We asked Giana Torrez, El Paso Library, Texas, for a list of books she likes to recommend that feature characters with disabilities—a broad topic, of course, as shown by her list that includes main characters with autism, dyslexia and physical disabilities.
Feelings can be tough to talk about for children—even for grown ups, I always find myself recommending children’s books as a way to navigate through those complicated, scary, and overwhelming feelings. These are all picture books, and they are all great conversation starters for any age.
What is it about orphans in books? They are tragic, with backgrounds mysterious, bruised, like Jane Eyre. They are vulnerable and burdened, like Oliver; or have learned to be trickier than the trickiest, like the Artful Dodger. They are steely, sad, often hungry with large eyes. They’re tragically young and terrifically youthful. They are tantalisingly free.
Sibling relationships can be full of fun and complexity, which is why we always love when they take centre stage in a book. There are also so many different kinds of families and siblings from brothers, sisters, half siblings and step siblings. It was really hard to choose this list because there are so many fantastic books out there, but these are just a few of our favourites.
What we really enjoy about these picture books/board-books is the casual inclusion of LGBTQIA+ folks. It’s wonderful to have books where queer characters are normalised within another narrative. We really wish there were more for us to choose from, especially from local publishers. It’s 2022 after all!
There are so many excellent books about dinosaurs and fossils that it is very difficult to pick just a few to feature. Our scientific knowledge of extinct animals has increased exponentially as researchers continue to discover amazing fossils and use modern tools to gather insights about their lives.
I discovered children’s literature in the form of picture books in the local library when my son was young. I knew a few good books from my childhood, but I didn’t imagine they would be just the tip of the iceberg. Some books were revelations!
My hope is that for anyone struggling, these eight brilliant books will be a small support and help start important conversations about war and particularly its impact on people. I hope they show the positive impact that hope, kindness and empathy can have too.
Once the backbone of stories for younger children, picture storybooks have been superseded by the shorter picture books that are now more popular.
In this month of noise, we’ve made a list of silent books.
We were very pleased to have three Gecko Press books selected for the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) 2021 silent book collection, with Aleph by Janik Coat chosen as an Honour Book.