February’s 4-7 Book Box
As our three-year-olds turn into four-year-olds, it remains important as ever to ensure that their bookshelves remain diverse. This is a pivotal time in a child’s life when they are meeting new people, experiencing new challenges, and joys. In this age bracket, books don’t just have to be implicitly inclusive. They can be jumping off points. You can use books as a means to explore your child’s attitudes towards race, gender, friendship, and more. So, let’s get tucked into February’s 4-7 Book Box…
I Talk Like A River by Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith
This book is full of feeling. The illustrations alone make this a book worth owning: they are beautiful and sophisticated. It describes the protagonist’s trouble with speech. At school, he hides at the back of the classroom, hoping that he does not have to speak. He feels that the eyes of his classmates are on him. After school, his dad takes him to the river. The protagonist identifies with the river.
‘My dad says I talk like a river.’
Children who struggle with speech will find solace in this book. For children who do not, this book will help them to be more understanding and patient with those that do. This brilliant book has just been announced on the longlist for the Kate Greenaway medal
Oona The Brave Little Mermaid by Kelly DiPucchio and Raissa Figueroa
Mermaids can be so popular with little kids. And yet, black mermaids are few and far between. Oona is sweet and a little bit salty. Oona rescued Otto from an oyster net when he was just a pup; now he is her sidekick and best friend. Together, they go on treasure hunts. Although Oona’s treasure hunts are framed in a positive, adventurous light, this could be an opportunity for talking to your child about what keys, coins, buttons, and bottles are doing at the bottom of the ocean.
Luna Loves Art by Joseph Coelho and Fiona Lumbers
This is the perfect companion for getting your child excited about a trip to an art gallery or a museum. There is so much to look at on every page!
On the school trip, Luna is very taken with the amazing massive things, full of colour, full of shapes. However, her classmate, Finn, is looking down. After Finn scrunches up her drawing, Luna asks her Mum why Finn is so mean. Mum suggests that Finn needs a friend. Luna is able to forgive Finn and form a friendship with him. It is hinted at that something negative is going on in Finn’s home life and that is why he is acting out.
Often, children can struggle to understand why another child is behaving in a certain way. This is a great story for teaching children that people can be very complex and you do not always know what someone is going through. And the gentle references to Luna’s family situation provides great representation for diversity in family setup.
Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate
In this sweet, colourful story, Grandad reminisces to his grandchild about all the adventures he used to have with Gramps. A love story involving sand-castle competitions, city-visits, and animals unfolds. But since Gramps died, Grandad has lost his spirit for adventure. However, Grandad still has the campervan. Wanting to cheer up Grandad, the protagonist suggests that they go on an adventure together.
This is a multi-faceted children’s book. It features an older interracial couple in a same-sex relationship. Grandad’s grief is explored sensitively. Grief doesn’t always come in the form of wailing, sometimes it comes in feeling more withdrawn and unable to do the things you once enjoyed. The bond between grandparent and grandchild is especially heart-warming.
That is all from February’s 4-7 book box. As you can see, it is a really exciting month. You can get this box of fabulous books as a one-off here or subscribe and have it arriving at your house in the next few days. You can do that here.