Pet Show! by Ezra Jack Keats – Book Review

Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983) is one of the giants of children’s picture book publishing. If you’ve never come across his work before, you are in for a real treat. And if you have read one or two of his books before, go find some more because he was both varied and prolific and you are bound to find something marvellous. To put it simply, his books are a joy!

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The Kiss by Linda Sunderland and Jessica Courtney-Tickle – Book Review

The Kiss, by British author Linda Sunderland and illustrator Jessica Courtney Tickle, is a fantastical tale, beautifully illustrated with rich, glowing colour and fabulous detail. It is one of those books where the illustrations are so mesmerising, it’s easy to get lost exploring every page.

Children's picture book 'The Kiss' by Linda Sunderland and Jessica Courtney-Tickle
Beautiful children’s picture book ‘The Kiss’ by Linda Sunderland and Jessica Courtney-Tickle.
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Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall – Book Review

Gaia Cornwall’s charming picture book, Jabari Jumps, tells the story of a young boy on a trip to the pool. But, like all the best picture books, it’s the story behind the words that really moves you. Beautifully illustrated, and full of gentle warmth and wit, Jabari Jumps is so good, it made the list of our 23 favourite picture books staring BAME boys. Read on to take a peak inside and find out why we love it.

Children's picture book Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
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Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love – Book Review

Jessica Love’s groundbreaking and utterly beautiful picture book, Julien is a Mermaid, is the simple story of a boy who decides to dress up as a mermaid. Celebrating being who you are, it’s a book that encourages children to find joy in self-expression. At the same time, it also gently challenges conventional gender and identity stereotypes, and shows children wonderful examples of acceptance and inclusion.

We made a list of our 23 favourite picture books staring BAME boys, and Julian is a Mermaid had to be on it. Read on to take a peak inside and find out why we love it.

Children's picture book - Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Julian is a Mermaid, by Jessica Love
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The BEST 23 diverse children’s picture books staring BAME Boys

If you’ve ever tried to find diverse children’s books with BAME (black, asian or minority ethnic) characters, you’ll know that they are as rare as a Disney princess who can’t sing.

And as for picture books with a BAME boy as a main character? They are even harder to find.

Yet right here is where I’ve got the good news…

While there aren’t nearly as many as there should be, there are already some fabulous diverse children’s picture books out there staring BAME boys as main characters, and I’ve got the creme de la creme all lined up to share with you. So read on to find out all about them…

Pile of 23 picture books that star a BAME boy as the main character.
Our favourite picture books featuring BAME boy main characters.
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Where the BAME boys are… Looking for diversity in children’s picture books.

The problem of diversity in children’s picture books is an issue that’s been in the media a lot lately. It comes hot on the heels of a greater awareness about problems with how girls are being represented in children’s books, and these two things are clearly connected.

We all know that books can help shape attitudes and opinions, especially for young readers, and so it is incredibly important that all children get to see themselves reflected in inspirational characters and stories.

I’m really passionate about this, and, with a background working in education and children’s publishing as well as a rainbow family, thought I was pretty clued up. But I had an experience recently that made me wonder whether there was another issue I had over looked.

Read on to find out why, along with pushing for greater diversity for all and better role models for girls, I think we should also be asking where the BAME boys are?

Where the BAME boys are: looking at diversity in children's picture books.
Where the BAME boys are: Diversity, Boys and Picture Books
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Book Love: ‘Topsy and Tim’s Bonfire Night’

Bonfire Night is a very special night for our family;  it’s a birthday for one of the kids as well as probably my all-time favourite event. Who doesn’t love fireworks, bonfires, roasted chestnuts in a paper bag. And (don’t underestimate this thrill for kids) going out after dark for all of the above on a crisp and cold autumn evening? So when I saw this vintage edition of the ‘Topsy and Tim’s Bonfire Night’ book, I had to buy it. Read on for a look inside!

Front cover of vintage children's book Topsy and Tim's Bonfire Night by Jean and Gareth Adamson
Front cover of Topsy and Tim’s Bonfire Night by Jean and Gareth Adamson
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Alice in Wonderland Scarecrow Festival

One of the many wonderful community events run in our local neighbourhood is the annual scarecrow parade that takes place every September.  This year, I really wanted to get involved and so corralled some of my friends and neighbours on our street into doing our scarecrows on the same theme.  

In honour of this year’s 150th anniversary of the publication of the book, we themed our scarecrows around Alice in Wonderland.

Alice in Wonderland scarecrow - playing card gardener painting paper roses red
Our scarecrow Playing Card Gardener from Alice in Wonderland – painting the white roses red!
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