In my search for picture books with diverse characters, I struggled to find a superhero-themed picture book that featured a BAME boy in the staring role. Then I came across this witty gem from Angela McAllister and Alex T. Smith. It DOES feature a black boy as the main character, but the superhero is actually (maybe) his mum!
One of our favourite diverse picture books, What do You Do if Your House is a Zoo? is a charming and funny story by John Kelly and Steph Laberis. Exuberantly told by the BAME boy main character, this is a picture book full of crazy animal characters and increasingly harassed humans!
There’s something magical about growing things with children, and that’s the idea at the heart of this book. A whimsical tale of an inner city boy who transforms his urban landscape with plants, The Extraordinary Gardner is also a story about reaching out to the people around you, sharing ideas and friendship and building a community that’s as beautiful as the flowers they grow. Read on to take a look inside!
While he may be better known for his adult fiction, writer Dave Eggers has also produced some wonderful children’s books. With the help of talented illustrators like Lane Smith, Eggers’ ‘Tomorrow Most Likely’ is magical journey through the possibilities a day may hold. Read on to take a peek!
We just adore ‘Have You Seen Elephant?’ Perfectly ridiculous and utterly beautiful, it’s the charmingly silly tale of a boy playing hide and seek with an elephant. ‘I must warn you though, ’ says Elephant at the beginning of the book, ‘I’m VERY good.’
My children and I are long-term fans of Lauren Child, and we have a great number of her books on our bookshelves. This particular title is full of her trademark style – collages of pattern and texture combined with bold, colourful drawings that are deceptively simple in style but convey a whole world of emotion in those simple strokes.
Not so much a story, as the chronicling of a journey, Windows is an absolutely gorgeous picture book by Julia Denos and E.B. Goodale. The book follows a young boy as he takes his dog on an evening walk, past the brightly-lit windows of his neighbourhood. Each of these windows tells a different story, as do the streets themselves, all backlit by beautiful sunset.
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!