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Customer Discussions > Children's Books forum

Picture Books that Deal with Difference and Inclusion

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Showing 1-25 of 82 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 30, 2009, 9:05:02 AM PST
For my master's project, I'm assembling a list of picture books that deal with themes of difference and inclusion. The books I'm considering include: Shaun Tan's "The Lost Thing," as well as Dr. Seuss's "Horton Hears a Who!" and "The Sneetches."

I'm particularly interested in books that aren't limited to a particular cultural group (like "We Are the Ship" and other books that deal with a specific race, culture, or gender overcoming adversity).

I'd love to hear any ideas you might have! :)


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2009, 9:51:02 AM PST
Cello M says:
Karate Cat is a picture book that is closely related to the description you provided, I know plenty of people that really enjoyed it and based off your criteria I think you would too. Just search for it on, it retails for around $9-10.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2009, 10:55:20 AM PST
Wayward says:
Shel Silverstein's "The Missing Piece and the Big O"?
Abuelita's Secret Matzo's (although that is more specific to hiding the Jewish Heritage)
Stephanie's Ponytail? (Wanting to be unique)
Dazzle the Dinosaur? (ostracized for being "different"; Dazzle eventually saves his family/tribe through his uniqueness)
Yoko by Rosemary Wells (Feeling different because of food, making a friend)
Some of Todd Parr's books are good, too. The Okay Book, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2009, 12:01:38 PM PST
M. Ewert says:
Well, I'm totally biased, because I wrote it-
but 10,000 Dresses, a picture-book newly published by Seven Stories Press
is the first book about a transgender child, - in this case, a very creative child who knows she's girl, despite what most of the people around her keep on saying. (She does find an ally at the end, btw.)
This book is currently being championed by P-FLAG, and other group dealing with LGBT rights and inclusion.
Here's some press on it:

the art is utterly fantastic, too!

You're writing about an issue near and dear to my heart! I wish you great good luck with your thesis!

Oh- I just reread your original post- "aren't limited to a particular cultural group...overcoming adversity" - so perhaps that takes 10K Dresses out of the running- but you might enjoy it nevertheless.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2009, 6:30:26 PM PST
Kristin says:
Take a look at "Different, Just Like Me" by Lori Mitchell.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2009, 8:18:15 PM PST
RW says:
I also wrote a book that falls into this category. I'm a Speech-Language Pathologist and wrote the children's book, Speech Class Rules - An Introduction to Speech Therapy for Children. I thought since approximately 10% of all children have communication impairments, there really should be a book about it (for them). In addition to explaining what speech therapy is all about, the book provides a platform (with questions at the end) for discussing how everyone needs help with something and that it's really not a big deal. Some kids get tutored in math, some get help with their communication skills, some wear glasses....we all have different strengths and weaknesses and that's what makes us unique. You can learn more on my website - Best of luck with your project.
Ronda Wojcicki

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2009, 11:16:29 PM PST
ChaiForTwo says:
Hi Aaron,

Check out Patulous, The Different Caterpillar
If you go to the book page on Amazon there is a blog and there is also a diversity lesson plan at which helps children understand differences as well as similarities
There is also two youtube trailers about the book.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2009, 12:48:55 AM PST
This book can help

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2009, 10:43:45 AM PST
Thank you! What a great list! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2009, 10:44:07 AM PST
This looks so awesome! Thank you. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2009, 1:53:31 PM PST
Booker says:
how about "Alley Oops," by Janice Levy
This is am award winning illustrated picture book about bullying, told from the bully's point of view - you'll see why he excludes - and then includes someone. is the author's website

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2009, 2:10:19 PM PST
Holly's Mom says:
This may not be exactly what you had in mind, but we have a wonderful book in our school library called "The Peanut Free Cafe". It would definitely fit your theme. Good luck!

Posted on Feb 5, 2009, 9:39:27 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 20, 2009, 9:27:20 AM PDT]

Posted on Feb 6, 2009, 1:57:22 PM PST
John Munson says:
A great book is "Ambrosi" by D. Manalang.It deals with interracial understanding but is not "in your face" . A great story

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2009, 8:48:29 PM PST
AstoriaBum says:
"Giraffes Can't Dance" by Giles Andreae is a fun picture book that addresses difference and inclusion. The illustrations by Guy Parker-Rees are fantastic.

Posted on Feb 7, 2009, 4:50:44 PM PST
i am also biased from writing the book, but Sammy's Birthday Surprise is a picture book that touches on diversity, and friendships with many types of people. the artist and i are working on the second book in the Sammy series called "Sammy and the new neighbor" which deals 100 percent with diversity, ignorance, acceptance, the evil of stereotypes, and the importance of unity. so if you have some time please contact me, and i can get you the second book as soon as it is finished.
either way good luck with what you are doing i am glad to hear you are doing it!
douglas esper

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2009, 7:14:28 PM PST
A Nice Guy says:
Classy Nancy by Penelope Dyan. It deals with being different as being special, unique, original and a good thing--- and the theme applies to all of us.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2009, 5:25:42 AM PST
I would highly recommend Robert Munsch's books. He's best known for "Love you Forever", which is not representative at all of what his books are typically like. Our children love them because the families frequently "don't match" and the illustrations are always multi cultural. What I especially love is that
the story line is NOT typically about inclusion, it's just there. He does have some that the difference enters into the story line. One deals with a child in a wheel chair, but it's upbeat and light. One child has a father who is a giant.

We have four children, two black, two white. We have moved around a lot and currently we are in a school that has very little diversity. I feel like they just don't get it. We don't celebrate black history month, black history is american history, it should be included year round. Since we arrived, I have been trying to explain the type of books you are describing and why it is important to have them in the classroom. My children should be able to see their images reflected in the curriculum, and not just one month of the year.... My black children don't like to be singled out, put on the spot, they don't want their difference to be the subject, they want it to be reflected in the illustrations.

When they were younger they loved a book called "The colors of Us", they wore it out. Belle Hooks has some beautiful picture books about difference and Julius Lester has a beautiful book called "Let's talk about race".
Hope this helps.

Posted on Feb 8, 2009, 8:55:15 AM PST
S. C. Decker says:

My name is Steven Decker. I am the father of two young boys with autism. I am also an author and illustrator of a new children's book.

My book, Zack the Prairie Dog, follows a storm-weary dachshund and an autistic prairie dog. They meet on the Oklahoma prairie after they are turned away by their peers because they are different. When the two meet, they see beyond those differences to find their gifts. In the end, they return to save the prairie dog town.

Over the years, I learned that my sons, like many children with autism, were drawn to rhythm and rhyme. For example, my son's favorite books were always Dr. Seuss classics. This was an important consideration when I was planning this book. The result is a story that is simple and fun to read. But while the book is simple to read, there is surprising depth to the story, characters and the book's messages. Those messages touch on prejudice, embracing differences, overcoming fear and the power of faith and friendship. Heartstrings are pulled with inspired words and illustrations, and the book has wonderful moments of humor as well. I try to explain autism in a way that is easy for all children to understand. With that understanding, I hope, will come acceptance.

The book has been enthusiastically received by local teachers, schools and libraries... but I'm trying to spread the word about the book beyond my local market. See, I'm a new author, and unless you have a household name like Jenny McCarthy, it's hard to get the word out. So, I'm trying to contact as many individuals and organizations as I can. You can see the book and my inspiration (my boys) on my website and the following links:

You can order the book from my website or you can order it from your favorite online retailer (Barnes & Noble, Amazon,

Please check out my book, Zack the Prairie Dog... I promise you will be touched.


Steve Decker

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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
Participants:  61
Total posts:  82
Initial post:  Jan 30, 2009
Latest post:  Dec 17, 2012

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