just enjoy each others company.

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Old Man Of The Sea by Stella Elia & Weberson Santiago

This evening we are extremely excited to be sharing our thoughts on a brand new book from Lantana Publishing as part of the official #oldmanofthesea bookstagram tour.

This beautifully illustrated story looks at the quiet relationship between a boy and his ailing grandfather. Every Sunday they sit together and talk or share a comfortable silence, until one day the Grandfather decides the time has come to share tales of his life with the boy. And what a life!

Grandpa was a sailor who circumnavigated the world and fell in love with each continent he discovered. He picnicked in olive groves with Europe, climbed sand dunes with Africa, explored temples with Asia and went diving with Oceania. The love he felt for these lands was strong, but not as strong as the lure of the sea. Eventually he always found himself back in his boat in search of a new adventure.

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What Do You Do If Your House Is A Zoo? by John Kelly & Steph Laberis

Picking the right pet can be hard. There are so many different animals out there so how are you supposed to choose? The little boy in this story thinks he has the perfect solution. When his mum and dad finally agree to let him have one he places an advert in the local paper asking for possible pets to get in touch.

He receives some promising replies from a pampered pussy cat, a forgetful goldfish and an extremely nibbly goat, but none of them seem quite right. But then the next day he is inundated with post. Gorillas, wolves, horses, emus, bulls and even ants have all written to him in the hope of finding a new home. Now he has so many options that he doesn’t know where to begin!

Things go from bad to worse when animals start turning up at his house. A mob of meerkats set up a security post and won’t let the family leave the house for their own safety and then some beavers arrive and start building a water feature in the garden!

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Eve’s New Brother by Sheju Adiyatiparambil-John, Judy Skidmore & Anastasiya Epishina

Eve is very close to her two mummies, so when baby Stanley joins the family she isn’t quite sure what to expect. She hopes that he’ll play with her and share her love of trains, but she knows that babies cry a lot and she’s not looking forward to the dirty nappies!

The  path they tread will be a familiar one for many parents of more than one child. Eve is initially excited about the new baby but this quickly turns to resentment as Stanley gets lots of attention for things she doesn’t deem that interesting. He can’t talk, he can’t play and he messes with her train set all the time. Eve decides that there’s only one thing for it – Stanley will have to go back to wherever he came from so that she can have her mummies back!

Then one day, Eve throws a ball and everything changes. Stanley wobbles towards it on uncertain legs, picks it up and returns it. A game! As Stanley’s ability to interact with the world grows, Eve realises that maybe there’s room in this family (and her heart) for a little brother after all.

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My Favourite People by Rob Keeley & Simon Goodway

The little boy in this book has lots of lovely people in his life and he wants to tell you all about his favourites! From Auntie Meg (who cuts his hair and has four cats) through to his teacher Mr. Martin (who wears cool clothes), we hear all about the diverse characters which make up the boys world.

Each of the people mentioned have a different job and play a different role in the boys life. Ivy and I talk about the equivalents in our own lives and then Ivy likes to list out all of her own favourite people (which naturally changes at least once a day!)

The story also encourages you to think about why you like people. What do they bring to your life that is special? Why are they your favourites? What would it be like to have all of your favourite people in one room?

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