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Just a few of our recent diverse picture books

The blog Read Teach Learn Think, run by Matthew Courtney, has published a great list of resources for teaching diverse literature. They included Tiny Owl as one of their go-to sites for teachers looking to diversify their class’ reading. Have a look at his recommendations!

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education recently published their #ReflectingRealities report which highlighted that only 1% of the children’s books published in the UK in 2017 featured a BAME main character. This is in stark contrast with the fact that 32% of school aged children in England were of minority ethnic origin within the same year.

Educators have a significant impact on the literature children read and are exposed to. The importance of having diverse literature in the classroom cannot be understated. Children have the right to see their lives reflected and validated by the books they read and listen to. Books should also give children an understanding and exposure to those who look different or live a different lives that themselves. I recently wrote a guest blog for EECERA highlighting the importance and benefits of having diverse literary offerings in the early years classroom.

Below are some links and resources educators can access to ensure the literary offerings in their classrooms of libraries are #ReflectingRealities and promote diversity and inclusiveness. Teaching Tolerance provide free resources for educators to support culturally responsive and inclusive practice. There are posters, magazines and professional development resources amongst others. Particularly useful are the Perspective Texts which are free downloadable diverse texts, covering a range of themes and sorted by age/ability level. Lee and Low are a US-based, diverse publishers with an online shop. They have resources for educators including a classroom library questionnaire which encourages practitioners to reflect upon how diverse their book collections are. They also have a fantastic blog. A blog reviewing children’s literature that features disabled characters. Includes a search feature which allows users to find specific content and representations. They also have an ‘Honor Role’ that details strongly recommended texts. A not-for-profit children’s multicultural and diverse book sellers. The books are sorted into a range of themes including LGBT, mental health, Black history etc. Schools and settings can join for a small annual fee to receive discounts. They have book packs which to support the ‘Power of Reading’ scheme from the CLPE. Home to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks grass-roots campaign for diverse literature. They have many resources including an online newsletter, a list of booksellers and partnership with Scholastic. The website for the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. They publish statistics annually about ethnic representation in children’s literature published in the US. They also have lists of recommended multicultural books for children and teenagers and links to diverse publishers and booksellers. Fantastic blog with a focus of LGBTQ+ literature, including book reviews. Research on Diversity in Youth Literature #RDYL is an open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal. It is published twice a year. It focuses on contemporary issues surrounded diversity and representation in children’s literature. UK-based. independent publishers of inclusive children’s literature. They aim to “give windows into as many worlds as possible”. @MattLibrarian A list of British authors of children’s and young adult’s literature with a BAME (black, asian, ethnic minority) heritage. UK-based, independent publishers of multicultural children’s books. Their website includes a blog and an online newsletter. They also have free posters featuring some of their books and characters that would be great to complement a book corner or school library. Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. They published the aforementioned #Reflecting Realities report. They also have free teaching sequences with a focus on diverse perspectives. Includes different texts for EYFS, KS1 and KS2. Children’s book box service for ages 0 to 7 specialising in inclusive literature.
@WiderReads ‘Widening Reading of Children’s Books’. Twitter account with recommendations of children’s books that are #ReflectingRealities A recommended reading list for primary age  children featuring literature that celebrates diversity and challenges gender stereotypes. Scope is a disability equality charity. This link contains free PDF storybooks which feature children with disabilities as well as links to recommended texts featuring characters with a range of different disabilities. Their website and Twitter feed contain texts written by adoptees and those recommended by adoptees.
@DiversityCogan Cogan Primary School, in Wales, has launched the Cogan Diversity Picture Book Award this year. The children have shortlisted and will vote and for diverse and inclusive texts. /finding-inclusive-books-bookstart/@booktrust A list of recommended texts featuring disabled characters Andrew Moffat’s website and home to the No Outsiders programme, which aims to “create a positive school ethos where everyone feels they belong”. It uses inclusive texts, such as Mommy, Mama and ME. It was the focus of recent protests at Parkfield School, Birmingham. Great recommendations under the heading ‘How to Build an LGBTQ Friendly Library for Your Children’. Excellent recommendations and blog. Also includes other books which promote diversity, including those which combat gender stereotypes.
  • Read our introduction to the Diversity Now campaign
  • Find out what Elizabeth Laird and Jion Sheibani said about diversity!
  • Read responses from illustrator Jane Ray and early years teacher David Cahn!

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