The shortlists for the brand-new Inclusive Books for Children Awards have been announced.
Set up by charity Inclusive Books for Children, the awards showcase and celebrate the best inclusive books published in the UK across three categories:
- Books for babies and toddlers (ages 1-3)
- Picture books for ages 3-7
- Children’s fiction for ages 5-9
The shortlists were selected by a panel made up of educators, authors, illustrators and broadcasters. The judges considered four key areas – writing, illustration, inclusivity and overall enjoyment of the text – in order to whittle down a field of nearly 200 titles to a final 13.
Author and judge A.M. Dassu said of the shortlisted titles: ‘My fellow judges and I were so impressed with the inaugural shortlists in each category. The books covered many themes and represented a vast amount of diverse experiences. All the entries were interesting and engaging and they were a real pleasure to read. All of those shortlisted in each category should be commended.’
Marcus Satha, co-founder of Inclusive Books for Children, said: ‘Our aim is to showcase amazing, inclusive children’s books that children and their families will love to read. What sets these books apart is that they offer authentic glimpses into different ways of life, as a backdrop to stories told through writing and illustration of the highest standard. It wasn’t an easy job for the judges, but we’re delighted to see so many brilliant inclusive books by incredible children’s authors and illustrators make it onto our very first shortlists, and we can’t wait to announce the winners next month.’
Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors and illustrators!
Baby and Toddler Books: Shortlist 2024
Too Green! by Sumana Seeboruth, illustrated by Maribel Castells (Barefoot Books)
Zeki Goes to the Park by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Ruth Hearson (Alanna Max)
Zeki Hikes with Daddy by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Ruth Hearson (Alanna Max)
Picture Books for Ages 3-7: Shortlist 2024
The Missing Piece by Jordan Stephens, illustrated by Beth Suzanna (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
To the Other Side by Erika Meza (Hodder Children’s Books)
Faruq and the Wiri Wiri by Sophia Payne, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat (Templar Publishing)
Dadaji’s Paintbrush by Rashmi Sirdeshpande, illustrated by Ruchi Mhasane (Andersen Press)
You’re so Amazing! by James and Lucy Catchpole, illustrated by Karen George (Faber & Faber)
Children’s Fiction for Ages 5-9: Shortlist 2024
Budgie by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by David Barrow (Barrington Stoke)
Lizzie and Lucky: The Mystery of the Lost Chicken by Megan Rix, illustrated by Tim Budgen (Puffin).
Meet the Maliks, Twin Detectives: The Cookie Culprit by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Kyan Cheng (Hodder Children’s Books)
Sona Sharma, Wish Me Luck by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Jen Khatun (Walker Books)
Too Small Tola Makes it Count by Atinuke, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu (Walker Books)
Inclusive Books for Children aspires for mainstream books to be inclusive, and for inclusive books to be mainstream. The charity also runs an open access book review website dedicated to helping families and educators build more inclusive library collections. The website showcases stories that represent all types of families and a variety of ethnicities, as well as portraying positive images of disabilities and different identities.
The winners of the inaugural Inclusive Books for Children Awards will be announced at a ceremony on 28th February. Look out for our winner announcement!