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Diverse Representation

The King Who Looked For An Island by Chrissie White & Liz Poulain

Being a King can be a lonely job, especially if you live in a castle on a plain surrounded by mountains. The monarch in this story dreams of moving to a beautiful island, but the mountains around him are so high that he can’t even tell which way the sea is!

His Adviser is too busy to help him so instead he asks the people of his kingdom to build a tower that is tall enough to see the ocean. The farmers build a tower of bricks, the soldiers build a tower of steel, the cheese makers build a tower of cheese and the ice-cream sellers make a tower which looks like a giant cone. Even the shoemakers get involved, building a giant boot that reaches up to the sky!

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GoGo RoRo Finds Her Gifts by Rousan J. Davidson & Hayley Moore

GoGo RoRo is very excited about her upcoming birthday so when she overhears Abuela* Rosa and her brother Jean Bean discussing gifts, she presumes they are talking about her presents. Overwhelmed by curiosity, she asks for some clues but Abuela Rosa cryptically tells her that she will have to find her gifts herself.

GoGo RoRo and Jean Bean search everywhere for the birthday presents but they are nowhere to be found. Where on earth could their grandmother have hidden them?

When Abuela Rosa sees the mess they have made she is very disappointed and GoGo RoRo hangs her head in shame. She was just so excited about finding her gifts. But what if her gifts aren’t material goods at all? What if her grandmother simply wants her to find the gifts she was born with?

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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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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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Together We Can by Caryl Hart & Ali Pye

Since Ivy started nursery in January we have had lots of conversations about friendship, and this gorgeous book from Caryl Hart and Ali Pye has helped pull all of those strands together.

The gentle rhyme explains what friends are and what you can do for each other to make your days a little brighter. From helping each other in the classroom through to scratching an itch they can’t reach, we see a diverse group of children revel in the company of their friends.

Sometimes friends are very similar to you and sometimes they’re different. Sometimes they live close by and sometimes they live far away. Whatever the nature of your friendships, we see that they enrich our lives in many different ways.

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Happy To Be Me by Emma Dodd

This colourful, body positive book is an absolute joy! It follows a diverse group of children as they take a trip around the human body, giving thanks for all the things it allows us to do.

Mouths are great for smiling and toes are made to wiggle. Hands allow you to touch things, like bunnies, sheep and snakes! Arms are perfect for hugs when you’re feeling sad and tongues let you taste all of your favourite foods!

The cheerful rhyme and gorgeous illustrations show us all the things we have to be thankful for, whilst highlighting the ways in which we are all unique. And this isn’t just a celebration of able bodies – wheelchairs, hearing aids and glasses are all positively featured too.

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