A student teacher I know was tutoring a nine-year-old Muslim girl and decided to share with her a book called The Rainbow Hijab. When the girl saw the book, her eyes lit up with excitement and she turned to her tutor and said, “I didn’t know they made books about Muslim girls like me.”
No child should feel invisible in books. All children should be able to see themselves and people different to them portrayed in positive and inclusive ways.
The best books for children are those containing enjoyable story lines and reflecting diversity without preaching about it.
The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van T. Rudd, is about children of African and Muslim background and the bike they build together from things they find around them. All children can relate to the joyful story of playing outside and being creative.
Other books containing relatable childhood stories are:
Aunty’s Wedding, by Miranda Tapsell, illustrated by Joshua Tyler and Samantha Fry