Inclusive Books for Children (IBC) has today revealed the 13 brilliant books that made it onto the shortlists for their new inclusive children’s book awards.
Inclusive Books for Children aspires for mainstream children’s books to be inclusive, and for inclusive children’s books to be mainstream. Along the way, they hope to nurture a new generation of open-minded and inspired young book lovers.
The inaugural Inclusive Books for Children Awards recognise the best new inclusive books published in the UK across three categories: books for babies and toddlers aged one to three, picture books for ages three to seven and children’s fiction for ages five to nine.
The 13 shortlisted titles are:
Baby and Toddler Books:
Too Green! by Sumana Seeboruth and Maribel Castells (Barefoot Books)
Zeki Goes to the Park by Anna McQuinn and Ruth Hearson (Alanna Max)
Zeki Hikes With Daddy by Anna McQuinn and Ruth Hearson (Alanna Max)
Picture Books for ages 3–7
Dadaji’s Paintbrush by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Ruchi Mhasane (Andersen Press)
Faruq and the Wiri Wiri by Sophia Payne and Sandhya Prahbat (Templar)
The Missing Piece by Jordan Stephens and Beth Suzanna (Bloomsbury)
To the Other Side by Erika Meza (Hodder Children’s)
You’re So Amazing! by James and Lucy Catchpole and Karen George (Faber & Faber)
Children’s Fiction for ages 5–9
Budgie by Jospeh 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)
Sona Sharma, Wish Me Luck by Chitra Soundhar, illustrated by Jen Khatun (Walker)
Too Small Tola Makes It Count by Atinuke, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu (Walker)
The judging panel is made up of educator, author and broadcaster, Jeffrey Boakye; author and Inclusive Minds director A.M. Dassu; award-winning illustrator, author and comedian, Aoife Dooley; vintage icon and advocate for LGBTQ+ and disability rights, Jessica Kellgren-Fozard; chair of judges, CLPE interim executive director and educator, Farrah Serroukh; and broadcaster and author, Sonali Shah. As part of the process, each judge had to consider four key pillars around writing, illustration, inclusivity and overall enjoyment of the text.
A.M. Dassu said on 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.”
The Inclusive Books for Children awards ceremony will take place on 28 February at the Barbican Centre in London. To find out more, visit inclusivebooksforchildren.org and @IBCplatform on X and Instagram.