We believe all children should be able to choose freely the books they like best and we celebrate all the marvellous writers, illustrators, publishers and booksellers that avoid putting boy or girl labels on books. Here we list some of our favourite reads for the very small people in our lives.
All booksellers featured on this page have received the Let Toys Be Toys “Toymark award” – our good practice award for the stores that are getting it right.
If you live near a great local bookshop that doesn’t segregate or signpost books according to gender please nominate them for our Toymark Award! Tweet us at @LetToysBeToys, send us a Facebook message, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A rhyming celebration of toddler transportation! This book opens and ends with the title refrain and follows a visual trajectory from day to night. In between, we see a busy, urban community of adults accompanying their toddlers as they glide, stroll and roll, assisted by a glorious array of toddler transport: buggies, supermarket trolleys, back slings and chariots! The illustrations are bright, contemporary and full of details to point at. Great for introducing some first movement words while also extending some words playfully to relish the sounds “huggled and cuddled and carried along”.
The illustrations are effortlessly diverse. This is a cohesive multicultural and multifaith neighbourhood. The illustrations also include images of active disabled people and challenges to gender stereotypes.
£6.99 from Letterbox Library
Let’s find out which toys Rosa and her friends are playing with today!
An important series that celebrates inclusivity, promotes gender equality and embraces the uniqueness of every child.
£4.99 from Childs Play Books
A very accessible, positive story explaining Asperger’s to young children. Backed by the National Autistic Society, it is an excellent resource for classrooms and libraries. Bookseller Groundbreaking picture book explaining Asperger’s Syndrome in a simple, gentle, positive way to young children.
Price: £6.99 from Bookmarks
This inspiring picture book retells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg – the Swedish teenager who has led a global movement to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis – using allegory to make this important topic accessible to young children.
Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants first came to the forest, they chopped down trees to make houses. Then they chopped down more trees and made even bigger homes. The houses grew into towns and the towns grew into cities, until now there is hardly any forest left. Greta knows she has to help the animals who live in the forest, but how? Luckily, Greta has an idea…
A section at the back explains that, in reality, the fight against the ‘giants’ isn’t over and explains how you can help Greta in her fight.
This book has been printed sustainably in the UK on 100% recycled paper. By buying a copy of this book, you are making a donation of 3% of the cover price to Greenpeace UK.
£6.99 from News From Nowhere
It’s almost time for Christmas, and Maria is travelling with her mother and younger brother, Juan, to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico. For the few minutes they can share together along the fence, Maria and her brother plan to exchange stories and Christmas gifts with the grandmother they haven’t seen in years. But when Juan’s gift is too big to fit through the slats in the fence, Maria has a brilliant idea. She makes it into a kite that soars over the top of the iron bars. Here is a heartwarming tale of multicultural families, and the miracle of love.
from Malvern Book Cooperative, 2 St Ann’s Road, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 4RG
A masterpiece of storytelling with evocative and stunning illustrations, destined to be read for years to come.
The wishing stars burn bright tonight, the air is thick with dreams,
And a deeply sleeping dinosaur is waking up, it seems . . .
In a town by the seaside, Marianne is often seen foraging on the beach. But she isn’t playing with children her own age. Instead Marianne is alone, and digging for dinosaur bones to build a special sort of companion. Then, one night, she goes to sleep wishing with all her heart that her dinosaur might come to life . . .
A very rare and special book where the words and pictures take you on a magical journey far beyond the page.
£10.99 from Nickel Books
Based on the original stories by Michael Bond, a brand new Paddington adventure with real mail to open and enjoy! This funny interactive picture book explores Paddington’s new life in London after travelling all the way from Darkest Peru
Open the six envelopes inside and find out all about his new home, family and friends. These include Paddington’s first letter to Aunt Lucy, a half-price voucher for his favourite buns, a very special birthday card – and more!
£12.99 from Button and Bear Bookshop
A little girl dreams of having her very own pet. But what kind of animal would make the best companion? A mouse is too small; a cat is too ordinary; and a fish is too… wet! If I had a dinosaur is a bedtime story about a little girl who imagines what it would be like to have a dinosaur of her own.
£10.95 from Ottie and the Bea
For more stereotype-free shopping, check out our Toymark directory of great inclusive retailers.