View Full Version : Multi-cultural/inclusion in books

18-01-2014, 05:51 PM
Hi, I am looking for some advice please

I have been looking through my books and don't think I cover this area particularly well. I do in puzzles, games, toys, dolls, dressing up/role play etc

The only books I have seen at the library, do my head in! They show different races and abilities but are generally really badly written and awful story lines- I'm hoping that there are lots of good books out there that I just haven't seen

I wondered if any of you could recommend some good books please? Ones that children want to read and look at and then I can search them out

Ta in advance


18-01-2014, 05:56 PM
the books I have were not bought because they show diversity, they just happen to be quite varied anyway, and show all kinds of people. Maybe publishers are getting the message we are a multi cultural society and dont need special books to show this.

18-01-2014, 06:19 PM
I've realised recently how good Shirley Hughes' books are at showing a multi-cultural society. The Alfie stories, Olly and Me, Dogger - lovely stories and poems with gorgeous illustrations.

18-01-2014, 07:42 PM
In 1963 Ezra Keats won an award with the book 'The Snowy Day'. Keats wrote the book because he wanted to show minority children of New York as central characters in his stories.

This was something that was unknown up to then in children's books ....but lots of people in the 70's said that it wasn't that great a book because it did not represent or celebrate African-American cultural or racial identity.

Keats argued that he was just showing a 'typical' little boy in New York ( there was a whole series of them ) .

50 years on and what Keats started you think would have carried on........but you rarely see the diversity of our day to day lives reflected in children's books. ( I have one called Max the Champion that is acclaimed for its inclusiveness - the main characters' FRIEND is black and disabled- the only non white character!)

Every book should now show diverse characters if they are to reflect the western world in 2014 - but they don't.

I agree, books about life in other countries in our libraries are good to have, but if we are to be truly multicultural, the norm in the books we read to children should reflect the diverse society that exists in my cul-de-sac and the children I care for's lives too.

Unfortunately this issue has not been addressed enough by authors and publishers and a lot of our favourite stories show diversity in the animal world, but not always the human world. So they are still scarce.

My 70's Delia book - still my favourite cookbook, has been 'updated' several times to reflect the changing world and knowledge around food, gone are the heavy on the cream recipes and there are a lot more vegetable based recipes, not just meat based which was the trend 45 years ago. The range of veg and fruit used reflects the increasing range available to us now. I am not sure how I would feel if publishers started doing this though... But it is reflecting the world now....so our children's books should too.

Chris Hadfield's latest book about life based on his experience in space quotes that international astronauts and cosmonauts lived together and got on well at the space stations, if they had negative thoughts about someone it wasn't based around their heritage it was probably because they were an 'ass'. They looked out on this fragile fantastic tiny planet called earth and thought about all the arguments that were going on which might affect its future.......

And here endeth my multicultural thoughts!!

19-01-2014, 08:56 AM
Barefoot books do super books ... my granny went round the world, here we go round the mulberry tree, knick knack paddywack, we all went on safari .... to name a few! We love them and lots also come with Cds. Always very multicultural in the pictures.

Seal surfer is a nice book about a boy in a wheelchair.

The black book of colour ( or similar ) is a colour book using braille.

Oxfam do a series ... playtime, homes ... that show children around the world.

There is a book called Hello World that tells you how to say hello in alot of languages.

I got a lovely book from the library sale called I is for India, and I've also picked up books from the library sale of stories with 2 languages or stories from around the world.

I love books! :0)

19-01-2014, 09:18 AM
Barefoot books are lovely, beautifully illustrated and nice stories too.

I have a nice book called Just Because about a girl in a wheelchair.

Don't forget this also includes things such as women firefighters and dads cooking etc.

19-01-2014, 10:08 AM
Flora Dora

Thanks so much for your thoughts! That's what I would like, just a selection of good books that show normal life, for normal people.

I live and work in london, and a lot of the books on offer, do not represent the world we see around us.

We are walking distance my my children's school, where there is a diverse range of cultures, and walk past a special needs school every time we go to play group, we see the children out walking with their carers, we see the buses bringing the children to the school, in their wheelchairs

I hate seeing the books that are awful stories, and obviously published because they "tick the race card" rather than because they are good books

I will look up a few of those one that have been suggested

19-01-2014, 03:36 PM
These are my favourites

So much by Trish Cooke
Amazing Grace by Hoffman and Binch (older children love this one)
Something special by Nicola Moon
Mum's late by E Hawkins
Eat up Gemma by Sarah Hayes
Dave and the tooth fairy by Verna Allette Wilkins
Boots for a bridesmaid by Verna Allette Wilkins (this one too is excellent for older children)


19-01-2014, 03:59 PM
My favourites are
Lucy's Quarrel - by Jennifer Northway
Lucy's Rabbit , also by Jennifer Northway
Get Lost, Laura (I think that's the title) also by JN
In a Minute - Tony Bradman
Wait and See - TB
So Much
Handa's Surprise and Handa's Hen

20-01-2014, 11:04 PM
Thank you Simona and Maza for your lists

I will look those up and add to my wish list on amazon.

I have just ordered two Ezra Keats to try, and we will see how we get along

So much for not spending until April - though I have been much more restrained than normal, with my spending


21-01-2014, 12:08 AM
Ive just been on an embracing culture in the eyfs course and was given a list of suggested books. I have some of them already and am keeping an eye open for the others but not rushing out to buy them all.

A lullaby for daddy
ABC I can be
Amazing Baby I love you
Are we there yet?
Bet you cant
Billy and Belle
Bright Eyes , Brown Skin
Caribbean dream
Come count with us
Clever sticks
Eat up , Gemma
Goldilocks - Stephen Tucker
Happy to be Nappy
Handas Surprise
Heads shoulders knees and toes - Annie Kubler
I don't eat toothpaste anymore
I love my hair
its ok to be different
Jill and the beanstalk
lets go to bed
lets feed the ducks
lets go to playgroup
lets have fun
Limas red hot chilli
Lucys picture
Monday morning
Mums late
My little box of books
My two grannies
My world , your world
Oi! Get off our train
Silver shoes
Shauns willies
So Much
Sun slices , moon slices
Susan laughs
Ten little fingers and 10 little toes
That's my mum
This is our house
Through my window
Victorias day
Voices in the park
We're going on a lion hunt
Wheres gran?
Where's my teddy?
Whoever you are
Window - Jeannie baker

hectors house
21-01-2014, 09:22 AM
I borrow most of my books from the library - we currently have Tom & Sofia start School (as I have 2 off to school in Sept) the book is written in English and Chinese - shows multi cultural children and teachers at the school, child in wheelchair. Also have "Susan Laughs" by Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross - shows Susan doing everyday things, watching tv, singing, playing on swings, swimming, different emotions - laughing, shy, angry, loud, proud, riding a horse, etc etc and then last page is Susan in a wheelchair with words "That is Susan through and through, just like me, just like you".

We have also borrowed a book called "Private & Confidential" about a child who goes blind and has braille in the book, "Looking after Louis" about a child with Autism. I just choose books that look like they have a good story and illustrations rather than choosing a book to be able to tick a box.