Picture Books with themes of Inclusion


Image courtesy of Sylvia Liu

Inclusion is an important theme that picture books can tackle in a way that’s accessible to young children. And when youngsters grow up loving books that show them the power of inclusion, there’s a good chance our future will be more inclusive.

Here are our 2016 debut picture books that delve into themes of inclusion:

Teamwork in Picture Books

Teamwork is a skill learned through communication and working together. This page from Nancy Churnin‘s THE WILLIAM HOY STORY is a great example of teamwork.



Penn State Extension’s Better Kid Care lists several reasons teambuilding with children is important:

Conducting team building activities with children can help children work on developing the following skills:

  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Cooperation
  • Listening
  • Self-esteem
  • Idea exchange
  • Working with others and different groups
  • Leadership
  • Creative thinking

The link above also has several team building activities for children.

And to wrap up, why not read a picture book that demonstrates teamwork?

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Picture books about Family

Family is important and our picture books reflect that. As Michelle Lee says in her post about families at the New York Public Library blog, all families “share the same universal value: love.” Several of our 2016 picture book debuts showcase this.

From Preschool Education, here’s an action poem about families:

Some Families added 8-22-01 Original Author Unknown
Some families are large. (spread arms out wide)
Some families are small (bring arms close together)
But I love my family (cross arms over chest) best of all!


Picture Books with Animals

Picture books about animals or with animals as characters always resonate with kids. Animals can be friends.


Image courtesy of THE GREEN UMBRELLA by Jackie Azúa Kramer

Helping animals can build empathy. Sometimes we relate best to animals, and of course, pets can be very important parts of our lives. Here are our 2016 picture book debuts that centre around animals:


Humourous Books

Yes, they are funny, but humourous books are more than that. They can entertain, heal with laughter, educate and turn young people into lifelong readers. Seriously, funny books do something special. Check out this list from Megan Daley on Children’s Books Daily:

Five Reasons Children Should Read Humour

  1. Humour engages young people (particularly reluctant readers) as they are naturally playful and generally laugh far more than adults do.
  2. Humorous literature harnesses the exuberance and wonder of youth with words and ideas.
  3. Young people interact with their peers and foster friendships through humorous literature as they enjoy sharing the laughs with their peers.
  4. Humorous books reflect reality, which, in reality, is a mixture of sad and funny, joy and pain, highs and lows.
  5. Far from being an ‘easy option’, humorous literature encourages critical reading as young people learn to read between the lines and develop an awareness of subtly and sarcasm, right and wrong.


Humour was a big theme in our 2016 picture books. Check out how many of our books celebrate HUMOUR:

Read them all! Then try a few of these humour inducing activities, such as replacing a key word in a funny song.

Books about Friendship

To wrap up our debut year, we are going to celebrate our books by theme.


Image courtesy of Sylvia Liu

First up is FRIENDSHIP. As 2016 picture book debut authors and illustrators, we’ve made lots of friends over the year, and so have our characters.


Image courtesy of Liz Wong

Friendship was the most common theme that brought our books together. Take a look at our books celebrating friendship:

Here’s a little poem from CanTeach:


Friends care
Friends share
We need friends


Image courtesy of  Bats Langley

And if you have a child nearby who wants to celebrate their friend, here’s a printable booklet to personalize.


Image courtesy of Claire Lordon


Top Twelve Libraries


We love our libraries! National Library Week is the perfect time to highlight our favourite libraries. We took a poll and these made the list. If your favourite library isn’t on this list, please let us know in the comments.

  1. Mattituck-Laurel Library, Mattituck, New York. Our goal is to provide quality services and programs in an effort to meet the informational, academic, and recreational needs of our young patrons and families and to nurture children to become lifelong library users.
  2. Southold Free Library, Southold, New York. Southold Free Library is committed to providing access to quality information and ideas.
  3. The Seattle Public Library, Seattle, Washington. Our mission is to bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.
  4. Scottsdale Public Library, Scottsdale, Arizona. Scottsdale Public Library fosters lifelong learning by providing access to information, knowledge and ideas.
  5. New City Library, New City, New York. The New City Library connects people, information and ideas to promote lifelong learning, literacy development and community involvement to improve the quality of life for its patrons.
  6. The New York Public Library, New York City. The mission of The New York Public Library is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities.
  7. Princeton Public Library, Princeton, New Jersey. The Princeton Public Library strives at all times to provide excellence in customer service. 
  8. Cutchogue New Suffolk Free Library, Cutchogue, New York. The Mission of our library is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen the communities of Cutchogue and New Suffolk.
  9. King County Library System, Washington. The mission of the King County Library is to provide free, open, and equal access to ideas and information to all members of the community.


    Covington, King County Library System

  10. Mill Valley Public Library, Mill Valley, California. The Purpose of the Mill Valley Public Library is to provide the opportunity for knowledge and personal enrichment, to furnish a variety of library materials and resources reflecting the needs of the Community and to encourage Children to read.
  11. Kent District Library, Kentwood Branch, Michigan. Since 1936, our goal has been to provide library resources that enhance our residents’ quality of life.
  12. Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Connecting people to the transforming power of knowledge.

Top 12 List: What do people say?

Top Twelve things people say to picture book authors and illustrators when they hear about, see or read our debut picture books:


  1. Awwww! Good for you.


  1. You write and illustrate picture books for kids? NO WAY!


  1. Will you illustrate my story for free?


  1. Do you think you’ll write a book for adults?


  1. Can you refer me to your agent?


  1. Wow, that’s great.


  1. Is it in actual stores?


  1. My _____________ wrote a kid’s book.


  1. Will you illustrate my story?


  1. Didn’t it come out already? (because I’ve been talking about it for 2 years)


  1. Where/When can I buy it?


  1. I’ve always wanted to write/illustrate a book too.