Sometimes people get entrenched in one way of thinking that it’s hard to shake off and see that others view the world in different ways.
Children are not immune to this, we see how attitudes are hard to shake without hard work and these books are great to help challenge attitudes and introduce more fluid thinking with lots of fun!
To challenge prejudice and stereotypes:
The Wolves who came for dinner- Steve Smallman & Joëlle Dreidemy (Little Tiger)
This is the follow up to the beloved The Lamb Who Came For Dinner by the same pair and is concerned with the happily ever after part of the story- where the rest of the woodland creatures cannot fathom why Hotpot could really be safe let alone friends with the wolf.
It’s a telling story about prejudices and how even the best of intentions can be hurtful and aggressive. There’s a subtle undertow of challenging stereotypes of different groups of people and to judge people by the content of their character not their appearance but sweetly done with playful illustrations by Joëlle Dreidemy
To Be Brave enough to Try New ideas and Experiences
Don’t worry little Crab- Chris Haughton (Walker)
Tinyfae is a huge fan of Chris Haughton books and this lives up to the previous books with its sweet story of overcoming fear and exploring new experiences.
Little Crab and Very Big Crab are going to leave the rock pool and visit the sea but the waves are big and it’s rather scary but step by little step it’s important to face fears and break through them.
Haughton quotes Anais Nin in the acknowledgements “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage” and that sentiment really sums up the message of this book with how the palette of greeny and grey blues in fear opens up to proper technicolour when Little Crab is brave like when Dorothy opens the door to Oz and even more so when Little Crab wants more adventure.
Gorgeous book and a great book to accompany times of change and needing to be brave.
To embrace differences and be brave enough to admit you’re wrong
The Only way is Badger- Stella J Jones & Carmen Saldaña (Little Tiger)
Badger is a bit of a bossy Diva and starts ordering the woodland creatures about saying Badgers are the best and ordering all the forest to be more badger… but of course it’s not working meaning creatures are ‘cut’ from an increasingly strict list of criteria until it’s down to Racoon and skunk left and Badger starting to paint everything black and white. Until Badger realises all the beauty and fun has left his part of the forest and it’s better to be different not just badgery
A beautiful fable like story about accepting and celebrating the value of differences, and how dull and uninspiring the world is when we all look, think, live and act the same.
It also is a powerful message of how to say sorry too as Badger has the strength to admit he was wrong.
To appreciate that sometimes the simplest and most humble things are the most precious and full of magic.
Show and Tell- Rob Biddulph (Harper Collins)
This is a fantastic book for making children laugh but also making a lovely message that you don’t have to outdo each other all the time and a quiet thoughtful message about simplicity and respect for nature with some sneaky alphabet revision too as the children’s names progress in alphabetical order!
Class 2L are preparing to present Show and Tell starting with Adam and his Sunflower seed but from Betty to Yao things get increasingly silly, ridiculous and out of this world until a summoned alien takes all the extraordinary things away but one, the humble sunflower seed and as teacher points out… it’s the most magical of all.
This made me smile so much as it reminded me so much of watching parents trying to outdo each other with the best projects, most interesting items and activities etc to ‘win’ parent points coupled with the magnificent and occasionally bonkers imagination of children aged around 6 who could quite easily imagine all these spectacular things!!
It also has marvellous diversity with a range of ethnicities both implied and clear and representations from a girl in a wheelchair, several with natural and braided Afro-Caribbean hair and characters wearing hijab and glasses respectively.
Thank you to Little Tiger Press and Walker Books for the review copies. I received Show & Tell through a review scheme.