October is Black History Month so it's a great opportunity to to promote and celebrate Black contributions to British society, and to foster an understanding of Black history in general. It's also when we like to share our recommendations (many sent in by our KIDLY community) for reads to enjoy with your kids about inspiring Black lives and issues around diversity and inclusion. In fact it's a really great list to refer to all year round, so please keep the suggestions coming!
For babies & toddlers
Raising Little Allies-To-Be - calls itself 'an incomplete guide for parents and caregivers to begin conversations about race, privilege, bias, riots, activism, social injustice, diversity and inclusivity'. You can download a copy for free.
WokeBabies UK - a monthly subscription service of books and activities for babies through to school age that sends you a very cool T-shirt with your first box.
The AntiRacist Baby - introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism.
It’s Okay To Be Different - acceptance, understanding and confidence in an accessible, child-friendly format, featuring Todd Parr's trademark bold, bright colours and silly scenes.
Little Feminist Picture Book - an image-led book celebrating 25 stand-out people, including amazing women of colour like Cleopatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Harriet Tubman, Josephine Baker, Junko Tabei, Malala Yousafzai, Maya Angelou, Maya Lin, Misty Copeland, Rosa Parks, Sacagawea & Wilma Rudolph.
Little People Big Dreams: Rosa Parks - discover the incredible life of Rosa Parks, the "Mother of the Freedom Movement".
Little People Big Dreams: Mahatma Gandhi - explore the life of Gandhi, once a rebellious teenager in India, who went on to become a leading figure for peaceful change.
Little People Big Dreams: Muhammad Ali - an inspiring and emotive book with historical photos and a detailed profile of 'The Greatest'.
Little People Big Dreams: Pele - tells the story of Brazil’s all-time King of Football and how he honed his skills in a poor neighbourhood in Brazil, knowing that, one day, he would lead his country to World Cup victory!
The Proudest Blue - Olympics fencing medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad's story is an uplifting tale of courage, bullying, pride and sibling love.
Ready, Steady, Mo – in this adventurous picture book, father of three Mo Farah, combines two lifelong passions - literacy and exercise.
Malala’s Magic Pencil – a beautifully illustrated picture book telling Malala Yousafzai's story, in her own words, for a younger audience.
Sulwe - 12 Years A Slave star Lupita Nyong'o's moving picture book about colourism, self-esteem and learning that true beauty comes from within.
An ABC Of Equality - people from a range of backgrounds, ethnicities and abilities lead the way through the alphabet: N is for No: No means no. P is for Privilege: Be aware of your advantages. X is for Xenophobia, etc.
Book Love - an online book store on a mission to challenge the stark lack of culturally inclusive representation.
Literally - a fascinating introduction to the rich history and cultural diversity of the English language and words: karaoke (Japanese); zero (Arabic); guru (Sanskrit); ukulele (Hawaiian); royalty (Norman French); companion (Latin); kookaburra (Wradjuri); mummy (Persian); safari (Swahili).
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of A Young Civil Rights Activist - a moving true story picture book that proves you're never too little to make a difference.
For older kids
Little Leaders: Bold Women In Black History - stories of both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history - from nurse Mary Seacole, to politician Diane Abbott, mathematician Katherine Johnson and singer Shirley Bassey.
TALKING TO KIDS ABOUT RACE
We've also compiled some tips for talking to young children about broader issues of race and diversity.