Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Cultural Diversity in Children's Books

In our search for diverse and inclusive books we came across Lantana Publishing, a London-based independent publishing company that champions cultural diversity in children's books. Last week the company's Founder and Publisher Alice Curry won the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize, which recognises the achievement of women in publishing. Therefore we thought this would be the perfect time to share our round up of Lantana's beautiful and inspiring stories.




We'd like to tell you a little about each of the four books we have read so far, starting with our favourite, The Tigon and the Liger.

Tyler the tigon was terribly rare.
A big cat like him isn't found everywhere.
Unique from his ears to his tail to his tum,
his dad was a tiger, a lion his mum...
The Tigon and the Liger

Tyler the tigon feels alone and is teased by the other animals. His fur, roar and tail are all wrong and he just doesn't fit in. Then he meets Lyla the Liger. Lyla also feels alone but together, Lyla and Tyler, begin to have some fun! Written by Keilly Swift, The Tigon and the Liger is a lovely rhyming story which gently reminds us that we are all unique in our own special way. It promotes the celebration of diversity and reassures us to be comfortable in the skin we are in. The stunning illustrations by Cosei Kawa have a dream like quality that truly capture the imagination. They even inspired a little art project of our own...


The Mini Reviewers really enjoyed the story and because it carries such an important message, we firmly believe this book should be on every child's shelf.

Chicken in the Kitchen is an unusual and amusing tale written by Nnedi Okorafor. One night a young girl called Anyaugo wakes to find a giant chicken in her kitchen. With the help of Wood Wit, a nature spirit that lives in the walls of her home, Anyaugo tries to discover why the chicken has visited her that night. Mehrdokht Amini's bold illustrations add to the sense of mystery as the story unfolds. This is an interesting read that is full of humour and we even learned a little about the New Yam Festival and masquerade culture of Nigeria.



The Wooden Camel, written by Wanuri Kahiu and illustrated by Manuela Adreani, is the story of a young Kenyan boy, Etabo, who dreams of being a camel racer. He knows he will be the best camel racer ever. However, when his father has to sell their camels, how will he achieve his dream? He tries riding chickens, cats and even his pet goat but none of them will do. He becomes increasingly unhappy but a kind gift from his sister helps him realise that his dreams really are enough. This is a beautifully illustrated book that really shows that in your dreams anything is possible.


Finally, Sleep Well, Siba and Saba is a story about two forgetful sisters in Uganda. Every night when the girls fall asleep they dream about the things they have lost that day - sweaters, silver sandals and even their slippers! Then one day their dreams begin to reveal something else, could it be a window into their futures? This gentle, rhythmic story by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl is perfect for bedtime and the illustrations by Sandravan Doorn are a lot of fun. We particularly like the flamingos!


Thank you to Lantana Publishing for sending us this beautifully diverse selection of books. They are all available to purchase now.

We always enjoy hearing from our readers so do get in touch with any diverse book recommendations!

*Disclaimer: All opinions are, as always, our own. This post contains affiliate links.


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12 comments:

  1. This is a fab post and I really think it is important to teach about differences. These would be useful for my family as my child is multicultured. Thanks for linking up to KLTR

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  2. There should be more books like these shouldn't there!! Thanks fir sharing with #readwithme

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  3. It's great to find books with a bit of diversity in them. As a white woman from the UK, I can relate to most of the characters in books, because they're like me! I do think of friends and their children from other cultures and think it's a shame that nearly all the books they read are about people from a white UK or US background.

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  4. These books look fantastic! I love books that show cultural diversity, I used to sell Barefoot Books which were great for that but I don't know how easily available they are in the UK now. 'The Tigon and the Liger' sounds especially good and I love the art project you came up to go with it! #ReadWithMe #KLTR

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  5. Love the sound of The Tigon and the Liger. What a great message behind it. Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

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  6. Thanks so much for these amazing picks. Will check them out. My kids book is out soon and I am so excited.

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  7. I love the look of all these books, such gorgeous diverse stories. #readwithme #KLTR

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  8. These books sound great I especially like the sound of Tigon and the Liger #kcacols

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  9. I do like the way a lot of illustrations now have a range of skin colour in the classroom and friends...#KCACOLS

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  10. As a teacher in a predominately white British school, I am always looking at ways of promoting diversity and making our children aware of other cultures.
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm all for cultural diversity in books so will be adding these to my Sons collection #KCACOLS

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  12. This is such a fab post and collection of books Kate, definitely one to bookmark as I think teaching cultural diversity is so important. Thanks for linking up to #kltr

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