Wednesday 21 November 2018

Four inclusive and supportive kids books

Kids inclusive reads

Through no fault of their own, many kids books miss out on the opportunity to be inclusive.  Many writers draw on their own experiences when writing and creating stories, so it's maybe not a surprise.  But I've found a few books that show inclusion in their stories and support kids in being themselves.

I’ve loved reading books with autistic characters and even more so, books with autistic kids characters too. I’m looking forward to reading Chris Bonnello’s book Guerrillas. But I can’t share these with my kids yet. Especially as our younger kids are five and seven, and the seven year old has many communication challenges. However for this audience (my kids) these books are all perfect.

Elephants in my custard

Elephants in my Custard by Samuel Langley-Swain

Some kids, like mine, find it difficult to share their problems, even with family members who they can trust. Even though I tell my kids they can always talk to me, the smallest of problems can seem overwhelming for them. Our clinical psychologist once said that if my son had a worry and I dismissed it he then had two worries - his original one and the fact that no one cared. Dealing with our worries can be a big thing for many kids.

Elephants in my Custard uses an imaginative twist on the metaphor of ‘Elephant in the room’ to convey worries our kids may be holding back from sharing and more importantly that we want to listen to them.

The Forgotten Forest

The Forgotten Forest by Victoria Richards

The Forgotten Forest is a personalised story book where your child’s character solves clues to help bring a Forest back to life. Across the colourful pages, the story is personalised with your child's likeness, name, birthday and other details to make them the key part of the story.

When you order the book you can choose from a range of options to ensure your child can see themselves as the hero in the story, including skin tones, eye colours, hair styles and colours. There is the option to add hearing aid, ear defenders, glasses or a wheelchair and they also offer a range of pronouns to choose from. It gives a greater chance for a child to see themselves in the story and this is lovely.

Overall, Anthony loved his version of the story, excited as every detail of his became apparent. Some kids may need to be prepared for this idea by letting them know it's a special book with them in it, and others will simply love the surprise.  As always, go with what works for you.

The Christmas Next Door

The Christmas Next Door by T.A Creaser & Samuel Langley-Swain

This story follows Grandad as he comes to the rescue during his Christmas visit.  From supporting autistic Lily through her school nativity to helping everyone laugh at the disaster of a cremated turkey, Grandad helps the family in The Christmas Next Door remember what's really important, emphasising love and togetherness.

In the story, Grandma is not with the family this year.  This provides an additional support in building up the idea of loss in a very sensitive way.  As a family who have had recent bereavements, we know how important it is that death is part of an understanding of life and not a subject to be shied away from when talking to kids.   The book also naturally promotes inclusion and diversity through it's lovely illustrations from showing a child who just happens to be a in a wheelchair to different generations and family groups. We loved it.

The Thing

The Thing by Rachel Jackson

The Thing was written by Rachel for her seven year old son who happens to have Asperger Syndrome. In the story the boy has a 'thing' which is autism, and sometimes having his thing made him feel and act the way he does.  However it's not about explaining or surviving autism more a supportive description of part of who the boy is.

Although it's about the boy with autism I've included it here as it's a great book opening up discussion with all children about how we feel when things happen, the nature of diversity and acceptance.  Rachel has since written My Brother has a Thing to follow on this idea and I'm looking forward to reading this too.

This post included a giveaway that has now closed. 

Conditions: UK Residents only. Entrants must be aged over 18. Entry is via Rafflecopter. Entries can be made up until midnight on Friday 7th December. One winner will be chosen from all valid entries at random the day after closing. The winner will be contacted within a week of the closing date and have one week to respond from being contacted. The Prize is one copy of The Christmas Next Door as shown above. Prize is sent direct from Owlet Press. If for any reason the book is unavailable an  alternative product of similar or higher value will be sent. No cash alternative. Any data collected will only be used solely for the purpose of contacting you should you win the competition and will not be used or stored by me for any other reason.  Check further details about Rafflecopter's privacy here or see my policy below. 

We were sent copies of the above books for purposes of review and are delighted to include them on this post.


  1. This is a really fab selection of books Ann, thank you for sharing! Our boy has a select few children’s books characters that he really likes, and he’s not too bothered about expanding his views beyond those... But it might well be worth having a go with one or two of the books you’ve suggested here! Thanks so much for linking up with #KCACOLS, hope you come back again next time xx

  2. Oh drats I can't enter the giveaway because I don't live in the UK but I will send out a tweet for you. I like the Forgotten Forest book. #KCACOLS

  3. Some lovely looking books, I like the idea of the forest one especially #KCACOLS

  4. These books look great!! Thanks for sharing! The Christmas Next Door looks/sounds so good! #KCACOLS

  5. These books look fantastic! I liked the elephant one :) #KCACOLS

  6. I hadn't heard of any of these books but I always love to see more diversity in children's books. Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

  7. I have never heard of these books, so thank you for introducing me to them! Have a wonderful holiday season! #KCACOLS xoxo

  8. Thanks for sharing these reads - I'll be looking into these myself. So good to know that diversity is starting to sneak it's way into kids' literature!

  9. Love that these books are inclusive. I like the sound of The Christmas Door #KCACOLS

  10. What a fab selection of books and wonderful giveaway. Thanks for sharing with #TriumpantTales.

  11. These all sound like lovely stories - I will look out for them! #KCACOLS

  12. Such lovely books, it's great to see incisive books available. I'm definitely looking out for 'The Christmas Next Door' in the run up to Christmas, it sounds especially beautiful. #kltr

  13. All three of these look like fantastic books, there should definitely be more autistic books available. But all of these look fantastic and ones my children would enjoy too #KLTR

  14. My kids love cat stories. If we have arrived home late and it is past their bedtime, we need to read at least one story before they will go to sleep.


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