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Inclusive Stories: The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Children's books

Inclusive stories are important because they help to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in society. When people see themselves represented in stories, it can help them feel valued and validated, and it can also help to break down stereotypes and biases. Inclusive stories also help to promote empathy and understanding among different groups of people, which is essential for building a more just and equitable world.

What are Inclusive Children's Stories?

Inclusive stories are children's books that feature characters from diverse backgrounds, including ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities. These stories aim to promote empathy, understanding, and acceptance of differences among young readers.

Why is inclusive storytelling important?

The lack of inclusive and diverse children's books in the UK is a cause for concern. According to a report by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, only 4% of children's books published in the UK in 2017 had a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) main character, despite around 32% of school children in the UK being of BAME origin. Additionally, only 1% of children's books published in the UK in 2017 featured a main character with a disability, despite around 14% of the UK's population having a disability.

This lack of diversity in children's literature can negatively impact children's self-esteem and sense of identity. It can lead to feelings of exclusion, and isolation, and reinforce negative stereotypes, perpetuating a lack of understanding and empathy towards people from different backgrounds.

What are examples of inclusive Stories?

Inclusive stories can take many forms, from books featuring characters with disabilities to those depicting diverse characters, and have the power to teach children about diversity, empathy, and inclusion.

Several examples of inclusive books include "Flap! Tap! Snap" by Brooklyn Banjoko and Lilian Odim is an inclusive and easy-to-understand book that helps children learn about stimming in children on the autism spectrum. It uses simple language and bright illustrations to explain what stimming is and how it can be helpful for kids on the spectrum.

"The Beach is Too Loud" by Samantha Cotterill tells the story of a young boy on the autism spectrum. It allows children on the autism spectrum to recognize themselves in a playful, fun, yet therapeutic way. The book also teaches children about the importance of empathy and understanding.

"Happy Birthday To You" by Brooklyn Banjoko follows the adventures of Baba Bobo and Lola. It explores themes of culture, identity, and inclusivity. It's a great book for kids who want to learn more about different cultures and the importance of embracing diversity.

"You Are Enough: A Book About Inclusion: A Book about Inclusion Inspired by Model & Disability Advocate Sofia Sanchez" by Sofia Sanchez is an inclusive and empowering picture book that reminds readers how important it is to embrace what makes you unique, be confident, and be proud of who you are. It's a great book for kids who want to learn more about diversity and inclusion.

What is the Importance of inclusive literature?

Inclusive literature plays a crucial role in shaping young readers' understanding of the world and has far-reaching benefits. Children's books featuring characters from diverse backgrounds can help promote empathy, understanding, and acceptance among young readers. The books mentioned above are just a few examples of inclusive children's books that celebrate diversity and inclusivity.

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If you would like to learn more about Inclusive Stories or support our mission, please follow us on social media at @inclusivestories. You can also download and listen to the Inclusive Stories podcast, and consider subscribing or making a purchase.


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