Children's books have become more inclusive in terms of gender, ethnicity, hair colour and skin colour. But I feel people in many children's books still look 'perfect' with smooth complexions and they overall look homogeneous, monomorphic and uniform.
I first borrowed Bodies are Cool (worldwide here) from the Waverley Library. They have a wonderful range of children's picture books. I loved Bodies are Cool so much that I ordered a copy for us to keep.
Bodies are Cool has a simple storyline, that all bodies are cool. It features groups of people in different settings. The people illustrated have various body shapes (height, size), skin features (scars, marks, moles, freckles, tattoos), hair (facial hair, body hair), aids (mobility, sight, hearing) and other medical devices (tubes, bags, pumps, monitors, patches). Images like this go a long way to normalising all body shapes and help to create an environment of body acceptance and possibly body positivity.
Bodies are Cool is recommended for children 3-5yrs.
We collected our copy on our way to our local PCYC. I was able to read it to my 4-year-old while in the corridor across from wheelchair basketball. It gave us the perfect opportunity to discuss the different aids and abilities right in front of us. Rather than stopping our children from asking questions, we could encourage them. We can empower our children and use the correct terminology when possible.
Yes, lots of body shapes, and body hair!
These images better reflect our real world.
Another new book I am loving is Slow Fashion (worldwide here). It is all about how we can use clothing in a more earth-loving and sustainable way. It's a great idea to introduce our children to these concepts early, hopefully, before they can be influenced by advertising and before the idea of fast fashion is introduced to them.
Perhaps Slow Fashion can encourage all of us to think more critically about our clothing choices. This is the first children's book I've found that addresses the topic.
Slow Fashion covers that fashion can be fun, looking for clothing that last, mending clothing, carefully looking after clothing including line drying, sewing clothing and choosing natural fabrics, knowing the makers of our clothing, handing down clothing, and, shopping in preloved clothing stores.
Slow Fashion is recommended for 3yrs+, but it is a board book and could easily be read to children from 2yrs.
And if we do buy new clothing, let's consider how that clothing is made, who made it and let's look after it.
This post includes affiliate links. Thank you so much for your support.