International Read to Me Day is taking place TODAY across the UK. An annual event, the day encourages and promotes reading activities within communities, as well as aiming to showcase organisations who are passionate about improving the literacy standards of the children around them. One of the many goals of the day is to address the disparity between resources and where they are distributed by supporting a book drive, and sending the collected books to locations around the world to those who are looking for books. It also aims to change the dynamic and empower children to ask for more support, not just from their birth family but from their community, too.
The Little Bookshop is Leeds’ only independent book store, and is located right at the heart of Chapel Allerton. With books to fascinate young babies, entice toddlers and capture the heart of teenagers, it caters for all kids, and is a beautiful place for families to explore. With regular events such as story time sessions, author readings and workshops (and delicious homemade cake!), it is the perfect place to relax and read with other creative minds.
Reading together is one of the key ways communities can support and connect with each other. To celebrate the day, we’ve collaborated with The Little Bookshop to bring you the best books that showcase the amazing diversity that can be present within different communities, whilst also celebrating Women’s History Month. Many of the featured books are about inspiring women from the past, as well some heroic women of now.
2 and Under:
Baby’s 1st Words (Christiane Engel)- Baby’s 1st Words is a beautifully illustrated baby book that follows the day of a busy-body baby and her two dads. Featuring labels for objects, places, names and sound effect, this hide-and-seek book encourages both language skills and inclusivity.
Build a Block (Christopher Franceschelli)- This book from the Block Books series includes lots of bolds colours and interactive features that are perfect for engaging babies or toddlers. Using people of all genders, races and ethnicities, the book displays how diverse just one society can be.
And Tango Makes Three (Justin Richardson)- Based on a true story of penguins at New York City Zoo, And Tango Makes Three is the beautiful story of Roy and Siro, two penguins that were a little different to the others, but wanted a family all the same. With the help of some friendly zoo keepers, the two penguins were able to have a little baby penguin. This book is fab for showing kids that whilst some people may have a slightly different way of life, people have the same needs and desires.
My Princess Boy (Cheryl Kildodavis)- This is a lovely story about love and acceptance, as well as a call for tolerance and an end to bullying and judgments. Dyson loves pink and tiaras as well as jeans and climbing trees, and his family show him total acceptance. Inspired by the author’s son, this book shows how not all boys are the same, but they should all be accepted for who they are.
We’re All Wonders (R.J.Polacio)- Auggie Pullman is an extraordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Along with his dog Daisy, Auggie learns that it’s okay to be different, and that no matter how we look, we are all wonders. Based on the adult book Wonder, this slightly younger version features the same message; that we are all special and beautiful in our own ways.
Little Red (Beth Woollvin)- In a re-telling of the classic fairy tale kids know and love, our Little Red Riding Hood has no fear. When the big bad wolf hatches an evil plan, Little Red knows just how to handle it. Beth Woollvin has also retold the story of Rapunzel, and the book is quite similar to the Rapunzel in the Disney film Tangled.
King & King (Linda De Haan)- King & King is a classic Prince and Princess marriage story flipped completely on its head. When Princess Madeleine comes to visit, the Prince isn’t interested in her at all- it’s her brother, Prince Lee, he falls for! In a gorgeous story of acceptance and understanding, the Princes are married, and there’s even a sequel if you want to find out what happens to them next!
Little People, Big Dreams Series- The Little People, Big Dreams series is a non-fiction collection on stories about the most amazing women throughout history. Including the likes of Coco Chanel, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earheart and Mother Teresa, the series features women from all different cultures and backgrounds. With fabulous illustration, the series is not just for little girls to be inspired by, but all for kids to experience the amazing things these women did in their lifetime.
This Is How We Do It (Matt Lamothe)- This beautifully illustrated book follows one day in the real lives of seven kids from Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia. Although they all like to do different things, he shared rhythm of their days―and this one world we all share―unites them. This Is How We Do It brilliantly shows how although we may come from different areas of the world, we can all be united.