Corrie Locke-Hardy (@thetinyactivists) shares her top inclusive reads with the occasion of Human Rights Day, to celebrate those who fight for equality in our beautiful and diverse world! Perfect for inspiring children to stand up to social injustice and advocate for others. Find a more extensive list on the Lantana Publishing blog.
Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade£13.99 £13.01
If you’re looking for a book that will give you literal chills at its beauty, this is the one to crack open. We Are Water protectors is an Own Voices Indigenous picture book about a black snake that threatens the water, making it poisonous and undrinkable. Beautiful and powerful, this metaphor for an oil pipeline engages and teaches readers about the activism that is needed to defeat the snake. The story itself is inspired by the multitude of Indigenous-led movements across North America and strikes the perfect balance of inspirational and educational. The illustrations are stunning, and in the back is more information about water protectors from the author, a glossary, and a note from the illustrator. Every page is breathtaking, and the message is a crucial one. We not only need more Own Voices BIPOC texts, but we need books like this that get across the serious environmental detriment that pipelines cause.
Innosanto Nagara£12.99 £12.08
A Is For Activist is an alphabet book with a progressive twist, introducing children to words like abolitionist, co-op, environmental justice, feminist, trans, and union. The book uses a catchy and playful tone to tackle topics like justice and human rights. Its rhymes and examples of things children will love (like the demand for healthy hot dogs) keep the book from becoming too heavy and a little interactive element on each page keeps little ones engaged throughout.
M. L. Marroquin and Tonya Engel£13.99 £13.01
This beautiful ode to one girl’s natural and buoyant hair can only be matched by Tonya Engel’s impossibly gorgeous illustrations. Filled to the brim with confidence and curls, our main character struts through the world fully in charge of herself and her boundaries when it comes to others around her hair. This book is monumentally important for all of the BIPOC (and specifically Black) people who are told that their hair is unprofessional, unruly, or any myriad of disgusting and racist derogatory language. Books like this for young readers not only instill a sense of confidence and self-esteem but provide much needed mirrors as well. My Hair is Magic! is breathtaking and tender while filled with fearlessness by our narrator who is ready to tame the world rather than tame her hair.
ROSS COLLINS£6.99 £6.50
There’s a Bear on My Chair is a playful celebration of peaceful protest. A tiny mouse is aghast to find a bear occupying his favourite chair, while the bear remains blissfully unconcerned. The mouse tries a range of strategies to shift the bear…will he succeed in making his voice heard? Awarded the 2016 CILIP Amnesty Honour, this witty portrayal of activism, encourages young readers to take a stand and defend their rights.
Ashok Banker and Sandhya Prabhat£11.99 £11.15
I Am Brown is a celebration of the many complex and intersecting identities of having brown skin, and it is stunning. Told solely in “I” statements, many voices blend and meld together to showcase the range of diversity within the classroom illustrated. This lyrical book could be read mantra-like, going through the different languages spoken, houses lived in, as well as different characteristics like eye and hair color. I love the way that so many differences are mentioned, and everyone is celebrated for being exactly who they are.
Ayesha's cousin, Ritu, is getting married to her girlfriend Chandni and Ayesha is beside herself with excitement for them. When they get to Ritu's for the big baraat parade to the wedding hall, she realizes that not all of her family is there. They're not attending the wedding because they don't support Ritu. Ayesha also learns that some neighbors have vowed to stop the procession, which scares and confuses her. In an author's note in the back, we learn how author-illustrator Ameya Narvankar wrote this story because he never saw same-sex Indian relationships in the media growing up. Same-sex marriage is still not recognized in India, so we NEED these books to show others the different ways people love each other and to teach them that hate and homophobia is wrong.
Gayle E. Pitman and Violet Tobacco£15.95
This book is gorgeous, and perfect for representation of non-binary, trans, and Intersex parents. Our main character is a young child, narrating about the parent who they call Maddy. Maddy is in between a Mom and a Dad, and they exist in the beautiful in between space on a lot of things such as hair color, eye color, and they love the transitional seasons like spring and fall. The pair have a beautiful relationship full of fun activities and going on walks. My Maddy is a really important book for education, normalization of family structures, and a discussion tool for children who have family members that are transitioning or Intersex. Giving kids the tools to navigate potential bias or transphobia that they come up against in schools is an unfortunate but necessary tool for their toolbox.
Chris Riddell and Amnesty International£9.99 £9.29
This book features 16 different freedoms, each accompanied by beautiful illustrations. It shows why our human rights are so important - they help to keep us safe and give us a chance at a happy, fulfilled and fun life! Illustrated by Children's Laureate Chris Riddell, this book is a great introduction to human rights and why we must fight to make sure everyone's freedom is respected.