7 June 2022

Reading books about diversity helps kids learn more about the world around them.

A young girl holding a book wearing a white checked shirt sitting next to her brother in a blue shirt.

Representation in books is important, not only for kids to see themselves, but for children to discover other cultures and learn about different experiences!

Here are 10 books that explore diverse representations to help you teach children about their world, and help them see the world through somebody else's eyes.

1. This is Me by Sally Morgan

A cartoon drawing of a girl in a purple t-shirt with short brown hair. Text reads: This Is Me!

This is Me! by Sally Morgan is a book about self-acceptance and diversity. This is me! explores unconditional love and reinforces to all children that they are unique, important, and special - just the way they are.

The text highlights the joys of loving one another and each page encourages the reader to say something that they love about themselves.

Age: 0 -5 years.

Learn more here.

2. The Family Book by Todd Parr

Image of a book cover with a red background and a cartoon drawing of a family on a couch. Text reads: The Family Book. Todd Parr.

The Family Book by Todd Parr celebrates all the different varieties that families come in. The Family Book explores many different representations of families and assures readers that no matter what kind of family you have, every family is special in its own unique way.

Age: 3 - 6 years.

Learn more here.

Watch the YouTube read-aloud here.

3. Maybe Days by Jennifer Wilgocki and Marcia Kahn Wright, Illustrated by Alissa Imre Geis

Image of a book cover with a yellow background and three windows with a cartoon child sitting in each window. Text reads: Maybe Days, a book for children in Foster Care

Maybe Days by Jennifer Wilgocki and Marcia Kahn Wright is a book about foster care. For many children in foster care, the answer to many questions is often ‘maybe’. Maybe Days addresses the questions, feelings, and concerns that children in care often face. The text provides basic information that children want and need to know, including the roles of various people in the foster care system, and whom to ask for help.

Age: 4 - 7 years.

Learn more here.

Watch the YouTube read-aloud here.

4. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, Illustrated by Henry Cole

Image of a book cover with cartoon penguins huddling together. Text reads: and tango makes three

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell explores the topics of love, adoption and LGBTQIA+ parents. The book shows the reader that all kinds of love can create a family through the story of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who want a family of their own. With the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo get the chance to adopt a baby penguin into their family.

Age: 4 - 8 years.

Learn more here.

Watch the YouTube read-aloud here.

5. Ceremony: Welcome to Our Country by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing, Illustrated by David Hardy

Image of a book cover. An illustration of an Aboriginal boy smiling with body paint on

Ceremony by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing is a joyful celebration of family and culture. The book is part of the 'Welcome to Our Country' series which introduces First Nations history to children. Ceremony invites the reader to celebrate the rich traditions of dance, family, community and caring for Country from the world's oldest continuous culture.

Age: 4 - 8 years.

Learn more here.

6. Heroes Rebels and Innovators by Karen Wyld, Illustrated by Jaelyn Biumaiwai

Image of a book cover with a yellow background and an illustration of an Aboriginal woman. Text reads: Heroes, Rebels and Innovators. Inspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People from history. Karen Wyld and Jaelyn Biumaiwai

Heroes, Rebels and Innovators by Karen Wyld tells seven inspiring stories about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from history. This book is a great introduction to First Nations history for children and adults alike.

Age: 6 - 10 years.

Learn more here.

7. Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis, Illustrated by Tony Ross

Image of a book cover. The illustration shows a young girl with red hair sitting on a seesaw with her cat hanging off the edge. Text reads: Susan Laughs.

Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis tells a story of a girl called Susan as she engages in activities such as laughing, singing, and playing. On the last page of the book it is revealed Susan is in a wheelchair, encouraging readers to get to know Susan for the person she is first.

The revelation at the end encourages the reader to go back and re-read the book, looking at the pictures and addressing our assumptions about what we understood on the first reading. This book is an introduction to diversity and inclusion for children, teaching them that people with disabilities are capable of living great full lives just like everyone else.

Age: 4 -7 years.

Learn more here.

Watch the YouTube read-aloud here.

8. Max the Champion by Sean Stockdale and Alexandra Strick, Illustrated by Ros Asquith

Image of a book cover with an illustration of a boy wearing glasses and a red top and a gold medal standing in front of a crowd of people. Text reads: Max the champion.

Max the Champion by Sean Stockdale and Alexandra Strick, explores representations of disability through the story of Max, a child with a hearing aide who loves sport. The story follows Max’s school football match and weaves through his daydreams of winning the World Cup. The book shows children with and without disabilities enjoying different sports together, teaching children about inclusivity and diversity.

Age: 5+ years.

Learn more here.

Watch the YouTube read-aloud here.

9. Mommy, Mama and Me & Daddy, Papa and Me by Leslea Newman, Illustrated by Carol Thompson

Image of two book covers. The first cover has an illustration of two women holding a child. Text reads: Mommy, Mama and Me. The second cover has an illustration of two men holding a child. Text reads: Daddy, Papa and Me.

Mommy, Mama and Me & Daddy, Papa and Me by Leslea Newman are books that explore representations of LGBTQIA+ parents. Each book follows a toddler spending the day with their parents, showing a loving family spending time together. Both books show that all kinds of love can create a family.

Age: 2-5 years.

Learn more here.

Watch the Mommy, Mama and Me YouTube read-aloud here.

Watch the Daddy, Papa and Me YouTube read-aloud here.

10. A House for Everyone by Jo Hirst, Illustrated by Naomi Bardoff

Image of a book cover with an illustration of monkey bars on a playground with children climbing on it. Text reads: A house for everyone by Jo Hirst.

A House for Everyone by Jo Hirst challenges gender stereotypes and explores different representations of gender. The book follows Tom and his friends as they pretend build a house at lunchtime. Each one of them has a special job to do, and each one of them has a different way of expressing their gender identity. This book teaches children that it is OK to explore different expressions of self, and that it is OK to be yourself.

Age: 4-8 years.

Learn more here.

Watch the YouTube read-aloud here.

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Supporting Children and Young People to build bright futures through education and learning “Everyday Everyway”.

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