by Airlie Anderson

If you’re looking for picture books which teach acceptance and encourage children to celebrate their differences then you NEED to have this story on your shelf. It’s such a simple story but it packs a very powerful punch.

In The Land of This and That there are two types of creatures – blue bunnies and yellow birds. Everyone is either one or the other, until the day an egg hatches and out pops Neither.

Neither isn’t a blue bunny or a yellow bird so everyone is a little confused. They see their green body, their bunny ears and their bird-like feet and they demand to know what they are. They cheerfully explains that they’re both but the creatures of the land declare this impossible. They can’t be both therefore they must be neither.

Their difference makes everybody uncomfortable so poor Neither is ostracised. The yellow bunnies don’t think they’re bunny enough and the blue birds don’t think they’re birdy enough. They think that perhaps they should go Somewhere Else.

Neither spreads their wings and flies out in to the world and soon they discovers a new place called The Land of All. Everybody here is a little bit different and Neither fits right in. In this land their difference makes them interesting and the creatures celebrate the fact they are all unique.

Life in The Land of All makes Neither very happy indeed until one day a blue bunny and a yellow bird arrive and want to join the community.  Their differences aren’t visible, but they feel different on the inside. Will Neither and their friends accept them in to The Land of All?

This story is great for developing empathy and it will also help children who are struggling with their own identity or place in the world. As an adult I love the fact it makes very clear that there is nothing wrong with Neither – all of the issues are caused by other people’s discomfort and biases.

It makes me very happy that Ivy adores this one as much as I do. It’s colourful, it’s engaging and it tackles the issue at hand in such a smart and succinct manner. I think every primary school should have a copy and I will definitely be gifting one to Ivy’s classroom.

Buy it now:

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