Baby Book Club – April

This month’s Baby Book Club theme is all about diversity – embracing and accepting difference in both others and ourselves. As children grow up, they’re often told to stay in line, sit still and behave well. We rightly want our little ones to be part of a community, but often we feel this means fitting in rather than standing out. The books I’ve chosen explore what it’s like to be different and still belonging. There’s plenty of opportunity here for discussion and fun.

Elmer
by David McKee

Elmer, Baby Book Club

This is a total classic. I can’t believe Elmer is 30 years old!
Elmer is different, Elmer is patchwork. Instead of being grey, he’s every colour in the rainbow. But this doesn’t stop being part of the herd, he makes everyone laugh. One day, Elmer has a crisis of confidence, maybe his friends are laughing at him not with him. So he disguises himself as an ordinary elephant. Luckily, Elmer’s personality is irrepressible and he soon learns that he is loved and cherished in his community because he’s different.
This is a lovely book to read with your preschooler

I Don’t Want Curly Hair
by Laura Ellen Anderson

I Dont Want Curly Hair, Baby Book Club

Ever wished you didn’t have the hair you were born with? Well, this little girl hates hers. I would have really related to this when I was little as my hair was just the same. You’ll have fun reading how she tries to make her hair straight, until she meets someone else who doesn’t like her hair either…
A wonderful tale about embracing who you are.

Odd Dog Out
by Rob Biddulph

Odd Dog Out, Baby Book Club

All the dogs in the city are the same, except for one dog. She just doesn’t fit in so she sadly leaves town and finds a place where she’s the same as everyone else. She eventually learns that there’s nothing wrong with standing out and returns to a superstar welcome.
I love the quirky illustrations in this and all those gorgeous sausage dogs – my fave!

Say Hello
by Rachel Isadora

Say Hello, Baby Book Club

Carmelita and her Mama are off to see Abuela Rosa. On the way they say hello to all the different people in their neighbourhood in many different languages. This is a great way to explore how diverse our community can be and how we can connect to people simply by saying hello. There’s a handy guide to pronunciation at the back.

The Skin You Live in
by Michael Tyler

The Skin You Live In, Baby Book Club

This book is all about your skin colour. It wonderfully describes all sorts of colour skin in irresistible ways. It goes on to talk about how our skin doesn’t make us who we are but that it connects us and holds the uniqueness of us within it. It’s so celebratory and joyful and it rhymes too!!
There’s lots of words here so it’s probably better suited for preschoolers than toddlers but the pictures would be fun for toddlers to look at.

The Big Umbrella
by Amy June Bates with Juniper Bates

The Big Umbrella, Baby Book Club

By the front door there is a big friendly umbrella, it likes to help. This is definitely a book you can read to your toddler. The red umbrella looks so smiley and it gets bigger and bigger to give shelter to anyone and everyone. The illustrations will give you lots to look at and talk about. You can use it as a great way to start conversations about how everyone needs help and shelter and we should help them no matter how tall, hairy or plaid you are!

One for the adults:

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
by Natasha Pulley

The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street, Baby Book Club

I love this book!!
Set in the Victorian era, it features 3 main characters who each have something which makes them different. Thaniel has synaesthesia, meaning he can see sounds. Keita stands out in London because he’s Japanese. Grace is a physicist, unusual for a woman in those times. This wonderful read follows them as their lives become entwined in many and extraordinary ways.
Please read it, it’s lovely.