Children’s books that open our eyes to the diversity of the world

Because we live on a planet in danger, because the future is more uncertain than ever and discrimination is widespread, we must “educate new minds”, as recommended by therapist and essayist Anne-Laure Buffet. With the help of our loyal booksellers, we have listed a few volumes that are suitable for both young and old!

Some of them shed some light on the most interesting releases of recent years. A special thanks to the magnificent and very well stocked Maupetit bookstore, in Marseille!

1 To understand and raise awareness of discrimination

All different, but all equal?

What does equality mean? Is an insult discrimination? What is sexism? How do you become a racist? Racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia… This illustrated book responds with humor to the questions children ask about discrimination. If you are looking for a book that opens your eyes and your heart to differences, this one is a must: published in 2021, it covers the big current debates for the youngest, from 9 years… But remains very useful at any age and recommended to many adults who have lost the sense of acceptance!

Jessie Magana is the author of several books that testify to her commitment to equality between people, between the sexes. This commitment is extended in the field thanks to the workshops she leads with children and teenagers.

©Fleurus, 2021

All different, but all equal? : and all the questions you have about sexism, racism and many other forms of discriminationby Jessie Magana and Clémence Lallement, Fleurus, 2021, 48 pp., €9.95.

Like a million black butterflies

Published in 2018, this book is a great children’s classic, filled with poetry and enchanting images that everyone should leaf through. It tells the story of Adé, a little girl with curly hair. A magnificent and full head of hair, which nevertheless gave her quite a bit of teasing at school, where the other children in particular told her that they had the impression that she “like a million black butterflies on your head”. One day she asks her mother and aunts about her constantly mocked hair. Thanks to them, she will gently discover the beauty of these butterflies that sleep on her head until their last flight. A book that invites tolerance, self-acceptance and aims to introduce some diversity into children’s literature.

By the same authors, also find Jada’s way, the story of twins with different skin colors. While one faces discrimination from the inhabitants of her village, the other is constantly complimented. One day, Jada gets tired and decides to venture into the forest to meet these “Children of the Night” which her grandmother keeps comparing her to…

©Cambourakis, 2018

Like a million black butterfliesby Laura Nsafou and Barbara Brun, Cambourakis, 2018, 32 pp., €14.

born girl

From Afghanistan to Kenya, via Nepal, Alice Dussutour wonders what it is to be a girl in several countries of the world. What means “born a girl”? What does it mean to become a woman in these different cultures? Each of the main characters tells us about her daily life, her habits and her culture and highlights a social issue related to the place and rights of women in her country. Each story is followed by documentary pages that provide the opportunity to take the debate further and provide concrete knowledge about the topic discussed. A perfect book to introduce to the difficult issue of gender discrimination.

Through precise data and information, this volume makes it possible to understand how people brought up and socialized as girls live, and what gender discrimination translates into concretely in their daily lives.

© Ricochet Editions, 2022

born girl by Alice Dussutour, Editions du ricochet, 2022, 167 pp., €22.

2 Imagining another planet

The earth is my friend

The earth is my friendis a book published by Editions Saltimbanque in April 2022. This beautiful illustrated book, which combines documentary and narrative, takes us into the daily life of 22 children from all over the world, each with their own culture and lifestyle. Everyone tells us how they intend to save the planet, each with their tools and the results of their culture. Then we go to Ghana with Akoua, who dreams of inventing the first biodegradable bicycle, then to Chile, where scientists have invented rain catchers to save rainwater, and again to Bhutan, the most ecological country in the world, where Sonam studies in a green area. school and takes care of the school plantations with his friends.

The author tells us about the lives of these new generations faced with a changing world… seen through the eyes of those who will inherit it.

©Saltimbanque, 2022

The earth is my friend by Maïa Brami and Karine Daisay, Saltimbanque, 2022, 92 pp., €16.50.

We are here

“How do we describe our world to our children? This was the question for Olivier Jeffers, who has just become a father. From the infinite to the oceans, from tolerance to support, all the sweetness and beauty of our world is treated”: this is how Nathalie, bookseller at Decitre, describes Olivier Jeffers’ opus.

Dedication to his child, the book is also a form of legacy for future generations, with the hope that solidarity between generations can make a difference in the preservation of our planet, which is more fragile than ever. “This book was written during the first two months of your life, when I was looking for a way to explain everything to you. Here are the things I think you need to know.”writes the author, with all the sensitivity found between these pages illustrated by Jeffers himself.

©Kaleidoscope, 2018

We are here – Notes on life on planet Earthby Olivier Jeffers, Kaléidoscope, 2018, 42 pp., €15.

One world, 24 hours on planet Earth

Published in April 2022, this book by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Jenni Desmond, is a traversal of Earth through its 24 time zones. An original and exciting angle that tells what is happening in several places in the world depending on the time of day. Polar bears hunting, elephants sleeping, baby turtles being born, albatrosses flying over the sea, braving the storm… Thanks to overwhelmingly beautiful and richly illustrated plates, the volume aims to raise awareness of the protection of nature and its discovery .

The author Nicola Davies is a two-time winner of the Andersen Prize for her popular science children’s books. She lives in Somerset, England. After graduating in zoology, she continued to study animals and observe them in their habitat. She worked for ten years in the BBC’s Natural History Unit, first as a researcher and then as a program presenter The really wild show.

© Editions des éléphants, 2022

One world, 24 hours on planet Earth by Nicola Davies, Jenni Desmond and Ilona Meyer, Elephant Editions, 2022, 48 pp, €15.

3 To discover the most beautiful countries in the world

Around the world in 24 markets

Go on a gastronomic escapade through 24 farmers markets in 12 countries! In the era of globalization and online commerce, markets remain essential places of encounter and exchange, guarantors of traditions and cultures. In this album for children over 6 years old, we travel from Essaouira market to Amphawa floating market, from Cours Saleya in Nice to Union Square’s organic market… A world tour that mixes passion for adventure and for good food.

In each market we will learn the typical phrases, we will taste the most common foods in the country and the typical recipes. A newly published book in March 2022, which will also delight young and old!

©Festen, 2022

Around the world in 24 markets by Anna Desnitskaya, Maria Bakhareva and Margaux Rochefort, The Party, 2022, 88 pp, €18.90.

Himalayas – The mountains that touch the sky

Himalayas – The mountains that touch the skyis a documentary album produced by Maria Beorlegi, Soledad Romero Mariño and Clémentine Latron, released in 2022 by Nathan. A sublime book, with immersive images, which from the age of 7 invites us on an extraordinary journey to the top of the world, to meet nature and spirituality. A journey around Everest, the highest peak in the world, and the life that takes place there between thousand-year-old traditions and virgin nature.

In addition to the adventurous side, stimulating imagination, the album is also an introduction to spirituality, encouraging respect for all beliefs. The Himalayas are the cradle of Buddhism, which deeply marks the way of life of Tibetans and Buddhist monks. Himalayas – The mountains that touch the skyis a true fresco, a great book to contemplate page by page, to appreciate nature and learn about the diversity of the world. And as suggested by Gaëlle, bookseller at Maupetit: “Any good children’s book must also be a good book for adults! »

© Nathan Editions, 2022

Himalayas – The mountains that touch the skyby Maria Beorlegi, Soledad Romero Mariño and Clémentine Latron, Nathan, 2022, 40 pp., €19.99.

Japorama

Another beautiful volume that will delight adults and children alike! Passionate about Japan or just curious, seasoned traveler or newly discovered, (re)discover this enigmatic and fascinating country. A dive into the daily life of the Japanese through the immersive and fascinating illustrations of Sabrina Ferrero, whose colors captivate us. A documentary book that covers with extraordinary precision and completeness the most emblematic traditions of Japanese life, from ikebana to tea culture, from the rules of politeness to the Tokyo way of life: a colorful adventure at the heart of a thousand-year-old civilization that shuns clichés and cultural appropriation !

© Casterman, 2019

Japoramaby Marco Reggiani, Sabrina Ferrero and Béatrice Didiot, Casterman, 2019, 224 pp, €19.95.

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