Social change kids books

A collection of social change kids books that I spent many hours with my wee ones cuddled up reading

  • Becker, Suzy. (and hundreds of kids) (1992). The All Better Book.  New York: Workman Publishing. If you ever doubted the creativity of kids, check out this book. Suzy, a teacher, asks children how they would solve world problems. In response to can you think of a cure for prejudice, children said “Everyone should invite someone who is different to their house once a week” (9 year old) and “If people act prejudiced, make them wear plaid jackets, plaid shirts, plaid pants and plaid sneakers that say ‘don’t be prejudiced’ on them”.  Always funny and often insightful.


  • Bentley, Dawn. (2000). The Icky Sticky Anteater. Australia: Five Mile Press. What if you are an anteater and don’t like ants? This anteater has to work hard but ends up increasing the tolerance and acceptance levels of his friends. The “sticky tongue” that is attached to the book, along with the googly eyes, is always a hit.


  • Boniface, William (1998). The Adventures of Max the Minnow. Hong Kong: Accord Publishing. The large googly eyes in this book will captivate children of all ages as Max, through his funny adventures, learns to love himself just as he is. Be prepared to wrap your tongue around the prose as it’s all in rhyme.


  • Boritzer, Etan. (1990). What is god?  Willowdale: Firefly books. An interesting look at religion, inclusive approach with great illustrations.  A Canadian resource.


  • Dr. Seuss. (1971). The Lorax. New York: Random House. A classic, this tale tells of what befalls us all if we don’t pay attention and respect to the environment.


  • Fleischman, Paul. (1999). Weslandia. London: Walker Books. A great story of a boy named Wes who goes against the norm and while this eventually causes him problems, people end up seeing the strength in his creativity and intelligence.


  • Frasier, Debra. (1991). On the Day You Were Born. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company. A beautiful and simple tale of welcoming a newborn. Additional parts at the end go into more detail about the different eco-systems for older children.


  • Gerstein, Mordecai. (1987). The Mountains of Tibet. USA: Harper and Row. A tale of life after death in Tibet with absolutely stunning illustrations that capture wildlife, people etc from around the world.


  • McNaughton, Colin. (1995). Here Come the Aliens! Cambridge: Candlewick Press. A tale that will leave you laughing about how perceptions of what is scary can radically differ.


  • Midler, Bette. (1983). The Saga of Baby Divine. New York: crown Publishers, Inc. One of my all-time favourites (my copy is falling apart from use- including using it with teens). I suspect this book may be hard to get but it’s worth the effort. Baby Divine is born to rather ordinary, uninspiring parents who are dismayed at her zest for life and uniqueness. Through adventures and misadventures however they truly come to appreciate her. The illustrations are colourful and unique and the story is written in rhyme.



  • Morrison, Toni. (1999). The Big Box. New York: Jump at the Sun.  A truly wonderful tale of how adults’ self-absorption, consumerism and even sometimes well intentions can negatively affect children. Written in prose with lovely illustrations. A great book about kids’ rights.


  • Munsch, Robert. (1980). The Paper Bag Princess. Toronto: Annick Press. If you don’t have this book in your library you must go out and buy it. A terrific tale that flips the gender stereotypes on their ear and it’s Canadian!


  • Pienkowsky, Jan. (1987). Small Talk. Los Angeles: Price Stern Sloan, Inc. A terrific tiny pop up book that shows how easy it is for communication to be blocked and misinterpreted.


  • Yoshi, Andrew Clements. (1988).  Big Al. Massachusetts: Picture Book Studio.  Big Al, a fish who at first doesn’t fit in due to his appearance, is finally accepted by all.

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