I’m really excited to be sharing 5 diverse picture book recommendations with you all today!
Over the past few months I’ve been getting more into picture books, and starting to work as a children’s bookseller has only amplified that! There are some utterly brilliant and beautiful picture books out there and while sure, they may be created with children in mind in the first instance, that doesn’t stop us adults enjoying them too.
For today I’ve put together 5 recommendations, but keep your eye out for more faves in the future! Also just to note, I cannot comment on the accuracy of all of the representation in these books, so make sure to check out any reviews if you would like more info on that front.
Here are some 5 diverse picture book recommendations.
Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder
First up is probably my fave: a celebration of all bodies, everywhere! I wish this had been around when I was younger. Bodies Are Cool has representation of more or less every type of body you could think of, and the first time I saw this I was overcome with such joy that children will be able to pick this up and see themselves inside. With gorgeous artwork and a rhythmic text, it’s the perfect book to instil body positivity and confidence, for all ages!
Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton and Dougal MacPherson
Introducing Teddy is a lovely exploration of friendship and gender. Errol and his teddy, who he called Thomas, are best friends, and they do everything together. One day, the teddy is sad and tells Errol that she has always known that she is actually a girl teddy called Tilly and was scared to say, worrying that they would no longer be friends. Errol tells Tilly that all he cares about is that she is his friend! It’s a really sweet and heartfelt story which would be a great way to open up conversations with little ones.
Julian at the Wedding by Jessica Love
I absolutely bloody love the Julian books, this and Julian is a Mermaid. Julian at the Wedding is a beautiful story about gender identity and being happy in your own skin which celebrates diverse families too. Told with only a few words, it’s actually the stunning illustrations that convey the story’s meaning and would be perfect for any age group.
Rocket Says Look Up! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola
First of all, how cute is this cover though seriously? Rocket dreams of being an astronaut and is so excited about the comet that will be visible one night. She wants everyone else to experience this wonder, so tries to get her family and community, even her brother who usually prefers spending time on his phone, to look up!
Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen and Lucia Soto
This beautifully illustrated picture book is all about Chloe and her relationship with her Uncle Bobby. She worries that she won’t get to spend as much time with Bobby once he gets married, but throughout the story she realises that she will now have two uncles who love her! Though I can’t speak to the representation of course, I really appreciated that the fact this was a same sex wedding was not necessarily the focus of the story. There was no conflict or angst from family members, it just was.
And there we have five diverse picture book recommendations. I truly wish more stories and books like this would have been accessible when I was growing up, but I’m so happy to know that diverse books with a range of representation are getting into the hands of children and young people all over. I’ll be sharing more as I find new favourites!