Book Review: Picture books with themes of self-acceptance, reasoning and diversity

These recently released books are perfect for reading to children under 4 when you need them to understand new concepts. Two Sides to Every Story introduces the concept of ‘choices’, which is more unusual.


Book Review Picture book

I Am Lupe: A Celebration of the Differences that Make Us Who We Are
by Sela Ahosivi-Atiola, Illus. by Yani Agustina. Pub. Hachette Imprint Lothian Children’s Books, h/b, RRP$24.99. Ages 3+
Sela Ahosivi-Atiola has written a sweet book that surely many children who are different to look at in many ways will relate to.  Lupe’s heritage is as a Pacific islander. She looks different to her classmates, who are always asking her questions about who she is and where does she come from. Lupe is not sure herself how to give the correct answer, so she asks her mother.  “We are all different, and no one is the same,’ says her mother.” Finally, she realises that she has the answer to those questions. She is (just) Lupe!


Book Review Picture bookWhat My Daddy Loves
written and illustrated by Raissa Figueroa. Pub. HarperCollins, p/b, RRP$14.99 Ages 3+
Raissa is an illustrator based in San Diego, and this is her first book, where she has written and illustrated the story of a father’s love for his small child.  This special bond is celebrated through the colourful illustrations depicting special activities that the brown-skinned father does with his child. If you look carefully, the father and the child depicted are slightly different on each page which gives a universal feeling to the story.


Book Review Picture bookTwo Side to Every Story
by Robin Feiner, Illus. by Beck Feiner. Pub. HarperCollins Imprint ABC Books, h/b RRP$24.99 Ages 4+.
The premise of this book is perfect for any child who asks lots of questions and can’t make decisions! It will get them thinking about the pros and cons of different choices they must make on a daily basis. Oscar has worked out that there are two sides to every question, and as you progress through this book Oscar shows how you can compare the two sides and then make a choice! The scenarios are perfectly reasoned out, like the choice between carnivores and vegetarians. Oscar loves bacon but knows that eating less meat is good for the planet. “Taking a bite of bacon, Oscar decided every second day would be a vegie day – but no cauliflower.”

(also by the Feiners see HarperCollins )
These books also have a theme of diversity: see this link: Picture books